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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Offensive Tackles in the 2018 NFL Draft

Top 10 Offensive Tackles in the 2018 NFL Draft

Top Offensive Tackles in the 2018 NFL Draft!
Publish Date: 03/08/2018
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

 

1. Connor Williams – Texas – 6’5” 296

Before the season started Connor Williams was considered the number one offensive tackle in the class by most scouts, but struggles in an injury shortened season have left his draft status in limbo.  He has excellent pass sets and has no problem adjusting to the rush and staying between his man and the quarterback.  He has okay size for the position but is not the towering long-armed figure that is desired by NFL teams.  He is an excellent run blocker and truly finishes his blocks.  His knee injury is definitely a concern, but the fact that he was able to return from it during the season is promising.

Strengths:

  • Does not give up many sacks or pressures

  • Strong run blocker

  • Good feet – seems to effortlessly keep himself in front of pass rushers

  • Defenders seem to have a hard time disengaging from his blocks

Weaknesses:

  • Has good, but not great size

  • Gets a little high in his pass set at times

  • Coming off knee injury and subpar season

 

2. Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame – 6’7” 309

Mike McGlinchey is an excellent blocker both in the run and pass game.  He has a huge frame and the strength to bury defenders in the run game.  He was often asked to pull to the outside and did an excellent job tracking defenders and engaging with them on these plays.  His kickstep may be a bit slow when he is faced with high end speed rushers in the NFL, but if he can get his hands on the rusher, he can take whatever they have to bring.  He is strong and sturdy, and when he sits his butt down he cannot be moved.  He looks a little stiff and can get too high with his pad level both in the run and pass game.

Strengths:

  • Can track and engage with defenders at the second level

  • Dominates in the run game

  • Strong enough to reset and comeback when thrown off balance by rushers

  • Not going to get bull rushed

Weaknesses:

  • A little stiff

  • Looks athletic moving in space, but kickstep may not be enough for speed rushers

  • Can get a little high at times

 

3. Chukwuma Okorafor – Western Michigan – 6’6” 320

Chukwuma Okorafor has an incredible combination of size and athleticism that will have NFL scouts drooling.  He moves very well and is skilled in pass protection.  He needs to use his hands more effectively in both run blocking and pass blocking.  As a run blocker he is rarely dominant.  It is difficult to get around him or off of his blocks, but he is not as physically dominating as you might expect.  You would like to see him finish opponents on the ground more often.

Strengths:

  • Elite size

  • Moves extremely well for a man of his size – excellent pass sets

  • Opponents struggle to get off his blocks

Weaknesses:

  • Leans on opponents too much – does not use hands effectively

  • More brick wall than wrecking ball

  • Does not physically destroy people the way you might expect

 

4. Kolton Miller – UCLA – 6’8” 309

Although Kolton Miller’s size may be overwhelming, his play is merely adequate in a lot of areas.  He is patient in pass protection.  He will not overset; if anything he undersets.  He often rides defenders out to the side, using their momentum against them.  Although this strategy can be effective, it would be nice to see him engage a little more and hold his ground.  He is a solid run blocker who can make blocks in space or on first level defenders.  He can be bullied a bit in pass protection, which may be because he doesn’t set his base well enough or because he needs to add strength.  Miller is an excellent prospect because his floor is extremely high.  The question with him is if he can improve on a few things to become a potential Pro-Bowl caliber player.

Strengths:

  • Ideal frame and size

  • Patient in pass protection

  • Aggressive run blocker

Weaknesses:

  • Can get high on run blocks

  • Too comfortable with allowing rushers to take the long route in pass protection rather than actually stopping them

  • Gets pushed around in pass protection at times – may need to add strength

 

5. Desmond Harrison – West Georgia – 6’6” 292

Desmond Harrison is a Division 2 prospect with a great frame and a nasty demeanor.  He finishes his blocks more regularly and with more intensity than any other offensive linemen in the class.  He has great pass blocking sets, but he can get a little tight in his feet at times.  He brings a bad temperament to his run blocks, but regularly gets too high.  Harrison has huge upside because of his size and a nastines that will serve him well, but he needs to play with better leverage or he will not be able to make the jump to the NFL.

Strengths:

  • Great frame

  • Has a mean streak

  • Finishes blocks

  • Good pass sets

Weaknesses:

  • Has not seen top end speed rushers at Division 2 level

  • Gets too high too often

  • Feet can get too tight at times

 

6. Jamarco Jones – Ohio State – 6’4” 299

Jamarco Jones has been overlooked to some extent in this draft class.  It is hard to understand why, as he plays for a team known for producing NFL talent on the offensive line.  He is not as tall as scouts would like, but has shown great skill as a pass blocker in his college career.  He is strong enough to take on a bull rush and has an excellent kick step that helps him defeat speed rushes.  His body can sometimes get out of position, but he seems to be athletic enough to bounce back from this.  He will need to clean up his technique in order to reach his full potential as a pass blocker.  He is an excellent run blocker who is athletic enough to effectively pull to the outside.

Strengths:

  • Strong pass blocker who can put a foot in the ground and hold on power rushes

  • Athletic – can pull and block outside the box

  • Good kickstep

  • Excellent run blocker – gets movement

Weaknesses:

  • Does not have elite size

  • Feet get too wide at times

  • Can get to high at times in pass protection

 

7. Orlando Brown – Oklahoma – 6’7” 345

Orlando Brown has the size that offensive line coaches dream about in a tackle.  He is a strong run blocker, but struggles when asked to pull.  He can physically adjust to pass rushers, but sometimes forgets his assignment.  He struggles against pass rushers with the skill set to use set up moves and the athletic ability to get around his frame.  He seems to wear down as the play or game goes on.  His technique gets worse and his pass protection less consistent.

Strengths:

  • Elite size

  • A force in the run game – people mover

  • Good feet – adjusts to changing situation in pass protection

Weaknesses:

  • Struggles against skilled pass rushers

  • Rarely gets where he needs to when asked to pull

  • Pad level gets higher as play goes along

 

8. Martinas Rankin – Mississippi State – 6’4” 308

Martinas Rankin is a strong and sturdy offensive lineman who does his best work as a pass protector.  Rankin lacks the ideal size for a tackle, but is strong enough to take on power moves.  He has great feet and can track and stay with a rusher as he transitions from inside to outside move.  He is not as strong of a run blocker as you would expect.  This may be in part due to leverage, but he also seems to regularly fail to get his hands inside.  Rankin needs to improve as a run blocker, but may still be hampered as a tackle by his lack of size.

Strengths:

  • Great feet – can adjust well to pass rusher

  • Strong – can take on bull rush

  • Athletic puller

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks ideal size

  • Looks to engage rather than pass set

  • Does not dominate on run blocks the way he should

 

9. Tyrell Crosby – Oregon – 6’4” 309

Tyrell Crosby has been very successful as a pass protector in college, but will need to work on both his footwork and hand placement in order to succeed in the NFL.  He lacks the desired size of an NFL tackle.  He is an excellent run blocker who gets movement on defenders.  His pad level can get high in both the run and the pass game.

Strengths:

  • Good run blocker

  • Excellent ability to mirror and adjust in pass protection

  • Effective in pass protection

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks ideal size

  • Pad level gets high at times

  • Pass protection technique will need to be developed

 

10. Brian O’Neill – Pittsburgh – 6’6” 297

Brian O’Neill is a converted tight end with great athletic ability.  He has the impressive build and length that are desired at the tackle position but lacks the bulk and strength.  As a result, he is vulnerable to power pass rushers and is not a dominating force in the run game.  He is athletic but sometimes needs to slow down in his pass sets.  He can overset or open his hips too early at times, both of which make him susceptible to inside pass rush moves.  O’Neill has some special physical gifts but will struggle if he is thrown into the NFL game without having time to add strength and work on his technique.

Strengths:

  • Impressive frame and athletic ability

  • Turns his hips too quickly in his pass set

  • Athletic in pass sets

Weaknesses:

  • Can get bull rushed and defeated with power moves

  • Not a strong run blocker

  • Can overset at times in pass protection

 

 

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