The Oklahoma Sooners have fielded one of the most potent offenses in college football over the past few seasons. In large part that is fueled by Lincoln Riley’s high-octane offensive scheme, as executed by Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Over that period, Oklahoma has also never wanted for talent or athleticism at the offensive skill positions. But leading the way for all of it has been Oklahoma’s talented, and veteran, offensive line.
The lack of defense played in the Big 12 is an easy explanation for Oklahoma’s success, but their offensive line deserves to be recognized as one of the best in college football. Over the last three or four seasons, the Sooner line has deserved to be mentioned in the same breath as that of Wisconsin or Alabama. However, because they run a wide-open offense and seldom use Pro Style blocking schemes, Oklahoma’s linemen don’t get as much regard around draft time.
This year, that should change. Four out of five lineman have declared for the draft, with several already being looked at as potential early-round picks.
Ben Powers, Oklahoma’s right guard, might not be one of those when all is said and done. But even so, he has the talent to help an NFL offensive line if he lands in the right situation.
- Prototypical frame. Good length and thickness with little “bad” weight.
- Very experienced. Started 36 games for Oklahoma.
- Tough, hard-nosed player. Routinely looks to finish plays.
- Powerful run blocker. Able to move defenders in man-gap schemes.
- Generally adept at recognizing, and reacting to, stunts and blitzes.
- Usually a capable pass protector.
- Somewhat slow-footed. Can be slow to arrive in space or as a pulling blocker.
- Some lower-body stiffness.
- Struggles against athletic interior defenders.
- Limited in zone blocking schemes
What They’re Saying
“Unlike Samia, Powers’ athleticism may forever limit him in terms of starting potential in the NFL. That said, he’s still a technically sound player who wins with great hand usage — he’s willing to work and re-work his hands late in the rep to control fits and has a penchant for finishing, as well. I think ideally Powers is your OL6, but he will fit at guard for teams who run heavy gap-schemes.”
- Benjamin Solak (The Draft Network - Senior Bowl Preview)
Does He Fit The Giants?
If the Giants go in another direction from Jamon Brown and don’t sign a starter in free agency, they could be interested in a player like Powers.
Powers’ frame, arm length (34 inches), and (no pun intended) power-based game could appeal to Dave Gettleman. Thanks to the presence of Will Hernandez, the Oklahoma guard would have to move from left guard to right, but he should be able to make the change as long as they commit to it from the very beginning. Powers is a capable pass protector against most interior rushers, but he can get exposed by more athletic defenders (such as Quinnen Williams in the Orange Bowl). Likewise, he has some stiffness in his lower body which limits his foot speed and limits him as a puller and in zone schemes. However, when he is able to block downhill, establish a wide base and good leverage, he is a people-mover up front.
Powers doesn’t have the ceiling or versatility of Oklahoma right guard Dru Samia [Prospect Profile] but in the right situation, on a team which has a plan for him, he should be a functional lineman at the next level.