Ben Bartch (Sr.): 6-foot-6, 305 pounds
Blanchet Catholic (Dayton, Ore.)
Draft range: Day 2
Ben Bartch made a wise decision in 2018.
You could call it a million-dollar decision.
The Saint John’s University senior was a tight end for the Johnnies his first two seasons, catching four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown in 2017. Bartch then changed positions, moving to offensive tackle, where he immediately started on the left side.
To put it lightly, Bartch has taken well to the position change.
The 6-foot-6, 305 pounder offensive lineman was one of the biggest surprises at the recent 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl, earning rave reviews from coaches and draft analysts alike. Bartch, the only Division III player at the Senior Bowl, wound up suffering a minor injury during practice and was held out of the game.
No matter. His impact had already been felt.
Ben Bartch is not only showing that he belongs here at the Senior Bowl, but that he is one of the better players down here. He keeps this up he could be a Day 2 pick for sure. #SeniorBowl
— Steve Shoup (@Steveospeak) January 21, 2020
Now Bartch has gone from a relative unknown, priority free agent hopeful to a possible Day 2 pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
He started all 14 games at left tackle this season for St. John’s, but coming into the Senior Bowl, many analysts predicted a move from tackle to guard at the next level. During Senior Bowl practices, Bartch practiced at left guard, right tackle and, of course, left tackle, where he made 27 consecutive starts for St. John’s since transitioning from tight end.
A sampling of what some of the national draft analysts are saying about him:
“Bartch has been incredibly physical and isn’t afraid to mix it up with defensive linemen from the bigger programs. He’s a little bit of a work in progress, but a top-100 grade isn’t out of the question after he showed out in his first test against NFL-caliber competition.” – Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller
“During practice, he did a nice job getting out of his stance to cut off speed, relying on his length (33 inches) to knock down and counter what rushers threw at him. … (He) displays natural awareness for the position, with the nasty temperament to match. If he keeps it up throughout the week, Bartch could follow in the footsteps of former Division III standout Ali Marpet and rocket up draft boards.” — The Athletic’s Dane Brugler
“Bartch didn’t back down from anyone he faced off against in practice or in the game. He lost a few one-on-one battles, but overall it was an impressive week for him. Bartch’s aggressive mentality befit a man who had a lot to prove and much to gain.” – Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm