Welcome to the next installment of my final positional rankings series! Next up are the offensive tackles where plenty of help can be found for teams looking for upgrades at the position. With so many young and talented quarterbacks in the league, the demand for quality blockers has never been greater. I have six offensive tackles graded in the first two rounds (3 in the first, 3 in the second) with several appealing Early Day 3 targets. Simply put, it's a good year to need an offensive tackle.
My full rankings can be found at the bottom with scouting reports on each prospect if you click on their name.
Jawaan Taylor is OT1
I’ll never forget when I starting studying Taylor’s tape. It was the Friday before the Senior Bowl Game and I had been on the road away from home for two weeks after being in St. Petersberg for the Shrine Practices and Game the week prior. Exhausted and sitting in a coffee shop in downtown Mobile, I began watching his tape. It wasn’t long before I perked up and realized I was studying one of the best prospects in the entire 2019 Draft class.
I love how Taylor has grown across his three seasons in Florida, developing into a dominant blocker in 2018. He is a standout blocker on the move, in pass protection and firing off the ball in the run game. He’s athletic, fluid, powerful, long and massive. Taylor has some technical items to clean up with his hands but he has the upside to anchor an NFL offensive line for years to come.
Don't Overthink Jonah Williams
Is he a guard or a tackle? The discussions around Williams have been wild. Let's make this simple: he is a really good player that profiles as a high-quality starter in the NFL.
A three-year starter with experience at both left and right tackle, Williams is polished in many areas. He is a smooth operator with balanced footwork, good mobility and excellent play strength. Being battle tested against the best pass rushers in college football and a strong baseline of traits make him an appealing prospect.
With that said, Williams has enough length but has some struggles getting outreached and pass rushers are able to get into his frame. Williams does well to win with first contact and mitigate that concern but he does give up his chest on occasion. Perhaps this makes him a guard at the NFL level but I am not dismissing that he can't be an outstanding tackle.
Here's the bottom line: Williams projects as a high impact blocker in the run game, on the move and in pass protection. If your team needs offensive line help, draft Williams in the first round and you're well on your way to fortifying things up front.
Bobby Evans Among My Favorite Sleepers
Playing for arguably the best offensive line and offense in college football, I have no idea why there isn’t more buzz around Evans. A 40-game starter for the Sooners, Evans has spent time at both left and right tackle and he features a loaded toolbox of traits. I personally love how dominant he is with his hands which blends nicely with his length, mobility, core strength and tenacious style of play.
There is some development needed with his footwork, particularly with his kickslide and set points in pass protection but Evans is going to be a steal for some team in the 3rd or 4th round.
Donnell Greene and Paul Adams are Nice Day 3 Targets
Working through the last few offensive tackles on my watch list, Adams and Greene were two guys that stuck out in a positive light. Later round offensive line prospects typically come with a notable restriction in terms of size, mobility, body control or play strength but I feel more comfortable with Adams and Greene than most of the other prospects in the later round tier. Below are my summaries on each:
A three-year starter at right tackle for Missouri, Adams could stay at tackle in the NFL but a switch to guard would not surprise me. Adams is a physical and power run blocker that can be relied upon to create movement up front. He’s effective on the move and has positive traits to win in pass protection. I love his commitment to winning with his hands, playing under control and his tenacious mentality. Adams has some leverage and set point issues to correct in pass pro, which is why a move to guard may be best. With that said, Adams has eventual starter upside and the makings of a solid pro.
A three-year starter for Minnesota, Greene illustrates an appealing blend of size, length, mobility, control and power which serves as a strong foundation to develop from. There were plenty of instances on film where his power at the point of attack was overwhelming for opponents and he is ready to compete right now in the league in terms of play strength. He does have some technical improvements needed, mainly with his hand usage before he’s ready to see the field. While a move to guard may be required, Greene has the makeup of an eventual NFL starter.
Out of Control
The last four guys in my rankings are primarily from power five schools with plenty of starting experience and ideal measurables, but their inability to remain balanced has me doubtful of their ability to find success at the next level.
I discriminate pretty heavily against offensive tackles who cannot remain balanced and in control of their frame. In a position where absorbing power, moving grown men against their will and lateral movement skills are required to stay in front of freaky athletic dudes that are trying to get around you to sack the quarterback, operating with balance is a must. Posture, weight distribution and bend are all lacking in Nijman, St. Louis, Ivey and Pope despite other appealing attributes.