The grind of the regular season is over as teams approach their conference championship games, bowl games or head into the offseason. It is also holiday shopping season, and a lot of NFL fans are already looking at what gifts the NFL Draft can bring them next year.
Much like shopping for the newest technology trends, or other top gifts – it is best to do a good, better, best comparison on NFL Draft prospects that your team might be looking at in the 2016 draft.
Good: Jack Allen – Michigan State
Allen is a bit of a throwback center. Tough, gritty and physical, but not overly athletic. As a four-year starter for a competing program, Allen has the smarts and experience to make the necessary blocks. His lack of athleticism will likely be a problem at the NFL level, as he will face more penetrating defensive tackles that could present a problem for him.
A perfect example of his knowledge for the game, and his scheme, is when Allen is forced to leave one block to handle a delayed blitz. This is a skill nearly every NFL center has to display, and Allen has. He does not get a huge block on the blitzing linebacker, but leaves his block and allows for just enough time for his quarterback to get the pass off.
Better: Max Tuerk – USC, Ryan Kelly – Alabama
Turk is one of the more versatile offensive linemen in the entire draft, all while looking and moving more like a tight end. His long, lean frame has allowed Tuerk to play any position on the offensive line (outside of right guard). He has excelled at center, a position where he should thrive in the NFL.
His quickness off the snap allows him to consistently get to the second level to block linebackers, or to the weak side to make reach blocks. He is a smooth athlete with good lower body flexibility. While he has a great deal of upside, he has some troubles with the snap – which could lead to huge problems in the NFL.
Best: Nick Martin – Notre Dame, Dan Voltz – Wisconsin
Voltz is looking to follow the success of other Badgers linemen to make the jump to the NFL – such as Travis Frederick. He has great size and, like nearly all former Wisconsin offensive linemen, can open huge lanes in the run game. He has a quick release off the snap and good football IQ, both allowing him to get to the second level on a consistent basis.
Voltz can, and has gone toe-to-toe with some of the top linemen college football has to offer, faring well in nearly every circumstance. His natural ability in the run game make him a solid starter, and his quickness and ability to anchor in the middle of pass protection give him tremendous upside.