COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — No Ohio State player in this year’s NFL Draft has more playing experience than offensive lineman Thayer Munford. He started from 2018 to 2020 as a tackle and moved to left guard where he started the entire season.
Any Buckeye who starts four years should be seriously considered by every team. The reality is Munford will be passed by each team several times with a projection of late fifth round to early sixth round.
Munford became the first person in his family to graduate college, which was one of the reasons why the Cincinnati native and Massillon Washington graduate decided to come back to OSU instead of leaving for the NFL after his third year.
Munford was one of the highest graded offensive tackles by Pro Football Focus following the shortened 2020 season. He was looking like a four-year starter at the position until now former offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and head coach Ryan Day made the decision to move him to guard in order to get Dawand Jones on the field at tackle.
Munford benefitted from becoming a more versatile lineman by playing guard, and NFL teams will chose that type of player over another one of similar talent who only plays one spot.
At 6’6″, 320 pounds, Munford is one of the biggest lineman in the draft and it’s his size that will attract NFL teams the most. Getting through Munford is tall task and most college defensive ends couldn’t do so. Part of his size includes an impressive wing span that allows him to guard the edge and operate in space, but moreover his hand and feet movement make him an intriguing NFL prospect.
The change to guard wasn’t always smooth for Munford who struggled at times, especially against teams with a solid defensive lines like Oregon and Michigan, which is part of the reason his draft stock fell by a round or two.
Munford’s size limits his lateral mobility, especially in the run game when trying to keep up with a much more athletic edge rusher. Munford played a few snaps at tackle against Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson who bullied him at times and had his way in stopping the run.
Part of that lack of mobility means having a hard time changing direction, so getting beat off the snap or bumping one defender before moving to another are a bigger challenge for the bigger Munford.