THE CASE FOR: BEN BARTCH (OL, ST. JOHN’S)
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
DIII Athletic Senior Bowl Standout with Ali Marpet Potential.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 26: Ben Bartch #OL04 of the St John's-MN interviews during the second day of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
6’ 6” | 309 lbs
Athletic tackle. Former tight end, great adjustment to second level blocks. Plays with a chip on his shoulder. Had a great senior bowl week.
Body still needs to finish tight end to tackle
conversion, fill out some size. Severely limited experience at the position (27 starts at left tackle), didn’t have great competition.
Analysis: There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to Bartch due to both his inexperience at the tackle position and the fact that he played at such a small-time school. With that being said, he had a great week at the Senior Bowl and proved that he can hang with the big boys. Additionally, we have seen Division III success in the NFL before. Ali Marpet, who will be blocking for Tom Brady this season, attended Hobart College in Geneva, New York and was drafted at 61st overall in the 2015 Draft, the highest DIII draft position in the history of the draft.
Bartch is similar to Marpet in a handful of key categories. Both have similar size, good athleticism and quickness, and both play with that chip on their shoulder that every starting-caliber offensive lineman needs to not only survive, but thrive in the trenches. Bartch has done everything he could to prove himself to teams, but sometimes the circumstances serve as limitations. With that being said, with the success Marpet has had on the big stage, I would not be surprised to see a team take a chance with Bartch. I would not be surprised to see a team try him at various positions in training camps.
Best Fits: Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions
When Mr. Gregory Robinson decided it was a good idea to cross the Mexican-US border with 157 pounds of weed, the Browns immediately started scouting tackle draft prospects. Not a whole lot of hope for getting Robinson back on the field anytime soon. Bartch is someone they could get to test out on that O-line, and despite the limited experience, there’s no denying the potential. Finding a tackle has proven to be a difficult task for the Browns. Cleveland went from future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas to a drug-pushing dope head, but Bartch could be an answer for them.
When it comes to the Vikings, not only do they need help on the interior line, where they might try to move Bartch, but a hometown guy like Bartch would be a fan favorite. While originally from Oregon, Bartch attended St. Johns in Collegeville, Minnesota, and would fit nicely in front of Kirk Cousins.
The Lions were all kinds of messy last year and lost one of their leading pieces on the front lines, Graham Glasgow. Glasgow signed a 4 year, $44M deal with the Denver Broncos this offseason. Matt Patricia came over from New England, where they don’t care where you came from, and Patricia has drafted offensive linemen high in the draft before. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lions try to snag him if he’s sitting on their board.
Projection: (Round 3-4) -No one knows what position teams will ask him to play on the line. With that being said, I really see the Vikings picking him up in the third round, letting him sit as a backup for a couple of years, and turning him into a full-time starter. This is the kind of guy you want to see succeed.