2018 NFL Draft Offensive Guard rankings

An early look at the 2018 NFL Draft Offensive Guard class, ranking the top 20 in a talented group of interior blockers.

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Seattle fans – scroll down past the 2018 NFL Draft Offensive Guard rankings below for potential Seahawks targets. The stars are aligned for an early draft pick to be used on a Guard this year.

2018 NFL Draft Offensive Guard rankings – Early round talent

1) Quenton Nelson | 6’5, 330 lbs | Notre Dame, SR | position: LG | Top 15 talent

  • Soul-crushing run blocker & has also developed into a great pass protector – physical profile & talent translate perfectly to any blocking scheme.
  • Outstanding size, strength, balance, hand use & awareness – aggressive finisher with plus length & mobility for his size.
  • Complete, NFL-ready guard with All-Pro upside – if a guard is worth a top 5 draft pick, Nelson’s the one. No-doubt top 15 talent.

2) Braden Smith | 6’6, 305 lbs | Auburn, SR | position: RG | 1st round talent

3) Billy Price | 6’4, 310 lbs | Ohio State, SR | position: Center/RG | 1st round talent

  • Equally effective in space or the phone booth – lightning-quick off the ball with fantastic foot-speed. Built like a brick house & strong as an ox.
  • Reliable, if unspectacular in pass protection – agility & balance to instantly recover when beat. Improved moving to C from RG.
  • AP 1st team All-American this year – his first at Center. Earned a 2nd team appearance at RG in 2016. Clear-cut 1st round prospect at either spot.

4) Will Hernandez | 6’3, 330 lbs | UTEP, rSR | position: LG | 2nd round talent

  • AP 2nd team All-American despite playing on a winless team in the Conference-USA. One of the top guards in college the past three years.
  • Continues the pattern of road-graders at the top of the guard class who also possess nimble feet and explosive athleticism.
  • Terrific pass pro sets & can make any type of block – typically with a hellacious first punch. Only question marks are length & competition level.

5) Wyatt Teller | 6’5, 315 lbs | Virginia Tech, rSR | position: LG | 2nd round talent

6) Frank Ragnow | 6’5, 315 lbs | Arkansas, SR | position: C/G | 3rd round talent

The premier NCAA Center over the last 2 years – big, strong, fundamental blocker with decent mobility, but plays with inconsistent pad level & power.

7) Isaiah Wynn | 6’2, 300 lbs | Georgia, SR | position: LG/C | 3rd round talent

AP 2nd team All-American at LT – likely a Guard/Center in the NFL due to lack of size, but Wynn is skilled, quick, and a well-rounded blocker.

8) Mason Cole | 6’5, 300 lbs | Michigan, SR | position: C/G | 3rd round talent

Smart, versatile lineman with extensive experience at both Center & Tackle (projects to C/G) – technically sound, but lacks standout athleticism.

9) Will Clapp | 6’5, 315 lbs | LSU, rJR | position: C/G | 3rd round talent

2018 NFL Draft Offensive Guard rankings – Mid-late round talent

Ross Pierschbacher | 6’4, 305 lbs | Alabama, rJR | position: LG/RG

Dalton Risner | 6’5, 300 lbs | Kansas State, rJR | position: C/G/RT

Donell Stanley | 6’4, 315 lbs | South Carolina, rJR | position: LG

Cody O’Connell | 6’9, 370 lbs | Washington State, rSR | position: LG

Tony Adams | 6’2, 315 lbs | N.C. State, SR | position: RG

Hjalte Froholdt | 6’5, 310 lbs | Arkansas, JR | position: LG

Taylor Hearn | 6’5, 330 lbs | Clemson, rJR | position: LG

Dejon Allen | 6’3, 290 lbs | Hawaii, rSR | position: G/C

Sam Jones | 6’5, 290 lbs | Arizona State, rSR | position: LG

Ben Powers | 6’4, 310 lbs | Oklahoma, JR | position: LG

Brendan Mahon | 6’4, 320 lbs | Penn State, rSR | position: RG

Seahawks need at Guard & potential draft targets

Yesterday, I posted an article detailing the Seattle’s needs this offseason:

Seahawks 2018 Team Needs

Here’s what I wrote about Offensive Guard, which is currently a priority need for the Seahawks:

The Seahawks have invested a ton into their offensive line over the past two years. Duane Brown and Justin Britt are locked in as steady vets, and Seattle drafted Pocic and Germain Ifedi highly. While the two young starters struggled this year, they’re on long term rookie contracts and have upside.  The Seahawks almost definitely feel set at 4 of 5 starting positions. Depth appears solid as well with Odhiambo, Roos and George Fant also locked up long-term. However, there is a gaping hole at the 5th starting spot (most likely Left Guard) heading into the offseason.

After dismissing the poor free-agent and in-house options, here’s what I wrote about the draft options:

The 2018 Offensive Guard class is stacked with intriguing talent. There are several athletic, strong and skilled Guard prospects available. Seattle could find an NFL-ready starter (and even an immediate upgrade on Joeckel) on day 1 or 2 of the draft. The stars are aligned in terms of team need and draft value. There are a whopping seven 2018 linemen who are all superior “Guard” prospects to that of Pocic or Ifedi: Quenton Nelson, Connor Williams, Braden Smith, Billy Price, Tyrell Crosby, Will Hernandez & Wyatt Teller. Seattle figures to be heavily interested in the group in the 1st round or after trading down.

Most of that select group have starred at the Guard position in college, while Williams & Crosby profile as strong prospects at either Guard or Tackle. I have a higher draft grade on all of them then I did for both Pocic and Ifedi (who I viewed as 3rd round talents in their respective classes). It will be fascinating to see how they perform at the Senior Bowl and Combine in the coming months.

The 1) need for a starting Guard, 2) need to preserve cap space, and 3) strength of the Guard class – all point towards an early draft pick in 2018. We’ll break down some of the individual prospects in more detail in the lead up to the draft.