Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Top 10 offensive linemen in the 2016 NFL draft

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Here are the top 10 offensive line prospects (with projected draft round) for the 2016 NFL draft, which is set for April 28-30 in Chicago:

1. Laremy Tunsil, 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, tackle, Mississippi (first): An elite prospect, who’s expected to protect the blindside of a NFL quarterback for the next decade. He’s big and powerful. He’s considered the prototypical NFL left tackle. While he’s no longer considered to be the top pick in the draft, he won’t stay on the board long. He credits facing Timmy Jernigan (Florida State/Ravens) in high school on a daily basis with helping develop into a strong football player. He played in 29 games and started 26 at Ole Miss.

2. Ronnie Stanley, 6-5, ¾, 312, Notre Dame, tackle (first): He was Notre Dame’s offensive player of the year and was named an All-American. He’s a big man with quick feet and that’s a winning combination to NFL Scouts. Had a left wrist injury and was excluded from bench-pressing at the scouting combine. He was penalized 11 times in 2015.

3. Jack Conklin, 6-5 ¾, 308, Michigan State, tackle (first):  If selected in the first round he will become the first Michigan State lineman drafted in that round since Tony Mandarich in 1989. He’s developed into a fine player after receiving just one offer coming out of high school and it was from Wayne State. He helped the Spartans reach the semifinal  game and was named an All-American.

4. Taylor Decker, 6-7, 310, Ohio State, tackle (first): He was originally headed to Notre Dame, but Urban Meyer got him to change his commitment after he was hired by the Buckeyes. He started the last 42 games for the Buckeyes, splitting time between left tackle and right tackle. He controls the point of attack with discipline and power.

5. Germain Ifedi, 6-5 ¾, 324, Texas A&M, guard/tackle (late first/second):  His brother Martin was drafted by the Rams in the  seventh round last season. He’ll go much higher. He played right tackle for the Aggies, but is projected as an NFL guard.

6. Cody Whitehair, 6-3 ¾, 301, Kansas State, guard: He played both tackle spots and some left guard for the Wildcats. He started 13 of 15 games at left tackle last season. His short arm length (32 3/8-inches) makes him a guard prospect for the NFL.

7. Ryan Kelly, 6-4, 311, Alabama, center (second): He took over for Barrett Jones and emerged as the top center prospect in the nation. Several opposing coaches praised his style of play and how he functioned in the middle of the line. He can make all of the blocks and climb adroitly to the second level.

8. Shon Coleman, 6-5, 307, Auburn, tackle (second/third):  He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and went through 30 months of chemo treatments. After being declared cancer-free, he was redshirted in 2012. In 2014, he took over at left tackle and started 25 games over the past two seasons.

9. Jason Springs, 6-5, 301, Indiana, tackle (second/third): He was incredibly nimble for the Hoosiers. He gave up only two sacks on 431 pass attempts and had 72 knock-down blocks over 972 snaps. He’s considered a fit for the for the outside-zone blocking scheme the Falcons and Broncos run.

10. Evan Boehm, 6-2, 302, Missouri, center/guard (third/fourth): Boehm started a school-record 52 straight games at center for the Tigers. He’s a solid shot-gun snapper and dominates at the point of attack. A former high school wrestling champion, he knows how to handle himself in tight spaces.

Top 5 seniors for the 2017 draft: 1. Zach Banner, USC. 2. Connor McDermott, UCLA. 3. Adam Bisonwaty, Pittsburgh. 4. Dan Skipper, Arkansas. 5. Erik Magnuson, Michigan.

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The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter gives his top players for the Falcons to draft at #17, talks about the interest in LB Myles Jack & tells CineSport’s Noah Coslov where the team may go in round 2.


Sunday, April 17 -- QUARTERBACKS

Rams quest for franchise quarterback behind big trade --Wentz or Goff?

D. Led’s breakdown of the Quarterbacks

A look at the top 10 Quarterbacks in the draft


D Led’s breakdown of the Running backs -- Is Derrick Henry the next Charles Muncie?

A look at the top 10 Running backs


D. Led’s breakdown of the Wide receivers

A look at the top 10 Wide receivers

Wednesday -- TIGHT ENDS

D. Led’s breakdown of the Tight ends

A look at the top 10 tight ends


D. Led’s breakdown of the Offensive linemen

A look at the top 10 offensive linemen


D. Led’s breakdown of the Defensive linemen

Defensive linemen chart

Saturday, April 23 -- LINEBACKERS

Falcons searching for hybrid linebacker/safeties

D. Led’s breakdown of the Linebackers

A look at the top 10 linebackers

Sunday, April 24 -- CORNERBACKS

D. Led’s breakdown of the cornerbacks

A look at the top 10 cornerbacks

Monday, April 25 -- SAFETIES

D. Led’s breakdown of the Safeties

A look at the top 10 Safeties

Tuesday, April 26

D. Led’s breakdown of the Specialists, kickers, punters and returners

Position by position: Specialists chart

Wednesday, April 27

Final mock draft

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.