Update on Illini’s NFL rookie offensive linemen

The Illinois Football Team sent two offensive linemen from last season’s team to the NFL.

Illini Nation got to hear center Doug Kramer and tackle Vederian Lowe’s names in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Here’s how former Illinois football linemen Doug Kramer and Vederian Lowe are heading into the NFL preseason.

Doug Kramer

Kramer is currently playing the “next man” role with the Chicago Bears after starting center Lucas Patrick suffered a right hand injury during training camp.

While Patrick’s injury likely won’t keep him out of the Bears’ season opener, he will likely miss most of training camp, giving Kramer plenty of vital camp experience. training and the Bears preseason roster.

Knowing the odds of immediately winning the starting gig are slim, Kramer is well aware of his role with the second team and credits the mindset he had while playing for Orange and Blue.

“I’ve been working to try and get to this point, and I’ve spent a lot of time studying the playbook and trying to figure things out in detail and in depth so that I can be a tool for others. guys on the offensive line,” Kramer told The Athletic.

“And it’s a very similar mindset to what I had in Illinois, and I’m just trying to get back to that understanding of the level of detail needed to be a center in this league.”

During his five years with the Illini, Kramer started every game at center despite being healthy. He has consistently played as one of the best centers in the country, notably setting the third-best overall pass blocking rating among power-five centers in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Kramer will have his first opportunity to earn a potential nod when the Bears host the Kansas City Chiefs next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. CST to open their preseason.

Vederian Lowe

Like Kramer, Lowe got a major opportunity in Minnesota Vikings practice on Wednesday.

Lowe went on the offense for the Vikings’ second team at left tackle after a spot opened up.

In an analysis of the former Illini, former Vikings player and coach Pete Bercich claimed Lowe had traits “coaches can’t teach,” citing his athleticism, good feet and speed.

In addition to his physical gifts, the Illini product says he worked on the mental part of his NFL transition. Lowe told PurplePTSD that he focused on writing the playbook, studying and preparing his mind to put the right foods in his body.

Lowe will get his first shot at earning that second-team spot when the Vikings visit the Las Vegas Raiders next Sunday at 3:25 p.m. CST.

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