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Draft Snapshot: 10 Takes on Guards in 2017 NFL Draft

Posted Apr 21, 2017

The clock is ticking on the 2017 NFL Draft.

One of the league’s most important events kicks off with the first round at 7 p.m. (CT) on April 27 in Philadelphia. The second and third rounds begin at 6 p.m. (CT) on April 28. Rounds 4-7 start at 11 a.m. (CT) on April 29.

The Vikings currently have eight selections in the draft, beginning with the 48th overall pick, which is the No. 16 spot in the second round.

Vikings.com is taking a glance at the top prospects at each position leading up to the draft.

The offensive guards are the next position we’re looking at.

Where the Vikings Stand

The Vikings return one starting guard from the 2016 season in left guard Alex Boone. Jeremiah Sirles started 10 games along the offensive line last year and could be a candidate for the starting right guard spot. Joe Berger could also play guard but started 11 games at center with the Vikings last season. Zac Kerin also saw noticeable playing time last year as he appeared in nine games. Willie Beavers could also slot at guard after spending part of the 2016 season on the active roster.

Recent Draft History (over past five years)

Total number of offensive guards taken: 82

Round 1: 8

Round 2: 7

Round 3: 18

Round 4: 12

Round 5: 15

Round 6: 12

Round 7: 10

NFL teams aren’t likely to take a guard early on, instead choosing to assess the position later on in the draft. Over the past five seasons, the draft has seen double-digit guards taken in each of the final five rounds.

The Prospects (based on rankings by CBS Sports)

1. Forrest Lamp

Western Kentucky, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-4, 309 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.42 seconds

Bench press: 19 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 36 inches

Broad jump: 10 feet, 5 inch

3-cone drill: 6.92 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.23 seconds

2016 stats: started 12 of 14 games for the Hilltoppers; named as Second-Team All-American by USA Today; named as Third-Team All-American by the Associated Press

Hot take: According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Lamp has a “compact build but not lacking athleticism. Able to redirect weight back inside. Showed nimble feet when handling spin moves and inside shots from LSU's Arden Key in 2015. Patient. Works feet and hips into position before engaging.”

Zierlein also noted Lamp has an “average frame and might not be able to add much more bulk to it. Lack of height and arm length will likely drive him inside. Expedited engagement on interior could prevent counter-punching style with hands.”

2. Dan Feeney 

Indiana, Redshirt Senior, 6-foot-4, 305 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.24 seconds

Bench press: 26 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 28 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet, 4 inches

3-cone drill: 7.52 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.68 seconds

2016 stats: played in eight games; named as First-Team All-American by Associated Press; First-Team All-Big Ten selection

Hot take: According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, “among Feeney's impressive traits is his initial quickness, which allowed him to easily slide laterally for reach blocks and pull. Feeney possesses very good agility for a man with his square-ish frame, showing good flexion in his lower body to adjust to moving targets at the second level. Feeney delivers a powerful jolt to defenders and keeps his feet moving through contact.”

Rang also noted Feeney’s “effectiveness in pass protection (only one sack allowed over first 39 starts) is inflated due to Indiana's up-tempo attack, which prioritizes getting the ball out quickly. Can get too high with his initial punch.”

3. Dion Dawkins

Temple, Senior, 6-foot-4, 314 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.11 seconds

Bench press: 26 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 26 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet, 10 inches

3-cone drill: 7.30 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.78 seconds

2016 stats: started 14 games at left tackle; invited to Reese’s Senior Bowl; named to First-Team All-American Athletic Conference

Hot take: According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Dawkins “sports a massive chest freezer-like frame which he uses to simply engulf defenders at the point of attack. Though his square-ish frame looks better suited to guard or right tackle, Dawkins shows impressive initial quickness, balance and patience in pass protection, as well as the long arms needed to steer defenders away from the ball.”

Rang also noted that Dawkins “has been able to get away with lax technique at this level and simply wall off defenders with his size. Too often negates his own power and agility by coming off the ball too high and bending at the waist. Lacks accuracy with his initial punch, hitting his target high and stopping his feet on contact, failing to sustain blocks effectively.”

4. Dorian Johnson

Pittsburgh, Senior, 6-foot-5, 300 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.27 seconds

Bench press: 21 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 30 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 6 inches

3-cone drill: 8.39 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 5.09 seconds

2016 stats: started all 13 games at left guard: First Team All-American selection by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), ESPN.com, SI.com and Sporting News; named First-Team All-ACC selection by the media and coaches

Hot take: According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, “unlike many interior lineman sporting 300 pounds, Johnson carries his weight well, sporting thick limbs with no extra around the middle. He is often asked to pull in this scheme and is well suited for it, showing light feet and balance leaving his stance and locating second level targets.”

Rang also noted that “despite his experience, Johnson does not always play with the greatest of fundamentals. He is a bit reliant on his lateral agility and balance to seal off opponents, rather than latching on and controlling due to inconsistent hand placement and pad level.”

5. Isaac Asiata

Utah, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-3, 323 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.34 seconds

Bench press: 35 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 25.5 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet, 6 inches

3-cone drill: 87.83 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.93 seconds

2016 stats: started all 13 games at left guard; Second-Team All-Pac-12 selection; Morris Award winner as the Pac-12’s best offensive lineman as voted on by the league’s starting defensive linemen; named to the AP All-Bowl team

Hot take: According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Asiata “sports an imposing frame with broad shoulders and thick limbs. Much more athletic than his build would suggest, showing impressive initial quickness and agility in pass protection and while pulling in the running game. Fires off the ball, showing terrific burst and hip snap to explode into opponents with his initial contact on the down block to create movement in short yardage situations.”

Rang also noted Johnson is a “bit top-heavy and can get too far over his skis when rushing upfield to block at the second level, leaving him off-balance and too easily avoided by linebackers and safeties. Is too satisfied with locking up defensive tackles with just his upper body strength and needs to keep his feet moving after contact.”

6. Danny Isidora

Miami, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-3, 306 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.03 seconds

Bench press: 26 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 29 inches

Broad jump: 7 feet, 10 inches

3-cone drill: 8.13 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.90 seconds

2016 stats: Started all 13 games at right guard; earned Second-Team All-ACC recognition from ACC coaches and Third-Team honors from Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA)...Offense averaged 425.9 yards per game

Hot take: According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, “though perhaps an inch shorter than scouts would prefer, Isidora possesses an ideal frame for playing the interior with high hips, thick thighs and a big bubble. Generates good push at the point of attack with his natural power and leverage. Can stone defenders attempting to bull rush him, showing terrific lower body strength and core flexibility to anchor.”

According to Rang, Ididora is “too inconsistent given his experience. Too often is a beat slow off the ball and struggles to recover, lunging at opponents and occasionally completely whiffing. Plays with good knee bend initially but shows some lazy tendencies when locked up with opponents, leaning into them and leaving himself off-balance.”

7. Nico Siragusa

San Diego State, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-64 319 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.35 seconds

Bench press: 38 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 32 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 2 inches

3-cone drill: 7.71 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.56 seconds

2016 stats: started all 14 games at San Diego State; named as Third-Team All-American by Associated Press

Hot take: According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Siragusa “looks the part of an NFL guard with broad shoulders, long arms and a thick, imposing frame. Possesses surprisingly light feet for his bulk. Is quick enough to secure the downblock and efficiently works his way to the second level, showing awareness to locate as well as agility and balance to hit moving targets.”

According to Rang, Siragusa “is not as functionally sound as one might expect given his experience. Inconsistent with his initial get-off at the snap, too often being beaten by quick defensive tackles. Struggles to recover if beaten off the ball despite his length and relatively light feet.”

8. Jessamen Dunker

Tennessee State, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-4, 318 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.98 seconds

Bench press: 23 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 28.5 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet

2016 stats: played in 11 games with 10 starts at left tackle; First-Team All-Ohio Valley selection; played to Reese’s Senior Bowl

Hot take: According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Dunker is a “good athlete with few physical limitations in space. Has the feet to reach challenging blocks with more technique work. Able to get to cut-off blocks. Has adequate connection rate on linebackers and box safeties. Arm length and hand size is a plus.” 

Zierlein also noted Dunker’s “play strength doesn't match his weight. Was unable to anchor against speed-to-power as a tackle. When defenders stab his chest, he is unlikely to reset hands and recover. Has issues over-setting at both guard and tackle. Guard-only prospect.”

9. Zach Banner

Southern California, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-8, 353 pounds 

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.58 seconds

Bench press: 22 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 23.5 inches

Broad jump: 7 feet, 8 inches

3-cone drill: 8.31 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 5.21 seconds

2016 stats: started 11 of 13 games; helped Trojans get a victory in Rose Bowl over Penn State

Hot take: According to Dane Brugler of CBS Sports, Banner is “a mammoth human being, Banner has the naturally wide base and wingspan to slide and create a traffic jam in pass protection. He is a people-mover in the run game, crashing down, latching on with his heavy hands and driving defenders away from the lane. While he carries a lot of weight, Banner is a fluid mover for his size.”

Brugler also noted Banner “can be aggressive with his hands, but needs to be more consistent in this area, often relying on his shoulder and body mass to get the job done. He has heavy feet in his kick-slide and his upper body arrives before his lower body, which creates balance issues in space as he struggles to properly control his shuffle momentum vs. active rushers.”

10. Jordan Morgan

Kutztown (Division II), Redshirt senior, 6-foot-3, 309 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.36 seconds

Bench press: 21 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 28 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 3 inches

3-cone drill: 7.71 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.72 seconds

2016 stats: started all 11 games; First-Team All-American selection in Division II;

Hot take: According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Morgan “has desired NFL mass with adequate arm length and big hands. Plays with light feet when coming out of his stance and into his work. Always working feet into position to secure his block. Drive blocker who grinds from his in-steps.”

Zierlein also noted Morgan “ducks head as a run blocker at times. Needs to bring feet with him and up under his hips to increase potential to sustain blocks. Could struggle with balance early in his career. Needs to keep weight centered at his punch rather than lunging forward.”