The 2005 draft at the position: The theory on selecting offensive guards in the draft is diverse amongst those who make the final decision. Some feel prospects at this position are a dime a dozen while others feel stalwarts like Steve Hutchinson are worthy of early picks in Round One. This year's crop is solid and though no single prospect stands out or deserves mention amongst the initial 32 selections, excellent talent will be available from the first day through the middle rounds.
BREAKING DOWN THE TOP PROSPECTS
DAVID BAAS, MICHIGAN
6-4, 311, SENIOR
The Good: Big, strong blocker who plays with a nasty attitude. Very quick off the ball, immediately gets his hands up and controls defenders once engaged in a block. Displays great strength and turns opponents off the line, creating holes for ball carriers. Hard-working, looks to finish blocks and mashes opponents at the line of scrimmage or on the second level. Works his hands nicely and rides opponents from their angle of attack in pass protection.
The Bad: Lacks adjustment and body redirection. Not effective blocking on the move.
The Skinny: Terrific in a small area, Baas is an impenetrable force who defenders have difficulty getting around. Effective blocking for the running or passing game, he does not test well athletically, yet is an outstanding prospect for the next level who will be starting as a rookie.
ELTON BROWN, VIRGINIA
6-5, 338, SENIOR
The Good: Big, dominant blocker who engulfs opponents at the point of attack, then totally removes them from the play. Nasty and works to finish blocks. Displays outstanding power and easily controls opponents, opening large holes for the running game or turning defenders off the ball and driving them into the ground. Emotional leader of the offensive line and very vocal. Immediately picks up stunts or twists thrown by opponents and helps out linemates.
The Bad: Not quick if asked to pull across the line of scrimmage, cannot redirect to linebackers on the second level and has difficulty in space. More an arm wrestler than leverage blocker. Narrow-based lineman who loses balance.
The Skinny: One of the more dominant guard prospects available in next April's draft, Brown combines terrific size, growth potential and natural strength. And while he must iron out the rough edges of his game, perfectly suited for a ball-control offense in the NFL. A blocker who should be off the board during the first 60 picks next April.
DAN BUENNING, WISCONSIN
6-5, 310, SENIOR
The Good: Hard-working lineman who blocks with a nasty attitude and plays with a good degree of intelligence. Bends his knees, plays with leverage and gets underneath opponents, displaying great jolt at the initial point of contact. Really looks to take opponents on, yet at the same time picks up stunts or twists and works well with linemates. Moves defenders off the line, opening holes for the running game and to his credit displays quickness pulling across the line of scrimmage.
The Bad: Must do a better job extending his hands and keeping opponents away. Marginal skills in space and not effective in motion. Lacks footwork and the ability to slide laterally.
The Skinny: Hard-working in all aspects, Buenning is a solid blocker with the ability to start in the NFL. May not hold the same upside as compared to others at this position, yet his intellect and work ethic could quickly help him find a starting role as a rookie.
JONATHAN CLINKSCALE, WISCONSIN
6-4, 305, SENIOR
The Good: Explosive lineman with outstanding power and jolt a point of attack. Gets leverage on defenders, pushing them off the line of scrimmage. Anchors in pass protection, holding his ground, stays square and easily controls opponents at the point. Works to keep his feet moving throughout the action.
The Bad: Lacks footwork and the ability to play in space as well as top blocking range. Overextends and off balance at times. Not quick if asked to kick out or pull across the line of scrimmage. Has a soft physique and stands to add muscle mass to his frame.
The Skinny: Dominant at the point of attack, Clinkscale easily controls defenders and standouts on film. Could slide into the late part of the draft's first day with a good postseason as well as solid workouts prior to April, yet more than likely a middle-round pick that will offer a large degree of upside at the next level. Must hit the weight room hard and apply himself to year-round conditioning to ever reach the potential he possesses.
SAMSON SATELE, HAWAII
6-2, 285, THIRD-YEAR SOPHOMORE
The Good: Athletic lineman effective in space. Blocks with good lean, extends his hands and immediately gets them up into opponents. Displays solid footwork as well as the ability to quickly get out on the second level and block in motion. Strong, controls opponents at the point and works to finish blocks.
The Bad: Limited experience as a starter. Lacks dominant strength to this point.
The Skinny: A terrific prospect with a great amount of upside potential for the future, Satele will just get better with experience as he physically matures. Already a very good player, he is headed to be an early draft choice in the future.
MARCUS JOHNSON, MISSISSIPPI
6-6, 316, SENIOR
The Good: Solid athlete with an outstanding combination of size and strength. Easily controls opponents once engaged at the point, engulfing defenders and driving them into the ground. Solid position blocker who sets with a wide base and walls defenders from the action. Stays square, keeps opponents in front of him and plays with excellent lean. Relatively quick out the second level and always looking for someone to hit.
The Bad: More an arm wrestler than leverage blocker. Not light on his feet nor quick pulling across the line of scrimmage. Lacks range and body adjustment as well as footwork in space.
The Skinny: Built for the power game, Johnson is best suited for a ball-control offense at the next level. Must learn to use his size on an every-down basis and work to finish blocks, yet his power and growth potential is enticing and gives him a good upside for the next level.
EVAN MATHIS, ALABAMA
6-5, 310, SENIOR
The Good: Underrated collegiate lineman with the ability to be used at several positions up front. Blocks with a wide base, stays square and anchors in pass protection. Quickly gets off the line and a solid position blocker who seals running lanes for ball carriers. Effectively uses blocking angles, riding oncoming rushers from their angle of attack. Good initial strength at the point of attack, blocks with forward lean and displays the ability to slide out laterally.
The Bad: Lacks adjustment and top blocking range. Does not possess great size and has difficulty finishing blocks.
The Skinny: A hard-working lineman used at both guard and tackle, Mathis gets the most from his abilities and has been productive to this point in time. May not possess the great upside for the next level and stands to add bulk to his frame yet has NFL ability. Moving up draft boards.
DOUG BUCKLES, MISSISSIPPI
6-5, 305, SENIOR
The Good: Nasty lineman best blocking for the running game. Attacks assignments and gets movement from blocks. Plays with forward lean, bends his knees and stays square. Quick in his head and cognizant of assignments. Outstanding strength at the point of attack and anchors in pass protection. Removes linebackers from the second level.
The Bad: Not effective in space or a blocker who covers a large area. Does more stepping than shuffling in pass protection.
The Skinny: A blue-collar prospect, Buckles is a hard-working blocker who always gives top effort. May not possess the great upside, yet a solid lineman who should be very effective for a power running game or in a zone blocking scheme.
CHRIS MYERS, MIAMI (FLA.)
6-4, 300, SENIOR
The Good: Nasty lineman who looks for someone to hit. Patient, works well with teammates and displays adequate ability to shuffle laterally. Quick out to the second level, then uses solid body positioning to seal opponents from the play. Jolts defenders at the point and effectively works his hands.
The Bad: Not a natural knee-bender and gets tall as the play proceeds. Has difficulty blocking in any direction other than straight ahead. Lacks adjustment and exploited by smaller, speedier defenders.
The Skinny: Tough and a hard worker, Myers lacks the great upside potential, yet makes the most of his tools and has a nice feel for the position. Tests poorly and though only a late-round pick, a prospect we expect to get notice next summer in camp because of his tenacity and know-how.
CEDRIC JOHNSON, CLEMSON
6-2.5, 337, SENIOR
The Good: Wide-bodied lineman tough to get around. Naturally strong, yet at the same time a good athlete. Gets his hands up and controls defenders once engaged at the point. Effective when he implements good blocking technique and attacks assignments.
The Bad: Lacks top footwork and only average skills in space. Does more leaning than actual blocking at times.
The Skinny: Possessing both the natural size and the innate abilities to play at the next level, Johnson must start to apply himself to make a mark at the next level. Perfectly built for the guard position, his athleticism and versatility are a good fit for several blocking schemes. Needs to trim down, work harder and improve his conditioning to have any shot of making it in the NFL and attaining the level scouts believe he is capable of.
SAM MAYES, OKLAHOMA
6-3, 310, SENIOR
The Good: Big-bodied lineman who dominates opponents in a small area. Works to play low with leverage, quick off the snap and jolts defenders at the point. Possesses a thick lower body, leg drive and easily turns defenders off the line of scrimmage. Extends his hands, works them throughout the play and keeps opponents at bay. Anchors in pass protection while also displaying good straight ahead power.
The Bad: Looks overweight, poorly conditioned and lumbers around the field. Lacks adjustment and not effective on the second level.
The Skinny: A lineman who can be a forceful blocker when focused on the task at hand, Mayes is a solid guard prospect at the top of his game. Possesses the underlying skills which teams look for in a power blocking lineman, yet must dedicate himself to conditioning and giving effort off the field to make an impact at the next level.
CHRIS SPENCER, MISSISSIPPI
6-3.5, 310, FOURTH-YEAR JUNIOR
The Good: Explosive blocker who gets better with experience. Quickly gets off the snap, displays the ability to pull across the line of scrimmage and effective in motion. Stays square, immediately gets his hands into opponents and jolts defenders at the point of attack. Blocks with forward lean, a wide base and always looking for someone to hit.
The Bad: Lacks top size and not dominant at the point.
The Skinny: An athletic lineman who's been used at several positions up front, Spencer possesses a good amount of upside potential for the next level. Could ultimately wind up at the center position, an area he presently mans for the Ole Miss Rebels. Definitely a prospect to chart for the future.
MIKE ERICKSON, NEBRASKA
6-3, 300, SENIOR
The Good: Explosive lineman overlooked by many in the NFL scouting community. Quick off the snap, plays with leverage and jolts opponents at the point of attack. Stays square and controls defenders once engaged in a block. Possesses solid blocking strength and plays with a nasty attitude, working to mash opponents. Anchors in pass protection and works to finish the play.
The Bad: Not effective blocking in motion. Lacks adjustment, footwork and seems uncomfortable in space. Indecisive at times.
The Skinny: Someone who does not garner much attention, Erickson has been a solid blocker at Nebraska the past three seasons. Must round out his game, yet worthy of consideration in the later frames.
WILL MONTGOMERY, VIRGINIA TECH
6-2, 290, FOURTH-YEAR JUNIOR
The Good: Explosive lineman who attacks assignments and turns defenders off the ball. Quickly gets into blocks and immediately engages defenders, jolting opponents with terrific hand punch, then pushing them from their angle of attack. Stays with blocks, fights hard and works to finish off defenders. Effectively uses body positioning to seal blocks. Nasty and looks for someone to hit.
The Bad: More of a mauler than leverage blocker. Not effective on the second level and lacks ability in space.
The Skinny: Hard-working in all aspects of the game, Montgomery is a limited athlete with marginal upside for the next level. That being the case he has potential to backup at either guard positions.
MIKE LORENZ, WISCONSIN
6-4, 314, SENIOR
The Good: Solid position blocker who effectively uses all his assets. Quickly gets off the ball into blocks, plays with a wide base and forward lean. Blocks down on opponents or engulfs them at the point of attack. Adequate footwork with the ability to slide laterally and protect the edge. Immediately picks up stunts or blitzes thrown by opponents.
The Bad: Overextends and does not block with balance. Just ordinary strength at the point of attack and not a dominant blocker.
The Skinny: A college tackle who projects to guard at the next level, Lorenz is a solid short-area blocker who does a good job with all his assignments. Does not possess the great athletic skill but offers both size and intelligence, which could help him develop into a starter at the next level in due time.