Last year, it was Mitch Morse. Two years ago, it was Justin Brit. This year, it falls upon Connor McGovern to keep Mizzou's "out of nowhere, higher-than-expected offensive line pick" streak alive. He's already following in the well-trodden footsteps of his forebears with his impressive combine results, but will the draft pick follow?
Your top three buzzwords to look out for (DO NOT take a drink every time you hear them in reference to McGovern. Please. You will require medical attention afterwards):
You won't find a player stronger than Connor in this draft. The young man could probably bench press Roger Goodell 43 times on stage and then rip a phone book in half. Last year at Missouri, he started at left tackle and fared relatively well. Even so, he likely projects better as an interior lineman thanks to all that strength and a good bit of agility to boot. He'll also benefit form the nice track record that Britt and Morse before him have established for Mizzou OL products. Both players have shown that the wide-bodies from Columbia possess both the skill and know-how necessary to come in and contribute to the team immediately. McGovern should be no different.
Strength is McGovern's strength, and not just because I'm trying to use that word as many times as possible in this profile (five references and counting!). But seriously, he's more than a meat. Connor does a good job of putting those muscles to use. He shows great vision and quickness when moving to the second level, where he rarely lets quicker linebackers evade him with speed. He adjusts well to stunts too, thanks to his solid reaction speed and powerful punch. With a bit of developing, he could turn into a long-time starter in the league.
In college, he was able to succeed by strong-manning defenders. That's not going to cut it at the next level. This causes his mechanics to get sloppy at times, a troubling trend that's highlighted by his sometimes too upright blocking stance. He also was able to get away with engagements in which he wasn't the first aggressor. In the NFL, he'll need to get the first punch more often than not. Luckily, these are all issues that can be fixed with coaching.
Sure, there are some holes in McGovern's game, but they're nothing that a good coach can't plug. With his measurable, I don't see him slipping past the third round. If someone absolutely falls in love with him as a prospect, we may even see him sneak into the late second round, à la Britt and Morse before him.