We have debated, and debated, and debated the merits of Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin and Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. With the 2014 NFL Draft approaching rapidly, let's not do it again. Let's instead use today's position preview to look at offensive linemen who might be available to the Giants on the second and third days of the draft.
Here are some of the offensive tackles you should be aware of heading into the draft.
Joel Bitonio, Nevada -- There is some thought that Bitonio, a bit like Zack Martin, could play tackle in the NFL but might be better at guard. CBS Sports, in fact, lists Bitonio as a guard. He is No. 60 on the Big Blue View Big Board.
Antonio Richardson, Tennessee -- A massive, 6-foot-6, 336-pound tackle. He is No. 42 on our Big Board. [Prospect Profile]
Ju'Waun James, Tennessee -- Mocking The Draft thinks James is better than Richardson, his college teammate. James is ranked No. 94 on our Big Board.
Jack Mewhort, Ohio State -- He is ranked No. 90 on our Big Board. Mewhort has played left tackle and both guard spots, making him attractive to the Giants due to his versatility. [Prospect Profile]
The Giants have also met with Kevin Pamphile (Purdue), Kadeem Williams (UAlbany) and Brandon Thomas (Clemson).
Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA -- Mocking The Draft considers Su'a-Filo the best guard in the draft. Su'a-Filo is No. 34 on our Big Board. [Prospect Profile]
David Yankey, Stanford [Prospect Profile]
Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State [Prospect Profile]
Other names to know: Cyril Richardson (Baylor), Dakota Dozier (Furman), Trai Turner (LSU)
By most accounts there are only two pure centers in this draft who project as sure-fire NFL starters -- Weston Richburg [Prospect Profile] of Colorado State and Marcus Martin [Prospect Profile] of USC. While both of these players carry late-Day 2 or early Day 3 grades from most analysts, team needs at the position might result in both players coming off the board earlier than their prospect rankings might indicate.
On the Big Blue View Big Board, Richburg is No. 56 and Martin in No. 63. You also recall that I selected Richburg for the Giants at No. 43 in the Big Blue View Community Mock Draft.
In ranking centers in the 2014 NFL Draft class, SB Nation's Mocking The Draft says "both players should be able to step in immediately and contribute to a starting group.
Other options include Travis Swanson (Arkansas), Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma), Russell Bodine (North Carolina) and Bryan Stork (Florida State).