Cooper Beebe, G
The key cog that keeps this Kansas State offensive line chugging along in run blocking and pass protection is senior left guard and 2022 AP Second-Team All-American Beebe. The likely 2024 first-round NFL Draft pick is as good as it gets among dominating interior offensive linemen in the Big 12 this season.
Tankathon ranks Beebe as the best interior offensive lineman on its 2024 NFL Draft Big Board.
He is the highest-graded interior offensive lineman in the Big 12 this season in run and pass blocking.
Beebe looks more menacing than ever with his ability to win almost any blocking assignment, climb the defense, and wreck defenders in the open field. Kansas State loves to run behind guys like Beebe and Levinston when they get to their spots as pulling blockers. And it’s easy to see why.
Kansas State will utilize its strength at a few spots along the offensive line to try and neutralize the threat that Texas poses along the interior defensive line. Beebe can probably limit senior defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat and/or junior Byron Murphy II, depending on who he’s assigned to on certain plays.
The big question in the trenches in this game will be whether other Kansas State interior offensive linemen can step it up. While Beebe is an All-American at left guard, Kansas State boasts a couple of average to below-average starters at center and right guard.
Senior starting center Hayden Gillum has a lot of experience, now boasting over 20 starts in his collegiate career at Kansas State. But he’s performed at an average level in pass pro compared to the rest of the starting centers in the Big 12 this season and below average amid this group in run blocking.
Gillum ranks in the middle of the pack in pass-blocking efficiency rating (97.8) and pass-blocking grade among Big 12 centers this season.
It’s a similar story with junior right guard Hadley Panzer. The 6-foot-4 and 303-pound first-year starter at right guard, Panzer, is average in run blocking when compared to the rest of the starting guards in the Big 12. And he’s slightly below average in pass-blocking grade.
Yet, Panzer has played much better in pass pro in the last three games. He hasn’t allowed a single quarterback pressure in three consecutive starts. We’ll see if that streak holds up against the best interior defensive line starting duo in the Big 12 this weekend against Sweat and Murphy.
Even if Panzer’s improved play in pass pro continues, Beebe will do a lot of the work to open up running lanes and prevent the pocket from collapsing along the interior of the line against the Longhorns this weekend.