The Eagles have done a good job bolstering their offensive line depth the last two years, especially in the interior. However, it is fair to wonder if they address the offensive tackle position in the upcoming 2017 draft. Jason Peters, while still very good, is not getting any younger and the team has to wonder if they can depend on Lane Johnson to stay out of trouble. While the tackles in this class aren’t fantastic overall, it is still a solid group of players who could contribute given some time.
10. Roderick Johnson, FSU: Roderick Johnson looks the part at 6’7”, 300 pounds with long, vine arms but the question is more if he can lay the part. Johnson has natural power, but he is sloppy in his technique, inconsistent in his effort and a plodder on the move. While Johnson could be a nice player if he can clean up his game, he is among the bigger projects in this class.
9. Will Holden, Vanderbilt: Will Holden was a long time starter at Vandy with experience on both sides. He has shorter arms despite being 6’7” and 311 pounds, but he does an excellent job compensating with very consistent technique and a high motor. His strength and savvy make up, slightly, for his lack of movement ability, but teams may prefer him as a strong side blocker due to being more of a phone booth player.
8. Julie’n Davenport, Bucknell: A massive 6’7”, 318 pounds with nearly 37” arms, Davenport has prototypical size for a tackle. His strength and movement are incredibly impressive but he is a project from a technique perspective. He will need to adjust from a lower level of competition and clean up his technique, but his ceiling is enticing. (Check out BGN Radio’s exclusive interview with Davenport here.)
7. Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt: The 6’6”, 305-pound tackle is a four year starter who has good power and a great attitude. He is more of a phone booth player, but does a great job playing through the whistle all game. Injuries marred his game in 2016, but if he can return to form, he could be a really solid and versatile lineman in the league.
6. Avery Gennesy, Texas A&M: This year may break the streak of years with a Texas A&M offensive lineman in the first round, but Gennesy is still a solid prospect. He is well built (6’3”, 318) player who moves very well for his size. He has some issues dealing with power, but they are more technical than physical. Gennesy’s rawness may frighten some teams, but his ability to move in the run game will be very valuable in the NFL.
5. Garett Bolles, Utah: Garett Bolles is an enigma. On one hand, he tested incredibly well and dominated his competition. On the other, he is going to be 25 years old before camp and his physical advancement could explain why he dominated 18-20 year old defenders and tested better at the combine than guys 2-3 years his junior. Also, Bolles is relatively skinny for a tackle and that affects his ability to drive through bigger players. Bolles could be a hit and I will eat my words if he is, but the history of players his age coming into the league is not good.
4. Taylor Moton, Western Michigan: WMU’s offense would not be able to be as explosive as it was last year if it were not for Taylor Moton. Moton is a strong, powerful player who moves well. While some people suggest he should be a guard, he dominated at tackle in college and did well in the All Star games against better competition.
3. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin: Ramczyk is not a flashy player, but he is just damn good. He is well built (6’6”, 310 pounds) and moves well. He is a nasty player who has consistent technique and awareness. He is recovering from a knee surgery, which is definitely a bit worrisome, but at full health he is an incredibly solid player.
2. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky: It will be a waste if Forrest Lamp never gets an opportunity to play tackle in the NFL. While he has shorter arms for the position, he is an awesome athlete with a nasty demeanor on the field and consistent technique. His game against Alabama shows he can swing it with top end college players, so it seems like nonsense to not even try him at tackle, a position bereft of talent in the NFL. Lamp is going to be a very good player wherever he ends up, but I would advocate he gets a shot to play on the edge of a line first.
1. Cam Robinson, Alabama: When you think about all the elite college defenders Cam Robinson has had to face during his three years as a starter at Alabama, it should make sense why he is highly regarded. The 6’6”, 322 pound blocker has awesome size, good movement skills and tremendous lower and upper body strength. He is a truly dominant player when he is on and though he has lapses in technique from time to time, he is still a young player who can tighten up his consistency. Though this tackle class may not have blue chip players, Robinson is the closest thing and he has that type of ceiling.