CollegeFootballNews.com Preview 2017: Top 20 Offensive Guards
Who are the best offensive guards coming into the college football season? Here are the projected 20 top guys
Preview 2017: Top 20 Offensive Guards
Who are the best offensive guards coming into the 2017 college football season? This is a projection of the top COLLEGE players, and not necessarily the best pro prospects. Talent, of course, matters, but this is about looking ahead at who will be the top 20 this year.
20. O’Shea Dugas, Jr. Louisiana Tech
The Bulldogs might lose a slew of skill stars, but they’ve got a massive building block. The 6-5, 329 pass protector has been a regular starting guard almost right away. He’s a mauler who can dance as one of Conference USA’s best all-around blockers.
19. Ben Bredeson, Soph. Michigan
That worked out well. The 6-5, 310-pound underclassmen started as a freshman and grew into the gig, turning into a solid left guard as the year went on. Now he’ll be relied on for his experience on a team full of new starters.
18. Marcus Keyes, Soph. Oklahoma State
While he’s not a bulky guard, the 6-3, 300-pound academic all-star was a key part of a great Cowboy line as a redshirt freshman. While he’s not necessarily a blaster, he proved to be ultra-reliable.
17. Viane Talamaivao, Sr. USC
At 6-2 and 315 pounds, he’s a bit short and squatty, but he’s also a rock of a veteran having started over the last three seasons on the right side. While h’s just versatile enough to play tackle if needed, he’s found his role.
16. Salesi Uhatafe, Sr. Utah
A tough guy blocker for a tough guy offense, the 6-5, 315-pound run blocker has been a regular at right guard for the last few seasons. While he can move just well enough to work at tackle if needed, he’s needed on the interior.
15. Chris Lindstrom, Jr. Boston College
After working his way into the right guard spot early on, now he’s a mainstay of the interior of a good ground game. At 6-4 and 298 pounds he’s built and looks like a tackle, but he’s a terrific ACC guard.
14. Javon Patterson, Jr. Ole Miss
Once he gets past a shoulder problem, the 6-3, 318-pound all-star caliber Rebel started as a true freshman and grew into the guard job as a sophomore. A great recruit, he’s a key part to a decent-looking line.
13. Ben Powers, Jr. Oklahoma
A former JUCO transfer, Powers was a good get for the Sooners and showed why right away. At 6-4 and 314 pounds, he has the size and the all-star skills, able to pass protect as well as any interior blocker in the country.
12. Bruno Reagan, Jr. Vanderbilt
It took a little while, but now he’s one of the most important blockers on a good line. At 6-3 and 315 pounds, he has good size with the mauling ability to grow into a possible All-SEC performer at either guard spot.
11. Colby Gossett, Sr. Appalachian State
At 6-6 and 315 pounds, he’s a great-sized all-around blocker who could be one of the Sun Belt’s best blockers at tackle or guard. Very, very smart and very, very consistent, he’s got NFL upside as a technician for the terrific ASU ground attack.
10. Wyatt Teller, Sr. Virginia Tech
One of the emotional leaders of the line, the All-ACC veteran is a rock-solid part of the puzzle with 30 starts over the last three seasons. At 6-5 and 308 pounds with freakish strength, no one pushes him around.
9. Gus Lavaka, Soph. Oregon State
The Hawaiian came really, really close to staying home, but ended up as one of the best young blockers in the Pac-12. At 6-4 and 345 pounds, he’s a gigantic killer of a run blocker who’ll be the one everything works around.
8. Will Hernandez, Sr. UTEP
A destructive force of a left guard, he started right away and hasn’t been moved out of the lineup ever since. Now with three years of experience, the 6-3, 330-pound two-time all-star is one of the under-the-radar talents who’ll quickly be the darling of the NFL scouting circles.
7. Ross Pierschbacher, Jr. Alabama
Whether he’s at center or guard – he can work at either spot – he’s one of the new main men for another great Crimson Tide O line. At 6-4 and 304 pounds, he’s not the typically gigantic interior blocker, but he’s a tough guy.
6. Sean Welsh, Sr. Iowa
One of the leaders of another good Iowa line, the 6-3, 295-pound versatile all-star would earn All-Big Ten honors at either center or guard, and he can work at tackle, too. Wherever he plays, he’s a tone-setter for the ground attack.
5. Brian Allen, Sr. Michigan State
Okay, okay, okay, he’s probably going to end up at center after spending most of his career as a killer of a guard. But no matter where he plays, he’ll once again be one of the nation’s toughest, most reliable interior run blockers. While he’s only 6-2 and 305 pounds, he shoves everyone around.
4. Beau Benzschawel, Jr. Wisconsin
It’s going to be a very young, but very experienced and very talented Badger offensive line with Benzschawel the anchor at right guard. Yet another giant UW all-star, at 6-6 and 316 pounds he has the size to work inside, but he can play tackle if needed.
3. Cody O’Connell, Sr. Washington State
Good luck getting around him. At 6-8 and 354 pounds, he takes up the interior of the line, finishing as an Outland Trophy Finalist and an All-American. Now he gets another year of keeping Luke Falk upright.
2. Tyrone Crowder, Sr. Clemson
OT Mitch Hyatt might be the team’s best blocker, but this is Crowder’s line. A team leader who earned All-ACC honors over the last two seasons, he’s a 6-2, 340-pound road grader who’ll be a key part in keeping all the fun going.
1. Quenton Nelson, Sr. Notre Dame
There are building blocks, and there’s what Notre Dame has on the left side of its line with Mike McGlinchey returning at tackle and Nelson back at guard. Both are NFL starters hanging around college for one more season, and they’ll be the ones the should-be-improved offense works around. At 6-5 and 329 pounds, he has the right size, the right toughness, and more than enough experience to be a ten-year pro – eventually.