Scouting Combine Research: OL, Part 2

Part 2 of our four-part series previewing the Scouting Combine's 50 offensive linemen is headlined by potential top-10 picks Cyrus Kouandijo and Taylor Lewan. Plus, of interest for the Packers might be a center who won a bunch of awards for his prowess on and off the field.

T Seantrel Henderson, Miami: Henderson (6-7, 331) entered Miami as USA Today's Offensive Player of the Year — the first lineman to win that honor. He never got close to living up to that hype, for reasons including off-the-field issues, three suspensions, back surgery and a car accident. He started nine games as a true freshman. That would be the most of his career, however. He started eight times as a senior and was a third-team all-conference selection. He knows scouts are concerned about his character.

T James Hurst, North Carolina: Hurst (6-7, 305) made his 49th career start at left tackle in the Belk Bowl. He broke his leg in that game, however. He was a two-time all-ACC first-team selection and was seen as a solid Day 2 prospect until the injury. He faced South Carolina star Jadeveon Clowney in Week 1 and held him to three tackles and no sacks. Hurst's brother, Nelson, was a tight end for North Carolina and his father, Tim, played at Alabama.

C Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma: Ikard (6-3, 298) piled up the accolades for his performance on and off the field. He was the winner of the Wuerffel Trophy and Selmon Spirit Award, the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year, one of 18 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes and a finalist for the Campbell Trophy (aka, the Academic Heisman) and the Senior CLASS Award. Ikard graduated in May with a 4.0 grade-point average with a degree in multidisciplinary studies (emphasis on medical sciences). Sticking to football, the four-year starter was a finalist as a senior for the Rimington Award, which goes to the nation's top center. "One of my goals coming into college was to be a 4.0 student," Ikard told the Tulsa World. "But people don't realize, I'm the dumbest person in my family. My mom's got her (juris doctorate) and her master's and is a registered nurse. My dad's got his J.D. My brother was a triple major. And my other brother is about to graduate law school at Northwestern. So when it comes down to it, I'm the least intelligent person in my family."

G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State: Jackson (6-4, 340) was a four-year starter, with 52 starts at left guard. He earned all-conference accolades all four seasons, as well as All-American attention as a junior and senior. As a senior, not only did he win the Kent Hull Trophy as the state's top offensive lineman, but he won the C Spire Conerly Trophy, given annually to the best football player in the state of Mississippi. "He has worked relentlessly to become a great player. There is no doubt he is one of the best offensive linemen in the country," Mississippi State offensive line coach John Hevesy said. "As a coach, he is everything you look for in a complete player. He will be fun to watch on Sundays."

T Ja'Wuan James, Tennessee: James (6-6, 315) was an all-SEC second-team selection as a senior. He made 49 career starts, all at right tackle. That's the most in school history for an offensive lineman. A knee sprain sustained at the Senior Bowl prevented him from playing in that showcase. Not only is he a top performer, but he's grown into a leader. "Ja'Wuan is one of those individuals I gravitate towards. We probably text every night," coach Butch Jones said.

T Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt: The undersized Johnson (6-5, 290) was first-team all-SEC left tackle as a senior after being an honorable mention as a junior. His 51 starts — a school record and the longest streak in the conference — came at left tackle, center, right tackle and right guard. "That in itself in is unbelievable — how versatile the guy is," offensive line coach Herb Hand told the Nashville City Paper. "The thing I always worry about with him is being a jack of all trades, master of none because he has played so many different spots. But I also know there is great value in that and it has really helped us maintain depth throughout the course of a long season. It has been a real value and asset to us." According to the school, he allowed two sacks in his final two seasons.

T Cyrus Kouandijo, Alabama: Early entrant. Kouandijo (6-5, 310), a recruiting coup for the Tide after he initially announced he would go to rival Auburn, started at left tackle in 2012 and 2013. He was first-team all-conference both seasons. Kouandijo was born in Cameroon. As a boy, he played soccer. It was the same sport his grandfather played for the Cameroon national team. Why football? That decision was made by his brother, Arie, who is the Tide's starting left guard.

C Tyler Larsen, Utah State: Larsen (6-4, 317) had a dominant senior season. He was a second-team All-American and one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation's top center. Larsen is just the ninth player in school history to be a three-time all-conference first-team selection. After a season-ending knee injury early in 2009, Larsen started a school-record 52 consecutive games. He's married to a Utah State softball player and "Call of Duty" addict. His brother, Cody, an undrafted rookie in 2013, spent the season on the Ravens' practice squad.

T Charles Leno, Boise State: Leno (6-4, 302) started at right tackle as a sophomore and at left tackle for his final two seasons. He was all-conference first team as a senior and a second-team choice as a sophomore. Boise State is something of a Left Tackle U. The three left tackles before Leno were Daryn Colledge, Ryan Clady and Nate Potter. "You just want to be better than those guys and keep it going, never leave it the same, never be mediocre at the position," Leno said.

T Taylor Lewan, Michigan: Lewan (6-7, 315) started 48 games at left tackle, including 41 in a row. He was named the Big Ten's Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year as a senior and earned All-American honors in each of his final two seasons. His father, Dave, played at Minnesota. Lewan contemplated going to the NFL last year, but the man who once had a pair of steer horns attached to the front of his car so he could tool around campus like "The Dukes of Hazzard" villain Boss Hogg decided to stick around to mature a bit.

G Brandon Linder, Miami: Linder (6-6, 316) started for his final three seasons. As a senior, he started 10 games at right guard and three at right tackle, earning second-team all-conference honors. He was named the Hurricanes' Offensive MVP. Linder and his little brother, Nick, scuffled all the time as kids. Last week, Nick signed his letter of intent to play for Miami.

C Corey Linsley, Ohio State: Linsley (6-3, 298) opened his career as a guard and tackle before taking over at center for his final two seasons. Despite missing spring practices while recovering from a broken foot, he was first-team all-Big Ten as a senior. He keyed an offense that led the conference with 48.2 points per game and finished second nationally in rushing. At one point, he considered giving up football so he could concentrate on throwing the shot put.


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