The DA Draft Buzz: February 21

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

How many offensive guards could be selected during the draft’s first round? It could be more than anyone expects.

Most teams across the league believe the offensive line as a unit is probably the weakest area of the draft from both a quality and quantity perspective. As a result, some of the higher-rated prospects and even those in the middle rounds will be overdrafted.

Though final boards have yet to be assembled, there is a belief that two or possibly even three guards could end up in Round 1.

Similar to many teams, Dorian Johnson of Pittsburgh presently grades as our top-ranked guard. Dan Feeney is not far behind in my opinion, and several teams list the Indiana product as the top guard in the draft.

As it stands now, both have the distinct possibility of being selected during the first round.

If there is a third guard selected at the end of Round 1 or the opening stages of Round 2, it’s going to be Forrest Lamp of Western Kentucky.

Two weeks ago I heard murmurings of Lamp landing late in the first round but refused to believe it. Yet over the course of this evening, two insiders tell me they also think it’s also a possibility that Lamp, who played left tackle for the Hilltoppers but is projected to guard by most while others see him as a center, could slide into the final picks of Round 1.

The poor crop of offensive lineman in the draft will also impact free agency. More on that next week.

D'Onta Foreman of Texas has been running swift times during combine training. The big back has tipped the scales around 235 pounds and is clocking in the low-to-mid 4.5s in the forty, an exceptional time.

I mentioned Foreman in yesterday’s version of Monday Musings. Besides being a powerful downhill ball carrier, I believe his pass-catching skills out of the backfield are underrated.

Staying on the theme of running faster than expected, keep an eye on Central Florida cornerback Shaquill Griffin during the final day of the combine.

He’s been training at the Michael Johnson facility in preparation for his combine workout, and I’m told the trainers believe Griffin is ready to run “an elite time,” which means under 4.35.

I’m glad Griffin is getting an opportunity on the big stage of the combine. I first noticed him as a sophomore when UCF traveled to Missouri and lost to the Tigers.  Even then it was obvious Griffin offered next-level potential.