INDIANAPOLIS – The future of the trenches in the NFL invaded Lucas Oil Stadium all day Thursday to kickoff the 2014 Combine.
Draft experts around the NFL have stated they are very impressed with the depth along the offensive line in this year’s draft class.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. sees a half dozen offensive tackles going in the first round. That leaves plenty of interior linemen for the picking during Friday’s second and third rounds.
Below is a look at some of the draft’s top interior linemen that could spark the Colts interest come May.
Russell Bodine (Center, North Carolina) started to think about halfway into the 2013 season, that it could be his last at the college level.
Former NFL head coach Butch Davis, who also coached Bodine at UNC, offered some helpful advice that pushed one of the nation’s best centers to the professional ranks.
One player that Bodine has watched closely during his time in Chapel Hill is former Tar Heel and six-time Pro Bowler Jeff Saturday.
“The Colts had a one-back offense, running inside, outside zone a lot, like what we did. Obviously he had a very successful career and that’s something every offensive linemen would what to emulate,” Bodine says.
Bryan Stork (Center, Florida State) was the anchor in the middle of a National Championship line in 2013.
The Florida State product started 40 career games for the Seminoles.
Stork will hit the field for testing on Saturday but he’s not one to talk numbers.
“That’s irrelevant,” Stork, the Remington Trophy Winner (nation’s top center), said on Thursday.
“I’m a football player. Get me on the white board and you can’t shut me up for three hours probably.”
Stork prides himself in his football IQ and wants scouts to also note his whistle-to-whistle type attitude on the gridiron.
“I say I play with a mean streak, finish every play off. Just always in your face, violent hands.”
Xavier Su’a-Filo (Guard, UCLA) is a name that might be hard to spell but NFL fans should get used to hearing his name on Sunday’s.
Su’a-Filo has received some high praise from draft experts and NFL.com’s Gil Brandt thinks he will be a breakout star in Indianapolis this week.
After starting 13 games at left tackle as a true freshman in 2009 for UCLA, Su’a-Filo went on a two-year Mormon mission. He returned to UCLA in 2012 and left guard became his new home.
That will likely be the case at the next level and Su’a-Filo is anxious to back up comments from guys like Brandt.
“It’s flattering,” Su’a-Filo said of Brandt’s praise. “That just gives me more motivation to do what I’ve planned on coming to do here, people getting to know me, putting up good numbers, performing well and showing teams who I am and what I can bring to the table.”