Over time, Virginia Tech has become a program that’s known to produce defensive talent into the NFL. Kam Chancellor, Kyle Fuller, Tremaine Edmunds, and soon to be first-rounder Caleb Farley are prime examples of that, but the offensive line has been a different story. Cleveland Browns guard Wyatt Teller is having a career year, but the Hokies haven’t had an offensive lineman drafted in the first round since Duane Brown during the 2008 draft (No. 26 overall – Houston Texans).
With the streak seeming likely to continue heading into the 2020 season, there now may be a challenger to unseat Brown as the latest first-rounder.
Offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw has become an anchor for the team’s offense. At 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, the junior blocker has the size, mobility, power, and awareness that scouts covet. Prior to his time in Blacksburg, Darrisaw experienced a winding path.
Spending time at Fork Union, it taught him the meaning behind structure and discipline. A school that barely allows the use of electronics and phone contact with family members is limited beyond the set hours of initiation. Spending a semester there opened his eyes to a lot of unforeseen things. Experiencing an abnormal life compared the average 18-year-old, he wasn’t allowed to have social media either, so many of the happenings around the world were foreign to him
Developing a great appreciation for living a normal life, Darrisaw has thrived since stepping foot on campus. The focus, increased maturation levels, and developed appreciation for other things enabled him to become the first true freshman to start the season opener at left tackle since Jonathan McLaughlin during the 2013 season. From being the No. 171-ranked recruit in the state to turning into the top-ranked prep offensive tackle in the country, no one saw this type of ascension forthcoming.
Midway through the 2018 season, the light seemed to turn on for him as he adjusted to the speed of the game and became stronger both mentally and physically—he still needed some more seasoning in certain areas, but the potential was certainly there. Tabbed as a freshman All-American following his first season, many began to take notice. For a player whose only initial offers came from North Carolina Central and Morgan State, his rise up draft boards is a sight to be seen.
Starting all 13 games during his sophomore season, all eyes were squarely on him heading into his junior year. The biggest concerns with Darrisaw were strength and a consistent mean streak. It's still early, but he has a strong argument to be in the conversation as the second-best draft-eligible tackle in the country behind only Oregon’s Penei Sewell, who’s expected to be a top-five selection next draft cycle.
Darrisaw is a name to remember the closer we get to the 2021 NFL Draft. It's an offensive tackle class that appears to be strong, but after being lower on the list entering the season, Darrisaw is surging up draft boards with his recent performances throughout his third season.