Transformation of linemen in professional football


CLEMSON, SC – OCTOBER 03: The Virginia Cavaliers offensive linemen make their way down field during the game between the Clemson Tigers and the Virginia Cavaliers on October 03, 2020 at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire) Photo credit: Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire

Isaiah Lonvelin, Staff Writer

In the National Football League (NFL) today, lineman are known to be gigantic in size, and can be easily recognized at their position as lineman rather than skilled position players in football.

The average size of a starting lineman in the NFL according to business insider is 6-foot-5, 312 pounds. Now compare that to the average male who is 5’9” 195Ibs.

But every now and again some people think that they are just lazy, and are paid to stand there to just block.

But those who believe that, have never paid attention or played in an actual football game and have no clue that these players are highly athletic for their size.

Yes, even though they are doubled the height and weight they are strong and quick carrying those few pounds against their opponent.

For instance, in the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, Louisville Cardinals offensive lineman Mekhi Becton, ran an official 5.10 second 40-yard dash. Mekhi Becton was recorded at 6,7”, 364 Ibs.

Now that is very quick for an offensive lineman, a regular average time for a good 40 yard dash for a lineman is 5.30-seconds.

But that was not the fastest that year for the NFL Scouting combine. Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs had ran the fastest 40-yard dash time among the offensive lineman clocking in at 4.85 seconds.

But they were not always that big in size. According to the Star article in 1970, only one NFL player weighed over 300 pounds. The numbers of those players only grew during the next decades.

During the 1950s, football players were not one position players, one moment they were lineman then wide receivers the next play.

When they were done playing offense, they would have to do the same thing while on defense.

Later in the 1970s, it was more common to be skilled at one position since the ruling of substitutions changed for coaches to switch players in and out.

In the same year, NFL switched to the rule that you can not block below the waist changing how teams would set up their line using bigger players for a better chance to block for their quarterback.

From then on, more lineman were being scouted throughout the NFL for their size and football knowledge.

Being a lineman, it is known that they are being looked over besides the running backs or quarterbacks.

The lineman position is the most unappreciated position in all of sports since the work they do for there team goes unnoticed from fans. Even if they do not score points they put in a lot of work giving there team the best chance to win.

If you go into the trenches (a term referring to the space between offensive and defensive line) you have to be extremely skilled to go up against players who are twice the size of a normal person for a 2 hour game, hitting each other every single play.

Lineman have had to evolve over the years in football.

Next time you watch a football game pay attention to the athletes on the offensive and defensive line to see what they do for there team.