This year’s Offensive Tackle class is scary. It’s scary in because there isn’t a whole lot of top end talent. Outside of the top two its really going to be interesting who the NFL pegs as a LT prospect and even then we’re not sure many of those guys are legitimate NFL prospects. It’s also scary because if even 2 or 3 of the top five 2014 OT’s leave school early this class becomes so top heavy it’s going to be some teams dream.
1. Oday Aboushi-Virginia
When Aboushi got on campus in Charlottesville there was plenty of hope about how good this massive ball of potential could be. Well fast forward three years and Aboushi is right at that tipping point of going from very good college OT to a dominant one. He has the size, the speed, and the power to play the LT position in the NFL and that’s why he’s our top OT.
2. Ricky Wagner-Wisconsin
We rank Wagner as the #2 OT while others have him as the top guy. We love the technical ability Wagner shows along with his size. He has good athleticism for his size but we aren’t sold its quite good enough to be a NFL LT. Due to that question we had to rank him below Aboushi.
3. Mark Jackson-Glenville State
Jackson was considered a good signing for the University of Illinois during the 2009 recruiting cycle. It however did not work out for him there and he’s been at Glenville State since 2010 as their starting LT. Jackson has good athleticism to go along with a massive frame and impressive power. Like most DII prospects though his technique is flawed and he will need to correct that.
4. Alex Hurst-LSU
The RT for the National Runner Up, Hurst is as steady as they come. He plays with good power out of his stance and really does a good job moving his man out of the play. Hurst may be one of the best run blocking tackles in this class. His pass protection needs work as he struggles v. speed rushers and has inconsistent footwork.
5. Justin Pugh-Syracuse
The Syracuse tackle will look to continue to make himself on a team that just isn’t very good at this point. Pugh, like Hurst, is a better run blocker than pass protector and could see himself moved inside eventually due to struggles with pass rushers.
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6. Jeffrey Nady-Nevada
Nady is a really tall OT prospect who has long arms and decent athletic ability. He’s a little light right now and will need to add size to his frame along with muscle. Technically speaking Nady needs work, as of now he more or less gets in the way of people but doesn’t do well enough at engaging them at the point of attack.
7. Xavier Nixon-Florida
Nixon was a highly touted recruit when Urban Meyer signed him in 2009. Since then he’s been built up a lot but hasn’t always showed up on the field. There is no question that Nixon has the potential talent to be considered a NFL caliber player but does he actually want to one day become that?
8. R.J. Mattes-NC State
An OT/OG combo player who will work on the left side of the NC State line this year, Mattes is an interesting prospect because he has good size and strength but has yet to take that dominant step. As the leader of a line that returns four starters this could be a potential breakout year for him.
9. Elvis Fisher-Missouri
One year removed from a season ending knee injury, Fisher is back and looking to show scouts that he wasn’t just Big 12 good but that he’s SEC good. With the Tigers move to the SEC this year the test will never be greater for Fisher’s knee than to see if he can stay in front some of the most ferocious pass rushers in the country.
10. Brennan Williams-UNC
Williams will play the RT spot for the Tarheels this fall and will look to make the outside pairing of he and Junior James Hurst as dominant as the inside pairing of Travis Bond and Jonathan Cooper are. Williams has a massive wingspan and does a good job getting his arms extended and keeping DE’s at bay. He anchors well and could move up the board if he stays consistent in his technique.
2014 NFL Draft Top 5 OT’s
1. Luke Joeckel-Texas A&M
The Aggies LT leads the way for the 2014 class, we’ll know much more about him by mid-season as he takes on the SEC.
2. Taylor Lewan-Michigan
Anytime Michigan produces an OT you have to at least take a gander and once you watch Lewan you just want to see more.
3. D.J. Fluker-Alabama
Fluker is a RT prospect who has the ability to become a dominant one, he has athleticism and power in abundance.
4. Chris Faulk-LSU
5. Jake Matthews-Texas A&M
Joeckel’s fellow bookend mans the right side and deals with the power aspect of the game, look for RB Christine Michael (BBD #3 2013 RB) to run behind Matthews a lot in 2012.