Yesterday we looked at free agent guard options should the Eagles decide to move on from Allen Barbre this offseason. If they don’t, that will greatly increase the chances they draft a replacement for 2018, as Barbre will be a 33 year old free agent a year from now. Today, we’ll look at the interior linemen draft prospects that could go in the first three or four rounds. There’s a few guys who can compete for starting jobs out the gate. Most of them are at the Senior Bowl, which the Eagles value. And like the free agent pool, these draft prospects are primarily right guards.
Dan Feeney, Indiana
A four year starter at right guard, earning All-American honors in his junior and senior season. Indiana credited him with just one sack given up in 2016 and 2014, and none in 2015 and 2012. He received a medical redshirt for 2013 after a Lisfranc injury. Split time between right guard and as an injury replacement at right tackle in 2016. Listed at 6’4”, he has long arms and good mobility. Would have been a top guard a year ago, he has only improved his standing. He could be the top guard drafted, he’s at the Senior Bowl.
Sean Harlow, Oregon State
Another versatile Oregon State offensive lineman, like Isaac Seumalo. Harlow has played left and right tackle, and has practiced at center as well. At 6’4” 284 pounds, he’s a guard in the NFL who needs to add some bulk. Battled back from a possible 2016 medical redshirt after breaking his leg midway through the 2015 season to start the final nine games of the season. His return to the lineup instantly improved Oregon State’s pass blocking, the Beavers gave up 11 sacks in 3 games without him, 14 in 9 games with him, with 6 of those being in his first game back in a blowout by Colorado.
His father Pat Harlow was the 11th overall pick in 1991 and started 94 games for the Patriots and Raiders as a tackle.
Dorian Johnson, Pitt
Three year starter at left guard. Needs to add some weight to his 6’5” 315 pounds frame, and he may have shorter than desired arms, both could hurt him in the draft. Seen as a stronger run blocker than a pass protector and considered a good pulling guard. He too will be at the Senior Bowl.
Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
Lamp has a chance to be the top interior lineman taken in the draft. Guess you could say teams love Lamp. A four year starter at left tackle, he’s viewed as a guard in the NFL due his size (6’4” 300 pounds) and short arms. He impressed against Alabama and any small school concerns can be put to bed with a strong week at the Senior Bowl.
Nico Siragusa, San Diego State
A third-team All-American, which is even more impressive that it sound when you consider that Siragusa and SDSU RB Donnel Pumphrey were the Aztec’s first All-American selections since 1988. A three year starter at left guard, at 6’5” and 330 pounds size isn’t an issue. He’s considered a better run blocker than pass protector, however San Diego State rarely passed, in 2015 they had the 7th fewest passing attempts in FBS, in 2016 the 6th fewest, so there’s a small sample size of him pass blocking. He’s also at the Senior Bowl.
The Eagles see Isaac Seumalo as their long term center, but if there’s a center on the board too good to turn down, maybe they pounce and move Seumalo to guard. That’s unlikely to be the case, but stranger things have happened.
Ethan Pocic, LSU
Listed at 6'7" and 302 pounds, Pocic might be too tall and too lean, but he is seen as a good athlete for his size. He split time at center and right guard in 2014 before moving to center full time in 2015, filling in at right tackle for a game in 2016. He will be at the Senior Bowl as well.
Pat Elflein, Ohio State
Played left and right guard in 2014 before being the full time right guard in 2015 then moved to center full time in 2016 and dominated. He won the Rimington Award and was a consensus All-American as a senior. Had he declared last year, he would have been one of the better guard prospects, after his excellent senior season he’s a top prospect at center and guard.
Late Round Local Guys
There are a bevy of late round guards, and with 93 days until the draft there is plenty of time to dig deep into the position. But there are two projected late round guards at the Senior Bowl with local ties that might be worth keeping an eye on.
Dion Dawkins, Temple
Looking for a literal next Dawkins? The Eagles wouldn’t have to go far, as Dawkins started at left tackle for three years for Temple. He projects as a guard in the NFL. He’ll need some development as he had problems with penalties.
Jordan Morgan, Kutztown
A D-II standout at left tackle, Morgan also projects to guard at the NFL. Already attracting scouts while at Kutztown, if he can hold his own at the Senior Bowl he’ll really improve his stock. He seems to be a good decision maker, preferring Wawa to Sheetz. No word on his favorite cheesesteak location.