We are finally here; the sixth group in our look at position rankings for the 2023 NFL draft: the interior offensive linemen. This group before the season started looked to be strong at center and weak at guard. However, there are a number of tackles who project to guard in the NFL, so this class looks to have a lot of potential.
As always, I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. Be sure to check out my previous part detailing the offensive tackles, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.
2023 NFL Draft: Interior Offensive linemen
- Peter Skoronski, Northwestern: Skoronski has been a really good college left tackle. His technique and his athleticism stand out, but his short arms are a worry. They are reported to be in the 32″ range. Very rarely does a guy make it as a good tackle in the NFL with short arms like that. His potential is higher at guard than at tackle. With how much of a passing league it is now, he could be a Pro Bowl guard.
- Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas: Stromberg is everything you look for in a center. He is big, strong, mobile, and smart. He can even play some guard. He was a starter there in 2019. For a center, his arm length is about average at 32 1/2″. His hand placement and technique are so good. No sacks and just seven hurries given up this season.
- John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota: Schmitz has been a three-year starter at Minnesota and has been there for six seasons, so he is on the older side. He will be a 24-year-old rookie. The current Gopher also has not allowed a single sack in his career. Allowing just a total of 14 hurries in five plus seasons. Not the biggest or strongest or most athletic, but he is a very good all-around blocker. Dependable.
- O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida: Torrence transferred from University of Louisiana- Lafayette. He is a mountain of a man at 6’5, 345 pounds. He has gotten better every year, and the jump from Sun Belt to SEC hasn’t seemed to phase him at all. Reportedly, he has been close to 400 pounds early in his career; so his weight will need monitoring. He could probably stand to drop another 10-15 pounds. Still, even at his size he has been really good in both the pass and the run.
- Cooper Beebe, Kansas State: A big, athletic dude at 6’4, 322 pounds. Beebe has taken snaps at everywhere on the o-line except center. Mostly at left tackle and left guard. He will definitely be a guard at the next level. That versatility helps him big time because he can fill in in case of emergency. Also, add the fact that he is a very good offensive lineman. He allowed three sacks in 2020 and zero the rest of his career. He could easily come in a start as a rookie.
2023 NFL Draft Interior Offensive Linemen: Best of the Rest
6. Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia: Just his second year as a starter and a true junior, Van Pran flashed big time upside in 2021, but in 2022 he has seen some struggles. There was about three games in a row where he had some struggles. This ranking is based largely on his potential. He has shown some inconsistencies, both in 2021 and 2022. His run blocking also has not shown enough development or consistency yet. He could return for 2023 and be the top center of that class.
7. Nick Broeker, Mississippi: Broeker started out playing left tackle his first three season at Ole Miss. He had been projected as a guard in the NFL for what seems forever. They finally moved him inside this season. He looks less exposed and better fit at guard. There was still an adjustment early in the season to the move. He has flashed his athleticism on pulls and blocking on the second level. He still has some work to do as a run blocker, but he has the size (6’5, 320 pounds) and upside to be a really good one.
8. Jaylon Thomas, SMU: Thomas is a guy who hasn’t gotten much, if any, national media hype. But he deserves it. He has the size at 6’3, 317 pounds and athleticism (5.2 range) to be a very good guard at the NFL level. He has allowed nine sacks in his career, but five were as a true freshman and just one in the last two seasons combined. Thomas has finally found the consistency he needed this current season. Also, the current Mustang is probably one of the most versatile linemen in the draft. He has started at every position on the line. Mostly left tackle and right tackle.
9. Steve Avila, TCU: Avila is one of the biggest centers out there at 6’4 and almost 340 pounds, and very strong. He became a starter in 2020 and hasn’t looked back. An ultimate team player, he switched to guard this season. To his credit he has had his best overall season. The question has become is center really his future position? Or should he be a guard?
10. Jordan McFadden, Clemson: This seems to be a Clemson thing: to put guys who are obviously guards at left tackle. He has consistently played well since 2019. We haven’t seen massive growth from him, but that is probably from him playing out of position. For being just 6’2 he has long arms (33″) and could be an injury fill in at tackle in the NFL. He should be a solid all-around player in the NFL.
Jarrett Patterson-Notre Dame, Sincere Haynesworth-Tulane, Matthew Lee-UCF, Jaxson Kirkland-Washington, Andrew Vorhees-USC, Donovan Jennings-USF, Kyle Hergel-Texas State, Antonio Mafi-UCLA, McClendon Curtis-Chattanooga.