Best Big XII Offensive Linemen Returning For 2022

Who was worthy to be included in the discussion for the best Big XII offensive linemen retuning for the 2022 season?
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Richard Johnson, co-host of the podcast Split Zone Duo and writer for Sports Illustrated, often says, “the game (football) is about blocking and tackling.” While quarterbacks will always get the most attention, and the running backs of the Big XII are as good as any group in the nation, neither can thrive without the big boys up front doing their j-o-b. There doesn’t appear to be an Orlando Pace or Jonathan Ogden quality player, but make no mistake, a few of these linemen have appeared in early NFL draft projections for 2023. The best Big XII offensive linemen aren’t confined to one position on the field. A few of them have played multiple positions at the college level. So we are going to form our best Big XII offensive line out of the best five retuning for the 2022 season, regardless of position.

Best Big XII Offensive Linemen Returning For 2022

Connor Galvin

Baylor is poised to defend its Big XII title with a strong offensive line. Four of five starters are returning, and none are a bigger piece to that unit than Connor Galvin. He was selected as the Big XII Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2021, as well as an AP All-America third team member. Galvin led a Bears unit that led the Big XII in the least amount of sacks allowed. He is currently projected to be a late first-round draft pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Galvin will undoubtedly enter the 2022 season as the best overall lineman in the conference.

Trevor Downing

Iowa State knew that it was going to lose a lot of talented and experienced players after the 2021 season. But they have a very key piece up front that should help lead the Cyclones in 2022. Trevor Downing had been the team’s starting guard, but this spring has made the move to center. Downing was a first-team All-Big XII selection in 2021 and has started a total of 26 games for the Cyclones. He was a major factor on the line of scrimmage that helped pave the way for the fourth-best scoring average (31.3) and fifth-best total offensive average (424.5) in school history. Head Coach Matt Campbell knows that if Iowa State is to have a successful 2022 season, Downing is going to have to excel at a new position.

Cooper Beebe

Another best Big XII offensive lineman who is generating 2023 NFL draft buzz is Cooper Beebe. Pro Football Focus has added Beebe to its official watch list for next year’s draft. The Kansas State product joined Galvin and Downing as a first-team All-Big XII selection in 2021. According to PFF, “Cooper graded out 85.4 compared to his 64.2 grade back in 2020. Whether in pass protection or paving the way for Deuce Vaughn, Cooper Beebe can do it all.” If advance analytics aren’t your cup of tea, Beebe did not allow a sack among his 367 pass-blocking snaps, according to his Kansas State bio. Wildcat head coach Chris Klieman has to feel good that his star running back, Deuce Vaughn, will get to work behind the junior out of Kansas City for another season.

Steve Avila

Perhaps the most versatile offensive lineman on this Big XII unit is Steve Avila. He has started games at center, right guard, and right tackle in his three seasons with TCU. In total, he has appeared in 31 games in his Horned Frog career. Avila was a second-team All-Big XII selection last season.

Zach Frazier

The last member of our Big XII offensive line unit has proven that he can adjust very quickly on an annual basis. Zach Frazier enters his junior season at West Virginia with a new offensive coordinator for the third consecutive season. Frazier, like Avila, was also a second-team All-Big XII selection. He has only allowed three sacks in 19 total games. His new quarterback, JT Daniels, has to like the sound of that.

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