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What Are Some Of The Most Most Sought After Characteristics in NFL Offensive Lineman?

The following items are what former NFL executive and current National Football Post writer Michael Lomarbdi thinks are the most important characteristics for OL in today's game.




  • Must be quick to learn and respond to a fast-changing game. He has to be quick-minded along with book smart. Mental mistakes kill the QB. A test score of 20 is the average in the NFL. 
  • Mental toughness is key. Can he play with pain? Can he practice with pain? Does he miss practice? How many practices has he missed in 4/5 years?
  • Former shot putters and discus throwers are normally very good linemen. Did he do this in high school?
  • Can he block on the second level? What fronts does he play against?

There's more after the jump.

  • Must evaluate every tight end who is over 6-5 and 270 as a potential OT. Players play positions in college because of a lack of talent, not because it’s the right position for them. Any slow (5.10) tight ends that might be tackles?
  •  Does he have an anchor? Can he get an anchor? Who pushes him?
  •  Any former DT’S/DE that might be good conversions? Did they play it in high school? Bad programs need all their best players on defense, but they might be better suited for offense. Know what offensive linemen have been all-state defensive linemen.
  • How does he play on the road? Can he hear the count and come off the ball in a tough crowd?
  • Three and four-year starters are going to find a way to play in the NFL at this position.
  • Can he play a second position in the line? Can he snap the ball?
  • What is their main protection in the line? We do more than slide here.
  • Can an offensive guard play on an island in pass protection? Does the center slide to him? Can he protect on a two-way go? 
  • What kind of run plays do they run? Can he block our running game?
  • Does he play with a man over his head or in the gap? Can he block one on one?
  •  We need competitive players here, on and off the field.
  •  Fat guys have short careers. We need big, but that does not mean fat.
  • Short players need to have long arms and must have an ability to play with power.
  • Short players need to have long arms and must have an ability to play with power.
  • What is the level of experience of the coach who coaches him? How many years did he have the same coach? What pro players has he coached?
  • An offensive linemen who had a red-shirt year must be able to become a starter. We need to have quality back-ups because they always play.

I've had far too long a day to really delve into this like I would. But I remember seeing this a bit ago and wanted to bring attention to it as we draw ever closer to the 2009 NFL Draft in NYC roughly fifty days from now.Keep these considerations in mind moving forward as we collectively evaluate talent along the offensive line.

And to conclude, a coupple of questions - how might your own or other mocks you've seen change since internalizing some of the finer details of what executives and player personnel departments are looking fot these days in their offensive line draft selections. And what about our own offensive linemen? How would you grade them out on some of these criteria based on what we know of them and their physical and mental skill sets?