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The hog mollies on the offensive line never seem to get enough attention in college football so here is a rundown of the best o-linemen in the nation for the 2012 season. The top 20 offensive linemen are ranked along with a summary of the top five and notes on the rest. The ranking is based on the best college football linemen not NFL prospects, but information on draft status is included. Bench, squat, and 40-yard dash numbers are provided for the top five. Four of the top five linemen have weight room numbers listed from high school and some of the other players have more recent weight room numbers posted.
1. C Barrett Jones, Alabama Crimson Tide
Size: 6’5 302 pounds
Bench Max: 335 pounds
Squat Max: 490 pounds
40 Yard Dash: 4.9 seconds
Stats: Only nine missed assignments in 587 snaps (98.5 percent) and 100 percent on assignments in four games last season according to Rolltide.com
Draft Rating: Second/ Late First Round
Barrett Jones comes into the 2012 college football season as a highly decorated veteran on the best offensive line in the nation. He is not the top athlete on the list, but more than makes up for it with his versatility and reliability. Jones won the Outland Trophy in 2011 and is a first team lineman on nearly every preseason team list for 2012. He is now listed as center, but has played four positions on the line while at Alabama. His solid play helped Alabama rush for 2,788 yards as a team which ranked 16th in rush yards per game while contributing to Trent Richardson’s Heisman finalist season. He is a late first to second round NFL Draft prospect.
2. OT DJ Fluker, Alabama Crimson Tide
Size: 6’6 335 pounds
Bench Max: 375 lbs
Squat Max: 525 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.9 secs
Stats: 22 career starts at right tackle
Draft Rating: Early/Mid First Round
DJ Fluker is a behemoth on the offensive line and is the top rated lineman on Mel Kiper’s Big Board at six overall. He has played mostly right tackle for the Crimson Tide, but there is a chance that he could be a guard at the next level. His posted weight is actually less than it was in high school and he is currently listed as 335 pounds. Fluker may not be as accomplished as his teammate Barrett Jones, but there are high expectations for him due to his physicality alone. With a little refinement, he should easily maintain his NFL Draft stock.
3. OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan Wolverines
Size: 6’8 302 lbs
Bench Max: 335 lbs
Squat Max: 450 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.72 secs
Stats: Started 22 games in two seasons
Draft Rating: Mid/Early First Round
After a misfit freshman season that involved antics and penalties, Taylor Lewan came back strong and matured some as a sophomore. He is an athletic lineman that has good power for his build and incredible length with his 6’8 height to fight off defenders. The Wolverine lineman has definite first round potential for the NFL Draft coming into his junior season. Lewan started all 13 games last season at left tackle and his athleticism should translate well in the pros.
4. OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin Badgers
Size: 6’6 322 lbs
Bench Max: N/A
Squat Max: N/A
40 Yard Dash: 5.32
Stats: Started all 14 games in 2011 and played in 38 games for career
Draft Rating: Late First/ Early Second Round
Ricky Wagner is a durable lineman that rose from college walk-on to NFL prospect thus far in his college career. He was a consensus honorable mention on the All-Big Ten team for the past two seasons and is a first team preseason All-American on various lists for 2012. He performs well as a blindside pass blocker at left tackle and is consistently good all around in his play. Wisconsin has traditionally done a great job of prepping players for the NFL and Wagner should be the next.
5. OG Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Size: 6’3 300 lbs
Bench Max: 340 lbs
Squat Max: 500 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 5.3 secs
Stats: 22 career starts and 36 games played
Draft Rating: Second/Third Round
Experienced right guard Omoregie Uzzi is a powerful run blocker for the Ramblin Wreck. He earned First Team All-ACC in 2011 and is a Second Team Phil Steele’s 2012 Preseason All-American. His effort on the line helped his team rank second nationally in rushing yards last season with 316.5 yards per game and they ranked in the top four rushing yards in each of his three seasons. He is the most questionable of the top five due to a late season injury, but if he fully recovers, expect another strong season.
Rest of the Top 20 Offensive Linemen
There are a lot of good players on this list that could have placed in the top five and that may have higher NFL Draft potential. Luke Joeckel is a first round prospect, Gabe Ikard has had an outstanding college career, and Travis Frederick’s weight room numbers are freakish. Here are the rest of the top 20 offensive linemen in college football for 2012 with their height, weight, and a note on each:
6. C Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma: 6’4 295 lbs, 88 knockdowns on 860 snaps in 2011 according to SoonerSports.com.
7. OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M: 6’6 310 lbs, First round NFL Draft potential at 16 on Mel Kiper’s Big Board.
8. OG Travis Frederick Wisconsin: 6’4 328 lbs, school record 770-lb squat & benchs around 500 lbs.
9. OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina: 6’3 310 lbs, 2012 Phil Steele’s All-American First Team.
10. OT Alex Hurst, LSU: 6’6 340 lbs, 71.5 knockdowns in 767 plays in 2011 according to LSUSports.net.
11. OG Chance Warmack, Alabama: 6’3 320 lbs, started 26 straight games.
12. OT Chris Faulk, LSU: 6’6 325 lbs, 500-lb squat & 73.5 knockdowns in 724 snaps in 2011 according to LSUSports.net.
13. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M: 6’5 305 lbs, started all 13 games in 2011 & son of Bruce Matthews.
14. OG Alvin Bailey, Arkansas: 6’5 319 lbs, 2011 All SEC Second Team (Coaches), 440-lb bench press & 555-lb squat.
15. C Dalton Freeman, Clemson: 6’5 285 lbs, 36 career starts & 2012 Rimington Award Watch List.
16. OG Larry Warford, Kentucky: 6’3 336 lbs, 1 QB sack & graded 87.5 percent in 2011 according to NFLDraftScout.com.
17. OG Blaize Foltz, TCU: 6’4 310 lbs, 2011 All MWC First Team, posted 580-lb bench press & 800-lb squat.
18. C Khaled Holmes, USC: 6’4 305 lbs, 2011 All Pac-12 Second Team.
19. OG Mason Walters, Texas: 6’6 315 lbs, started 25 games in a row at right guard.
20. OG Marcus Martin, USC: 6’3 325 lbs, 2011 Freshman All-American First Team by various publications.
Honorable Mention: OG Lane Taylor Oklahoma State (6’3 328 lbs), OT Oday Aboushi Virginia (6’6 310 lbs), OG Braden Hansen BYU (6’6 313 lbs), C Braxston Cave* Notre Dame (6’3 304 lbs), OT Morgan Moses Virginia (6’6 336 lbs), OG Chris McDonald Michigan State (6’5 299 lbs), OG Carson York Oregon (6’5 284 lbs), and Cameron Fleming Stanford (6’6 308 lbs). *Cave benchs 520 lbs.
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