If Connor Williams will be a fixture at center, then the alignment I have up top may well be what we see to start the season. Or, perhaps they flip Liam Eichenberg and Austin Jackson, so Eichenberg plays RT with Jackson inside at LG. Or maybe Michael Deiter moves to one of the guard spots. My thought though is if we’re looking for the most athletic players in the outside zone blocking scheme, then these are the 5 players. Everything is fluid though, they haven’t even strapped on pads yet, but there’s no harm in speculating away, since at this point, it’s all we can do.
Connor Williams appears to like playing center though, and he’s far more athletic and capable of getting into second level blocks than his predecessor, Michael Deiter. One thing I can say is this is a BIG O-line. Athletic, but BIG. If it stays as currently constituted, with every linemen at 6’5 or taller, and at the moment, Eichenberg the lone member under 320 pounds. I loved watching Solomon Kindley here, he’s a mauler, but I don’t think he fits the scheme we’re running with now. I suppose he could drop some weight and gain some quickness, but he’s a small area operator for best results, and this offensive line will be all about movement, angles and getting a body on a body just long enough to get him out of the play. That doesn’t mean this O-line won’t be physical, aggressive, but it’s based on lots of motion from most of the line, not just one on one beating the person immediately in front of you, there’s a lot of teamwork.
The good thing from my perspective is no matter who plays where, our depth will be much better. I can’t say it enough times, no reason to give up on the young talented players we drafted in ’20 and ’21 like Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg. These guys will be at the very least average NFL starters and with better coaching, more than that. If the line plays out like I put up on top then you have Deiter and Kindley as depth on the interior, and Coleman, Jones and Little on the outside with the possibility of still adding someone after June 1st cuts. I know there will always be some folks who think we didn’t do enough on the O-line, (you know who YOU are), but if you’re one of them, you’re simply discounting the aforementioned young players in Jackson and Eichenberg. These guys have to be given the opportunity to be good NFL players because they should be. Is it possible we pick up a veteran center like J.C. Tretter? Of course. We were extremely “comfortable” with Deiter not too long ago at C, and now it’s Williams. Adding Tretter just adds more talent and another starter and makes the line even better, but not sure if it’s in the cards, or the cap.