This year’s offensive line class is kind of the opposite of last year. Last year it as an insane class for guards and centers but less impressive on the outside, flip that around for this year.
This group of tackles seems to have grown in the hearts and minds of a lot of draft analysts but it also seems to have a few polarizing players too.
Don’t get me wrong there are some good interior guys in this class but there’s no Quenton Nelson type player who is going to make the pro bowl and be instantly dominant.
Let’s get into these tackles. These boys should be pretty sought after since there’s so many bad offensive lines and QB’s that spend too much time on their backs.
1. Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Fits; Texans, Vikings, Chargers
Taylor is a 3 year starter at tackle who has got better and better throughout his time at Florida. Taylor iis huge but has a little bit of grace about the way he moves whilst remaining incredibly powerful.
Taylor is a true right tackle in this class. To be honest, some might see this as a weakness or a deficiency but nowadays, teams line their best pass rushers up on both sides of the line, so you can’t have a weak link. Taylor is much better than the Gators left tackle, Martez Ivey.
2. Jonah Williams, Alabama
Fits; Bucs, Jets, Giants
Jonah Williams is a tackle, first and foremost and anyone trying to put him at guard is focusing too much on measureables. Yes, he’d make a good guard but that’s because he’s a really good offensive lineman, not because of the length of his arms.
Williams is clearly one of the best lineman in this class and one of only 3 top tier left tackle prospects so he’s a rare breed this year.
I heard a great little insight just yesterday about how Williams charts pass rushers and which moves they use and how successful they are with each. Then he gets his scout team opponent to use those moves so he can get better against the opponent’s strengths through the week. Fantastic preparation.
3. Cody Ford, Oklahoma
Fits; Giants, Houston, Bucs
Cody Ford has been a sharp riser on a lot of people’s boards recently. He’s a right tackle to me who has excellent athleticism and foot quickness, I often see him winning because he beats a pass rusher to the spot.
I can see him going in the top 15 of the draft with his ceiling possibly being #5 to the Bucs.
4. Dalton Risner, Kansas State
Fits; Texans, Vikings, Chargers
Since Risner has played 10 games at tackle guard and center, I didn’t really know where to place him in my rankings. He’ll provide a llot of experience and a hell of a lot of versatility at the NFL level.
Risner was excellent at the Senior Bowl and really seemed to strike up a great rapport with Chris Lindstrom in particular. These things tell me that he’s a good guy, works hard and is a good teammate and can also pick up new schemes really quickly.
5. David Edwards, Wisconsin
Fits; Vikings, Texans, Giants
I’m a big fan of Edwards, I think more so than a lot of people. He’s 6’7, 320 lbs there or thereabouts but he’s such a graceful mover! He’s got really nice body control for a man of his size which is a nice surprise.
What isn’t a surprise is his power and how he moves people, especially in the run game.
I’ve been a big fan of Wisconsin’s offensive line and I have had it down as the most talented in college football this past year… although Oklahoma may have words for me on that score.
Sleeper. Tyree St. Louis, Miami
Fits; Any team with an aging tackle or two who can spend time developing St. Louis for a year or two.
Tyree St. Louis is another 3 year starter in my crop, as I’ve said, I value experience when looking at prospects.
St. Louis played 2 years at right tackle and looked great but then got switched to left tackle for his senior year and he kind of dropped off a little playing the blindside… this kind of illustrates why I value guys who do their business on the left side of the line that little bit more.
A team could pick him up on day 2 or early day 3 and use him as a swing tackle who could spot start whilst the develop him further as a left tackle. He could also slot in as a low end right tackle starter immediately if needs be.