By Michael Stewart
Introduction: Continuing with our 2019 NFL draft prospect spotlight, we focus on the offensive guards and there are plenty to choose from. Many of the guards in this draft are extremely versatile as their can play multiple positions along the line. Along with their versatility, they are also equally effective in both run blocking and pass defending. GM Dave Gettleman needs to continue to build an offensive line that the Giants can have in place for at least the next decade.
- Beau Benzschawel (Wisconsin) 6’5/317: Benzschawel is currently ranked 1st overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Benzschawel is a pure offensive lineman like many former Wisconsin Badgers before him. He is equally effective as a run blocker as well as a pass defender. Benzschawel is extremely powerful and has an endless motor.
- Connor McGovern (Penn State) 6’4/312: McGovern is currently ranked 2nd overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. McGovern will transition to guard from center in 2018; which will improve his value. Very strong at the point of attack, McGovern plays until the whistle and has a nasty streak as well. McGovern is equally efficient as a run blocker and pass defender, but should improve in both categories at the next level.
- Ross Pierschbacker (Alabama) 6’4/303: Pierschbacker is currently ranked 3rd overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Pierschbacker follows the Alabama traditional linemen that have been drafted; which is a no-nonsense blue collar mentality and a nasty attitude. Pierschbacker’s versatility to play both the center and guard position will improve his draft stock, but many view him as a guard in the NFL.
- Nate Herbig (Stanford) 6’3/336: Herbig is currently ranked 4th overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Herbig is big and strong and much better in the running game than as a pass defender. Herbig stays on his block as well as any offensive linemen in college football and is exceptional on blocking in the open field.
- Damian Prince (Maryland) 6’3/320: Prince is currently ranked 5th overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Prince played tackle in 2017 and will move to guard for the 2018 season. Lack of quick feet at tackle made it difficult for Prince to handle edge rushers, however; his extreme lower strength and his ability to run block makes him more suitable at guard. Needs a little more work as a pass defender, but has the intangibles to be a solid guard in the NFL.
- Chris Linstrom (Boston College) 6’3/310: Linstrom is currently ranked 6th among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Linstrom will move to guard in 2018 from the tackle position he played in 2017. More of a brawler than a technician, Linstrom utilizes his strong lower base and blue collar mentality to get the job done. Linstrom is much better as a run blocker than he is a pass defender, so that’s an area he’ll need to improve on.
- Dru Samia (Oklahoma) 6’4/305: Samia is currently ranked 7th overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Samia is getting noticed after a solid 2017 season for the Sooners. His continue success in 2018 should keep him in the top 10 among guard prospects. Samia is more athletic than a bruiser and could get bigger at the next level.
- Darryl Williams (Mississippi State) 6’2/310: Williams is currently ranked 8th overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Williams had the highest rating among any offensive lineman in 2017 and looks to improve on that in 2018. Williams has strong hands and quick feet and his technique is sound. Williams can add at least 20 pounds without sacrificing his mobility and be a steady performer at the next level.
- Hjalte Froholdt (Arkansas) 6’4/315: Froholdt is currently ranked 9th overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Froholdt is a very steady performer at the guard position. Formed a solid duo with former center Frank Ragnow in 2017 for the Razorbacks. Froholdt is an excellent run blocker and not too far behind as a pass defender.
- Lester Cotton (Alabama) 6’3/325: Cotton is currently ranked 10th overall among the guards in the 2019 NFL draft. Cotton has a thick frame and is pure power; which benefits him in the trenches. Not very mobile in terms of leading sweeps or screens, so he needs to work on open field blocking.
Final Thoughts: Notre Dame standout offensive guard Alex Bars was left off this list due to his season ending injury on his knee. It’s unclear where Bars will fall by draft time and how well he’ll do at the combine if he’s fully recovered. GM Dave Gettleman will monitor his progress throughout the draft process and other candidates as well, along with the free agent market in search for more help along the offensive line.