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NFL Scouting Combine

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2020 Combine Preview: Offensive line

There isn't a no-brainer top 10 pick among this draft class of offensive linemen, like Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey were back in 2018.

This class is much like the 2019 group in that regard. Jonah Williams was the first lineman taken last year at No. 10, but six linemen ended up being selected in the first round and 13 total in the first two rounds. This is a deep and talented group, so don't be surprised if we see a similar drafting trend to last year.

Top 3 offensive tackles to watch at Combine:

1. Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama, 6-5, 320

Very agile and athletic with terrific bend and movement skills. Good feet and terrific punch allows him to control most edge rushers and win a lot of his matchups. Allowed just one sack and three quarterback pressures all year. It won't be surprising at all if he's the first tackle to come off the board in the first round.

View photos of's top offensive line prospects attending the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.

2. Mekhi Becton, Louisville, 6-7, 369

A mountain of a human being, Becton has an ideal frame and is surprisingly light footed. He's a force in the run game, and even when his technique or hand work isn't quite there, his massive frame and athleticism allows him to keeps himself between the defender and the ball. He's got as much upside as any prospect in this draft. Likely a first-round pick.

3. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa, 6-5, 322

Wirfs was the first true freshman to start at Iowa under head coach Kirk Ferentz ... let that sink in a little bit. He was the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year this past season playing both right and left tackle. He was a state champion wrestler, and possesses the strength and technically-sound game we now expect from Iowa offensive linemen entering the NFL. He should test well at the Combine, and could be a first-round pick.

Top 3 interior linemen to watch at Combine:

1. Cesar Ruiz, Michigan, center, 6-4, 319

Made 26 starts at center and five at guard for the Wolverines. He was hailed as the best pass-blocking center in the country by Pro Football Focus this past season. Smart and technically sound, Ruiz can play in a number of different schemes.

2. John Simpson, Clemson, guard, 6-4, 330

Simpson is a true road grader in every sense of the term. Big and physical, he's got the potential to make an immediate impact in the run game. Helped Clemson post a 29-1 record during his two seasons as a full-time starter at left guard, playing in 2,043 snaps over 50 games (29 starts) in his career. He's got all the tools and a ton of upside.

3. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin, center, 6-3, 321

Won the Remington Trophy as the nation's top center and was also an Outland Trophy finalist. He's about as consistent as they come. He won't wow people with his athleticism, but he's technically sound, smart and has a proven track record of success helping running back Jonathan Taylor rack up countless yards over the years. Reliability is the name of the game for Biadasz.

Combine sleeper to watch:

Ben Bartch, St. John's (Minn), tackle, 6-6, 308

Bartch played tight end for two seasons before adding 75 pounds and making the switch to tackle. What's key about that is Bartch didn't lose much of his athleticism after gaining the weight. He's obviously still very raw, but he'll test really well at the Combine, and teams will do more work on deciding what his ceiling can be.

Lions need at the position: Moderate

Let's start with the interior, where veteran guard Graham Glasgow is set to become an unrestricted free agent. His market, and Detroit's willingness to re-sign him, factor into their need there. Key reserves Kenny Wiggins and Oday Aboushi are also free agents. The team likes Beau Benzschawel and the way he developed behind the scenes as a rookie, but is he ready for a bigger role? Frank Ragnow and Joe Dahl are slated to start at center and one of the guard spots, but Detroit could have an opening at the other guard spot they look to fill in free agency or the draft.

The Lions return their top three tackles from last season – Taylor Decker, Rick Wagner and Tyrell Crosby – but the team could look to add competition to that group and give themselves some flexibility for the future. Wagner has two years left on his deal and Decker is entering the final year of his contract.

Key stat: The Lions ranked in the middle of the league (15th) in STATS, INC.'s final season protection index, a measurement of a number of key offensive line metrics that gives a grade to the overall group. Detroit's 43 sacks allowed ranked 19th.

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