Solid instate O-line class long overdue for Bielema, Arkansas

Danny West, Recruiting Analyst
Hawg Sports

In the middle of his sixth recruiting cycle as Arkansas' head coach, Bret Bielema is finally getting a decent crop of instate offensive line prospects to work with.

If you haven't been paying attention, the Natural State's production of SEC-caliber linemen has been well below average for the last six years, and that's not ideal for a guy who wants to build his program around the line of scrimmage.

It's also unfamiliar territory for Bielema, who enjoyed having a ton of O-line talent in his own back yard at Wisconsin.

For those who have wondered why Arkansas isn't spitting out the same number of All-Americans and NFL Draft picks that Wisconsin saw under Bielema's watch, maybe this breakdown will shed some light on one of the Hogs' biggest hurdles.

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Trey Biddy

First, it's important to note that Bielema has actually produced the same amount of drafted offensive linemen (2) in the first four NFL Drafts during his time at Arkansas that he had in the first four drafts while at Wisconsin.

Wisconsin produced Joe Thomas (2007, 1st Round) and Kraig Urbik (2009, 3rd Round) in his first four years as the Badgers' head coach, and at Arkansas he's had a pair of draft picks in Travis Swanson (2014, 3rd Round) and Sebastian Tretola (2016, 6th Round).

It wasn't until 2011 that Bielema's number of O-line selections began to rise at Wisconsin. The Badgers saw a staggering total of seven offensive linemen selected in a three-year span between 2011-13, boosting Bielema as college football's top-producer of NFL offensive linemen.

Wisconsin has had two more offensive linemen taken since Bielema's departure.

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