INDIANAPOLIS -- Offensive line is one of the deepest areas of the 2013 NFL Draft, and the position group certainly didn't disappoint in field drills on Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine. The offensive tackles, in particular, tore up Lucas Oil Stadium -- in fact, this was among the most impressive groups in recent history. Lane Johnson, Eric Fisher, Kyle Long and Terron Armstead each put up impressive testing numbers. Luke Joeckel didn't astonish anyone with his workout numbers, but he had a rock-solid day in drills.
By and large, offensive linemen shined in front of NFL talent evaluators. Here are some in-depth thoughts on players of note:
Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Since the end of the college football season, no one has done more to boost his draft stock than Armstead. The small-school prospect dominated all week at East-West Shrine Game practices, earning him a late invite to the Senior Bowl, where he continued to impress. Then he really turned heads on Saturday with a 4.71-second 40-yard dash ... at 306 pounds! Armstead's still very raw, but this kind of athleticism is rare. He's helped himself as much as possible in the postseason, and at this point, I don't see him getting out of the second round. Truth be told, I wouldn't be shocked if he snuck into the bottom of Round 1.
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M: Joeckel's never going to be considered an athletic freak, but he was solid in everything he did on Saturday. Overall, it was a B+ performance -- nothing truly stunning, but also nothing to be alarmed about. This is always how I've felt about Joeckel: What you see is what you get. There are no wow characteristics -- he's just a rock-solid player. Unlike some evaluators, I don't think it's a slam dunk that Joeckel will be the first tackle selected in April. This isn't anything against Joeckel; it's a testament to the immense talent of Fisher and Johnson. This is the time of year when those latter two players are going to jump out at you, given their stellar athleticism.
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma: Johnson put up incredible workout numbers (4.72 in the 40, 34-inch vertical jump, 9-11 broad jump), but his positional work was even better. His ability to cut off the speed rusher in the kick-slide drill was superior to every other lineman in attendance. He created a tremendous amount of buzz among league evaluators with Saturday's showing.
Chance Warmack, G, Alabama: Warmack is outstanding on tape, but he didn't enjoy a stellar workout on Saturday. He was timed at 5.49 in the 40 and his positional work was average. Most teams don't put much stock in the 40 when evaluating offensive linemen, but the marginal field workout does carry some weight. I'm not predicting he will take a drastic tumble on NFL draft boards, but evaluators have to be at least a little concerned about his lack of ideal size (6-2) and underwhelming athleticism.
Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina: Prior to the combine, I know a few teams had Cooper rated higher than Warmack. Those teams weren't disappointed with the performance of the talented North Carolina lineman. He ran an impressive 5.07 in the 40, one day after putting up 35 reps of 225 pounds. There are highly respected evaluators who feel Cooper could be a Pro Bowl-caliber guard or center.
D.J. Fluker, OT/G, Alabama: Fluker's performance on Saturday was exactly what I anticipated. He's a hulking human being with underwhelming movement skills. His 5.31 40 was a bit faster than expected, but he definitely lacks the foot quickness to play left tackle. Now, the debate will be whether he's best suited for right tackle or guard.
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Brian Schwenke, C, Cal: I really liked Schwenke on tape and he continued to impress with an excellent week at the Senior Bowl. On Saturday, his draft stock received another boost. Schwenke posted a great 40 time (4.99) and enjoyed a fine field workout. I could see his name being called in the early portion of the third round.
Larry Warford, G, Kentucky: Warford is somebody who just isn't going to test well, as evidenced by his 5.58 40 and 22.5-inch vertical jump. But in positional drills, he displayed solid quickness, an ability to bend at the knees and a powerful punch on the bags. He came to Indy as a second-round pick and leaves as a second-round pick.