2014 NFL Combine: Trio of Pac-12 offensive linemen turn heads
Years ago, the NFL Combine would expose underclassmen as smaller or weaker than their hype. Southern Cal's Marcus Martin, Stanford's David Yankey and UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo, however, certainly passed the eyeball test during Thursday's weigh-in, with the underclassmen each looking every bit the part of top 64 prospects.
NFL scouts have accurate measurements for most of the senior prospects but in previous years, the Combine has exposed some underclassmen as being shorter or lighter than listed by their collegiate teams. At least among the highly regarded underclassmen offensive linemen and tight ends, however, this year's crop appears to be every bit as big as advertised.
Auburn redshirt sophomore left tackle Greg Robinson, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 4 overall prospect, measured in at a massive 6-foot-5, 332 pounds with 35" arms. Another star from the SEC, Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, was even longer, coming in at 6-foot-6, 322 pounds with 35 and 5/8" arms. Last year former Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker (6-foot-5, 339 pounds, 36 3/8") parlayed a similar frame into the San Diego Chargers making him the No. 11 overall selection.
Equally impressive measurements occurred among the interior line, where a trio of Pac-12 stars certainly looked the part of top 64 picks.
Southern Cal center Marcus Martin came in at 6-foot-3 and 3/8 and 320 pounds. Though Martin currently checks in as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3 center, his thick build and long arms (34") could help him ascend quickly, just as Travis Frederick did a year ago as a "surprise" first round pick of the Dallas Cowboys.
Stanford's David Yankey sits atop NFLDraftScout.com's guard rankings after a spectacular career playing inside for the Cardinal but after measuring in at 6-foot-5 (and 5/8) and 315 pounds, a move outside to tackle could be in his future. His broad-shouldered frame and physical game is complemented by 34" arms.
Yankey certainly sounded like a player ready to take on the challenge of pass protection in the NFL, citing his ability in this role and overall versatility as strengths of his game.
"I think [pass protection] is definitely one of my strengths, being able to go from guard to tackle, really on either side of the line and play all four of those positions," the 2012 winner of the Pac-12's Morris Trophy said.
While Yankey projects well to the NFL in this regard, UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo has evidence on tape of his ability to handle this role.
Su'a-Filo measured in at 6-foot-4 (and 1/4) and 308 pounds, showcasing the length and relatively slim, athletic frame to project nicely to the NFL as a guard and potential fill-in tackle - the same duties which helped him take over Yankey's reign as the Pac-12's top offensive lineman in 2013.
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