The game is changing and that extends to interior offensive lineman. The league is no longer looking for mammoth men on the interior to blast open gaps and exchange power with space-eating defensive tackles. These days, you have to be able to move. Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox and Chris Jones are on the other side of the line waiting to exploit heavy-footed waist benders.
With the Combine approaching, there are some dudes in this year's interior offensive line class that can really generate some buzz in Indy with strong testing. Let's examine.
Garrett Bradbury, NC State
I believe Bradbury has the highest ceiling of any interior offensive lineman in this year's class.
A converted tight end in 2015, Bradbury’s technical refinement is highly impressive given his relative newness to the position. What really pops on film is his movement skills. His lateral mobility that leads to hitting reach blocks on three techniques is unbelievable. I love his range and ability to work in space. He has a knack for finding leverage points on defenders and creating movement.
While I don't think anyone is sleeping on Bradbury, I expect him to test extremely well at the Combine and the first round buzz to truly take off. You just don't see centers with this much range and lateral movement skills come around very often.
Phil Haynes, Wake Forest
I scouted the ACC heavily over the summer and throughout the season and I really liked what I saw from Haynes. With that said, it felt a bit weird being the only person talking about a guard from Wake Forest. He wasn't at the Senior Bowl or Shrine Game, but when it was announced that he was invited to the Combine I perked up.
A four-year starter for the Deacs, Haynes play strength truly pops when studying his film. He is intentional about getting his hands fit, playing with leverage and staying square to his opponents. He is aggressive to win with first contact and plays with good extension. Perhaps there are some concerns about his mobility and body control which can be alleviated with how he moves in Indy.
Haynes isn't a household name, but as more people get familiar the buzz will follow. The Combine will be a great opportunity for Haynes to make a name for himself with a strong performance.
Connor McGovern, Penn State
The Penn Sate program produced a trio of Combine stars last year in Saquon Barkley, Mike Gesicki and Troy Apke and McGovern has a chance to do the same this year.
It's a deep and talented crop of interior offensive lineman this year and McGovern is a bit overlooked. While he needs some technical work, his movement skills cannot be questioned. He excels in space with good control and the functional athletic ability to reach landmarks. His hip hinge in pass pro and foot speed are excellent.
A three-year starter for the Nittany Lions, look for McGovern to test as one of the top athletes for his position. PSU lists him at 6-foot-5 and 323 pounds and his testing relative to his size will turn some heads.
The full list of interior offensive lineman expected to participate at the NFL Scouting Combine.