Certainly Not Draftageddon 2018: Offensive Line Comment Count

Seth August 8th, 2018 at 12:51 PM

New format this year: all the arguments over bad offensive linemen, none of the drafts

Previously: Quarterbacks and Running Backs, Receivers and Tight Ends

Brian: I dunno guys let's just pick Wisconsin.

Seth: You do that every year.

BiSB: Dibs on the big white guy.

Brian: Am i wrong?

Seth: Sigh, not this time.


Athlon has four of their five starters as first-teamers and I have a very hard time finding fault with that.

BiSB: Beau Benzensomething is the real deal. He could be an All-American.

Ace: And one could argue he’s their third-best starter. LT David Edwards stepped in pretty seamlessly for Ryan Ramczyk and is getting potential first-round hype. C-turned-RT Michael Deiter is really good, too.

Seth: Flip those, Ace: Edwards plays RT and Deiter is at LT because Hornibrook makes everything reversed.

Ace: Ah, right. Was going by NFL positions. Stupid Mr. Tight Windows.

Seth: Randy Rivers

Brian: Oooh that's a good one.

Brian: How you gonna name your kid "Bo" but make it French if your kid is going to be a Wisconsin OL?

Ace: The last name makes up for it. It has five consonants in a row.

BiSB: Deiter and Edwards are both really good, but watch Benzschawel against Michigan last year. He REAL good.

Ace: Yeah, his draft stock may be down just based on position. He’s excellent. We should also probably name the other first-team Wisconsin OL: C Tyler Biadasz, who allowed Deiter to kick outside with no problem.

Seth: And the other guard, Jonathan Dietzen, who was 6-6/340 and probably 20 pounds more than that by now. He just moves people.

BiSB: Stupid sexy Wisconsin offensive line.

Ace: That SI cover is pure Badger porn.

Brian: Does it make you horni?


[Does anyone else in the conference have an offensive lineman who doesn't suck? Find out, AFTER THE JUMP!!!]


BiSB: ...actually, no?



Seth: Ummm... He's not a sucky freshman anymore but he's had a very Kalis-ian career.

BiSB: The other reason Wisconsin's line is such a no-brainer is that the rest of the Big Ten is remarkably light on major talents.

Ace: It’s good to remember that Kalis is more an exception than a rule for guys who see the field early.

Brian: Yeah there's no outlier NFL prospect somewhere weird.

BiSB: Not big on Tariq Cole?

Ace: Yeah, it’s hard to pick guys, unless you believe the somewhat-extant Cole hype that seemed louder last year. But that may just be that PFF stopped doing college stuff for the most part.

Brian: I don't see what that has to do with Big Ten OL

Ace: Fair point.

Seth: Indiana has one decent tackle and one really bad one. It's been kind of funny though to read the hype around both of them because they've been starting for so long.

Brian: I'm gonna be honest here guys, without the prospect of mercilessly humiliating you my OL research has been less deep than usual.

Seth: IU's on the Frey fumes still.

Ace: It’s also really a weak year unless a lot of guys break through. The B1G needs a lot of guys who played early and weren’t very good like Coy Cronk and Ben Bredeson and whatnot to break out.

Seth: Brandon Knight is the one who's decent and might be good with another year's removal from tight end. Cronk is the one Gary was telling Winovich "flip! flip!" and Winovich was all "No, it's my turn!"

Brian: Damian Prince maybe? Maryland has a couple of potential dudes.

Seth: Maryland has all guards.

Ace: Yeah, he came to mind.

Brian: Okay but guards are good to have.

Ace: Maryland’s problem is several of them play tackle.

Seth: One has to play center too.

Ace: Derwin Gray is another guy who had a lot of recruiting hype and hasn’t delivered yet.

Brian: I and all of Maryland's QBs in the infirmary are aware, but could have a couple guards!

Seth: I made a highlight video last year of Maryland centers flipping snaps over their QBs' heads.

Brian: Brand was so short that's understandable? We should stop talking about this.

BiSB: /waves tiny "we had guards" flag

Seth: You know who Maryland has? Terrance Davis.

Ace: Ugh. Some guys are listing, uh, the other Prince—OSU’s Isaiah Prince.

Seth: That guy! I put together a rather extensive photo collection of him getting beat while assembling HTTV:


Ace: Is this the year PSU has some guys? I know they have talent. Ryan Bates emerged last year for PSU and he’s still on the come-up.

BiSB: So, I guess I have to ask: is it possible despite [waves arm in general direction of 2017], picking guys from Michigan's offensive line wouldn't be insane?

Brian: I mean we joke about all the guards, but, like...


Seth: Bates is a good one, and I trust their OL coach, Matt Limegrover, to get a jump forward from a lot of young 4-star types they've accumulated.

Brian: And that's in the terrifying division.

heeeeees a tackle

read the tweet

Seth: The Maryland and PSU PFF stats for OL have the same problem that led me down the Tariq Cole rabbit hole last year: When the ball is out of the backfield in 0.5 seconds the OL get good pressure metrics. They're not worthless, but those take context. Maryland was a screen and screen and line up with a covered receiver and run out the backside offense. Meanwhile Penn State fans (at least the ones who don't use baby talk and wonder aloud if Franklin's a better coach than Nick Saban) lol when you give them positive metrics about their OL and point to Barkley dancing around four yards in the backfield.

Ace: Yeah, even as the guy who took Damian Prince in ’geddon 17, I don’t think he’s that good at pass blocking.

Brian: That's true. But it's not like we're shoving over a bunch of other candidates. Cole Chewins might be 280+ this year?

Ace: The options are quite limited, however. Northwestern’s Tommy Doles, anyone?

Seth: Northwestern fans would trade their entire offensive line for Michigan's I'm staying away from that.

Ace: Yikes.

Brian: Really?

Seth: They're really down on their OL coach right now.

Ace: Yeah, I feel like that’s mostly on Mick McCall. MSU’s David Beedle was third-team all-conference last year. I’m running out of guys to name before I get to ED WARINNER COULD SHAKE UP THIS LIST A BIT.

Seth: Nebraska has a good guard: Tanner Farmer. He's so surrounded by ineptitude he got lost last year but Frost will know how to maximize that.

Ace: Given the competition, it’s hard to rule out Cesar Ruiz making a run at a spot.

BiSB: Upside-wise, I'd take Ruiz over anyone not wearing Badger red.

Brian: Yeah. I feel like we're leaving out a clearly very good OSU OL.

Seth: OSU has to tell us who that's going to be.

BiSB: They lost the known quantities. They're have some dudes, but we're not 100% sure we know who they will be.

Ace: Their returning starters: Jordan, Demetrius Knox, Brandon Bowen, Isaiah Prince. And I think Bowen got hurt again?

BiSB: Okay, so they lost Billy Price.

Ace: And Jamarco Jones.

Seth: I think Bowen will be back for Michigan but for now center and left tackle are open battles.

Ace: Guys split time so they some quasi-starters back.

They have a ton of talented young guys but the proven ones are, weirdly, Jordan and Prince. From Bill C’s preview:

The Buckeyes do have to replace Rimington Trophy-winning Billy Price and all-conference left tackle Jamarco Jones. For most teams, that would be crippling. But all-conference guard Michael Jordan and third-team all-conference tackle Isaiah Prince are back, two other upperclassmen (Demetrius Knox and Brandon Bowen) have combined for 14 starts, and — again — there are blue-chippers in wait: redshirt freshmen Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers, incoming freshmen Nicholas Petit-Frere and Matthew Jones, etc.

BiSB: Still, OSU had their highest per-carry average since 2013 last year.

Ace: It’s time to consider that Isaiah Prince isn’t bad anymore, I guess.

Brian: I think we're hesitant on Prince because he was really terrible two years ago.

Ace: Yeah.

BiSB: Ditto Jordan?

Ace: As first-year players are wont to be. And yeah, same with MJ. He did beat out some talented competition (recruiting-wise) as a true freshman.

Brian: True freshman though. Because OSU those guys will be second-team All Big Ten. Wisconsin is first team.

Seth: Thayer Munford is the most likely left tackle for OSU by the way. He could leap to first team.

Ace: Yeah, I’m more looking at Wyatt Davis or Josh Myers as potential third-teamers.

BiSB: Where does Ben Bredeson fall in this mix?



Ace: Bredeson was second-team last year, even though I believe UFR wouldn’t bear that out.

Brian: Wait what? Bredeson was very mediocre.

Ace: It was a strange pick.

Seth: Longtime starter and the people who vote for those things don't look that closely at things like Clayton Thorson averaging 4 yards per play, let alone who's missing the stunt pickups.

Ace: I wouldn’t rule out him actually earning it this year. He’s added a lot of weight.

Brian: Anything could happen with Michigan's interior line and I wouldn't be too surprised.

Ace: And if—if—Onwenu can get through a game at full go….

Seth: And he was the first guy out of camp to have a starting job locked down when Michigan has a competition at the other guard spot.

Brian: The tackles will be bad, the interior OL could be bad, good, or killer.

BiSB: And Bredeson's still only 20, despite this being his 6th or 7th year on the roster. Unless Grant Newsome reverse-Poochie-departs-for-his-own-planet, I fear tackle will remain a problem.

Seth: We get to roll on James Hudson and maybe Andrew Stueber still.

Ace: Even a best-case scenario doesn’t have those guys in the all-conference conversation.

Seth: Oh, right. I'm just talking myself off this ledge over here.

Ace: We’re just hoping for Not Terrible.

BiSB: JBB is still... uh... properly shaped?

Brian: Iowa has Tristan Wirfs, who looks like an NFL tackle.

BiSB: There's no way that is a real name.

Ace: Maybe in Star Trek?

Seth: Think he was Han Solo's bestie in a fanfic.

Ace: We’ve already named every returning all-conference lineman from first to third team. I bet there’s at least a couple alpaca-out-of-nowhere spots when we look at the list at the end of the season.

Seth: Hudson and Stueber, book it!

BiSB: Purdue will have someone, maybe?

Ace: Their center, Kirk Barron, has been solid for a while.

Seth: Also Michigan State has yet another Allen brother.

BiSB: If Michigan State's offensive line is famous for two things, one of them is definitely having an Allen brother.

Brian: Wirfs and Alaric Jackson are fairly good bets to alpaca. Both passed veteran starters last year as first and second year players, respectively, and are giant. Jackson also got passed over by Drevno so he's got that going for him.

Ace: Speaking of interior linemen, Iowa has Keegan Render, who’s getting some hope and sliding to center to replace an NFL player in James Daniels.

BiSB: I may or may not be willing to roll with Wisconsin's second string line, sight unseen.

Ace: Is Cole Van Lanen even starting? Because he would at Michigan. And unless he kicks Deiter inside he’s gonna be their third tackle this year.

Seth: Since Deiter can play anywhere I think the question is more do they start Van Lanen and have Deiter ready to replace anyone. I wonder if we can get Wisconsin to trade one of them to us for Ted Nugent.

Ace: I would like Wisconsin’s problems. We have too many good linemen and our division sucks.

BiSB: Surely they would take a Tight End for a 6th lineman?

Seth: /giphy Wisconsin problems


BiSB: /waits for someone else to type the long-ass Wisconsin names



Tm Brian Seth Ace BiSB
1st David Edwards (WIS) David Edwards (WIS) David Edwards (WIS) David Edwards (WIS)
Isaiah Prince (OSU) Ryan Bates (PSU) Isaiah Prince (OSU) Michael Deiter (WIS)
2nd Ryan Bates (PSU) Cole Van Lanen (WIS) Michael Deiter (WIS) Ryan Bates (PSU)
Michael Deiter (WIS) Isaiah Prince (OSU) Ryan Bates (PSU) Isaiah Prince (OSU)
3rd Tariq Cole (RU) Tariq Cole (RU) Brandon Knight (IU Damian Prince (MD)
Tristan Wirfs (IOWA) Brandon Knight (IU) Tariq Cole (RU) Branden Bowen (OSU)
4th Alaric Jackson (IOWA) Branden Bowen (OSU) Coy Cronk (IU) (shrugs) Tariq Cole (RU)
Damian Prince (MD) Alaric Jackson (IOWA) Damian Prince (MD) (shrugs bigger) Tommy Doles (NW)

Seth: A couple observations from FFFFs last year: Coy Cronk is terrible, full stop. Damian Prince was at right tackle and given TE help and tackle over alignments all the time because he was basically Onwenu asked to play tackle--I'd take left tackle Derwin Gray over him even though Gray isn't very good either and graded out slightly below Prince to PFF.

This is not the Draftageddon tradition of me picking a fight with Ace over the best worst offensive lineman because there is no good answer for 4th team at tackle. I'm going with "new starter who was behind Jamarco Jones last year" and "freshman all-B1G guy at the one thing Kirk Ferentz does well" because those sound like marginally better bad answers.


At 0:59, I give you (a) Cronk is bad, (b) Poor Damn Rashan Gary


Tm Brian Seth Ace BiSB
1st Beau Benzschawel (WIS) Beau Benzschawel (WIS) Beau Benzschawel (WIS) Beau Benzschawel (WIS)
Jonathan Dietzen (WIS) Michael Deiter (WIS) Michael Jordan (OSU) Michael Jordan (OSU)
2nd Tanner Farmer (NEB) Michael Jordan (OSU) Tanner Farmer (NEB) Jonathan Dietzen (WIS)
Michael Jordan (OSU) Ben Bredeson (MICH) David Beedle (MSU) Tanner Farmer (NEB)
3rd David Beedle (MSU) Jonathan Dietzen (WIS) Jonathan Dietzen (WIS) Ben Bredeson (MICH)
Terrance Davis (MD) Steven Gonzalez (PSU) Ben Bredeson (MICH) David Beedle (MSU)
4th Ben Bredeson (MICH) Tanner Farmer (NEB) Steven Gonzalez (PSU) Mike Onwenu (MICH)
Steven Gonzalez (PSU) Terrance Davis (MD) Mike Onwenu (MICH) Terrance Davis (MD)


Tm Brian Seth Ace BiSB
1st Tyler Biadasz (WIS) Tyler Biadasz (WIS) Tyler Biadasz (WIS) Tyler Biadasz (WIS)
2nd Kirk Barron (PU) Cesar Ruiz (MICH) Keegan Render (IOWA) Kirk Barron (PU)
3rd Connor McGovern (PSU) Keegan Render (IOWA) Connor McGovern (PSU) Cesar Ruiz (MICH)
4th Cesar Ruiz (MICH) Kirk Barron (PU) Cesar Ruiz (MICH) Keegan Render (IOWA)



August 8th, 2018 at 4:18 PM ^

Hornibrook is the one who will decide on how far Wisconsin will go this season. He's a noodle armed QB with a penchant for throwing a lot of INTs. If Hornibrook can cut down on INTs, Wisconsin will be a tough out. I just don't trust Hornibrook especially when he has to face elite defense.


August 8th, 2018 at 1:03 PM ^

Well, it's good to know that everyone not named Wisconsin and OSU is looking at just as bleak of an OLine situation. Plus, we have some guys I like and Ed Warriner. If anyone can unlock average tackle play and really get the interior O-line to full BEAST mode, it's him. It's not Michigan 1999, but I'll take it.

Shop Smart Sho…

August 8th, 2018 at 1:12 PM ^

They've finally caught on that Cronk is bad! I watched kids from the smallest schools in Indiana go around him, and Purdue basically ignore him despite him being in their backyard. IU was just desperate for linemen, and he was approximately the right size and available.


August 8th, 2018 at 1:30 PM ^

On the one hand, this is very promising to see all these terrible OL's knowing they have to go against our defense. So big win there!

On the other hand, not feeling great about our OL. But I haven't felt great about our OL in over 10 years, so (insert shrug emoji). 


August 8th, 2018 at 2:32 PM ^

I think even our own homer bloggers are forgetting that picking up stunts is only a portion of the skill set needed to play OL and that Michigan's line actually blocked pretty well running the ball.

I can't guarantee great pass protection this year but we are going to maul people.

Let's look at things that help or hurt pass protection and see if we get better.

Actual Oline skill- 4 returning starters.  Better

RB Blocking-2 returning starters.  Better

TE Blocking- Mulitple returning players.   Better

Ability to run ball- See above.  Better

QB mobility- Better

QB Awareness-  Better

WR ability- Better

I don't see how anyone can argue any of these points but still people still like thinking...disaster!!!

This doesn't take into account a possible Warriner effect.

Everyone channel their inner Aaron Rodgers and RELAX!





August 8th, 2018 at 3:40 PM ^

Yeah, as Gameboy said, our passing offense wasn't just bad last year. It was abysmal. Historically terrible. Glaringly bad. Cripple the running game bad. Put your defense in an exhausted hole bad.

I'm not sure panic is the right word because we knew it was coming as soon as we didn't hear out of spring ball HUDSON GETS IT or some equally great news.

I expect the passing game to be somewhat better because we will scheme around our tackles. But it's tough to see the kind of season that we want with our tackles they way they are.

Of course, there are those rumors from what this site would call the 'edge of the internet' that Warinner has already put Mayfield as the starting RT. That would actually be good news in my opinion. We will see.

Ali G Bomaye

August 8th, 2018 at 3:35 PM ^

To make it even scarier, most Wisconsin depth charts don't even have Jon Dietzen starting.,, and all list the starting line from LT to RT as Cole Van Lanen - Michael Dieter - Tyler Biadasz - Beau Benzschabelskdglkhwel - David Edwards. 

That said, Dietzen was one of the five on the SI cover (Van Lanen wasn't) and has more starting experience.


August 8th, 2018 at 3:38 PM ^

Experience matters.  A bunch of people, including this site, was talking about the demise of old-style Wisconsin b/c the o-line wasn't any good.  They were all underclassmen, most true or redshirt freshmen.  Well, now they've grown up.


August 9th, 2018 at 1:03 PM ^

are most Wisconsin OL from Wisconsin?  I noticed we never get any OL from there save Bredeson.

And was always Wisconsin ahead of us with OL? I thought we had better OL with Bo and then Mo, but it seems to have changed halfway thru Carr years .

THIS is why we aren't back to normal..our OL should be like Wisonsins again . It's first prioriry, and hasn't been for two decades now.