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2015 NFL Draft player rankings: A.J. Cann tops lackluster group of guards

The South Carolina interior blocker may be the only guard taken in the first round. Still, there are a handful of top 100 picks at the position.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Guard can be an under-appreciated position. They don't get the glamor like offensive tackles do. They don't touch the ball every play like a center. They're just kind of there, being big and mean.

Last year's draft wasn't kind to guards. None were taken in the first round and there was just one picked in the second. It wasn't until the third round, when five were drafted, that the position got some love. This year we could see more of the same.

South Carolina's A.J. Cann has the best chance of any guard to be taken in the first round. Cann is a powerful and athletic guard who excels in run blocking. He gets out of the move really well and should be a good pulling guard as a pro.

One of the biggest storylines of the entire draft process has been the rise of Hobart College's Ali Marpet. He was a relative unknown heading into the Senior Bowl but stole the show during practices. The former left tackle is a nasty, aggressive blocker whom some have been comparing to Zack Martin of the Dallas Cowboys.

Marpet is one of several guards who should come off the board in the back half of the top 100 picks. Josue Matias and Tre' Jackson of Florida State, Jarvis Harrison of Texas A&M and Arie Kouandjio of Alabama should also be in that range.

Expecting to see Brandon Scherff of Iowa or La'el Collins of LSU? I still consider both of them offensive tackles going forward. If they're being considered guards, they'd be at the top of this list.

1. A.J. Cann, 6’3, 313 pounds, G, South Carolina
2. Laken Tomlinson, 6’3 1/4, 323 pounds, G, Duke
3. Ali Marpet, 6'3 3/4, 307 pounds, G/OT, Hobart College
4. Tre Jackson | 6’4, 330 pounds | G | Florida State
5. Josue Matias, 6’6, 325 pounds, G, Florida State
6. Jarvis Harrison, 6’4, 330 pounds, G, Texas A&M
7. Arie Kouandjio, 6’4 7/8, 318 pounds, G, Alabama
8. John Miller, 6’3, 315 pounds, G, Louisville
9. Shaquille Mason, 6’1 5/8, 310 pounds, G, Georgia Tech
10. Jamil Douglas, 6’4, 304 pounds, G, Arizona State
11. Robert Myers, 6’4 3/4, 326 pounds, G, Tennessee State
12. Jon Feliciano, 6’3 7/8, 323 pounds, G, Miami
13. Kaleb Johnson, 6’4, 300 pounds, G, Rutgers
14. Quinton Spain, 6’5, 332 pounds, G, West Virginia
15. Mark Glowinski, 6’4, 307 pounds, G, West Virginia
16. Adam Shead, 6’3 5/8, 338 pounds, G, Oklahoma
17. Junior Salt, 6’2, 315 pounds, G, Utah
18. Miles Dieffenbach, 6’3, 303 pounds, G, Penn State
19. Christian Lombard, 6’5, 311 pounds, G, Notre Dame
20. Kyle Costigan, 6’5, 319 pounds, G, Wisconsin
21. Tyler Moore, 6'5, 320 pounds, G, Florida
22. Ben Beckwith, 6'3 7/8, 317 pounds, G, Mississippi State
23. Cameron Clemmons, 6'6 3/8, 300 pounds, G/OT, Western Kentucky