Scouting the Draft: Offensive Guards

Editor’s Note: Author Larry Zierlein was a college and NFL offensive line coach for 32 years. His career is highlighted by a Super Bowl win in 2008 with the Pittsburgh Steelers under Mike Tomlin. We asked Coach Zierlein to take a look at several offensive line prospects from this year’s draft and share with us what he saw.

He watched multiple cut-ups for each prospect listed, but wants to remind the reader that for a final evaluation, it takes even more film work, interviewing the player to get a feel for his character, checking on the player’s background and working linemen out whenever possible.  Coach Zierlein gave us the order that he would rank each of the tackles and guards based on what he saw from each prospect.  The only player’s he evaluated are the ones listed.

Coach Zierlein is retired and working Under Armour’s “Football University” camps along with other former NFL coaches.  This was also his first year working out offensive line draft prospects in preparation for the Senior Bowl and Combine.  If you are an agent interested in contacting Coach Zierlein for work with future clients, please email us and we’ll pass the info along to him.

See: Offensive Tackles | Centers

No. 1

Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State

Height: 6’4
Weight: 311
Arms: 33″

  • Very good athlete
  • Shows good flexibility and change of direction
  • Can run well and gets to the 2nd and even 3rd levels on running plays and some screen passes
  • His re-direct on the 2nd level is very good
  • It is difficult to tell how good his functional strength is in the running game with the offense that his team runs
  • At times, I question his anchor.  I would need to see more of him, but he doesn’t appear to be as cockstrong as you are expecting
  • Tough player but doesn’t jolt defensive players with power.
  • Finishes his blocks
  • Moves well laterally exceptionally well and can get across the face of defenders.
  • Good pass sets, but would still like to work him out and check core strength

Overall:  Good athleticism and foot quickness.  His ability to re-direct on the second level and move laterally make him a great fit for a team running outside zone, but he should be able to play in any system.  His intangibles and mental makeup need to be checked out since he comes from smaller school and played less competition but has terrific upside.  Looks like an early 2nd round pick.

No. 2

Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

Height: 6’4
Weight: 314
Arms: 32 3/4″

  • Has strength
  • He’s a finisher
  • Average puller.  Doesn’t look smooth but seems to find target pretty well
  • Good P.O.A. (point of attack)
  • Great pad level on run blocks
  • Accelerates feet after contact in running game
  • Can make backside cut off block
  • Very good combo blocker
  • Could have issue with athletic pass rushers on the interior
  • Lunges at times in pass protection

Overall:  Didn’t see him as much in pass protection as I would like but he’s an outstanding run blocker.  He’s tough and nasty.  Could be a first rounder depending on what the back end teams are looking for, but he’s no worse than a second rounder.

No. 3

Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia

Height: 6’5
Weight: 345
Arms: 35 3/4

  • Plays with good strength
  • Doesn’t always sustain his run blocks
  • Lacks flexibility which causes him to play high in running game
  • Waist-bender
  • Good size but stiffness will always be a concern
  • Marginal quickness and re-direct is very average
  • Good awareness
  • Can definitely anchor but has balance issues.
  • Was on ground way too often when I watched him play guard.
  • Has issues with re-direct on the second level

Overall:  Good strength and anchor, but stiffness will limit him inside at guard.  His best position might end up being at right tackle.  Not crazy about his upside in the NFL at guard as stiffness and inability to play with lower pad level could limit his ability to utilize his power.  Looks like a second round prospect.