Football

Ranking the top guard prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft

Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff drew a lot of attention at the NFL Combine.
Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff drew a lot of attention at the NFL Combine. The Associated Press

1. Brandon Scherff, 6-5, 319, Iowa

Bio: Three-year starter and team captain who played in 43 career games. Turns 24 this year. 333/8-inch arms. 11-inch hands. 5.05-second 40-yard dash. 23 bench reps. 32.5-inch vertical. 107-inch broad jump. 7.18-second three-cone drill. 4.57-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: All-Juice Team member. Is old for a prospect. Big man — prototype size. Is athletic enough to get to the second level. Knee bender who generates movement at the point of attack in the running game and shows some nastiness; he can finish. Is very physical and good in space — against Notre Dame, who found a defender 10-plus yards downfield on a screen and sent him flying. Looked awesome in movement drills. Moved much better as a junior; as a senior, he played through a torn meniscus and put out some bad tape, specifically against Maryland. Might not have the feet or length to be a Pro Bowl tackle, but absolutely has the look of a potential Pro Bowl guard. Good football player who is worth a midfirst-round pick if teams can get over his injury issues — has been hurt multiple times in his collegiate career.

Grade: 7.0

Story: Iowa lineman Brandon Scherff’s toughness, weight-room exploits have NFL teams’ attention

2. La’el Collins, 6-4, 305, LSU

Bio: Three-year starter and team captain who played in 45 career games. Turns 22 this year. 331/4-inch arms. 103/8-inch hands. 5.12-second 40-yard dash. 21 bench reps. 27-inch vertical. 108-inch broad jump. 7.70-second three-cone drill. 4.63-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: College left tackle who might lack the size, feet and athleticism to play that position in the NFL but started 13 games at left guard as a sophomore and has the look of an NFL starter at that position. Sometimes shows heavy legs on the edge in pass pro but has decent short-area quickness and good power in the running game, which he uses to reach defenders. Looked good in positional drills at the combine. Can be an absolute mauler, both at the first and second levels, when he can lock on to a target. However, he also has surprising balance issues — is shed more often than you’d think and is on the ground too much.

Grade: 6.8

3. Laken Tomlinson, 6-3, 323, Duke

Bio: Four-year starter and team captain who played in 52 career games. Turned 23 this year. 335/8-inch arms. 101/8-inch hands. 5.33 40-yard dash. 25 bench reps. 31.5-inch vertical. 103-inch broad jump. 8.17-second three-cone drill. 4.87-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: All-Juice Team member. Big boy who moves well, is flexible and strong. Big, strong guy with a massive base who can anchor and re-anchor in pass pro and move sufficiently. Keeps head on a swivel. Was impressive at the Senior Bowl. Moves well in wave drills. Plug-and-play type.

Grade: 6.7

Story: Duke guard Laken Tomlinson goes from “Fluffy” to fearsome, and Chiefs could be interested

4. A.J. Cann, 6-3, 313, South Carolina

Bio: Four-year starter and team captain who played in 51 career games. Turns 24 this year. 325/8-inch arms. 101/4-inch hands. 5.46-second 40-yard dash. 30 bench reps. 32 1/2-inch vertical. 109-inch broad jump.

Evaluation: Is old for a prospect. Big body mauler who can create movement in the running game and win one-on-one battles in the trench. Locks on and drives guys to the ground. Has the body and strength to anchor in pass pro. Isn’t a great athlete and isn’t great in space. Will occasionally lose his balance in space. Good awareness in pass pro — will pick up and pass off stunts. Occasionally has heavy feet though and will lose to his outside shoulder. Plug-and-play type.

Grade: 6.7

5. Daryl Williams, 6-5, 327, Oklahoma

Bio: Three-year starter and team captain who played in 45 career games. 35-inch arms. 93/4-inch hands. 5.34-second 40-yard dash. 27 bench reps. 26-inch vertical. 97-inch broad jump. 8.18-second three-cone drill. 5.15-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Excellent arm length and size. Also has decent athleticism — perhaps enough to stick at his college position of right tackle — and can get to the second level. Kick slide in pass pro isn’t bad. Feet are only OK on the edge but should be good inside. Has some pop at the point of attack and can move people, though he occasionally gets caught lunging in space. Projects in either a man or zone blocking scheme. Gives good effort, plays to the whistle and reportedly has good football character.

Grade: 6.6

6. Jamil Douglas, 6-4, 304, Arizona State

Bio: Three-year starter and team captain who played in 53 career games. 333/8-inch arms. 103/4-inch hands. 5.25-second 40-yard dash. 28 bench reps. 29-inch vertical. 99-inch broad jump. 7.99-second three-cone drill. 4.75-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Moved from guard to left tackle his senior year. Big, brawny brawler who has surprising athleticism and good strength. Feet on the edge aren’t bad, and he shows a surprising closing burst when pulling. Lacks ideal height for the edge. Lunges too much. Tries to finish. Does a nice job passing off stunts. Plays with an attitude. Was arrested for suspicion of second-degree burglary as a freshman but developed into a team leader four years later.

Grade: 6.5

7. Jeremiah Poutasi, 6-5, 335, Utah

Bio: Three-year starter who played in 37 career games. Declared for the draft after his true junior season. Turns 21 this year. 337/8-inch arms. 91/2-inch hands. 5.32-second 40-yard dash. 26 bench reps. 26.5-inch vertical. 95-inch broad jump. 8.09-second three-cone drill. 4.89-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Is young for a prospect. College left tackle who doesn’t have the feet to play there in the NFL but absolutely looks the part of a guard, with long arms and a massive frame. Big lumberer who struggles to reach the second level and is stressed by speed in the pass rush, the latter of which will be minimized by a move to guard. Strong finisher with very strong hands, a strong punch and some nastiness.

Grade: 6.5

8. Tre’ Jackson, 6-4, 330, Florida State

Bio: Three-year starter who started 42 career games. Turns 23 this year. 325/8-inch arms. 10 7/8-inch hands. 5.52-second 40-yard dash. 20 bench reps. 25-inch vertical. 96-inch broad jump. 8.40-second three-cone drill. 5.30 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Big body who did not test well — only 20 reps on the bench press with a sub-par broad jump and three-cone drill. Is a limited athlete who is best suited for a man-blocking scheme. Has good anchor strength and keeps his head on a swivel in pass pro. Also plays with good leverage. Has big hands and does a nice job securing his target. Generally completes his assignment and is an unspectacular, yet solid, player.

Grade: 6.4

9. Josue Matias, 6-5, 309, Florida State

Bio: Three-year starter who played in 48 career games. Turned 22 this year. 33 1/8-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 5.52-second 40-yard dash. 21 bench reps. 24.5-inch vertical. 84-inch broad jump. 8.19-second three-cone drill. 5.12-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Enormous interior blocker who can move a bit. Isn’t a bad athlete for his size — his 20-yard shuttle isn’t bad, though his vertical (17 inches) and broad jump at the combine were bad. Misses a surprising amount of blocks in run game. Effort is there though. Generally completes his assignment but should be more overpowering. Good in pass pro. Long arms.

Grade: 6.4

10. Mitch Morse, 6-5, 305, Missouri

Bio: Three-year starter and team captain who played in 43 career games. 32 1/4-inch arms. 9 1/4-inch hands. 5.14-second 40-yard dash. 36 bench reps. 31-inch vertical. 112-inch broad jump. 7.60-second three-cone drill. 4.50-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Tested very well at the combine and showed very good fluidity and movement skills in combine drills. Opened some eyes here. Former center who flourished when moved to tackle at Mizzou but doesn’t have the length to play the position in the NFL. Has solid feet in pass protection. Is lean and can use more bulk to help his run blocking. Plays to the whistle and has look a starter in a zone-running scheme.

Grade: 6.4

11. Jarvis Harrison, 6-4, 330, Texas A&M

Bio: Three-year starter who played in 50 career games. Turns 24 this year. 33 1/2-inch arms. 9 3/4-inch hands. 5.19-second 40-yard dash. 26 bench reps. 29.5-inch vertical. 102-inch broad jump. 7.51-second three-cone drill. 4.62-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Is old for a prospect. Has a good frame with good feet and anchor strength. Also shows good awareness in pass pro. Does a nice job squaring up targets at the second level. Only real issue is that he’s not a finisher, and his motor doesn’t run hot. Is a Pro Bowl-type talent in any scheme but whether he makes it or not will come down to him playing with more consistency than he did in college.

Grade: 6.3

12. Mark Glowinski, 6-4, 307, West Virginia

Bio: Juco transfer. Two-year starter who played in 25 career games. 33 1/8-inch arms. 9 3/4-inch hands. 5.20-second 40-yard dash. 31 bench reps. 29.5-inch vertical. 113-inch broad jump. 7.56-second three-cone drill. 4.58-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Tough guy with decent quickness when pulling and getting to the second level. Isn’t a mauler but does a good job walling guys off. Shows the ability to drive second-level guys. Plays with an edge and has a chip. Looks like a guard in a zone-running scheme.

Grade: 6.3

13. Arie Kouandjio, 6-5, 310, Alabama

Bio: Two-year starter who played in 40 career games. Turns 23 this year. 34 3/4-inch arms. 11 1/4-inch hands. 5.46-second 40-yard dash. 25-inch vertical. 90-inch broad jump. 8.40-second three-cone drill. 5.38-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Looks the part — has the big hands and long arms to control his man on the inside. Has had multiple injuries but did not miss a start his last two seasons at Alabama. Tested poorly at his pro day in the broad jump, three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. Limited athlete who can be stressed by quickness, both in tight quarters and in space, but plays with good power, overall, and can finish in the running game. Injury history remains a long-term concern.

Grade: 6.3

14. Jon Feliciano, 6-4, 323, Miami, Fla.

Bio: Four-year starter and team captain who played in 48 career games. 32 3/8-inch arms. 9 3/4-inch hands. 5.29-second 40-yard dash. 23 bench reps. 26.5-inch vertical. 97-inch broad jump. 4.74-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Try-hard tough guy who flashes the ability to the second level and isn’t afraid to mix it up. Blocks to the whistle and tries to finish. Generally gets his assignment done. Is an average athlete who played a little tackle in college.

Grade: 6.2

15. Darrian Miller, 6-5, 307, Kentucky

Bio: Three-year starter who played in 47 career games. 33-inch arms. 9 3/4-inch hands. 5.51-second 40-yard dash. 16 bench reps. 25-inch vertical. 97-inch broad jump. 7.91-second three-cone drill. 4.87-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: College left tackle with balance issues at the second level. Is stressed by speed on the edge but his feet aren’t bad. Is a worker who plays to the whistle. Needs to bulk up and add strength — only 16 bench reps — but has the look of a developmental interior player in a zone-running scheme.

Grade: 6.1

16. Takoby Cofield, 6-4, 310, Duke

Bio: Three-year starter who played in 50 career games. Turned 23 this year. 34-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 5.19-second 40-yard dash. 23 bench reps. 30-inch vertical. 101-inch broad jump. 8.09-second three-cone drill. 4.79-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: College left tackle with long arms who projects as a guard. Flashes decent burst off the line of scrimmage. Feet aren’t bad but probably aren’t good enough to stay at tackle. Has some power at the point of attack and can finish. Gives good effort. Looks like a fit for a zone-running scheme in the NFL.

Grade: 6.1

17. Sean Hickey, 6-5, 309, Syracuse

Bio: Three-year starter and team captain who played in 38 career games. 32 3/4-inch arms. 10 1/2-inch hands. 5.39-second 40-yard dash. 35 bench reps. 27-inch vertical. 104-inch broad jump. 7.75-second three-cone drill. 4.75-second 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: College left tackle with decent feet in pass protection and athleticism in the running game but doesn’t have the length to play the position in the pros. Does not fire off the ball or create much movement in the running game but is a wall-off blocker with good weight room strength (38 bench reps) who generally executes his assignment. Looks like a zone-blocking guard in the NFL.

Grade: 6.0

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TerezPaylor.

GRADING SCALE

7.5-7.1: Top 10 pick

7.0: 11-20

6.9: 21-32

6.8: Top half of the second

6.7: Bottom half of the second

6.6: Top half of the third

6.5: Bottom half of the third

6.4: Fourth round pick

6.3: Fifth-round pick

6.2: Sixth-round pick

6.1: Seventh-round pick

6.0: Priority free agent

NOTE: All rankings are based on a combination of extensive personal film study, interviews conducted with draft analysts and information gleaned from NFL Network draft broadcasts. Evaluations are cross-checked with multiple draft resources. Measurements and testing results are from the combine and pro days, according to NFL.com. Grades are assigned based on where The Star believes the Chiefs should take each player, based on their needs and scheme fit.

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