With the NFL Draft process well underway, there is a much clearer picture of the 2023 class than there was even a month ago. With exhibition games and the Combine now in the past, it is easier to build a full profile of this year’s prospects. This offensive tackle class has a ton of high upside players who could contribute immediately in the NFL.
1) Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
Paris Johnson Jr. wins with great size, smooth athleticism and refined pass blocking ability. Johnson only played one season at left tackle but looked like a natural protecting CJ Stroud’s blind side. Johnson carries his huge frame very well and his long arms make pass blocking much easier, even against bigger and more athletic rushers. Johnson’s down hill speed gives him great upside as a run blocker.
Johnson can take a leap by playing a bit stronger and meaner. Johnson has the size and natural strength to be dominant in all phases of offensive tackle play, but needs to apply that strength more in his play. It could be a lack of experience at the position that is holding him back and more snaps will help him develop confidence.
Pro Comparison: Charles Cross, Seattle Seahawks
2) Darnell Wright, Tennessee
Darnell Wright wins with size, strength and a dominant mean streak. Wright carries around 330 pounds better than most people, and he uses every pound well on the field. He is strong as hell and any defender that matched up against him in the last year knows it. He can erase pass rushers with heavy hands and he is a bulldozer in the run game. Turn on the Alabama game and watch Wright take Will Anderson out of the game for four quarters. Wright is a four year starter whose experience paid off with a brilliant senior season.
Wright can take a leap cleaning up his technique. He is a good athlete but a lack of lateral agility means his hand placement in pass protection needs to be perfect. Wright can be a bit grabby when he gets beat around the edge. More patience and discipline will pair well with his existing traits.
Pro Comparison: La’El Collins, Cincinnati Bengals
3) Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
Peter Skoronski wins with great technique, athleticism and a mean streak. It is hard to find a definitive hole in Skoronski’s game. He played great football from the moment he stepped on the field for the Wildcats and there’s no reason to suspect he won’t play great NFL football.
Skoronski can take a leap by overcoming physical limitations. Skoronski is decidedly small for an offensive tackle. He made up for it in many ways at the college level, but struggles with longer pass rushers is a concern for things to come against NFL talent. If Skoronski can prove he can outplay his size at tackle, then he is bound to be a great player there. Otherwise, he will be one hell of a guard.
Pro Comparison: Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns
4) Broderick Jones, Georgia
Broderick Jones wins with great athleticism, size and run blocking prowess. Jones has been a cornerstone of Georgia’s championship winning offenses. He has the athleticism to match up with all the talented pass rushers in the SEC and is unafraid to come downhill and punish defenders trying to stop the run.
Jones can take a leap by continuing to improve as a technical player. He does not have a ton of experience under his belt, and that shows with moments where he is trying to out-athlete his opponents instead of using disciplined hands or good footwork. There is plenty of work to be done, but his potential is as high as any player in this class.
Pro Comparison: Terron Armstead, Miami Dolphins
5) Dawand Jones, Ohio State
Jones wins with enormous size, heavy hands and a mean streak. Jones held it down for Ohio State on the right side this season and the right side is probably his fit in the NFL. Jones has big, long arms with strong hands to take defenders out of the equation either as a run blocker or a pass blocker.
Jones can take a leap by becoming quicker, improving his pad level and playing with more discipline. It is easy for a big guy like Jones to rely on pure braun to win against college defenders, but NFL defenders are stronger, faster, and know how to use blockers’ strengths against them. Jones has an immense potential, but technical improvements and possibly lightening up a bit could help him take his game to the next level.
Pro Comparison: Orlando Brown, Cincinnati Bengals
6) Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
7) Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
8) Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
9) Cody Mauch, North Dakota State
10) Blake Freeland, BYU
11) Richard Gouraige, Florida