Dylan Parham, Memphis
Dylan Parham’s experience at the guard position is what puts him above most of the rest of this class. With a combination of sound fundamentals and body control, Parham knows what he’s doing out there and he’s going to keep his quarterback safe. He might be a little small for a standard NFL guard, but quite frankly, he’s so good at mostly everything else that it’s excusable. Parham is quick to diagnose the play, get into his blocking stance, and then get to the second level. Again, he knows exactly what he’s doing when it comes to his play, and that counts for a lot on the offensive line.
Parham’s biggest drawback is that despite his wide frame, he’s a little small. When it comes to pure mass, I worry that Parham might get pushed around at the pro level, but again, his technique might be able to negate that. He’s a little too eager to get to his second block, and I think teams might appreciate if he actually slowed down and stayed behind every once in a while. His athleticism isn’t great, but you’re going to need a lot more to convince me that a guy this technically sound isn’t going to at least be serviceable at the NFL level.
Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
Darian Kinnard played most of his college career at right tackle, but considering his level of athleticism, he’s going to play guard in the NFL. His frame is what I can only describe as “unbelievably thick” and it’s not in one area. The dude is a brick wall. He consistently uses that frame, along with eye-popping power and killer instinct to just absolutely overwhelm you. Kinnard’s looking to destroy you all the way through; he plays as if you’ve personally wronged him or his family. If you’ve been reading every edition to this column, you’d know coming in that this dude is one of my favorites. I want my football players to hate everyone, and Kinnard’s got that in spades.
Of course, the downsides of Kinnard are mostly created through his style of play. That is to say, he’s so focused on ripping his defender to shreds that he seems to forget that technique is a thing that offensive linemen need to have. He spends a lot of time on the ground after blocks, and his feet can get a bit sloppy sometimes. Kinnard’s technique leaves a lot to be desired, and if I’m being honest, I don’t really care all that much. You can coach technique. You can’t coach bloodthirst.