BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino
At least one offensive tackle has been selected among the first 10 selections in every draft but one (2005) since 2000. Premier talents like Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson, who I compared in-depth earlier this draft season, make it a near certainty that the trend will continue this year.
It would not be surprising to see Taylor Lewan join that mix and make this year’s draft the second consecutive with three top-10 offensive tackle selections.
An average of 19 offensive tackles have been selected in the last five drafts. I have draftable grades on 23 tackles this year which is a testament to the depth of this class. Intriguing offensive tackle talents can be found in every round of this year’s draft.
First Round Grades
1. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M: Matthews is a refined and polished pass blocker with the best footwork and hand placement in the class. He is a technically sound run blocker. He has the pedigree and skill set to be a decade-long starter at a high level.
2. Greg Robinson, Auburn: Robinson is one of the best run-blocking offensive linemen I have ever scouted. He is a bully and mauler with flawless form when generating movement. He needs work as a pass blocker, but his foot speed and athletic ability suggest that he is more than capable of developing in that capacity.
3. Taylor Lewan, Michigan: With more than 50 career starts, Lewan is an experienced, plug-and-play prospect at tackle. Lewan is athletically gifted and capable of shutting down pass-rushers while creating holes in front of runs. Recent off-field issues might hurt his draft stock but on the field, Lewan is a top-10 worthy talent.
4. Zack Martin, Notre Dame: If Martin had more length, he’d be a sure-fire top 10 prospect. Martin is sound in all areas and provides experience and versatility.
5. Joel Bitonio, Nevada: Bitonio’s draft stock has soared after a superb senior season in which he fared extremely well against UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr and turned in a terrific combine performance. With a balanced skill set and superb athletic ability, Bitonio is worthy of a selection at the top of the second round.
6. Antonio Richardson, Tennessee: Richardson is a bit raw entering the professional ranks but he possesses obvious talent. If he checks out medically, Richardson has first-round ability but will likely fall to the second round.
7. Ja’Wuan James, Tennessee: James started every game at right tackle in his four-year career for the Volunteers. He has great length and bend with good power. James appears ready to start on the right side from day one.
8. Morgan Moses, Virginia: Moses has the potential to follow in the footsteps of former Virginia offensive tackles D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe, all of whom have turned into excellent pros. If his foot speed and balance can improve, Moses has the length, frame and demeanor to be a solid starter in the NFL.
9. Cameron Fleming, Stanford: Fleming has all the size and length one could want from a tackle prospect for a power scheme. His kick-step is fluid and quick. He has some balance issues but if he can iron those out, he could be a long-term starter on the right side of an NFL offensive line.
10. James Hurst, North Carolina: Hurst suffered a broken leg in his final collegiate game but healed quickly enough to participate in North Carolina’s pro day this spring. He held his own against very talented pass-rushers at UNC and is ultra-competitive.
11. Jack Mewhort, Ohio State: Mewhort has solid ability to extend his arms, run his feet and drive people off the line. He has great inside hand placement and his technique is consistent. Slow feet may push him inside to guard in the NFL, where he has experience playing, but that versatility will help him in the draft. He has starter upside at either position.
12. Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt: Johnson started 51 consecutive games and played well against high-level SEC competition. Johnson is a competitive pass blocker who can create holes as a run blocker. He could excel at center if a team feels he lacks the bulk needed to play tackle.
13. Michael Schofield, Michigan: A three-year starter as a tackle and guard at Michigan, Schofield does many things well and is a solid all-around blocker. He utilizes his sound footwork, length and athleticism as a pass blocker, while he also run blocks well. He displays solid ability to sustain blocks and create movement off the ball with power and leg drive.
14. Seantrel Henderson, Miami: Question marks surround Henderson but he is one of the most talented offensive tackles in this year’s class. Henderson is a mauling run blocker who can generate significant movement. He is extremely powerful and when he gets his arms extended, he dominates. Overall consistency and off-field issues, however, might have teams thinking twice before investing a pick on Henderson.
15. Charles Leno Jr., Boise State: Leno followed up a strong senior season with impressive Shrine Game and combine performances. More of a finesse tackle than overpowering, Leno has quick feet and is technically sound. Leno has the upside to be an efficient swing tackle at the next level.
16. Justin Britt, Missouri: Britt projects as a power-scheme right tackle and has flashed strong run blocking ability on film. If he can develop his pass blocking and technical consistency, Britt could be a middle-round steal.
17. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill: After an impressive Pro Day performance, Duvernay-Tardif is suddenly on everyone’s radar. The Canadian standout has all the size and athletic ability one should want in an NFL offensive tackle.
18. Kevin Pamphile, Purdue: Pamphile is long and athletic but raw overall as a prospect. He is a developmental prospect who offers upside as a late-round pick. He has a basketball background and his best football is ahead of him.
19. Matt Patchan, Boston College: Patchan blew up the Combine and is a former defensive lineman still learning the offensive side of the game. He has significant upside as a developmental prospect but has bend and technique issues to iron out. Patchan is the type of “moldable clay” teams are looking for in the later rounds.
20. Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State: At 6’8′ and 316 pounds, Lucas is a giant. The issue is that he is a gentle giant. With the right coaching and motivation, Lucas has the tools needed to become a good professional tackle, but he has to become more physical.
21. Charles Siddoway, Mississippi State: Athletic and light-footed, Siddoway has transitioned well from the junior college ranks to the SEC. With refined technique and added strength, Siddoway has a chance to be a solid NFL reserve lineman.
22. Jeremiah Sirles, Nebraska: Sirles started each of the past three seasons for the Cornhuskers and has overachiever traits. While he is limited athletically, Sirles has the demeanor and frame ideal for a developmental tackle prospect.
23. Kevin Graf, Southern California: A three-year starter for USC, Graf flashes the ability to excel as a pass blocker and plays with good effort as a run blocker. His technique and core strength is lacking, but he’s worth a look in the seventh round.
Top Undrafted Free Agents
24. Bryce Quigley, San Diego State
25. Josh Walker, Middle Tennessee State
26. Kenarious Gates, Georgia
27. Austin Wentworth, Fresno State
28. Danny Kistler Jr., Montana
29. Matt Hall, Belhaven
30. Chris Martin, Central Florida
31. David Hurd, Arkansas
32. Garrett Scott, Marshall
33. Jake Olson, Central Michigan
34. Parker Graham, Oklahoma State
35. Fou Fonoti, Michigan State
36. Brent Qvale, Nebraska
37. Evan Finkenberg, Arizona State
Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Antonio Richardson, Austin Wentworth, Brent Qvale, Bryce Quigley, Cameron Fleming, Charles Leno Jr., Charles Siddoway, Chris Martin, Cornelius Lucas, Danny Kistler, David Hurd, Draft Rankings, Evan Finkenberg, Fou Fonoti, Garrett Scott, Greg Robinson, Ja'Wuan James, Jack Mewhort, Jake Matthews, Jake Olson, James Hurst, Jeremiah Sirles, Joel Bitonio, Josh Walker, Justin Britt, Kenarious Gates, Kevin Graf, Kevin Pamphile, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Matt Hall, Matt Patchan, Michael Schofield, Morgan Moses, NFL Draft, Offensive Line, Offensive Tackles, Parker Graham, Positional Breakdowns, Positional Rankings, Rankings, Seantrel Henderson, Taylor Lewan, Wesley Johnson, Zack Martin