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23 Days of Draftmas: St. John’s IOL Ben Bartch

23 Days of Draftmas continues with a small-school interior offensive lineman with work ethic, character and a high ceiling.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

A very merry Draftmas to you! We continue our tradition of profiling an NFL Draft prospect every day in April, leading up to the NFL Draft on April 23rd. Every day, you’ll get a prospect profile that includes how they would fit with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Ben Bartch, IOL

NFL Combine - Day 2 Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

6’6” | 309 lbs | St. John’s (MN)

Dayton, OR

Grade (round): Fourth

Expected Draft Range: Day two

One-sentence bio: Division III prospect who put on nearly 80 pounds during his collegiate career and had a quality showing against top talent at the Senior Bowl.

One-sentence scouting report: Raw offensive line prospect who will likely have to play on the interior but shows top-tier athletic traits and good football character.

One play:

How he fits in Kansas City: As a small school player who went from a tight end to an exceptional Division III tackle, Bartch is a fascinating prospect. He is a self-made, high-character NFL prospect who has an inspiring story — going from zero Division I offers to a potential top-100 selection. He loves the game of football — and has an outstanding work ethic.

It’s hard to evaluate Bartch’s collegiate games. But on tape, you can see very good movement skills — regardless of the competition he’s facing. He is light on his feet, shows great agility and has fluidity through his frame. At the Senior Bowl, Bartch showed day-by-day improvement against a level of competition he had not seen. With his willingness to learn and work, it wouldn’t be wise to bet against his career trajectory continuing to go up.

While he was a dominant tackle at a lower level, Bartch is likely to find his way in the NFL as an interior offensive lineman. The Chiefs like their interior lineman with some tackle experience — and even though it wasn’t a major test for him to play there, he still fits that description. Since he’s able to execute zone running game at a high level, he’d fit perfectly on the Chiefs’ offensive line. He can be asked to pull, getting out in space in the screen game — where he should thrive. The Chiefs might not get year-one impact from Bartch, but his football character, work ethic and athleticism have coaches drooling. He has the right makeup to reach a high ceiling. Offensive line coach Andy Heck would love to have this ball of clay to mold into a very good interior offensive lineman.

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