I was thinking about this the other day ...
Unless an offensive lineman is a clear home run prospect (Joe Thomas, Trent Williams), should they be avoided high in the draft?
Now, why do I say this? Because an offensive lineman plays arguably the most unglamorous position in all of sports.
It's a position where you can't be a pretty boy; a position where nothing is guaranteed; a position where a particular mindset is needed in order to succeed.
You have to want to get dirty; you have to understand that you will receive very little attention; you have to understand that making a mistake (sack) or two (sacks) is going to make you unfavorable among the fan base, which is a feeling that an elite prospect may have never experienced as the best player at his school.
And because of this, the motivated, later round draft choice may have more success because nothing to them is guaranteed and they have likely experienced more ups and downs than a high draft choice.
Take a look at the last great offensive line the New York Giants fielded back around 2007/2008.
David Diehl (fifth round), Rich Seubert (undrafted), Shaun O'Hara (undrafted), Chris Snee (second round), Kareem McKenzie (third round).
Not one first rounder and three of them were taken in the fifth round or later.
Take a look at the Giants starting offensive line on opening day of this season.
Ereck Flowers (first round), Justin Pugh (first round), Weston Richburg (second round), John Jerry (third round), Bobby Hart (seventh round).
And just think of how shitty that group performed with two starters being first rounders and another starter being a second rounder.
But in recent weeks with Pugh and Richburg sidelined due to injuries, center Brett Jones has been insanely good and right tackle Chad Wheeler held his own against one of the best pass rushers in the game, Justin Houston.
Jones was signed from Canada (great find by Jerry Reese, although, none of you Reese haters would like to admit it) and Wheeler wasn't even drafted.
Filling in for Richburg over the last three weeks, Jones hasn't allowed a single pressure in three games (tied for the longest streak during that time span) and he posted the highest Pro Football Focus grade of any Giant vs. the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks back.
And the NFL Network's Brian Baldinger, who everyone on Twitter loves because of his "Baldy's Breakdown" segment, called Wheeler a "mauler" and was impressed with his first career start.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 21, 2017
Both Pugh and Richburg are free agents at the end of the season, and they are both going to want to get paaidddd.
I say, save the cash, because with the recent play of guys like Jones and Wheeler, it's starting to prove an interesting theory true:
Offensive lineman who are coddled, who are high draft choices, who have little to earn, may not be worth it.
Instead, a dude who is hungry, who is pissed off, may be the better way to go.
Jones and Wheeler certainly fit that mold.