Offensive tackle is arguably one of the Eagles top needs going into the draft. While Lane Johnson is obviously a stud and Jason Peters could bounce back from injury for a strong final season in Philadelphia; the Eagles need to start planning for life after the Hall of Fame tackle retires. Big V played admirably in place of Peters for the second half of last season and the playoffs, but the team could do better in terms of a pass protector. The 2018 NFL Draft class has no elite talent at the tackle position, but a wealth of solid, second tier types could benefit the Eagles given their lack of draft picks. Here are the best of the bunch.
10. Joseph Noteboom, TCU
An all Big 12 Honorable Mention; Joseph Noteboom came into the combine with little fanfare and left with a lot of people’s eyes open. The 6’5”, 309 pounder showed up with a great NFL frame and tested exceptionally well in Indianapolis. His athleticism is evident on tape, but a lack of power and technique will certainly put a steep learning curve on his NFL adjustment. Noteboom will be a mid round project player who could be a huge “boom” (sorry) for the team that can develop him.
Key Stat: 40 Starts
NFL Comparison: Michael Schofield, Denver Broncos
9. Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
Likely the ultimate boom/bust prospect of this offensive line class, Desmond Harrison can wow a lot of people with his athletic ability. He ran extremely well at the combine and his physical tools were dominant while he was at West Georgia this season. Harrison, an older prospect, was recruited to Texas out of JUCO in 2013. However, he was dismissed from the team at the end of the season for violating team rules and this season at West Georgia was his first time playing football since. His lack of experience, age and documented discipline issues will certainly worry teams. However, landing with the right team could help him overcome those issues, and his rawness, to unlock his potential.
Key Stat: 4.9 Second 40 yard dash at 6’6” and 292 Pounds
NFL Comparison: Eric Winston, former Kansas City Chief
8. Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
A lot of people were turned off by Jamarco Jones’ combine but the tape still suggests he is a really solid player. With two years of starting experience, there is plenty of evidence to suggest he could be an NFL level player. He is a tough, smart player with consistent technique in pass protection and a head full of steam on run blocking. At 6’4” and 299 pounds, teams will worry about such a small player with poor athletic testing; but Jones’ football IQ and long arms should help him stick around for a while.
Key Stat: Only allowed two sacks in 416 Pass Block Snaps (CFB Film Room)
NFL Comparison: Menelik Watson, Former Oakland Raider
7. Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
Rankin only played 10 games in 2017 but his excellence earned him a first team All SEC honor. The 6’4”, 308 pound offensive lineman had an excellent career at tackle but NFL people are suggesting his athleticism is best suited inside at guard or even center. With his success at the edge in college, I think it would be beneficial to NFL teams to at least allow him to try out that spot at the next level before kicking him inside. Rankin is only an okay athlete, but is a very intelligent player who brings great attitude, awareness and consistent technique to the field. He is not the most powerful player, but he can win based on his ability to out work his opponent. While he could be excellent as an interior lineman, tape would suggest he could also thrive outside as well. We’ll see what NFL teams want.
Key Stat: 97.4% Pass Block Efficiency (CFB Film Room)
NFL Comparison: Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins
6. Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan
A Botswanan immigrant, Chukwuma Okorafor didn’t start playing football until about seven years ago. Despite his relative newness to the game, he became a highly decorated tackle at WMU when he eventually gained a position as a starter. Okorafor is a massive human being at 6’6”, 320 pounds with long arms and a solid athlete to go along with that. Okorafor is an all around project when it comes to cleaning up his technique as a pass protector and run blocker. However, his peaks are extremely impressive given his physical tools and the attitude he plays with. Development could make him an absolute stud with the right team, but it is a tall mountain to climb.
Key Stat: Two Time All Conference Honors in two years of starting
NFL Comparison: King Dunlap, former San Diego Charger
5. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Orlando Brown was slated as one of the top tackle prospects in the draft before his combine absolutely tanked his stock. While a combine should never be the whole picture, he had a historically bad performance that would probably take him off a few teams’ boards. At 6’7” and 345, with massively long arms; teams could still bet on his frame and ask him to shed some pounds to gain some quickness. The tape, for Brown, tells the story of a consistently dominant player in the passing and running game who engulfs defenders. Brown is a huge gamble for teams because it will take a leap of faith to say his combine was a fluke. How early are teams willing to make that bet?
Key Stat: 97.8 Pass Block Efficiency (CFB Film Room)
NFL Comparison: Zach Strief, New Orleans Saints
4. Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
Brian O’Neill is quickly becoming a slight draft crush of mine. A former defender and tight end, Pittsburgh converted O’Neill to tackle to utilize his athletic ability on the offensive line. His background as a defender informs his aggressive style of play at offensive tackle. He is a mauler who plays through the whistle. His lack of experience at tackle lends itself to technique breakdowns and his aggression can actually hurt him sometimes the way he lunges at defenders, but it is a good instinct that can be reeled in. O’Neill will also need to add weight to his 6’6”, 297 pound frame; but there is so much upside and positive instincts there, it is hard not to love O’Neill as a prospect.
Key Stat: 4.82 40 Yard dash, 7.14 Second 3-Cone at 297 pounds
NFL Comparison: Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans
3. Kolton Miller, UCLA
Kolton Miller had an outstanding combine that asserted him over a lot of this closely ranked class. The 6’6”, 309 pounder tested well in every category and that, paired with impressive tape, could get him selected very high. His instincts need work as he often looked like he was a frame behind the defender while he was at UCLA. He is obviously a great athlete, but that by itself will not save you as an offensive tackle in the NFL. Some teams will likely have him as the top tackle in the draft and he could prove them right given his upside.
Key Stat: 121” Broad Jump at 309 pounds.
NFL Comparison: Nate Solder, New York Giants
2. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Mike McGlinchey has been in college for what feels like forever. So long that people, it feels like, got bored with how consistent and good he was and then underrated him for it. That type of thing happens far too often but the truth remains that he is a really solid tackle prospect. He has great length at nearly 6’8” and 309 pounds, with 34 inch arms, but could stand to add more six to his body. He moves well on the perimeter but he can get pushed around by more powerful guys, sometimes due to his own natural strength but also due to his lack of leverage. Pad level will be the primary battle for McGlinchey’s NFL success, but he could be unlocked with the right coaching and he is an experienced, solid player who will likely be a high impact rookie.
Key Stat: 95.1% Pass Blocking Efficiency (CFB Film Room)
NFL Comparison: Jared Veldheer, Arizona Cardinals
1. Connor Williams, Texas
Connor Williams stands slightly above the rest in this sub-par tackle class. Even after the down year he had in 2017, Williams has enough tape and experience to suggest he has a bright future. At 6’5” and 296 pounds, with shorter arms, teams may be interested in him moving to guard. However, like a lot of other conversations about conversions; he is the type of player you want to give a shot out at tackle. He is a very good athlete and possesses impressive technique and attitude when he is on top of his game. Something in 2017 seemed off about his play relative to his first two seasons, and that is worth investigating. At his best, he is a smooth blocker on the outside who has no trouble moving through the levels of a defense as a blocker. Which version of Williams teams are getting is going to be an important question, but even then he is a solid prospect who still has upside at tackle.
Key Stat: Only allowed 1 sack in 2017 (CFB Film Room)
NFL Comparison: Jake Matthews, Atlanta Falcons
NOTE: Isaiah Wynn is being considered a guard despite his time at tackle while he was at Georgia. While other players who have been discussed moving positions were ranked as tackles, there seems to be a consensus that Wynn is a guard whereas people are more split with these prospects here.
Who are your top ten tackles? And who do you want the Eagles to draft?