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Will Stawarz’ versatility allow him to go higher in the draft?

Texas Tech offensive linemen have become popular in the NFL, will Stawarz join the ranks?

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Over the years, Texas Tech offensive linemen have become popular in the NFL because of their versatility and their ability to succeed at pass blocking, and Paul Stawarz is no different. At 6-foot-5, 295-pounds, Stawarz has started at both center or guard, a trait that NFL teams could really appreciate due to their strict roster limits. Players like Stawarz, who can play multiple positions are coveted because they can step in where needed when injury occurs.

Stawarz did not begin his career at Texas Tech. He spent his freshman year at College DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. While there, he was selected NJCAA Region IV All-Region second team after helping lead the Chaparrals to a 6-4 record. He came to Texas Tech with three years of eligibility left, and he sure took advantage of it.

Stawarz, a native of Channahon, Illinois, appeared in eight games in his first year at Tech. He became the starting center as a junior and started in all 13 games for the Red Raiders that season and earned honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades. In fact, he started 26 consecutive games through three seasons at Tech. He suffered an injury his senior year that only allowed him to start in 10 games.

His junior year, he was a part of one of the youngest offensive lines in the country along with sophomores Travis Bruffy, Madison Akamnonu and Terence Steele and true freshman Jack Anderson. Though young, the offensive line helped the Red Raiders average 140.9 rushing yards per game.

Prior to his senior season, Stawarz, the only senior on Texas Tech’s offensive line, was announced as nominee for the Rimington Trophy, an award presented annually to the nation’s top center. He ended his college career with 31 starts on the offensive line, second-most on the offense. The offensive line finished the 2018 season ranked fourth in the Big 12 with only 2.08 sacks allowed per game.

The contributions of offensive linemen often goes unnoticed by fans almost every NFL team will draft at least one offensive lineman every year, and this is a good sign for Stawarz. If drafted, Stawarz will join in the ranks of Red Raider NFL offensive linemen like Le’Raven Clark, Manny Ramirez, Louis Vasquez and Daniel Loper.