Draft Preview: Offensive line

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Four of the Panthers' five first-team offensive linemen were procured in the first three rounds of the draft, shown clockwise from top left: Travelle Wharton (2004), Ryan Kalil (2007), Jeff Otah (2008) and Jordan Gross (2003). (PHOTOS: ANDREW MASON / PANTHERS.COM)


OFFENSIVE LINEMEN FROM AROUND THE NATION:

William Beatty, ConnecticutHeight: 6-foot-6 - Weight: 307 poundsNFL.com bio

Served as the left tackle on a line that helped Donald Brown become the nation's leading rusher last fall ... First-team All-Big East last year ... Amassed 27 bench-press repetitions at the Combine ... Was fourth-fastest among offensive linemen in Indianapolis on the 40-yard dash, clocking in at 5.12 seconds, and had the fifth-best vertical jump among linemen (33.5 inches) ... Started in the Senior Bowl.

Eben Britton, ArizonaHeight: 6-foot-6 - Weight: 309 poundsNFL.com bio | ArizonaAthletics.com bio

Started every game in which he played (37-of-37) at Arizona ... First-team All-Pac 10 selection last year at left tackle after starting the previous two seasons at right tackle ... Redshirted his freshman year in 2005; turned pro with one year of eligibility remaining ... Tallied 24 bench-press repetitions at the Combine and had the eighth-best 40-time among offensive linemen (5.16 seconds).

Phil Loadholt, OklahomaHeight: 6-foot-8 - Weight: 332 poundsNFL.com bio | SoonerSports.com bio

Took over left tackle in his senior season at Oklahoma ... Played two years for the Sooners after matriculating at Garden City (Kan.) Community College in 2005 and 2006 ... Third-team All-America and first-team All-Big 12 selection last year ... Logged 24 bench-press repetitions at the Combine; improved on that by two at his pro day.

Alex Mack, CaliforniaHeight: 6-foot-4 - Weight: 311 poundsNFL.com bio | CalBears.com bio

Two-time Rimington Trophy finalist ... Won the Draddy Trophy, annually given to college football's best scholar athlete, and the $25,000 postgraduate scholarship that goes with it ... Two-time winner of the Morris Award, given to the best offensive lineman in the Pac-10 ... Was a first-team All-Pac 10 selection in each of the three years he started at center ... Third-team All-American as a senior.

Eugene Monroe, VirginiaHeight: 6-foot-5 - Weight: 309 poundsNFL.com bio | VirginiaSports.com

Looks to become the third U.Va. first-round O-lineman in the last four drafts, following Branden Albert (Kansas City, 2008) and D'Brickashaw Ferguson (N.Y. Jets, 2006) ... Started the last two seasons at left tackle for the Cavaliers and won the Jacobs Trophy, given to the Atlantic Coast Conference's top blocking offensive lineman, in 2008 ... Second-team All-America last year ... Tallied 23 bench-press repetitions at the Combine ... Had the third-best vertical jump among Combine O-linemen (nine feet, two inches).

Michael Oher, MississippiHeight: 6-foot-5 - Weight: 309 poundsNFL.com bio | OleMissSports.com bio

Was a freshman All-America selection at right guard as a freshman, then moved to left tackle, eventually garnering numerous awards there ... Conensus first-team All-American and All-SEC selection as a senior ... Three-time All-SEC choice ... A finalist for the Outland trophy as a senior ... Logged 21 bench-press repetitions at the Combine.

Andre Smith, AlabamaHeight: 6-foot-4 - Weight: 332 poundsNFL.com bio | RollTide.com bio

Started and played every game of his career at left tackle for the Crimson Tide before being suspended for the 2009 Sugar Bowl ... Outland Trophy winner as a junior in 2008 ... Consensus All-America selection last year ... Turned pro with one year of eligibility remaining ... Attended the Combine but left midway through the event without informing his group leader; he subsequently offered a public apology for his departure.

Jason Smith, BaylorHeight: 6-foot-5 - Weight: 309 poundsNFL.com bio | BaylorBears.com

First-team All-Big 12 as a senior and third-team Associated Press All-American ... Became Baylor's left tackle the last two seasons after beginning his career there as a tight end ... Was a right tackle as a sophomore before moving to the left side as a junior ... Started 38 games for the Bears during his four years on the varsity roster and one season as a redshirt ... In his lone campaign as a tight end, caught six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown, adding a two-point conversion ... Tallied 33 bench-press repetitions at the Combine, tied for fourth among offensive linemen ... Baylor's first non-special teams All-American in 13 years.

Max Unger, OregonHeight: 6-foot-5 - Weight: 309 poundsNFL.com bio | GoDucks.com bio

Started two seasons at left tackle and then moved to center for his final two seasons ... Returned to left tackle for a pair of contests last fall ... Two-time first-team All-Pac 10 selection ... Closed his career with 51 consecutive starts, the second-best active streak in the nation ... Tallied 22 bench-press repetitions at the Combine.

Eric Wood, LouisvilleHeight: 6-foot-4 - Weight: 310 poundsNFL.com bio | UofLSports.com bio

Two-time All-Big East selection at center (2007, 2008) ... Rimington Trophy finalist as a senior ... Freshman All-America in 2005 ... Started 49 consecutive games for the Cardinals, second-best in school history ... Racked up 30 bench-press repetitions at the Combine, tied for 10th among offensive linemen.

OTHER OFFENSIVE LINEMEN OF NOTE:

GUARDS

Roger Allen, Missouri Western
Travis Bright, Brigham Young
Antoine Caldwell, Alabama
Trevor Canfield, Cincinnati
C.J. Davis, Pittsburgh
Paul Fanaika, Arizona State
Ray Feinga, Brigham Young
Tyronne Green, Auburn
Greg Isdaner, West Virginia
Herman Johnson, LSU
Andy Kemp, Wisconsin
Seth Olsen, Iowa
Anthony Parker, Tennessee
Matt Slauson, Nebraska
Louis Vasquez, Texas Tech
Brandon Walker, Oklahoma

TACKLES

William Beatty, Connecticut
Alex Boone, Ohio State
Robert Brewster, Ball State
Eben Britton, Arizona
Gerald Cadogan, Penn State
Xavier Fulton, Illinois
Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech
Troy Kropog, Tulane
Kyle Link, McNeese State
Ryan McKee, Southern Mississippi
Lydon Murtha, Nebraska
Michael Oher, Mississippi
Augustus Parrish, Kent State
Duke Robinson, Oklahoma
Jaimie Thomas, Maryland
Fenuki Tupou, Oregon
Jose Valdez, Arkansas
Jason Watkins, Florida

CENTERS

Jon Cooper, Oklahoma
Robby Felix, UTEP
Alex Fletcher, Stanford
Juan Garcia, Washington
Brett Helms, LSU
Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas
A.Q. Shipley, Penn State
Edwin Williams, Maryland

GUARD/TACKLES

Ramon Foster, Tennessee
Dan Gay, Baylor
Andy Levitre, Oregon State
Cornelius Lewis, Tennessee State
Maurice Miller, Mississippi
Kraig Urbik, Wisconsin


OFFENSIVE LINEMEN FROM THE CAROLINAS:

Joel Bell, FurmanHeight: 6-foot-7 - Weight: 315 poundsNFL.com bio | FurmanPaladins.com bio

Three-time All-Southern Conference selection at left tackle ... Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) All-America selection in 2008 ... Looks to become the third Furman product selected in the last four drafts ... Amassed 27 bench-press repetitions at the Combine ... Had the seventh-best 40-yard dash time among Combine O-linemen (5.15 seconds) ... Also competed in the discus for the Paladins' track and field program ... Graduated from Spartanburg (S.C.) High School ... Lived in Croatia for eight years (1993-2001).

Jamon Meredith, South CarolinaHeight: 6-foot-5 - Weight: 304 poundsNFL.com bio | GamecocksOnline.com bio

Started four games as a redshirt freshman (2005) and six as a year later at right tackle, then was moved to left tackle, where he started the balance of the 2006 season and all of 2007 ... Moved to left guard as a senior ... His 31 bench-press repetitions at the Combine were tied for eighth-best among offensive linemen ... Had the second-best 40-yard dash time among O-linemen in Indianapolis (5.03 seconds) ... A product of Hillcrest (S.C.) High School.

Garrett Reynolds, North CarolinaHeight: 6-foot-8 - Weight: 309 poundsNFL.com bio | TarHeelBlue.com bio

Primarily a right tackle at UNC, but also started once at right guard in his sophomore season ... Second-team All-ACC selection in 2008, helping the Tar Heels to their first bowl game in five years -- the Meineke Car Care Bowl at Bank of America Stadium ... Father and uncle played at the University of Tennessee.


PANTHERS DRAFT HISTORY:

You can't cultivate a homegrown offensive line without planting the seeds in the draft, which is what the Panthers have done since 2003.

In the last six drafts, the Panthers have selected 12 offensive linemen -- an average of 2.0 per season. Seven of those 12 linemen were taken in the first three rounds, representing 30.4 percent of the Panthers' picks in Rounds 1-3 -- a fairly notable investment rate considering that the line comprises 22.7 percent of a starting lineup.

Those figures present a stark contrast to the Panthers' first eight drafts, when the Panthers selected nine offensive linemen -- 1.1 per year -- and used just three selections in Rounds 1-3 up front -- just 12 percent of the Panthers' eight-year haul in those rounds.

The harvest of Carolina's emphasis is a first-team offensive line that includes four draft picks from 2003 onward: first-rounders Jordan Gross (2003) and Jeff Otah (2008), second-rounder Ryan Kalil (2007) and third-rounder Travelle Wharton (2004). Wharton and Gross were re-signed to long-term contracts in the last 14 months, solidifying their places on the left side of the Panthers' line into the coming decade.

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CAROLINA PANTHERS ALL-TIME DRAFTEES: OFFENSIVE LINE
YEARROUNDPICK NO.PLAYERCOLLEGE
1995129Blake Brockermeyer, OTTexas
19954133Frank Garcia, GWashington
19955171Andrew Peterson, GWashington
19964106Norberto Garrido, GUSC
1999234Chris Terry, OTGeorgia
2000382Leander Jordan, OLIndiana (Pa.)
20006182Jeno James, OLAuburn
20017211Louis Williams, OLLSU
20027213Pete Campion, OTNorth Dakota State
200318Jordan Gross, OTUtah
2003250Bruce Nelson, GIowa
2004394Travelle Wharton, OTSouth Carolina
2005379Evan Mathis, GAlabama
20055189Geoff Hangartner, C/OTTexas A&M
20056207Joe Berger, GMichigan Tech
2006389Rashad Butler, OTMiami (Fla.)
20067234Will Montgomery, C/GVirginia Tech
2007259Ryan Kalil, CUSC
2008119Jeff Otah, OTPittsburgh
20087241Geoff Schwartz, OTOregon
20087250Mackenzy Bernadeau, GBentley

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