With the 2020 recruiting class, Geoff Collins and Co. had one HUGE priority: the offensive line. It was a unit that, with the exception of a few players, never amounted to much success under Paul Johnson. How did Collins start to fix these issues? He brought on one of the best offensive line coaches in the country in Brent Key and then added NINE new offensive linemen in his first full class.
Given the number of linemen that were brought in, we’re going to split the review up into two parts, looking at the offensive tackles today and the interior linemen tomorrow.
Devin Cochran | Graduate Transfer | Vanderbilt
Cochran is the second graduate transfer offensive lineman Collins has added in as many years, following Jared Southers last season. While Southers wasn’t terrific, he ended up being one of Tech’s better offensive linemen last season, splitting time at right guard and right tackle.
I expect Cochran to provide a bit more of an impact when he arrives. He was a three-year starter at Vandy, including the last nine of last year at left tackle, where I expect Cochran to start. And while he was there, Cochran was pretty dang good.
Fewest pressures allowed, SEC tackles (min. 250 pass-blocking snaps):— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) December 22, 2019
1. Landon Young, Kentucky: 5
2. Jack Driscoll, Auburn: 8
2. Devin Cochran, Vandy: 8
4. Andrew Thomas, UGA: 9
4. Isaiah Wilson, UGA: 9
4. Yasir Durant, Missouri: 9
7. Alex Leatherwood, Alabama: 10
I shared this tweet in my write-up of his transfer announcement, and I’ll include it again here. Coming in, Cochran is instantly the best offensive lineman on the roster, which is nice since Tech will be operating with either a freshman or sophomore quarterback.
Jordan Williams | Gainesville High School
Williams was the first offensive lineman to commit to Georgia Tech in the 2020 class, and he’s one that I’m pretty excited for. He brings some impressive size at 6-6, 305 pounds and is rated as a three-star player by Rivals (5.7) and the 247 Sports Composite (0.8742).
For someone with his size, Williams moves around pretty well. In his senior film, Williams is lined up at left tackle, but could also end up at right tackle. I think he’s a bit better at run blocking than he is at pass blocking, which will serve him well on the right side of the line. His length will certainly help him in pass blocking too.
Michael Rankins | Lennard High School
Rankins never released senior film, so I’ll stick with his junior film. Much more of a natural right tackle, Rankins’ film is a lot of fun to watch. You get to see him dominate defender after defender to set up some nice runs. His first step was a little slow at times, but I trust Brent Key to coach him up.
Wing Green | Lee County High School
Green is a bit more of a project at offensive tackle than Williams and Rankin, but he’s got a ton of potential. Standing at 6-7, 270 pounds, he is ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals (5.5) and the 247 Sports Composite (0.8552).
Green was relatively unknown when he committed to Georgia Tech, but has a lot of potential. Watching his film, Green plays noticeably higher than the rest of his offensive linemen, but other than that, he is just about everything you could want in an offensive lineman. He’s big, strong, and light on his feet.
Tech’s offensive line wasn’t great last year. In fact, it was far from great. It was bad. While we can’t just count on Tech to start a whole bunch of freshmen on the offensive line and things magically get better, I think this is a really good start. They get one proven starter at offensive tackle in Devin Cochran and three guys who all have some pretty good potential and just need some coaching up by Brent Key. All in all, I think this is a pretty solid first step in making Tech’s offensive line more serviceable.