Ranking the top 10 offensive linemen

The Post’s Ryan Dunleavy gives his Top 10 offensive linemen in this year’s 2022 NFL Draft, based on evaluations and conversations with people around the league:

1. OT Evan Neal, Alabama, 6-7, 337 pounds

Prototypical left tackle made 40 career starts at three positions over three years and can be an immediate elite player. Never has 337 pounds looked so lean. Dominant in pass and run games. Best of many recent Alabama blockers.

2. OT/G Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State, 6-4, 310 pounds

His next team must ask in 2022 and throughout the future: Do we need an All-Pro guard or a very good tackle? Powerful run blocker who buries defenders into ground. Highest grades in character. Developing pass blocker.

3. OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State, 6-5, 307 pounds

Ran 40-yard dash in 4.95 seconds — a taste of tantalizing athleticism. Stifles all pass-rushers no matter how many moves, but inexperienced in run-blocking, which has slowed development of other products of the Air Raid offense.

Charles Cross runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
Getty Images

4. OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa, 6-7, 325 pounds

So determined to prove toughness stepping up in competition at Senior Bowl that he almost was too excessive finishing blocks. Checks all the physical boxes. Benefits from success of many other FCS offensive linemen in NFL.

5. C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa, 6-2, 296 pounds

Handles blitzes with quick-sliding feet and good recognition. Laughed at idea of ​​sitting out bowl game to prepare for draft (scouts love that leadership), but then injured his foot. Picture of being fundamentally sound.

6. G Zion Johnson, Boston College, 6-3, 312 pounds

Didn’t allow a single pressure last season and committed just one penalty on 2,271 career snaps, according to ESPN. Brute strength plays well on double teams and in a phone booth, less so when asked to pull.

7. G Kenyon Green, Texas A&M, 6-3, 323 pounds

Started last season at four positions — guard and tackle on both sides of the line — but profiles as a road-grader running backs follow. Subject to holding penalties because he can be overly aggressive and relies on his hands.

Kenyon Green
Kenyon Green
USA TODAY Sports

8. OT Tyler Smith, Tulsa, 6-4, 324 pounds

Boom-or-bust projection who could be a star in the making if the right coach and right system harness his athleticism and nasty streak. Needs to trust technique longer instead of relying on raw skill. Could struggle against complex blitzes.

9. OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan, 6-6, 303 pounds

Just scratching the surface of his potential after mid-career move from tight end. Receptive to coaching, but still hasn’t seen the variety of pass-moves he will in NFL. Will wipe out tacklers on screen passes.

Bernhard Raimann
Bernhard Raimann
USA TODAY Sports

10. OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State, 6-5, 316 pounds

Scouts thought he might be a first-rounder in 2023, but he came out of school despite struggles against top Big Ten rushers. Played on both edges. Athleticism that can’t be taught.

Late Riser

Raimann: Foreign-exchange student from Austria who gained more than 70 pounds without losing the athleticism and quick feet of a pass-catcher. High motor seen running down field looking for second and third blocks.

Falling Fast

Linderbaum: Borderline top 10 prospect when the season ended. Pushed to late first round by injury and debate about how early is too early to draft a center. Chiefs’ Creed Humphrey was a huge difference-maker as a rookie second-round pick.

Small-School Wonder

G Cole Strange, Chattanooga, 6-5, 307 pounds: Started 44 games (41 at left guard) and used six years of eligibility. Smart, tough and just about every other desired intangible. Doesn’t back down from a challenge. Is he too big to play center? probably.

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