2021 NFL Draft- Guards
Jack Anderson, RS-JR, Texas Tech
Anderson has battled injuries in his career yet made 38 starts for the Red Raiders. His best season was his last fully healthy season in 2018; a season in which he started at right guard for one of the best offensive units in the country. When healthy, there's certainly a spot for him to prove he belongs in the NFL.
Wyatt Davis, SR, Ohio State
Davis is a two-time All-American and two-year starter, making him one of the more accomplished linemen in this draft class. The Buckeyes' offensive success in those years, especially running the ball, should also be a factor in his favor. He bends and moves well for such a big guy but must use more power and fix his technique going forward. He is also coming off of an injury and was clearly missed in the National Championship game.
Quinn Meinerz, SR, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Meinerz is the D-III player to watch and is easy to root for. Like I mentioned in other articles, there are two things you look for in lower level players: (1) if they look overmatched and lost when the competition and talent levels are increased and (2) dominating the lower level of competition. Meinerz checked all those boxes at the Senior Bowl and has risen to a possible 2nd round prospect-- threatening the D-III record. He also has interesting habits off the field that add to his persona.
Larry Borom, SR, Missouri
Borom is a huge guard at 6'6" 332 lbs. He has the versatility to play both guard and tackle but best fits as a guard in the NFL. He could also double as a swing-tackle in the mold of a Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Borom will need to show more athleticism, better control, and better pass blocking to make it in the NFL. Players who struggle with that tend to play better at guard than tackle.
Kendrick Green, JR, Illinois
Three-year starter who played mostly guard over his career and spent some time as an emergency center. Green was also the first offensive All-American from Illinois since 2011 and first lineman to earn the selection since 2009. He's a strong and powerful guy who will be drafted and may be earlier than expected.
Aaron Banks, SR, Notre Dame
Banks has the perfect size profile for an NFL guard. Most people were talking about Liam Eichenberg and Tommy Kraemer on the Irish o-line, but it did not take long for Banks to stand out. He moves pretty well and has power, just may need to refine some of his technique as a run blocker to unlock even more of it. Day 2 prospect.
Royce Newman, SR, Ole Miss
Started for 2 years- one at guard and one at tackle. Another late round guy with the potential to be a guard or a swing tackle as a pro. I don't see him becoming a starter, but he can have a solid career as a backup. He's a better pass protector than some other prospects and current players who fill the same role. Late Day 3.
Shane McGough, SR, FIU
McGough has a lot of experience in college and can play both guard and center, which is starting to become appealing to teams when creating their rosters. His technique will be the most important part going forward since he is on the smaller side for the interior line. Day 3 or free agent, possible backup.
Trey Smith, SR, Tennessee
Smith played tackle in college but projects as a better guard at the next level. He doesn't quite have the footwork and speed needed to pass protect at tackle. What he does have is size and power, perfect for the interior. He's possibly the top guard prospect in this draft and could sneak into the first round.
Deonte Brown, SR, Alabama
Brown is also in the conversation for the best guard in this class and a possible first round prospect. He earned many honors in his Alabama career and is an extremely powerful lineman. He played at 350lbs last season and has been working to cut his weight, so the only real question is if he can keep his power. If he can, he's a possible day one starter.
Sadarius Hutcherson, SR, South Carolina
Three year starter, 3rd team All-SEC. Haven't seen much of him but SEC players have good reputations and may be selected late.
Harry Crider, SR, Indiana
Late round starter who can play guard and center. Typically tough Big Ten offensive lineman that could draw attention in the 6th round or later. Possible priority free agent.
Cole Banwart, SR, Iowa
Smaller size for an NFL lineman but Iowa is great at developing them. All-Big Ten player who could get a shot in free agency or late in the draft.
Ben Cleveland, SR, Georgia
Cleveland also has near perfect size for a guard. Part of the Bulldogs' rotation for four seasons, starting in parts of two of them. Permanent starter in 2020 while earning All-America and All-SEC honors. I see a great run blocker and mauler with potential to develop in pass blocking. Should get picked in 3rd-5th rounds.