2021 NFL Draft: Ben Cleveland Player Profile

Ben Cleveland NFL Draft

Ben Cleveland NFL Draft Overview

Position: Interior offensive line
Height: 6-foot-6 ⅜”
Weight: 354-pounds
Arms: 33”
Hands: 9 ¾”
School: Georgia

Pro Day Performance Data

40-yard dash: 5.05
Vertical: 28”
Bench press: 30 reps
Short shuttle: 4.88
Broad: 102”

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Ben Cleveland 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Ben Cleveland played his high school football for Stephens County where he shined on both the football and baseball fields. Cleveland helped lead his football team to the playoffs through all four years of his high school career and earned himself a four-star recruitment rating from ESPN. Additionally, Cleveland was the sixth highest-rated guard prospect nationally as well as the sixth-best overall prospect from the state of Georgia by Rivals before he committed to Georgia in 2016.

Cleveland graduated early from high school before enrolling at Georgia in January of 2016 which forced him to redshirt his true freshman year. In 2017, as a redshirt freshman, Cleveland played in all 15 games for the Bulldogs while also contributing on special teams. As a 2018 redshirt sophomore, Cleveland played in just eight games as an injury caused him to miss six games during the middle of the season. The following season as a 2019 redshirt junior, Cleveland played in 13 games at right guard and was named preseason All-SEC third-team offense. Last year as a 2020 redshirt senior, Cleveland put together his best season as he started in all nine games and earned himself second-team All-American honors as well as All-SEC first-team honors.    

Strengths

  • Easily has NFL size and strength;
  • Is a mauler within the run game and is a beast within the offensive line interior;
  • Fires off the football and finishes his run blocks;
  • Solid fundamental run blocking technique and packs a heavy punch with his hands;
  • Is almost impossible to bull rush in pass sets given his frame and strength;
  • Has four years of collegiate experience with one of the top SEC schools.

Weaknesses

  • Just an average athlete;
  • Lateral movement and quickness is not great;
  • Weight will need to be closely monitored as he can easily add and drop 20 pounds of mass;
  • Quicker interior rushers may give him fits in pass protection at the next level;
  • There are some questions about his stamina at the next level given his weight and the pace of an NFL game. 

NFL Comparison: Michael Onwenu 

Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans

Projection: Fourth to Fifth Round

Bottom Line on Ben Cleveland

Cleveland is an intriguing late-round prospect for several teams. Cleveland has a massive frame that carries little bad weight and his power within the run game is impressive. He frequently finishes his blocks with purpose and fires off the football with a passion for contact within the trenches. Additionally, his pass block sets are surprisingly fair for his size and he almost never allows defenders to bull rush him.

However, Cleveland’s lateral movement is limited and while that weakness within his game is often covered up in interior pass protection, he may struggle to reach the second level of an NFL defense or within a zone run blocking scheme. His weight may be a concern for some teams in terms of him maintaining his size without adding bad, flubber weight during the offseason. Cleveland certainly needs polishing and while he is most likely not an instant starter, he offers a lot of upside as a late-round draft pick and could develop nicely within the proper system.

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