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NFL offensive line coaches look for blockers with a blue-collar work ethic. Few in this draft class match that description better than Risner, who grew up on a cattle ranch, bailing hay, cutting his hands laying barbed wire and becoming the first player from his high school (Wiggins) to play at the Division I level.
Concerned that college recruiters would not find him at Wiggins (which had a population of 887 as of 2017), Risner took matters into his own hands, traveling to football camps all over the country - and not just as a high school senior. Risner reportedly began touring camps and emailing college coaches while he was still in the eighth grade.
Coaches don't get much more old-school than Bill Snyder, who offered Risner a scholarship and watched him develop into one of the best blockers in the country.
Better yet, Risner developed a social conscious over his career, creating a powerful social media presence through his charitable RiseUp organization, dedicated to helping disadvantaged youth.
Position-versatile, battle-tested, blue-collar blocker who ranks as one of the cleanest prospects in the entire 2019 draft. Started all 13 games as a redshirt freshman at center and every game since at right tackle, where he excelled at the Senior Bowl. Good size (including 34" arms) to remain there in the NFL.
Technically sound tough guy with better functional football strength and speed than he showed in Combine drills. Highly competitive. After getting beaten by Mississippi State's Montez Sweat in an early 2018 season matchup, Risner consistently topped the future first-round pick in Mobile.
Of concern is the fact that Risner is just an average athlete by NFL o-line standards, including in the 40-yard dash, bench press (23 repetitions) and vertical jump (28.5"). He is more controlled than quick out of his stance and may struggle with the elite athletes he'll face off the edge in the NFL, projecting as a solid starter but perhaps not a standout at the next level.
Projection: Second Round
--Field Level Media