2022 NFL Draft: Best Interior Offensive Linemen

Welcome to draft season! This is the sixth of 11 positional splits leading up to the NFL Draft (April 28-30). Here are my top 10 inside offensive linemen:

1. Tyler Linderbaum (Jr., Iowa, 6-foot-2, 296 pounds)

The Rimington Trophy winner (top center in the nation) and unanimous All-American is a top 10 player in this draft class. Linderbaum was a multi-sport athlete in high school who earned multiple letters in wrestling, track and field, baseball, soccer, and golf. Projected: Round 1

2. Zion Johnson (Sr., Boston College, 6-2, 312)

This two-time team captain has thrived at both tackle and left guard, but he projects himself as an impact inside lineman in the NFL – Johnson even practiced at center during the Senior Bowl week and looked good even though he had never played in that position before. Projected: Round 1

3. Kenyon Green (Jr., Texas A&M, 6-3, 323)

This five-star former rookie can play guard or tackle at a high level — Green has made starts at every offensive line position except center this season. He’s a two-time consensus All-American who wins with raw physique, athleticism and poise. Projected: Rounds 1-2

4. Darian Kinnard (Sr., Kentucky, 6-5, 322)

Kinnard is a mauler who also happens to be a gifted athlete. You won’t find many people his size who move and change direction like him. His physical tools and bully mentality translate into any scheme and he offers tackle versatility (37 starts at right tackle for the Wildcats), but he has sloppy tendencies (footwork and penalties). Projected: 2nd round

5. Jamaree Salyer (Sr., Georgia, 6-3, 321)

Salyer was a solid tackle for the Bulldogs national champion after being the top-ranked guard in the 2018 recruiting class. His athletic traits and height suggest a return inside will help maximize his potential in the NFL. Projected: 2nd round

6. Cam Jurgens (Jr., Nebraska, 6-2, 303)

Jurgens was actually a top-10 in the 2018 recruiting class before moving to center in his first season. It is a homing missile in the screen game. Jurgens wins with athleticism and competitive tenacity. Projected: Rounds 2-3

7. Cole Strange (Sr., Chattanooga, 6-4, 307)

Strange is a bit light in his frame, but few move as well as he does, or play with how sharp he has. He is perfectly suited for playing center in an outside zone scheme, but will offer guarding versatility. He will likely become the first Chattanooga player to be drafted in the first five rounds since Terrell Owens in 1996. Projected: Rounds 2-3

8. Dylan Parham (Sr., Memphis, 6-2, 311)

Parham is a four-year starter with 51 starts at both guard and right tackle. He’s slightly undersized, but his mobility, core strength, and competitive toughness make him a solid investment. An eventual transition to the center may be the long-term solution. Projected: Rounds 2-3

9. Sean Rhyan (Jr., UCLA, 6-4, 321)

Rhyan is a natural athlete with a rugby background who could thrive as a guard in the NFL, and he has tackling versatility. He’s allowed just two sacks in 31 career starts at left tackle. Projected: Rounds 3-4

10. Ben Brown (Sr., Ole Miss, 6-5, 312)

Brown has double-digit starts at both right and center guard. You can’t teach his athleticism or elite strength, but his technique will need to be honed in the NFL to unlock his immense potential. Projected: Rounds 4-6

PRIME. Zach Tom (Sr., Wake Forest, 6-4, 304)

Tom is a four-year-old starter who has played the past two seasons at left tackle after starting his career at center (an impressive transition). He’s a solid pass blocker with smooth movements that would be best used inside the NFL due to his suboptimal size. Projected: Rounds 4-5

PRIME. Marquis Hayes (Sr., Oklahoma, 6-4, 318)

Hayes is a finisher as a setter or run blocker and can anchor as well as anyone in this group. Versatility is a question as he has spent his entire college career at left guard. Projected: Rounds 3-4

PRIME. Luke Fortner (Sr., Kentucky, 6-4, 307)

Fortner was a first-team All-SEC selection last year at center after making 36 consecutive starts over the past three seasons (he also played at both guard positions). He is an All-American scholar who is currently working on his third degree (his second master’s degree). Projected: Round 3

PRIME. Ed Ingram (Sr., LSU, 6-3, 307)

Ingram shows amazing strength at times, but his aggressive nature sometimes leads to balance issues (this can be dragged into the NFL). Projected: Rounds 3-4

PRIME. Dohnovan West (Jr., Arizona St., 6-3, 296)

Size is an issue, but West is an impact blocker in passing and running games with fluid mobility. His discipline is also impressive (zero waiting penalties in his career). Projected: Rounds 4-6

PRIME. Alec Lindstrom (Sr., Boston College, 6-3, 296)

Lindstrom’s father, brother and uncle all played or play in the NFL – brother Chris was drafted in the first round by the Falcons in 2019. He lacks ideal size or strength, but he makes up for it with instincts and an impressive processing capacity. Projected: Rounds 4-7

Betty K. Park