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NFL Draft
NFL Draft

NFL Draft 2023: 4 IOL With Best Chance To Be Drafted In Round 1

  • Justin Melo
  • April 26, 2023
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Lackluster offensive line play was a league-wide problem throughout the 2022 campaign. Several NFL franchises must select plug-and-play offensive linemen in the 2023 NFL Draft as a result. First-year starters are a necessity.

Offensive tackles like Broderick Jones, Darnell Wright, and Paris Johnson Jr. are expected to be drafted early. But we can’t forget about interior linemen. Drafting instant-starters at guard and center represents excellent value.

Several interior offensive linemen possess an opportunity to creep into the first round. We’ve identified four options. We omitted Peter Skoronski for the sake of this exercise. Skoronski may be an interior lineman depending on who you ask, but he’s a surefire top-32 selection nonetheless.


John Michael Schmitz is the league-wide consensus top-ranked center in the 2023 NFL Draft. A team looking for a 10-year starter at the position should have a high grade on Schmitz.  Schmitz possesses the versatility necessary to win up front in a variety of ways.

A 36-game starter at Minnesota, Schmitz is a powerful center that moves defensive linemen from Point A to Point B. Michael Schmitz is a scheme-versatile prospect that executed both power and zone-based concepts for the Gophers. Those experiences make Schmitz a universal prospect for all 32 teams. The New York Giants, who are picking toward the conclusion of the first round, are a straightforward fit for Schmitz.


Outside of Skoronski, O’Cyrus Torrence is arguably the best guard in the draft. Torrence is a powerful prospect that has aced the pre-draft process. Torrence was excellent at this year’s Senior Bowl. Torrence routinely stonewalled the gauntlet of impressive pass rushers that were in Mobile.

Torrence proved he could handle a step-up in competition after transferring to Florida from Louisiana-Lafayette ahead of the 2022 season. Torrence had an abundance of Top 30 visits with franchises that possess first-round picks in an appropriate range to draft him. Torrence could sneak into the first round.


The gap between Joe Tippmann and Schmitz isn’t as large as the general public believes. Tippmann’s odds to be drafted in the first round recently experienced a monumental shift to -140 via certain betting markets. Tippmann is a center prospect that blends incredible power with raw athleticism. His physical make-up appeals to plenty of teams.

Tippmann has 97th percentile height (6-foot-6) and 88th percentile weight (313 pounds) for the position, per MockDraftable. Tippman’s wingspan is longer than 80 inches (80th percentile) and he has 10.75-inch hands (97th percentile). Tippmann was created in a lab.


Steve Avila proved he’s a better athlete than most gave him credit for pre-draft. Avila checked a lot of boxes at the NFL Scouting Combine. Avila ran a 69th-percentile 5.21 in the 40-yard dash despite weighing a massive 332 pounds. Avila looked just as nimble in Mobile, where he used quick feet and natural strength to displace would-be pass rushers.

That strength was on display via 28 bench press reps. Avila also leaped a 72nd-percentile 29.5-inch vertical. I love the pairing between Avila and the Dallas Cowboys, who own the 26th selection.

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Justin Melo