K-State has a long history of great offensive linemen since the early 1990s. Barrett Brooks kicked off a streak of Wildcat linemen drafted into the NFL when the Philadelphia Eagles drafted him in the second round in 1995. From 1995 to 2019, K-State had eight offensive linemen drafted, an average of one every three years. That’s a pretty good track record for a school that’s not known for getting blue-chip recruits, especially on the offensive line.
Narrowing the list down to four was not an easy task. Choosing the best offensive linemen is pretty subjective, but I used accolades such as all-conference selections as a guide and took into consideration their success at the NFL level.
That said, it’s time for the K-State Mount Rushmore of Offensive Linemen.
Weiner played at K-State from 1993 to 1997. He was a second-round draft pick, number 47 overall, by the Seattle Seahawks in 1998. That made him the highest drafted offensive lineman in K-State history until Dalton Risner was selected at number 41 in 2019. Weiner was first-team all-Big 12 in 1997 and second-team All-American in 1997. He played in 152 NFL games, starting 116 of them, in his 10-year NFL career
Risner played at K-State from 2014 to 2019. He redshirted his first year and started in 50 of 51 games the four years after that. That’s insanely good. He was a first-team all-American in 2018 and first-team All-Big 12 in 2016, 2017, and 2018. He was the Big 12 co-offensive lineman of the year in 2018. The Denver Broncos selected him in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft, where he has started in all 47 games in the first three years of his career. Since he was selected first or second team all-American by just about every publication in 2018, I’d expect to see him on the K-State ring of honor someday.
Whitehair played at K-State from 2011 to 2015. The Big 12 coaches voted him first-team all-Big 12 in 2015, and he started or played in every game in his career. The Chicago Bears drafted him in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, where he has started 95 games. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2018.
Leckey played at K-State from 2000 to 2003 and was the first true freshman to start a game under former head coach Bill Snyder. He was a first-team all-American in 2003 by ESPN and Sports Illustrated, first-team all-Big 12 in 2002 and 2003, and third-team All-Big 12 in 2001. Among his amazing accomplishments is that he never allowed a sack while at K-State. The Arizona Cardinals selected him in the 6th round of the 2004 NFL draft. He played six years in the NFL, playing in 65 games and starting 32 of them.
To narrow this list to four, I had to leave off some great K-State offensive linemen like Ryan Lilja, Jeromey Clary, Damion McIntosh, and BJ Finney. All of them had great careers in college and extensive NFL careers. There are a lot of other players that I considered, but rather than forgetting to mention someone, I am not going to list them all.
Next week I’m going to start with the defensive positions!