As we put a bow on the 2022 college football season and look ahead to 2023, offensive line was expected to be a strength for the Tigers as all five starters were expected back.
Well change that to most of the starting offensive line as redshirt junior Anthony Bradford announced his intention to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.
Bradford’s been a mainstay for the LSU offensive line for the better part of the past two seasons. Bradford played in 13 of LSU’s 14 games this season with 12 starts coming at right guard. The lone game Bradford did not play in was week 3’s win over Mississippi State.
Bradford played in six games in 2021 with five starts. Bradford was actually LSU’s starting left tackle in the games against Auburn, Kentucky, Florida, and Ole Miss; he was mainly a backup in the 2020 and 2019 seasons. In 2020 he appeared in seven games—primarily as a special teamer—and saw action in three games in 2019 (Northwestern State, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas).
Losing Bradford is a blow but thankfully LSU’s done a good job making offensive line a strength in the early portion of the Brian Kelly era. LSU’s got a couple of different ways they could fill the void left by Bradford: maybe Garrett Dellinger stakes his claim as a starter; maybe Emory Jones slides inside which opens up the door for prized five-star tackle Zalance Heard to man the right tackle spot; or heck maybe LSU catches lightning in a bottle for a second year in a row where they put Heard in at right guard next to Jones and the Tigers have a freshman All-American along the offensive line in back-to-back years.