Meet The Top-5 Offensive Tackles Of The 2019 Draft

It is decided! Today is actually my final day of offensive tape for the 2019 NFL Draft in general: I have a handful of third-rate offensive guards left to log before turning the page completely to defense for the final two weeks of my film work.

Needless to say, I'm excited to sort out that whole mess...but that is for another day. Today, I'm here to introduce you to my top-5 offensive tackles. Offensive tackle is a position I've had a lot of re-checks at this year.

In my early years in the industry, I took pride in working in a "vacuum" to keep my opinions incubated. And while that makes the hits quite sweet, it also exposes you to a lot of easily avoidable mistakes. All you have to do is talk it out with others. I'm grateful for that added dynamic with my work here at The Draft Network.

So with that in mind, I've checked the tape. I've run the numbers. I've talked it out and re-checked the tape. Here are my top five offensive tackles of the 2019 NFL Draft.

1. Jawaan Taylor, Florida

Taylor is a magnificent tackle prospect who will check every box needed to get an offensive line coach salivating. Big. Long. Athletic. Powerful. He's pretty stunning to watch out in space. Taylor improved by leaps and bounds this season under new management in Florida, catapulting him from a promising tools player into a blue chip prospect.

Taylor has the demeanor you love at the position, but then again so do all of these other guys. What separates him? He checks all the boxes. And while schemes can allow the names below him to shine at the NFL level, I'm not sure there's another universal prospect among them.

Round Grade: First Round

2. Jonah Williams, Alabama

Here's a good example: Williams is a terrific player. But if you allow yourself to perseverate over the 2019 National Championship Game, you're going to have a really hard time vetting how you can be really excited about the prospect of Jonah Williams getting out-reached at the point of attack.

Check the previous season between Clemson and Alabama and you'll find a more favorable result for Williams. There are some natural restrictions for Williams (read: length) that may cause a handful of extra minus plays, but by and large you know exactly what you're getting here. I like the tenacity that Williams plays with and he's got the ability to play on either side of the center if required.

Round Grade: First Round

3. Dalton Risner, Kansas State

Williams, Risner and Ford (below) will all warrant at least some consideration by some teams on the interior. This comes from some of those "non-universal" qualities I mentioned when oozing about Jawaan Taylor. For Risner, he's played Right Tackle for his career and I was initially skeptical he could do so in the pros.

The Senior Bowl helped to alleviate some of those concerns. Risner is a gap/power Tackle, I like him when his real estate is defined for him and he's not asked to string defenders laterally. Let him play in his lot of land and bully anyone who dares to step inside it.

Round Grade: First Round

4. Cody Ford, Oklahoma

Ford has experience inside but he's still a player I'd rather let fail into the interior. With his length and mobility, Ford is a better ZBS (zone scheme) projection than Risner but he'll get after you if you try to bump him chest to chest.

Ford (and Risner) strike me as non-sexy players and they're probably being slept on a little bit in this year's class as a result, but plug and play starters up front should be coveted, given the landscape of offensive line play in today's NFL.

Round Grade: First Round

5. Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia

There are a bunch of tough guys in this group, but are any of them as tough as Yodny Cajuste? He's a little stiffer in the hips than each of his fellow ranked tackles. But he plays collected and balanced in space. He's got some of the heaviest hands of the class. It's no coincidence that this guy tried to shadow box someone from Texas Tech in September after all!

Cajuste has all kinds of loaded power in his punches and it really shines. And because of his stature, he's able to cover notable space in his set to try to protect the edge.

Round Grade: Early Second Round

Just missed: Andre Dillard, Washington State

I must have watched Dillard on four separate occasions this off-season. I get the appeal. His feet are sublime and he's a clear offensive tackle, unlike the perception of Williams, Risner and Ford. Do I still have my concerns, yes. Of course. But I've warmed on his upside and Dillard's mastery of his footwork suggests he can come go enhance his hand usage and punch timing. I don't think he's quite as plug and play as the consensus seems to feel, but I've come around on him. He's my OT6.

Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Chief Brand Officer

CBO & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Former NDT Scouting Overlord.

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