Position Capsule: Offensive Line

Purdue's offensive line is working to be a more physical unit. During the spring, the unit struggled at times, but showed its potential. Boiler Sports Report gives a look at the growing group.

Where they stand—Right from the first whistle of the spring, Jim Bridge established his ways as Purdue's new offensive line coach. Hired away from Illinois just days before the Boilermakers' spring drills began—and before even coaching a practice in Champaign—the new coach made his style known to the offensive line. Bridge is tough and intense, but extremely intelligent. During each rep, he is screaming at the top of his lungs; after it's over, he stops to teach.

Bridge will be asked to mold a young offensive line with many moveable pieces—certainly a busy task for the offseason. There are just a few certainties on the offensive line; Robert Kugler, Jason King and Jordan Roos are among those. The three put together a strong spring and appear poised to play. Senior Devin Smith has potential to start at tackle, but needs to show more mobility with his 320-pound frame.

Seniors Trevor Foy and Kevin Pamphile were good in the spring, too; as was redshirt freshmen Joey Warburg. Bridge got a good look at his unit, but the real answers will come in August.

Biggest Riser—Remember when Robert Kugler was a tight end? That seems like a long time ago, now. Kugler tips the scales at a healthy 280 pounds and has the frame of an offensive guard, but his abilities match it. Kugler put together a standout spring, showing consistency to the coaching staff. While the unit struggled to sync at times, Kugler was a bright spot. Kugler should be in line for a starting job this season.

Needs a strong summer— Devin Smith battled an ankle injury for much of the spring, hampering his mobility, but it's still not up to speed. Smith stands at 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds. When he get into the open field, linebackers and defensive backs better run the other way. The problem is that he struggles to get there. Smith needs to show he's more than just a physically imposing body in the trenches.

Quote to note—"It gets pretty intense. You can't be a softy on the offensive line and be successful in Division I football." –offensive lineman Jordan Roos, on workouts with the offensive line this spring.

Prediction— The offensive line had great struggles during portions of the spring, at it impacted the entire offense. Those are mistakes that are a lot more acceptable in March than they are in October. I believe in Jim Bridge and his group. With tons of potential in the unit—names like Roos, King and Kugler standing out the most—the Boilermaker offensive line will take strides.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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