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NFL Combine: Top offensive line prospects 2022

Jason Burgos

The 2022 NFL Combine will get going in Indianapolis here soon. It’s an opportunity for prospects to show what they have to offer during the pre-draft process leading up to the NFL Draft itself.

When is the NFL Combine?

It runs from March 1 through March 7. The annual event is broadcast on both ESPN and NFL Network with most of the focus being on position drills. Here’s a breakdown of coverage on NFL Network.

  • Thursday, March 3: 4 PM ET
  • Friday, March 4: 4 PM ET
  • Saturday, March 5: 4 PM ET
  • Sunday, March 6: 11 AM ET

What is the NFL Combine?

nfl combine
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s an annual pre-draft event that has gone from being somewhat of a niche grouping to a week-long showcase broadcast nationally on multiple networks.

Former Dallas Cowboys president and general manager Tex Schramm proposed the annual event as a way for teams to evaluate talent. Since its inception as the national invitational camp (NIC) in 1982, this thing has taken on a whole new meaning.

Among the most important aspects of the NFL Combine are the positional workouts scheduled for a four-day span during the annual event. Teams also have an opportunity to meet and interview prospects leading up to the annual NFL Draft.

Related: Ranking the top 2022 NFL Draft QBs

2022 NFL Combine workout schedule

  • Thursday, March 3rd: Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends
  • Friday, March 4th: Running backs, offensive line and special teams
  • Satuday, March 5th: Defensive line, linebackers
  • Sunday, March 6th: Defensive backs

The offensive line never gets the glory, but it remains one of the most important units in the NFL. You can’t have a franchise quarterback without a line helping to keep them upright.

The OL crop in 2022 is a solid group with a couple of talents that have the capabilities to be anchors for a future team’s blocking scheme for years to come. Here, we check in on five offensive lineman to watch during the NFL Combine.

Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

nfl combine
Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Ikem Ekwonu enters the draft with a reputation after earning the nickname of “Mr. Pancake” during his tenure at NC State. The 6-foot-4 and 320-pound big man is a good size for an NFL lineman and has the ability to play both tackle and guard. He is a mauler in the run game, but with the league relying less on running every year, he will need to further improve his pass blocking skills to reach pro-bowl status.

Related: Top QBs at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine

Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

nfl combine
Credit: USA Today Network

Tyler Linderbaum may not get as much coverage as other offensive line prospects in this draft, since he plays a less glamorous position at center. But he may be the lock of the bunch. At 6-foot-3, 290-pounds he is on the small side for today’s average NFL lineman, but it makes him a perfect fit for his position. The main downside for the Rimington Trophy winner is, how far does a team reach up in the draft for an anchor-level talent at center if there are bigger holes elsewhere?

Evan Neal, Alabama

nfl combine
Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Neal enters the 2022 NFL Draft as one of its largest athletes at 6-foot-7 and 350 pounds. But what makes him one of the top prospects in the entire pool is his freakish athleticism. He was a three-year starter at football powerhouse Alabama and played three different positions on their offensive line. Considering his size and ability, he has the potential to be the best offensive line prospect in the draft.

Related: Top running backs at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine

Charles Cross, Mississippi State

At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, Charles Cross is a unique talent because of his impressive athleticism for a man of his size. Over his last two seasons at Mississippi State, he continually improved and became a dominant pass blocker. Over 794 passing snaps, he only allowed 16 pressures. However, while he is a legit athlete, he does not have the same brute power as some of his top contemporaries in the draft.

Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

At 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds, Kenyon Green is a behemoth of a blocker and he has power that matches his size. But what makes him a unique prospect is his versatility. He played every position on the line, except center, in 2021. While he is a dependable blocker, his lack of a true standout position could dampen his potential as a perennial pro bowler.

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