Versatility on offensive line key on Day 1 of Senior Bowl practices

Written by Lorin Cox on January 25, 2017


Both the Cleveland Browns (South) and Chicago Bears (North) coaching staffs took a similar approach to the offensive line in the first day of practices for Senior Bowl week down in Mobile, Alabama on Tuesday. As assistant coaches tried to get to know the players they are working with, they wasted no time testing the draft prospects by frequently moving them around to see how they handled different positions up front.

The South squad kicked things off by getting creative with perhaps their best offensive lineman all-around, Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp. At the weigh-in Tuesday morning, he measured in at just under 6-foot-4 with only 31 and 1/8-inch arms, so the assumption immediately became that his future was locked in at guard. Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie pushed back on that assumption, starting Lamp at left tackle to begin the first practice.

Before long though, Lamp rotated inside to guard as Cleveland and every scout in the stands wanted to see how he would hold up inside. He said after practice that he has never taken a live snap at guard in his college career, and he even admitted that he has been working on snapping the ball, just to prepare himself to be able to play any position up front, if a team called upon him to do so. Without a doubt, the comparisons to Cody Whitehair will only continue.

The Browns also wanted to see how their centers looked at guard, running a number of reps with both Ethan Pocic and Jon Toth right next to each other on the line. The SEC linemen spent about the same amount of time at guard, and Miami’s Danny Isidora occasionally worked as the emergency third center, where his snapping ability left a lot to be desired.

The North roster has a bit more size on the offensive line, so new Bears’ offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn didn’t end up moving any of his tackles inside or guards outside, but he did have almost all of his non-centers rotate to show what they can do on each side of the line. Western Michigan tackle Taylor Moton started on the right side with Pittsburgh’s Adam Bisnowaty opposite him, but before long, those two swapped, and the two guards inside of them, Temple’s Dion Dawkins and Indiana’s Dan Feeny, did the same.

The other North offensive line went through the same motions as Julien Davenport from Bucknell and Joe Banner from USC spent time at both tackle spots, although it was clear that the 6-foot-8 Trojan is much more the stereotypical right tackle given his massive 361-pound frame. Kutztown guard Jordan Morgan Jr. and Michigan guard Kyle Kalis both showed off decent feet on either side of the line, but centers Kyle Fuller out of Baylor and Tyler Orlosky of West Virginia stayed in the middle where they were most comfortable.

Both coaching staffs have the rest of the week to lock down where they see their 10 offensive linemen best fit given their respective sizes, and they may try to decide quickly so they can get their blockers in one set spot to get comfortable and perform at the best of their abilities.

Lorin Cox

Lorin Cox is an analyst for Pro Football Focus, who writes for Bears Wire and The Daily Cardinal in addition to his work on Draft Breakdown. Follow him on Twitter @CoxSports1.

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