Ryan Ramczyk can be a weapon for the Denver Broncos
The player picked for the Denver Broncos in most mock drafts is Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk. He could certainly be a weapon for the offense…
We are still in the very early stages of evaluating the 2017 NFL Draft, but one player whose name has popped up in connection with the Denver Broncos more than any other is Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk.
Ramczyk was recruited by Paul Chryst out of high school to play football at Pittsburgh, but decided not to accept any of the offers he had on the table and instead took a year off from the game entirely. He ended up at Wisconsin Stevens-Point where he played a couple of seasons before Chryst recruited him again, this time to play football with the Wisconsin Badgers.
This time, Ramczyk took him up on it, and he excelled in his first and only season of major D1 football. Ramczyk was an All-American and All-Big Ten selection, and is recognized as potentially the top offensive tackle in the entire draft.
Watching him play, it’s easy to see why…
Ramczyk has an ideal frame for a left tackle at 6-6, 314 pounds. He’s clearly very light on his feet and athletic for a big man, but his athleticism is not coupled with a lack of power or strength. Ramczyk can move defenders off the ball, get to the second level, and flip his hips to seal running lanes.
When you watch Wisconsin play, it’s sort of like watching an NFL offense. There are zone and power concepts mixed throughout, which makes Ramczyk an easy player to like as an early contributor in the NFL. The terminology won’t be foreign, and the expanded responsibilities won’t be overwhelming.
That was abundantly clear from the very first time he stepped on the field in a big-time college game:
What makes this kid an asset to the Broncos? In addition to being really the most talented left tackle prospect in the draft, Ramczyk looks NFL ready and that can’t be overstated with where the Broncos are at. He has the ability to mirror pass rushers and keep a quarterback clean, but also the strength and athleticism to be an asset in whatever type of running game Mike McCoy ends up designing.
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To help with the development of a young quarterback, the Broncos need a tackle on the blind side that can not only pave the way in the running game, but not allow speed rushers off the edge to get at the quarterback.
It’s easier said than done, but Ramczyk looks up to the task. I watched a number of his games, and I can say with reasonable confidence that while it’s boring to pick offensive linemen in the first round, this player would be worth the Broncos’ while, with a caveat:
He needs to be healthy.
Ramczyk, if acquired, would be the second projected starter in the Broncos’ offensive line to undergo major hip surgery this offseason. He went under the knife after Wisconsin’s bowl game to repair a torn labrum in his hip, which is no short order for an offensive lineman, especially one that will need every bit of OTAs and training camp he can get.
If Ramczyk can check out medically, he is undoubtedly going to be an option for the Broncos with the 20th overall pick, unless multiple tackles are signed to lucrative deals in free agency.