Throughout the month of July, I’m taking a much closer look at some of the 2020 NFL draft’s top prospects. In doing this, I’m creating a new series called “Building the Prototype.” Breaking down each position into the primary traits I specifically look for, I’m going to match 2020 prospects to those traits. Thus, I am essentially building the perfect draft prospect at each position in this upcoming class. In the sixth installment of this series, I took a look at some of the nation's best draft-eligible interior offensive linemen. I have links to the other position groups of this series at the bottom of the page.
Functional Athleticism: Trey Smith, Tennessee
At 6'6, 320, Trey Smith is like a freight train when he gets moving. He is a dominant run blocker at the point of attack. His elite play strength is on display each time you turn on the tape. More impressively, he is equally as good on the move, as he is in a phone booth. A former offensive tackle and top overall recruit coming out of high school, it is easy to understand why Smith's footwork and balance stand out among interior offensive linemen. His combination of power, agility, and lower-body explosiveness makes him a wrecking ball at all levels of the field. Simply put, Smith's physical traits, among draft-eligible interior offensive lineman, are unparalleled.
Run Game Effectiveness: Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
If you're looking an ass kicker on the offensive line, look no further than Wisconsin's Tyler Biadasz. He is an old school, hard-nosed mauler in the run game. His ability to create lanes up front with his blend of lower-body explosiveness, hand strength, and consistent leverage makes him arguably the best run blocker in college football. Biadasz is not just limited to a scheme where he works in a phone booth. He has shown the aptness to reach the second level, as well as get across the face of opposing three techniques. Can you believe Biadasz received a "return to school" grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee? I'm confident his 2018 tape would have landed him in the first round, or at least somewhere close. He is that good.
Pass Protection: Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
Erik McCoy was one of two players I saw on tape last year that held their own against Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. The other player? Oklahoma's Creed Humphrey. His timing, understanding of leverage, hand technique, and anchor in pass protection made him a model of consistency in 2018. His processing and control in pass protection against Alabama's stunts/blitzes were outstanding, and his performance was a big reason why Oklahoma was able to make the game as close as they did. A former wrestler, Humphrey is a natural leverage winner. That is evident on tape with his elite body positioning, hand fighting, and overall balance. As only a redshirt freshman, it was really impressive to see Humphrey play as smart and controlled in pass protection as he did in 2018. If he continues on this trajectory, he will be a surefire starter in the NFL.
Toughness/Football IQ: Darryl Williams, Mississippi State
While not a great athlete or mover, Williams has been very productive in the SEC the last two seasons at guard. For the most part, this was because of his ability to do the little things, like winning leverage battles, playing with good timing and technique, processing the game quicker than anyone else, and looking for work. Williams' football intelligence is a big reason why Mississippi State has no problem moving him to center to replace Elgton Jenkins. It is a natural fit for Williams, as the position will better mitigate his lack of length. In addition to his elite mental processing, Williams is a glass eater. His motor always runs hot, and it really seems like he takes pride in burying defenders to the ground. I'm a big fan of Williams, and while I know his physical traits are less than desirable, his mental makeup has "productive NFL center" written all over.
2020 Prototype Series: