Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Setting the Scene...
It's 2:41 AM in Denver. John Elway is fast asleep in his home. The only sound in the house is the ticking of the grandfather clock in the living room. He is wearing his custom fit orange nightgown and stocking cap as he snores softly. (Flash forward to his dream)... (Broadcast announcer)- "It's 3rd down and 16 for Siemian & the offense at their own 46. He takes the snap, drops back to pass, looks to his left... Oh! it's Justin Houston off the edge for the sack forcing the Broncos to punt. He's been living in the backfield tonight! ... night... night..." (voice trails away). Elway lurches awake, beads of sweat rolling down his forehead. "Tackle... we need a tackle" he whisper to himself as he gathers his breath.
The Broncos are in desperate need of O-line help. The Broncos offensive line was ranked 24th overall by Pro Football Focus for the 2016 season. The issues for Denver's line continues to pile up. The starting left tackle last year, Russell Okung, has left for greener pastures... well the Los Angeles Chargers so maybe not much greener. Right tackle duty last year was split up between Donald Stephenson and Ty Sambrailo. The two battled it out to see who was worse at their job. Coincidentally, Stephenson finished the 2016 season with the worst PFF rating of any offensive lineman in the league at 28.0. But don't worry Donald Stephenson fans, Sambrailo was mere percentage points better and this was due to having less opportunities to be scorched by some of the best DE's in the league. So what does this mean for Denver? It means they need to attack early if they want to improve their line in this weak OL draft class.
Ryan Ramczyk is the guy for the Broncos here at 20. He's the first offensive lineman taken in the 2017 BGN draft. Ryan was the starting left tackle for the Wisconsin Badgers in 2016. He earned his spot on the first team All-Big Ten and garnered the Associated Press All-American honors as well.
Spider Graph and Measurements:
Weight: 310 lbs
Hand Size: 10 7/8"
Arm Length: 33 ¾"
Strengths: He has elite athleticism for a player his size. His ability to drive through defenders on running plays makes him a special prospect. His quickness caught defensive ends off guard throughout his college career. His speed makes him especially tough to keep up if he gets to the next level on screens, rushes. He has exceptional coordination between his lower and upper body. This allows him to have tremendous balance and agility for a lineman. On passing plays, he slides his feet with precision, then shoot his hands into opponent's chest, pushing them wide of the QB. He's also very patient in his pass blocking positioning. He uses his speed to control the path of the defender and sets them up to make a mistake. Something that should be emphasized is Ryan's toughness. He battled a hip injury near the end of the 2016 season and he played in the team's bowl game even though he required surgery. That shows a willingness to put the team's goals ahead of his health. That toughness will help him on a week to week basis on an NFL roster.
Weaknesses: His biggest weakness would be inexperience. Something that is emphasized with Ryan is the jump that he made from the start of his college career to now. He first started playing football in his hometown at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, (also the hometown of Joe Pavelski, Go Sharks!) which is a Division III school. He was all-conference there for 2 years before transferring to Wisconsin. After taking his talents to South Beach... well...Madison in 2015, he spent the first year on the scout team. He impressed the coaches so much that they made him the starting left tackle when he became eligible. Still, making such a huge jump from DIII to FBS is about as big as it gets in the college game. He only has 1 year of experience playing against top-end DE talent. Another concern so may have about him is his arm length. He ranks near the bottom quarter in arm length in this draft class and as a tackle, having shorter arms is tough when forcing defensive ends inside or outside.
Evidence of his ability:
Game vs LSU (2016) -
Game vs Ohio State (2016) -
Comparisons and Bottom Line:
NFL Comparison- Joe Staley, Tackle Cleveland Browns & Nate Solder, Tackle New England Patriots. Being compared to two NFL starting tackles is some very high praise. Ramczyk was given these comparisons based on his elite agility, his poise, his pure athleticism as a tackle, and his intelligence to find a way to beat his opponent.
Ramczyk is battle tested. For playing only one season of Big Ten football, he faced 3 future NFL players in Taco Charlton, Arden Key, and Sam Hubbard. Ramczyk's ascent in popularity is very similar to that of our darling ginger trick shot champion extraordinaire Carson Wentz. They both went from being relatively unknown lower level competition players to first round NFL starter caliber prospects. Pro Football Focus ranked Ramczyk as the best run blocking tackle in the Nation for 2016. He also only allowed 12 quarterback pressures during the 2016 season. His athleticism. core strength, and his ability to control defenders make him arguably the best tackle in the draft. He has immediate right tackle starting capability and could possibly become the starting left tackle near the start of the season barring any setbacks from his hip rehabilitation. The Broncos desperately need a guy like him on their line to help get the offense back on track in 2017.
Side note - There has recently been rumors of Ramczyk's desire to play. Until he addresses it himself, I chose to give him the benefit of any doubt. The combine process is demanding for everyone and some people can ask random interview questions that can and will annoy anyone. Thank you for reading and hopefully you enjoyed my humor.
2017 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5) Titans (drc242): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6) Jets (boomorbust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7) Chargers (NowWhat?): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8) Panthers (B-Potts): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10) Bills (jimmyrustler): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
11) Saints (NotSoSlick): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
13) Cardinals (Paulie97): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
14) Eagles (ablesser88): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
15) Colts (mconner96): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!): Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
17) Washington (kbruneault): John Ross, WR, Washington
18) Titans (mchiodo): JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR USC
19) Buccaneers (ei78): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
20) Broncos (NVEagleShark): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
21) Lions (Shark Fighter):
22) Dolphins (J. Wil):
23) Giants (BigWardy59):
24) Raiders (big DUB):
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12):
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):