Saints News | New Orleans Saints | NewOrleansSaints.com

Presented by

Latest 2022 NFL Draft big board: Offensive Line | Top 10 Tuesday

View the Top 10 NFL Draft prospect rankings based on position

Top-10-Tuesday--ol

As your New Orleans Saints prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft, we take a look at the top 10 ranked players at various positions. The 2022 NFL Draft big board rankings are reflective of Bucky Brooks' top five 2022 NFL Draft prospects by position 1.0 and ESPN's NFL Draft "Best Available" list. Numbers 1-5 are Bucky Brooks' top five outside linemen, and numbers 6-10 are his top five interior linemen.

Here are the top 10 ranked draft prospects at offensive line:

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 1 Evan Neal | Alabama

Rank
1
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0001
Evan Neal
Alabama

Evan Neal has played against some top competition in his time at Alabama. He has held his own and proven that his fundamentals and abilities are enough to get him a starting role in the NFL. His weight has been a concern in the past, and on some plays he seems to be lacking intensity and attitude on his blocks, but he is nearly a shoo-in for a starting job in 2022. Neal did not participate in the Combine drills, citing the desire to prepare and rest up for a long season. He plans to participate in Alabama's pro day later in March. Neal is also listed at the No. 1 Draft Prospect on ESPN's Best Available.

Height: 6 feet 7 1/2

Weight: 337 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.76

NFL.com Overview: "Three-year starter with rare combination of measurables, talent and pedigree. Neal has experience against the best competition the college game has to offer. He has started at both left and right tackle and should project on the left side if he can continue to manage his weight...He's well-versed and capable in a variety of run schemes and has correctable areas of improvement in pass protection. Neal will come into the league as a good NFL starter, but greatness will require additional attitude and action."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 2 Charles Cross | Mississippi State

Rank
2
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0002
Charles Cross
Mississippi State

Charles Cross is consistent and strong, willing to take on anyone lined up opposite him. He has the skill set to be a longtime starter on the outside of the line. His athleticism is his weakest trait, sometimes struggling with blocking for longer plays. At the NFL Combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.95 seconds, had a vertical jump of 26, and posted a broad jump of 112. He has the capability to become a good starter within the first few years. He's No. 3 on ESPN's Best Available under tackles.

Height: 6 feet 5

Weight: 307 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.44

NFL.com Overview: "Two-year starter who plays with a high level of consistency from game to game, no matter the opponent. Cross is an average athlete but he's strong, plays to his length and has sticky, strong hands...He plays with strong, inside hands and a broad, powerful core. He's an ace at neutralizing power rushers and is above average in sustain and finish modes as a drive blocker. Cross' play strength, hand placement and body control should allow for a relatively smooth transition into the league, where he can become a good, longtime starter at either tackle position."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 3 Ickey Ekwonu | N.C. State

Rank
3
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0003
Ickey Ekwonu
N.C. State

Ickey Ekwonu can be a year-one starter with ease. His personality will lift a locker room and help a team build or maintain culture. He excels in the screen game due to his open-field talent. Sometimes, though, his fierceness and aggressive blocking style can lead him to go out of control. He also needs to put in some more work in pass protection to be a full-time starter. At the Combine, he ran a 4.93 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 29, and put up a broad jump of 108. Ickey is the second best tackle prospect on ESPN's Best Available.

Height: 6 feet 4

Weight: 310 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.73

NFL.com Overview: "A gentleman in class and killer on the grass, Ekwonu goes from amiable to angry once he steps foot on the field. He's a long-limbed athlete and scheme-diverse run blocker with the potential to win with positioning or force. He has a highlight reel full of violent strikes and finishes but needs to cut his aggression with a little more control. The pass protection has seen rough patches over the last two years and that might continue until his hands and feet start working in unison..."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 4 Trevor Penning | Northern Iowa

Rank
4
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0004
Trevor Penning
Northern Iowa

Trevor Penning is setting up to be a top lineman if he continues his development at the same speed. Since entering college, he has put on 100 pounds because of weight room time and worked on his blocking form, allowing him to have the potential to bulldoze defenders. If he starts to piece it together, he could be hard to get around. His biggest knocks are his lack of control on some plays and being too late to the second block on a combo at times. He ran a 4.89 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine. He also had a vertical jump of 28 and a broad jump of 111. He's listed as the fourth best tackle on ESPN.

Height: 6 feet 7

Weight: 325 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.40

NFL.com Overview: "Three-year starter at left tackle with outstanding measurables on a low-cut, well-built frame. Penning plays with a level of disgust for anyone lining up against him and seeks out violent block finishes when possible. He's athletic enough to block on the move and has the potential to shine as a powerful drive blocker...He should become an instant starter at left or right tackle but the jump in competition will take time to navigate."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 5 Bernhard Raimann | Central Michigan

Rank
5
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0005
Bernhard Raimann
Central Michigan

Bernhard Raimann used to be a tight end, but transitioned to offensive tackle in 2020. He has taken coaching extremely well and this has let him develop rapidly. He has the athleticism and movement of a tight end, so he can get downfield to block quickly. Because of his later transition, his instincts will still take time to fully develop, and he needs help with some of the technique that many lineman have down. At the Combine he ran a 5.05 in the 40-yard dash, had a 30.5 vertical jump and a 117 broad jump. He also did 30 reps in the bench press. ESPN has Raimann listed as the fifth best tackle in this year's draft on their Best Available list.

Height: 6 feet 6

Weight: 303 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.39

NFL.com Overview: "With alluring athleticism and an impressive skill set, Raimann is just scratching the surface of his potential. His initial transition from tight end to left tackle occurred in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, making his rapid transformation fairly remarkable...(His) instincts and fundamentals at the position are still in a developmental phase so bumps in the road are expected, but his best football is ahead of him and he should become a long-time starter at left tackle."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 6 Tyler Linderbaum | Iowa

Rank
6
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0006
Tyler Linderbaum
Iowa

Tyler Linderbaum is ranked as the No. center on ESPN's Best Available and No. 1 on Bucky Brooks' top five for interior linemen. He has a love for competition and brings the same energy and passion to the field. He has a wrestling background and his strength is evident is his play style. He has harmony through his hands, feet, and hips that allow him to be effective on the blocks. His size is an issue for some NFL teams as he is listed under 300 pounds. He also can struggle with some bull rushers or bigger NFL defenders. He did not compete in the Combine, so he will rely on the film he already has to get him drafted.

Height: 6 feet 2

Weight: 296 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.70

NFL.com Overview: "Linderbaum has Pro Bowl potential but needs to be matched with a move-based rushing attack...His size will make block finishing somewhat hit or miss and he will need help against some of the bigger defenders lining up across from him. Teams with certain size standards might pass on him but his tenacity and talent make him a can't-miss prospect if matched in the right scheme."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 7 Kenyon Green | Texas A&M

Rank
7
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0007
Kenyon Green
Texas A&M

Kenyon Green has a good anchor, frame, and leverage, making him a valuable prospect in this year's draft. He has great upper body strength and can bulldoze defenders, driving them back. He has an issue with holding penalties and does not play as well at the tackle position, so he would need to be a single position until he can learn to play the tackle spot consistently. At the Combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.24 seconds. He also had a vertical jump of 26 and a broad jump of 102. He is listed as the best available guard on ESPN.

Height: 6 feet 4

Weight: 323 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.45

NFL.com Overview: "Guard prospect with NFL-ready frame who plays with an impressive level of consistency as a run blocker. Green moves defenders from Point A to Point B against their will, using hand technique and road-grading leg drive...While green has some areas to improve, his run blocking can be dominant, which gives him a chance to become a good starter very quickly."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 8 Zion Johnson | Boston College

Rank
8
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0008
Zion Johnson
Boston College

Zion Johnson was a two-time team captain at Boston College, and he has the intelligence to grow quickly under the right coach. He does well in combo blocks and double teams, being timely with every block. His pre-snap stance is a bit unusual, but he gets good leverage quickly. He is listed as the second best guard prospect on ESPN's Best Available, and the third best interior lineman on NFL.com. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.18 seconds, posted a vertical jump of 32, and had a broad jump of 112. He also did 32 reps on the bench press.

Height: 6 feet 3

Weight: 312 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.34

NFL.com Overview: "The phrase "phone booth guard" was made for Johnson thanks to his wide, girthy frame and immense playing power. Johnson has experience at tackle, but he's clearly an interior blocker on the next level. He has knock-back pop at the point of attack with the ability to win the block in a test of strength...He has a ceiling of starting guard in the NFL, but his ability to deal with the athleticism of NFL defensive linemen on all three downs is a concern both as a run blocker and in pass protection."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 9 Darian Kinnard | Kentucky

Rank
9
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0009
Darian Kinnard
Kentucky

Darian Kinnard is more of a developmental project than some of the other prospects in this year's draft. He could make a good emergency guard or tackle because of his tree-like frame and good balance. His footwork is his biggest downfall. He can have a narrow frame and sloppy footwork which makes him vulnerable to being bowled through. He has been said to have a lackadaisical approach to his blocks sometimes as well. At the Combine, he ran a 5.31 in the40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 25, and posted a broad jump of 99. ESPN has Kinnard listed as the 10th best tackle prospect, but NFL.com has him listed as the fourth best interior lineman, so there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding him.

Height: 6 feet 5

Weight: 322 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.24

NFL.com Overview: "Three-year starter at right tackle with a right guard projection, Kinnard possesses a thick-boned frame that is very girthy but well-proportioned. He's not a bad athlete but faces limitations with lateral and recovery movements. A transition inside should allow for more advantageous positioning as both a drive blocker and in pass protection. Kinnard is an all-day mauler relying heavily upon a nasty demeanor and physical advantages to overwhelm opponents..."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Offensive Line | No. 10 Jamaree Salyer | Georgia

Rank
10
Gallery-Top-10-Tuesday-OL-2022-0010
Jamaree Salyer
Georgia

Jamaree Salyer has played snaps at all five offensive line positions, so he has proven versatility and a knowledge of each role. He has NFL-tier length and his calm hands can help add to that. He can be a little slower to some blocks and athletic rushers seem to be able to exploit his weaknesses. He may not be an immediate starter in the league, and if he is then he may struggle against better teams. He could make a quality second-string until he works on his game enough to be a proven starter. The only event he participated in at the Combine was the bench press, where he was able to do 31 reps. He is the fifth best interior lineman on NFL.com, and he is the 13th best guard on ESPN's Best Available.

Height: 6 feet 3

Weight: 321 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.19

NFL.com Overview: "The broad chest, bulbous thighs and long arms sound like a nice starting point for a move inside, but Salyer is high-cut and lacking functional bend, which makes his projection more difficult...His pass sets can be clunky and disjointed, but he is fairly confident in pass protection and his best position could be right tackle. He offers roster flexibility but he has the ceiling of a below-average starter or quality backup."

Advertising