G Rankings 2018 NFL Guard Rankings Projected Rounds: 1. Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: Top 5 Pick, 2. Beau Benzschawel, G, Wisconsin: Round 1, 3. Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech: Round 2, 4. Will Hernandez, G, UTEP: Round 3, 5. Cody O'Connell, G, Washington State: Round 4, 6. Braden Smith, G, Auburn: Round 4, 7. Tyrone Crowder, G, Clemson: Round 5, 8. Taylor Hearn, G, Clemson: Round 5, 9. Kenny Lacy, G, UCLA: Round 6, 10. Dejon Allen, G, Hawaii: Round 7


2018 NFL Draft: Guard Rankings





Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: November 12, 2017.



  1. Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame Projected Round Top 5 Pick

    2017 Season Recap The 6-5 329 lb Quenton Nelson can pass block, run block, and zone block effectively on the offensive line. Nelson like McGlinchey got voted a team captain for Notre Dame.


    Quenton Nelson SWOT Report

    Strengths: Quenton Nelson is a natural pass blocker. He did not have a single sack allowed in 2016 and only 1 quarterback hurry allowed all season just like teammate Mike McGlinchey. His run blocking and zone blocking is superb as well. Pass blocking strength, run blocking strength, pass blocking footwork, and run blocking footwork checks out. High football IQ. Maintains blocks for 5-7 seconds which is what you want in an offensive lineman. Keeps his back straight. Shows proper knee bend. Has long arms and ideal arm length for a starting guard.


    Extremely durable. Durability is not an issue. Nelson is the complete package as far as guards go. Displays excellent leadership. Was a team captain in High School and at Notre Dame. Gets to the second level and can take on double teams.


    Weaknesses: I don't see any weaknesses with Quenton Nelson. I see a complete blue chip left guard.


    Opportunities: Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Green Bay Packers are ideal spots for Nelson. I'd say Indianapolis is where he ends up at this point. Miami is the only other team picking high enough to get Nelson.


    Threats: An ankle injury in 2015 cause him to miss a game. This isn't a concern with me at this point. I think you are getting a guy who compares to Pro Bowl left guards like Alan Faneca or if you want a throwback player comparison try Mike Munchak of the Houston Oilers.


    Potential Grade: 95/99



    Before 2017

    Quenton Nelson was a team captain that played left tackle in High School. Nelson redshirted in 2014 when they had Zack Martin and Ronnie Stanley at offensive tackle. In 2015, Notre Dame had Ronnie Stanley make the move to left tackle and Mike McGlinchey make the move to right tackle. Nelson decided to be a team player and kick inside to guard due to Notre Dame being stacked with offensive tackles. Nelson has shown he can be durable and has dominated in 2015 and 2016 in his two seasons as a starting left guard.




  2. Beau Benzschawel, G, Wisconsin Projected Round 1st Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-6 317 lb Beau Benzschawel can pass block, run block, and zone block effectively on the offensive line. He anchors Wisconsin's stout offensive line in 2017 after aiding Ryan Ramczyk anchor this offensive line in 2016. Benzschawel has led Wisconsin to a 10-0 start with Wisconsin already clinching a spot in the 2017 Big 10 Championship thanks to his play at the right guard position.


    Benzschawel dominated versus Indiana. He also had success versus Iowa with back-to-back brilliant outings.


    Beau Benzschawel SWOT Report

    Strengths: Beau Benzschawel is a natural pass blocker. He did not have a single sack allowed in 2016 and only 1 quarterback hurry allowed all season unlike teammate Ryan Ramczyk. His run blocking and zone blocking is superb as well. Pass blocking strength, run blocking strength, pass blocking footwork, and run blocking footwork checks out. High football IQ. Maintains blocks for 5-7 seconds which is what you want in an offensive lineman. Keeps his back straight. Shows proper knee bend. Has long arms and ideal arm length for a starting guard.


    Weaknesses: I don't see any weaknesses with Beau Benzschawel. I see a complete blue chip right guard.


    Opportunities: Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers are three teams that could end up with Benzschawel. I like him just as much as I like Kevin Zeitler coming out of Wisconsin. The scary thing is Benzschawel may have a bigger ceiling than Zeitler.


    Threats: He missed some games early in his career during his freshman year. This isn't a concern with me at this point. I think you are getting a guy who compares to former Badger Kevin Zeitler.


    Potential Grade: 93/99



    Before 2017

    Beau Benzschawel played tight end and defensive end in High School at 4-3 left end. He redshirted as a freshman and Wisconsin moved him to right tackle due to injuries on their offensive line before kicking him inside to right guard. He's had success at right guard ever since. With a big 2017 campaign, he may declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.




  3. Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech Projected Round 2nd Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-5 315 lb Wyatt Teller can pass block, run block, and zone block effectively on the offensive line. He returns at left guard and needs a big year with quarterback Jerod Evans no longer on the team.


    Virginia Tech has a freshman quarterback. Wyatt Teller did better this year. He'll be a great starter. I'm not sure he's a Pro Bowler yet. It's hard to tell if he's corrected his issue with keeping his hands on defenders. He can be a great left guard, but there are things you'll have to coach him at. This guy still needs to do a better job keeping his hands on defenders.


    Wyatt Teller SWOT Report

    Strengths: Wyatt Teller is a natural pass blocker when facing teams that don't have NFL prospects. His run blocking and zone blocking is way better than his pass blocking. The pass blocking footwork and run blocking footwork checks out. Keeps his back straight. Shows proper knee bend. Has long arms and ideal arm length for a starting guard.


    Extremely durable. Durability is not an issue. Displays excellent leadership. Gets to the second level.


    Weaknesses: Pass blocking strength and run blocking strength needs to improve. There are plays where his pass blocking and run blocking strength is precise. Then there are other plays where he has trouble keeping his hands on defenders so he's inconsistent in this area. Misses assignments at times. Needs to do a better job placing his hand on defenders. Struggles against quality competition. Will fluster versus double teams.


    Wyatt Teller gave up 3 sacks in the 2016 ACC Championship to Clelin Ferrell, Dex Lawrence, and Ben Boulware. He also gave up a quarterback hurry to Kendall Joseph that resulted in Clemson's game-winning interception during the 2016 ACC Championship game.


    Opportunities: Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Green Bay Packers are five teams that could end up with Teller. I had a mid to late third round grade on Wyatt Teller at the beginning of the year. I think he may move up to the second round due to the demand for a guard.


    Threats: There are no threats with Wyatt Teller. He's more durable and less likely to get injured than Quenton Nelson or Beau Benzschawel. He lacks the mental intangibles and Pro Bowl potential that Nelson or Benzschawel has though.


    Potential Grade: 87/99



    Before 2017

    Wyatt Teller became a starter in 2014 after redshirting in 2013 where he played Virginia Tech's final 6 games at left guard. He took over as a full-time starter for Virginia Tech in 2015 with two consecutive seasons where he has started nearly every game at left guard.




  4. Will Hernandez, G, UTEP Projected Round 3rd Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-3 330 lb Will Hernandez can pass block and run block effectively. He shows ability that will make him stand out as a borderline starter in the NFL.


    Will Hernandez is the leader of an 0-10 UTEP team. That's right UTEP is winless and Will Hernandez still received an invite to the 2018 Senior Bowl since he has starter potential down the road.


    Will Hernandez SWOT Report

    Strengths: Will Hernandez is a three year starter with elite physical tools just like Quenton Nelson. Pass blocks and run blocks effectively. Displays the run blocking strength to get to the second level. Unlike Wyatt Teller, he showed he could handle double teams when facing the Texas Longhorns defense on the road in Austin. His run blocking footwork allowed him to push defenders back and open things up for Aaron Jones.


    Extremely durable. Durability is not an issue. Displays excellent leadership. Has 37 career starts at left guard dating back to his freshman redshirt season.


    Weaknesses: Pass blocking strength and pass blocking footwork to improve. Will struggle in a zone blocking scheme. Gave up a lot of quarterback hurries to Texas.


    Opportunities: Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Green Bay Packers are five teams that could end up with Hernandez. I have a mid to late third round grade on Will Hernandez. I'm not sure if Quenton Nelson or Wyatt Teller will accept a Senior Bowl invite to Mobile with those two being the unanimous top two offensive tackles. Will Hernandez probably will be in Mobile if I had to guess at this point.


    Threats: There are no threats with Will Hernandez. He's the most durable guard in this class right now. He lacks the mental intangibles and Pro Bowl potential that Nelson has though.


    Potential Grade: 85/99



    Before 2017

    Will Hernandez started 13 games at left guard in 2014 as a freshman redshirt where UTEP gave up 13 sacks and opened things up for Aaron Jones. He then started all 12 games at left guard in 2015 continuing to open things up for Aaron Jones while UTEP only surrendered 12 sacks. Hernandez was part of a UTEP offensive line that only surrendered 11 sacks and opened things up for Aaron Jones. If Hernandez can build on what he did during his first three seasons at UTEP without Aaron Jones then he could be a player to watch.




  5. Cody O'Connell, G, Washington State Projected Round 4th Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-8 354 lb Cody O'Connell can pass block, run block, and zone block effectively on the offensive line. He enters his second season as a starting left guard on Washington State.


    Cody O'Connell added 16 lbs to get up 370 lbs. He's still an awesome run blocker. He struggled in pass protection versus California and his footwork is still an issue.


    Cody O'Connell SWOT Report

    Strengths: Cody O'Connell is good at pass blocking, run blocking, and zone blocking. Is a mammoth with elite run blocking strength. Very imposing with his size. That's probably mainly due to his size.


    Extremely durable. Durability is not an issue.


    Weaknesses: Possesses very heavy feet. This limits his foot speed tremendously. The pass blocking footwork and run blocking footwork are two huge issues with Cody O'Connell. One year starter. The other concern is he was 354 lbs and he added 16 lbs of muscle to get up to 370 lbs.


    Opportunities: Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Green Bay Packers are five teams that could end up with Smith. I have a fourth round grade on O'Connell, but someone like Green Bay seems like they'd take a flyer on him at left guard. He may get a chance to correct his weaknesses in Mobile and will probably practice with Washington State teammates Luke Falk and Cole Madison during that Senior Bowl week.


    Threats: There are no threats with Cody O'Connell. Just a limited ceiling. He projects as a backup left guard. With him being 370 lbs you may need to help him lose weight and work with him. Cody O'Connell could be a decent guard in a run blocking scheme, but he's someone you need to be patient with.


    Potential Grade: 84/99



    Before 2017

    Cody O'Connell has good size. He's a one-year starter though and that's something that works against him.




  6. Braden Smith, G, Auburn Projected Round 4th Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-6 303 lb Braden Smith can pass block, run block, and zone block effectively on the offensive line. He is versatile enough to play left guard or right guard in the NFL.


    Braden Smith struggled against Clemson this year. He's rebounded in every game since. He gave Trent Thompson a lot of problems in Auburn's 40-17 win over Georgia so he's on my radar now. If he can frustrate Da'Ron Payne in a few weeks he has a chance to move into day 2 territory. My issue with Braden Smith was he lacked strength. He was weak when facing Clemson earlier this year, but has gotten a lot stronger since that point. His footwork has improved too.


    Braden Smith SWOT Report

    Strengths: Braden Smith is good at pass blocking, run blocking, and zone blocking. He's versatile enough to play left guard or right guard in the NFL. You have to love his technique as far as blocking along with the variety of blocking he provides for your football team.


    Extremely durable. Durability is not an issue.


    Weaknesses: Does not maintain blocks or get to the second level. Will receive more double teams with Alex Kozan gone. Still struggles with double teams.


    Opportunities: Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Green Bay Packers are five teams that could end up with Smith. I have a late fourth round grade on Smith. He'd be a better right guard than left guard, but he can play both positions.


    Threats: There are no threats with Braden Smith. Just a limited ceiling. He projects as a backup guard.


    Potential Grade: 84/99



    Before 2017

    Braden Smith is a two-year starter at Auburn. He played with Alex Kozan at Auburn the last two years and now has to step up as the leader of Auburn's interior offensive line.




  7. Tyrone Crowder, G, Clemson Projected Round 5th Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-2 340 lb Tyrone Crowder is an awesome run blocker. He was the sole reason Wayne Gallman was as good as he was on tape in 2016. Crowder has huge issues in pass protection though that need to get fixed immediately.


    Clemson got the win today. He did well against Derrick Nnadi at times. Shows two down ability even though he got voted one of Clemson's team captains.


    Tyrone Crowder SWOT Report

    Strengths: Tyrone Crowder is a superb run blocker. He has the run blocking strength as well as the run blocking footwork you want. He can get to the second level consistently at the point of attack. Great leadership. Got voted team captain despite being a two down player.


    Weaknesses: Probably the worst pass blocker I've seen so far. His pass blocking strength and pass blocking footwork is quite pedestrian. Also a terrible zone blocker. Two down ability at right guard.


    Opportunities: I have a fifth round grade on Tyrone Crowder. I see a day 3 pick at best even if he shines in Mobile.


    Threats: There are no threats with Tyrone Crowder. Just a limited ceiling. He projects as a backup right guard.


    Potential Grade: 77/99



    Before 2017

    Tyrone Crowder took over at right guard in 2015. He enters his third season as a starting right guard at Clemson.




  8. Taylor Hearn, G, Clemson Projected Round 5th Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-5 330 lb Taylor Hearn is an awesome pass blocker. He did well next to Mitch Hyatt at left guard last season.


    Taylor Hearn has really improved as a run blocker. He's also shown the versatility to play left guard and right guard this season improving his issues as a run blocker.


    Taylor Hearn SWOT Report

    Strengths: Taylor Hearn is a superb pass blocker. He has the pass blocking strength as well as the pass blocking footwork you want.


    Weaknesses: Zone blocking is probably his only weakness. He corrected most of his weaknesses, but he's not a team captain like Crowder.


    Opportunities: I have a sixth round grade on Taylor Hearn. I see a day 3 pick at best even if he shines in Mobile.


    Threats: There are no threats with Taylor Hearn. Just a limited ceiling. He projects as a backup left guard.


    Potential Grade: 77/99



    Before 2017

    Taylor Hearn became Clemson's starting left guard in 2016. He will enter his second season as a starting left guard in 2017.




  9. Kenny Lacy, G, UCLA Projected Round 6th Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-4 290 lb Kenny Lacy can pass block, run block, and zone block effectively on the offensive line. He enters his third season as a starting left guard on UCLA.


    Kenny Lacy suffered a season ending injury. He did not play in 2017 as a result.


    Kenny Lacy SWOT Report

    Strengths: Kenny Lacy is good at pass blocking, run blocking, and zone blocking. I love hsi technique and durability. There isn't much else for Lacy to build on since he played next to Scott Quisenberry and Conor McDermott during his last twos easons at UCLA.


    Weaknesses: Undersized for a guard. Needs to add more muscle. Struggles to maintain blocks meaning he lacks pass blocking and run blocking strength. Has poor footwork. Pass blocking footwork and run blocking footwork is terrible.


    Opportunities: I had a fifth round grade on Kenny Lacy. With his season ending injury he's now a sixth round prospect. I see a day 3 pick at best and he may not even get an invite to Mobile after his season ending injury.


    Threats: There are no threats with Kenny Lacy. Just a limited ceiling. He projects as a backup left guard.


    Potential Grade: 86/99



    Before 2017

    Kenny Lacy did a good job pass blocking for Josh Rosen and run blocking for Paul Perkins in 2015. He built on that in 2016 and is going to be one of UCLA's leaders on the offensive line in 2017.




  10. Dejon Allen, G, Hawaii Projected Round 7th Round

    2017 Season Recap The 6-3 290 lb Dejon Allen had a down year at left tackle with 5 sacks allowed and 7 quarterback hurries. He has 0 career sacks allowed in two seasons at both left guard and right guard prior to 2016 though. He will play either left guard or right guard in the NFL.


    Dejon Allen SWOT Report

    Strengths: Dejon Allen is a good pass blocker. He has the pass blocking strength and pass blocking footwork to be an effective guard in the NFL.


    Weaknesses: Terrible run blocker. Lacks the run blocking strength and run blocking footwork. Also struggles with zone blocking.


    Opportunities: I have a seventh round grade on Dejon Allen. I see a day 3 pick at best even if he shines in Mobile.


    Threats: There are no threats with Dejon Allen. Just a limited ceiling. He projects as a backup guard.


    Potential Grade: 71/99



    Before 2017

    Dejon Allen played both left guard and right guard in 2015. He moved over to left tackle in 2016, but projects more as a guard in the NFL.







Comment Box is loading comments...