Should the Denver Broncos use their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Ryan Ramczyk to improve their offensive line?
The 2017 NFL Draft will be here before we know it and the Broncos will have a big decision to make with their first-round pick, which is currently 20th overall. Offensive line is one of the biggest glaring holes on the roster and the Broncos might get the opportunity to strengthen their offensive line with their first-round pick. Ryan Ramczyk, an offensive tackle from Wisconsin, is considered one for the best offensive line prospects in the draft and is a popular pick for the Denver Broncos in many mock drafts.
Ramczyk routinely ranked within the top three amongst offensive tackles in this draft class. He has a stellar profile, making him one of the better players in the draft. Wisconsin is known for shelling out pro-ready offensive linemen who contribute early in their careers due to their pro style run heavy offensive system. Unlike many other programs, linemen from Wisconsin are groomed from the beginning to compete at the NFL level.
His collegiate career started in the Division III ranks at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. There, he was the team’s starting left tackle in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He transferred to Wisconsin in 2015, redshirting during his first season before starting all 14 games for the Badgers in 2016.
He’s a highly athletic player who has enough short area quickness to move laterally out of his stance and take on blitzing defenders off the edge. Ramczyk is very aggressive and displays a lot of burst while getting out of his stance, allowing him to push back defenders while run blocking. He’s also a solid pass-blocker due to his near perfect footwork and hand placement. His football IQ is on point as he’s always aware of blitzing defenders.
There are not many red flags on his profile, but his 33 3/4-inch arm length could be his Achilles heel since it provides a disadvantage when trying to block long-armed pass rushers. Ramczyk will have to get out of his stance early and often to be able to keep some of the toughest pass rushers in the league at bay. He also has limited experience against top flight talent since he only has one season under his belt playing against FBS competition.
According to Jesse Temple of ESPN, Ramczyk didn’t partake in any of the drills at the combine, pro day or any other pre-draft activities due to recovering from a surgical procedure to repair the torn labrum in his hip. He suffered the injury early in the season and played through the pain, causing him to have surgery in the offseason to remedy the issue. His recovery from this surgery could be the biggest question mark on his profile. If the medicals checkout, then he could be an automatic lock to start for an NFL team during his rookie season.
Addressing the offensive line which is a serous need could help the Broncos longterm, considering they have two young quarterbacks with limited experience competing for the starting quarterback job. Keeping Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch upright is very important. Also, and improved offensive line could mean and improved run game which will help the team move the stick by grinding the tough yards with their running backs.
Keep in mind, Ramczyk might not be available when it’s Denver’s turn to pick, which is always a possibility for offensive tackles since they’re in high demand in the NFL. The Broncos could trade their pick or move up in the draft, causing them to be out of range to draft Ramczyk. The NFL Draft is crazy and anything can happen.
Drafting for need might be the way to go for the Broncos, especially for the offensive line which is in dire need of talent. There’s a very good possibility that the Broncos will kick the tires on other options, because there are some major risks when it comes to selecting Ramczk. His recent injury history might be enough for the Broncos to consider passing on him in the draft. Also, his limited experience against superior completion could deter Denver from drafting him.
Overall, Ramczk has some nice characteristics and has the potential to be a solid starting left tackle in the NFL. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Broncos pulled the trigger and drafted him with their first-round pick.