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Michigan Football: The best offensive linemen of the Jim Harbaugh era

There has been some impressive talent up front for the Wolverines.

Michigan v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Throughout the week here at Maize n Brew we have been ranking players from Jim Harbaugh’s time at Michigan at different positions. Today brings us to the offensive lineman, which has taken massive steps forward as a unit.

Harbaugh draws a lot of fair criticism for the way the roster has been constructed and for not living up to the promised hype, but the offensive line has quietly been a strong unit for almost his entire time in Ann Arbor. The 2020 season was rough, but it was an outlier for a unit that has otherwise been dependable over the last few seasons.

Given the number of spots up front on the offensive line, it was tough to rank players. Instead, I have decided to put together a unit of the best guy at each position.

Without further ado, here we go.

Left Tackle: Mason Cole (2014-17)

Cole came into Michigan as a true freshman and started right away at left tackle, which is rare at the college level. In fact, he was the first Wolverine ever to start a season-opening game on the offensive line. He was a versatile player that spent the entire 2016 season at center before reverting to left tackle in 2017. The two-time second-team All-Big Ten selection was a third-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Left Guard: Ben Bredeson (2016-19)

Bredeson made eight starts at left guard during his freshman season and never relinquished that spot in his career. He was a three-time All-Big Ten selection and a second-team All-American during the 2019 season. Bredeson played in 50 career games at Michigan with 46 starts and was a two-time team captain. He was a fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2019.

Center: Cesar Ruiz (2017-19)

This would have been No. 1 with a bullet on my overall rankings list. Ruiz was outstanding and another lineman who played a big role early in his career. He played in 36 career games in three seasons at Michigan and parlayed his success into becoming a first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2019.

Right Guard: Graham Glasgow (2011-15)

The first of three Glasgows to make an impact at Michigan, Graham only ever played center for Harbaugh. He made 37 starts in 42 career games and was a steady veteran presence upfront during Harbaugh’s first season in Ann Arbor. His play helped him go from former walk-on to third-round NFL Draft pick, as the Detroit Lions selected him in 2016. He plays guard in the NFL so we had to find a spot for him here.

Right Tackle: Jalen Mayfield (2018-20)

Mayfield is the player on this list that by far played the least amount of games, but the talent was apparent when he was on the field. He was a three-year letterman at Michigan and an honorable mention All-Big Ten performer during the 2019 season. He would come off the board as a third-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons during the 2021 NFL Draft.

Who did we miss? Who would have made your list instead? Sound off in the comments below.