The 2018 NFL Draft is over and teams are getting comfortable with their new draft picks. The next class of players is getting prepared now for another year of college football. Each position will be analyzed in the coming days. Here are the best 2019 NFL Draft prospects: Guards and centers.
Michael Jordan, Ohio State
He may never be the best Michael Jordan of all time but he has been very successful in his first two seasons in Columbus. Jordan is very big for a guard and is listed at 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds.
In his freshman season, he started all 13 games at right guard. The last true freshman to start on Ohio State’s offensive line was Orlando Pace. He has since moved over to left guard. For the upcoming season, Jordan will have to show he is fully back from a shoulder injury that kept him out of spring practice.
Jordan will have to take on more of a leadership role now that he is one of the elder players on the offensive line. With another solid season, he should be one of the first interior linemen off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State
Teams looking for a player who can play anywhere on the line might want to focus in on Jenkins. He is 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds. Jenkins will need to add some strength and weight but has some moldable traits that NFL teams will want to work with.
Although he can play anywhere on the offensive line, Jenkins is best equipped to play on the interior due to his quickness and lack of elite size. He had eight starts in his first two seasons before becoming more of a mainstay last season. He has helped pave the way for Nick Fitzgerald to become a star but now has to play under a new regime after Dan Mullen left for Florida.
Jenkins still has a lot to prove if he wants to be drafted early in the 2019 draft but has the talent and opportunity to work his way into the conversation.
Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama
Pierschbacher redshirted his first year in Tuscaloosa and has started ever since accumulating 42 starts over his three seasons on the offensive line. He is 6-foot-4 and 303 pounds, which is good for the interior of the offensive line in the NFL.
He has experience at guard and center, which will make him more valuable to NFL teams. Pierschbacher has blocked for a great rushing offense but also demonstrated his good pass blocking back in 2015 when he allowed just 1.5 sacks for the entire season.
At the end of this season, Pierschbacher will be one of the most experienced players in the entire 2019 NFL Draft class. He will go in the first few rounds of the draft in April.
Dalton Risner, Kansas State
Risner has been one of the best Kansas State linemen of all time and can cement that status by continuing with his progression to becoming an early draft pick. The senior stands 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds.
In his freshman season, he started at center but moved to right tackle for the next two seasons. This season he will likely stay at tackle but figures to be more of a fit on the interior of the offensive line in the NFL. He not only takes care of business on the field, earning multiple All-American honors, but also has proven himself in the classroom and off the field in the community (First Team Academic All Big 12 and Wuerffel Trophy watchlist).
His versatility and accomplishments in college already should have scouts on their way to Manhattan, Kansas to see if he would be a good fit for their team. He shouldn’t have to wait too long, among interior linemen, to hear his name called.