OU Football: Lane Johson and the new breed of offensive linemen

Oklahoman Published: February 25, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The deepest position in this year's draft is offensive line, where NFL personnel people project that at least six linemen are chosen on Day 1.



Among them: Former junior college tight end and ex-Oklahoma Sooner offensive tackle Lane Johnson.

According to Sports Illustrated, From 1997-2007, teams selected six or more offensive linemen in the first round only once, including seven years in which four or fewer were taken that high. But in the four years that followed there were eight, six, six and eight selected in the opening round (the streak finally was broken last year when four were chosen).

"The evolution of the game into more of a passing league (because of rules changes/enforcements) has forced teams to get quality linemen early in the draft," one team executive said, "that way you have a better chance of getting plug 'n' play starters to protect the big investments at QB!"



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