Scouting Combine Research: OL, Part 3

A loaded offensive tackle class is headlined by Jake Matthews, who is Clay Matthews' cousin and the son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. Plus, a standout guard who entered school as a walk-on, more talented tackles and a former quarterback who is one of the best centers in the draft.

G Spencer Long, Nebraska: Long (6-4, 315), a second-team All-American as a junior, had his senior season derailed by a midseason knee injury that required season-ending surgery. Still, he was named second-team all-conference, first-team Academic All-American and one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes as a senior. The NFF award includes an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, which he will put toward medical school. Long's brother, tight end Jake, also was named Academic All-American this season. They're the first set of brothers in school history to earn that recognition in the same season. Not bad for a former walk-on who didn't get a scholarship until his junior season and whose top high school honor was honorable mention all-area.

T Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State: Lucas (6-8, 328) started at left tackle for his final two seasons, earning first-team all-conference as a junior and honorable mention as a senior. Lucas' development was slowed because he lacked the "drive to excel" necessary to improve. "It wasn't right, but I knew I wasn't going to play on Saturday so maybe I didn't put enough into it," said Lucas. "This year I had guys in front of me leaving, so I knew the door was open … .it would be up to me. My motivation to play and practice harder went way up."

C Marcus Martin, Southern California: Early entrant. Martin (6-3, 310) started at left guard as a freshman and sophomore, then at center as a junior in 2013. He was named first-team all-Pac-12 and USC's Offensive Lineman of the Year. Martin sustained knee and ankle injuries in the regular-season finale against UCLA and did not play in the bowl game.

T Zack Martin, Notre Dame: Martin (6-4, 305) set a school record by starting 51 games, all at left tackle. He closed his career in almost unprecedented fashion by being named MVP of the Pinstripe Bowl. He was the first lineman to be named MVP of a bowl game since 1959. "Besides his play, he's had three first-time starters (his brother center Nick Martin, Steve Elmer and Ronnie Stanley) with him for most of the year," coach Brian Kelly said, with Conor Hanratty stepping in at left guard making it four. "It's amazing, his influence. Very rarely do you have that. I call it the 'Larry Bird effect.' An offensive lineman can make others around him better." Kyle Van Noy (BYU), Shilique Calhoun (MSU), Leonard Williams (USC), Frank Clark (Michigan), Trent Murphy (Stanford), Darius Hamilton (Rutgers) and Charles Tapper (Oklahoma) combined for 101 TFLs and 47 sacks in 2013. Those seven players had a total of 5.0 TFLs and no sacks against Martin. He is the 18th two-year captain in program history, the school's four-time Offensive Lineman of the Year and a two-time All-American.

T Jake Matthews, Texas A&M: Matthews (6-5, 305) is considered one of the top prospects in the draft. He's a two-time All-American, at right tackle as a junior and mostly at left tackle as a senior. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy (best lineman) and won the Bobby Bowden Award. That honor goes to a player who "epitomizes a student-athlete." He must have a 3.0 grade-point average. Matthews comes from football royalty. He is the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews. Clay Matthews III is his cousin and Clay Matthews Jr. is his uncle. An older brother, Kevin, started at center for the Aggies for two seasons and had a brief NFL career. A younger brother, Mike, started at center for the Aggies this season.

T Jack Mewhort, Ohio State: Mewhort (6-6, 306) was first-team all-Big Ten and earned All-American accolades as the Buckeyes' starting left tackle as a senior. Mewhort brings versatility. He started games at both guard spots, as well, and had a strong week at right tackle at the Senior Bowl. Mewhort and current Packers tight end Jake Stoneburner had their scholarships taken away in Summer 2012 after pleading guilty to urinating on a building and running from police. He was voted a team captain in 2013. "He's a coach on the field. He's a coach in the locker room. He's a guy that I rely on quite heavily on ideas, opinions, and where we're at as a team," coach Urban Meyer told the Columbus Dispatch this year. Mewhort provided an interesting look at how a player fights through the pain on a weekly basis. His grandfather played basketball at Duke and his father played basketball in Division III.

T Morgan Moses, Virginia: Moses (6-6, 325) started 36 of a possible 37 games during his final three seasons, including at left tackle as a senior. He was third-team all-ACC as a senior. According to the school, he allowed two sacks in 43 career starts. He held Clemson's Vic Beasley, who entered the game No. 1 in the nation in sacks, to one tackle and zero sacks; Georgia Tech's Jeremiah Attaochu, who ranked fourth among active FBS players in career sacks, didn't record a tackle when matched against Moses. BYU's Kyle Van Noy, who was No. 2 in FBS players in sacks, was held to four tackles and no sacks. "Moving to left tackle, everybody has been getting a running start at me," Moses told the Daily Press in late October. "I've just had to learn the position. It's way different from playing right tackle."

C Matt Paradis, Boise State: Paradis (6-3, 300) went from eight-man football in high school to Boise State's Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year to a two-year starter at center. He was all-conference both seasons and made 25 consecutive starts. It didn't take Paradis and his siblings to learn the value of work. As a kindergartner, he worked on the ranch in the morning and went to school in the afternoon. Along with starring in football, he graduated with a double major in finance in business economics in December.

T Matt Patchan, Boston College: Patchan (6-5, 305) spent his first two seasons at Florida, where he he made eight starts and played in 27 games overall — including on defense in 2008. Patchan moved to BC in 2013 to join head coach Steve Addazio, who had been the Gators' offensive line coach (with a stint at Temple in between). In 2013, Patchan started all 13 games at left tackle and was second-team all-ACC. He was a key reason behind star running back Andre Williams' record-breaking senior season. Injuries derailed the career of a player who came out of high school ranked alongside the likes of Matt Kalil, Tyron Smith and Mike Adams. He sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in 2008, tore an ACL early in 2009 and missed 2010 with a broken wrist. When he sustained an injured pectoral during the first practice of 2012, he decided it was time to move on. He also was shot in a drive-by shooting in his hometown of Tampa, Fla., before joining the Gators.

T Antonio Richardson, Tennessee: Early entrant. Richardson (6-6, 327) was second-team all-SEC as a junior in 2013, and he started his final 24 career games at left tackle. Naturally, a man his size has the nickname of "Tiny." Richardson is a "gentleman" off the field but cranks it up at game time. That ability to control his aggression came from years of being picked on because of his size. "When I was little, up to when I was about 10 years old when I lived in the project, me and my little brother, we used to have to fight a lot," he said. "My mom was a really good Christian lady, and she used to always tell us, ‘Don't fight, don't fight.' I never started a fight, but there'd always be kids that wanted to see what this kid's about."

G Cyril Richardson, Baylor: Richardson (6-5, 348) was a consensus first-team All-American at left guard as a senior. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's top lineman, and was voted the Big 12's Offensive Lineman of the Year by the coaches. For his career, he started 42 games — including all 13 at left tackle as a junior, when he also was voted the Big 12's top offensive lineman and earned All-American honors. The native of New Orleans settled in Fort Worth, Texas, after Hurricane Katrina. Richardson attended three high schools after the hurricane and played in only a handful of games as a junior. He attended a Baylor football camp and was offered a scholarship. "That door opened up for me," Richardson said. "Even though I was in deep water with high school stuff, I said, ‘I'm going to college. Whatever they tell me to do, I'm doing it. What choice do I have?'"

C Weston Richburg, Colorado State: Richburg (6-4, 300) started all 50 games during his career, setting a school record for consecutive starts. He was first-team all-Mountain West as a senior after earning lesser honors the previous two seasons. "I'm trying to prove I'm the best center in the country right now, to be honest with you," he said at the Senior Bowl, "and kind of show any doubters that I can do it." He played quarterback as a freshman in high school and also competed in the hurdles before setting a school record in the shot put.


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