I'm not entirely sure how to describe the OU's offensive line performance this season. I feel like it was a unit that pretty much performed to expectations, but that was about it. They've been outstanding in pass protection for the last couple years, but continue to struggle being physical enough while run blocking. I'm certainly not smart enough to know how to fix the problem or I'd likely be cashing a much larger paycheck every week with an OU logo on it. What I do believe is it's as much about the mentality of wanting to dominate the guy across from you and I can't help but feel like this unit has been missing that kind of mentality for awhile.
However, there was one guy that statement does not apply to and I think you know who I'm talking about. And that will definitely be reflected in his grade, so no point in wasting any more time.
Stepehson was a fixture at left tackle all year and did a superb job of protecting Landy's blind side for pretty much the entire season. He's a guy who had some off the field issues his first couple years on campus, so it was nice to see him get his act together these last two years and be a solid contributor. He's big and athletic enough to earn a shot at the next level and any time you lose a NFL caliber left tackle, it's going to be a big hole to plug on the o-line next year.
Gabe Ikard: A-
Ikard isn't the biggest or strongest guy in the world, but he's about as dependable as they come. Being forced to slide over to center for an injured Ben Habern was virtually a seamless transition and that has to be factored in when considering his grade. He is clearly a guy the coaches trust implicitly and he proved all year why they should. I still think he can get pushed around a bit by bigger DTs on the inside, but I think that is something he can overcome with improved technique.
Ben Habern: A-
It would be unfair to lower his grade just because of an injury. When he was in there, both before and after the broken forearm, he was the same dependable leader of the o-line he's been for the last three years.
Tyler Evans: B-
Evans is guy, at least for me, who is solid enough but isn't going to really 'wow' you. Which seems odd considering he is 6'5" 300 pounds, you would think he could just maul guys on the inside. I've yet to ever really see that out of him and it will be interesting to see if he holds onto that right guard spot next year.
Lane Johnson: B
If you had told me before the season started that Johnson was going to be our starter at right tackle virtually all season, I would have told you we were in serious trouble. To his credit, playing o-line for the first time ever, he did a pretty incredible job. That said, there were still plenty of times during the season where you could see the inexperience. While understandable, it is still something that will need to be improved on before next season.
Adam Shead: A+
Yeah, that false start against Baylor was pretty bad. But outside of that, the kid was an absolute star once the coaches gave him a shot. Once he got his hands on the defender, it was game freaking over. He is EXACTLY the kind of blocker this line needs if it ever wants to dominate in the run game. He absolutely must start next year, I don't care if it's left or right guard, but he must be a starter!!!
Stephen Good: C
Much like how we described out disappointment in Dejuan Miller during the WR recap, the same could very easily be said about Good's time in Norman. He came in as a five star recruit, but never really came close to living up to that potential. Injuries played a really big part in that, but none the less he leaves OU with less fan fare than with which he arrived.
Daryl Williams: C-
He started the season as the starter at right tackle, suffered a sprained ankle in the first game, and never won his spot back. Anybody else find it a little odd that he wins the job in the summer and then can't ever beat out Lane Johnson to win it back?
Jarvis Jones: F
Who could have predicted the knee injury he suffered this past spring would have lead to him quitting the team and not even showing up for senior day? I'm not sure how you consider that anything other than a failure.