Michigan Football position preview: offensive line

Michigan Football’s 135th season is right around the corner. As the football season nears, isportsweb will break down each position group, starting with the offensive line. As a whole, the offensive line has provided fans with more questions than answers. Despite having two tackles that were eventually selected in the NFL Draft, Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield, the offensive line unit was shaky throughout the 2013 season.

What we know

Michigan Football

Jack Miller

The offensive line struggled in 2013. The group allowed more tackles for loss than any other program in the country and the rushing attack was limited to just 125.6 yards per game. The Wolverines actually had back-to-back games in which the offense produced a negative yardage output on the ground.

The offense will succeed in correlation to the play of the offensive line.

Areas of concern

This is a young group. There are just three members of the offensive line that are upperclassmen; Joey Burzynski (senior), Jack Miller and Graham Glasgow (both juniors). Along with youth comes inexperience. Glasgow is Michigan’s most-experienced offensive lineman, earning a starting role just last season.

Head Coach Brady Hoke rotated guys through all five positions during spring practice in hopes of finding the best combination to start up-front in the fall. It may appear to be a good strategy, but rotating guys through each position can become tricky. Hopefully Hoke can have his players focus on one position once the season starts, it could be detrimental for a player’s development to try to learn more than one position at a time.

Potential breakout player

Ben Braden has the makeup of an ideal tackle, he measures in at 6-foot-6 and weighs 322-pounds. He only appeared in two games last season but, due to Glasgow’s one-game suspension, Braden could be in the starting lineup for the season opener.

If Braden starts against Appalachian State and plays well, he could easily remain a fixture on the line this season.

Projected starters

LT: Erik Magnuson (RS So, 6-6, 294)

LG: Kyle Bosch (So, 6-5, 303)

C: Jack Miller (RS Jr, 6-4, 299)

RG: Kyle Kalis (RS So, 6-5, 298)

RT: Graham Glasgow* (RS Jr, 6-6, 311)

*Suspended for season opener

Key reserves: Patrick Kugler, David Dawson, Mason Cole, and Blake Bars
True freshmen: Mason Cole, Juwann Bushell-Beatty

For more position breakdowns as the season approaches, check out our Michigan Football team page and follow us on Twitter