Inside The Bills

Why guards, centers going earlier

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2012 – 10:33 am

The last few years in the NFL draft there have been more and more interior linemen drafted sooner rather than later, when it used to always be the offensive tackles that came off the board first. While tackles still go high, prospects like Buffalo’s Eric Wood (1st round) and Andy Levitre (2nd round) have gone in the first two rounds, and this year’s class offers some similar type prospects.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper was recently asked why interior linemen are becoming more and more prevalent in the early rounds, and Kiper feels it’s not just based on talent alone.

“I think it’s because of the defensive tackles and the ability to get that push. This year the one player is (Stanford guard David) DeCastro. Fundamentally, technically, everything about him is top notch. Only knock is he’s a pure guard. You can’t hold that against him when you rate him though and he’s 12th on my board.  Somewhere in that top 15.

“Cordy Glenn at Georgia is another kid that’s intriguing because he played left tackle this year and held up very well, played guard in the past and could be a right tackle in the NFL. Then of course Peter Konz, the junior center from Wisconsin, but his only issue is durability. Missed multiple games each of the last three seasons with injuries, but with his size and coming out of the Wisconsin program that’s developed a lot of good O-linemen you think of him early to mid-second round.”

Talent is still the top determining factor, but defensive play has probably played a role. Either way it again appears as though there are a healthy number of interior linemen that will be selected on the first two days of the draft.

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