Dalton Risner wasn’t a five-star recruit. He wasn’t from a powerhouse program. Risner came from Wiggins, Colorado and earned everything every step of the way. A versatile offensive lineman with nasty toughness, Risner can play four spots on the offensive line. He’s a guy that will outwork anyone. A four-year starter, Risner looks to start again in the NFL. He may get his shot with the Rams at pick 31.
College stats and honors:
2018: 12 starts, 12 games.
Career: 50 starts, 51 games.
Honors: Three-year captain, 1st team All-American (2018), Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year (2018), 2nd team All-American (2017), 1st team All-Big 12 (2017), 1st team All-Big 12 (2016), 1st team Academic All-Big 12 (2016-18), 1st team Freshman All-American (2015).
Risner is a blue-collar offensive lineman. He possesses an unquestionable work ethic that generally favors him on and off the field. He’s an intelligent lineman that thinks critically while blocking. Risner is a gritty mauler in the run game who can pull as both a guard and tackle.
He’s an instinctive blocker who does a great job of sealing off defenders. Solid in pass protection, likely even better as an interior lineman. He can play anywhere on the offensive line at the NFL level except left tackle. Generally does well blocking downfield and loves to serve pancakes.
Risner does a good job of allowing a defender to take himself out of a play. Risner is a leader who has earned respect and praise from his peers and coaches, and is a three-time team captain because of it. He checks every necessary box for an NFL offensive lineman.
Risner has an average athletic profile, but he doesn’t have any red flags. However, he has a tendency to get too high at times, which negates his power. Can struggle with speedy rushers too. Also, when blocking downfield his footwork can get a little sloppy causing him to stumble. Footwork is important in the NFL, so he will need to improve if he wants to succeed. Not going to wow you necessarily in terms of athleticism.
Expected Draft Round:
Risner should be drafted late round one to early in round two. He may not be a sexy pick, but he will come to work and may quietly become a 10-year starter that’s above average.
Risner can open up the run game like he did at Kansas State. In addition, he serves as a solid pass protector as well. Extremely versatile as a lineman. Risner showed that he can play at a high level at the Senior Bowl. The potential is there to become a plug-and-play starter at day one.
With the Rams losing Rodger Saffold in free agency and declining John Sullivan’s option, Risner could find himself in horns at pick 31. The Rams could also trade down if they feel he will fall into the second round. It’s hard to find reliable offensive lineman straight out of college and Risner is a gem among dirt clods.
Bryan Bulaga, La’el Collins
Sources: Kansas State University