NFL Combine results: 7 standouts from the offensive line group

Pride of Detroit

The 2022 NFL Combine’s on-field drills continued on Friday night, this time featuring players from the offensive line and at running backs.

If you missed our reviews from Thursday night’s groups, be sure to check out:

The top offensive linemen all looked good, as expected, but if the Detroit Lions are going to grab a lineman in this draft, it’s likely going to be a 2022 reserve with starter potential down the road, and that will be our focus in this review.

Cam Jurgens, IOL, Nebraska, 6-foot-3, 303

Jurgens covers ground like a predator stalking his prey. The former tight end turned center, has maintained his athleticism (4.92 40-yard-dash, 1.71 10-yard-split) despite adding 50+ pounds of weight over the last four years. A Day 3 prospect, Jurgens is capable of backing up all three spots on the interior and plays with an intensity Lions’ coaches would love to have in the locker room.

Spencer Burford, OT/G, UTSA, 6-foot-4, 304

Burford was the Lions’ starting left tackle at the Senior Bowl, which should speak volumes about their confidence in him. In drills, he showed natural movement to also play at left and right tackle, as well as the smooth movement skills that would translate inside to guard. He’s the right height to play inside, and has tackle arm length (34.25-inch), which makes him a very intriguing positional versatile prospect they could likely find on Day 3.

Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona State, 6-foot-7, 301

Diesch ran the second-fastest 40-yard-dash (4.89 seconds) with an impressive 1.7 second 10-yards split, an elite shuttle time of 4.43 seconds (one of the best predictors of OL success), and all that speed translated into drills. He pulled with ease, consistently keeping his feet under him and in control. At his height, pushing inside to guard could be a struggle, but he illustrated the ability to stay low in his stance, while also maintaining his athleticism, which points to it being possible for him to play at multiple positions.

Quick thoughts

Luke Fortner (C, Kentucky, 6-foot-4, 307) was the starting center on the Lions roster at the Senior Bowl and he looked great in drills at the Combine. His stock is on the rise and appears headed for Day 2, which might put him out of range for Detroit.

Ed Ingram (G, LSU, 6-foot-3, 307) is an easy athlete who runs and pulls with power. He was the Lions’ starting left guard at the Senior Bowl, and like Fortner, he had a solid Combine and is a likely Day 2 prospect.

Cole Strange (C, UT-Chattanooga, 6-foot-4 12, 307) moved with the purpose and fluidity you’d expect from a center. He displayed quick hands that landed with accuracy, and when you combine that with his feet, he was consistently in the right position during drills. The only question surrounding him is: do teams think he is ready to start now? If they think he is, he could also go earlier than expected.

Zach Tom (T/G, Wake Forest, 6-foot-4, 304) played left tackle for the Demon Decans, but when running through drills at the Combine that asked him to play on the right side, he continued to look very natural. With smooth movements, a 4.47 second short shuttle time, and a 1.7 second 10-yard-split, Tom looks like another lineman capable of playing both tackle and both guard spots.

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