As we continue our journey through the offseason, we do a little beef inspection and talk about some linemen to watch for in 2018.
5. Parker Braun, Georgia Tech: You hear the term “system quarterback” thrown around a lot when talking about QB’s that thrive in an option system who, in theory, may not translate to a pro style system. When looking at triple-option programs like Georgia Tech or the Services Academies, I tend to think of their linemen as “Systen Linemen.” They’re usually a bit undersized (relatively, these still are some large men) and beat you on technique and discipline more than just outright strength and footwork. By that definition, Parker Braun is such a lineman, but a darn good one.
He’s listed around 6’2” 280, which doesn’t seem that shocking but he’s a guard, so that means lining up opposite the likes of Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins. Paul Johnson doesn’t need him to be a big on big blocker though, and Braun thrives in his scheme scheme. Parker is the most experienced member of this Tech OL, was an ESPN Freshman All American in ‘16, and comes in as a first team preseason All-ACC player for many publications. Expect him to be a low pad level pest for DT’s in the ACC.
4. Chris Lindstorm, Boston College: BC almost always has a good line and this year is no exception. The senior Lindstrom had an impressive 2017 where he was named second team All-ACC. He and his fellow BC Eagles finished 13th in the nation in sacks allowed with just 13 as a team. At 6’4” 305 he’a a bit of a lankier tackle - definitely a guy that could put a bit more weight on in the NFL. Boston College was third in the ACC last year in rushing, and their OL is good enough to give Clemson’s Power Rangers some fits. Their strong OL, headlined by Lindstrom, could make for a fun matchup in Chesnut Hill.
3. Justin Falcinelli, Clemson: Falcinelli made the move from guard to center last year to replace Jay Guillermo, and did a fantastic job en route to being named first team All-ACC. Falcinelli returns for one more year in Tiger Town and bring stability to the line. He’s a good sized center 6’4” 305 and has a good football IQ, making him one of the key parts to Clemson’s championship quest in 2018.
2. Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest: Anderson is the focal point of what some are considering one of the top OL units in the ACC. The Deacs return all five starters, including three All-ACC players. Anderson was a second team All-ACC center last year behind Justin Falcinelli. He comes in tho the year as a preseason first teamer for multiple publications. His experience, along with the rest of Wake’s “Beef Boys” unit will play a big part in the Deacons’ season and may allow the offense to over achieve in some games.
1. Mitch Hyatt, Clemson: Hyatt is coming in to his fourth year of starting and has had a great career at Clemson. He’s a projected first round draft pick in 2019 and is on multiple preseason All-American lists. His decision to comeback to Clemson for his senior season is huge for Clemson’s offense. He’s a very talented and strong tackle and will be key to Clemson’s offensive success.
Hyatt’s footwork is nice. Like with Lindstrom, he’s one of those long guys that NFL teams can beef up a little more and utilize.