2019 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Offensive tackles

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Here, theScore's Mike Alessandrini and Dan Wilkins break down the top prospects in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft with position-by-position rankings and an overall top 50 big board.

Top 50
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL
EDGE | DL | LB | CB | S

Offensive tackles

1. Jonah Williams

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School: Alabama
Height: 6-5
Weight: 302 lbs

Strengths

  • Master technician who demonstrates great footwork and hand usage
  • Good lateral movement to mirror pass-rushers
  • Ability to anchor and stymie opponent's bull rush
  • Footwork and technique make reach blocks look easy
  • Physical, aggressive attitude to finish blocks
  • Works well to second level and in space

Weaknesses

  • Lacks desired length of NFL offensive tackles
  • Not a great athlete
  • A transition to guard would involve learning a new position

Bottom line

Many will see Williams as a guard in the NFL, as his arm length will fall below some thresholds for offensive tackles. While he could probably be a Pro Bowler on the inside, he just does too many things at a high level as a tackle to not try him there first. Williams is a technically advanced lineman with excellent mobility and strength, which should give him every opportunity to silence the doubters and put together a stellar career on the outside.

2. Andre Dillard

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School: Washington State
Height: 6-5
Weight: 315 lbs

Strengths

  • Top-tier athlete for position
  • Great lateral movement to mirror defenders
  • Awareness to pass off blocks and pick up twists or blitzes
  • Effective chop move on arms of rushers who get inside with length
  • PFF's top pass-blocking grade
  • High-end athleticism shows up with effectiveness in space
  • Climbs to second level well in running game

Weaknesses

  • Below-average length
  • Will need to add strength and fill out frame at next level
  • Could struggle against power rushers early on
  • Current lack of power doesn't lead to much movement as a run-blocker
  • Struggles to sustain blocks in running game
  • Not overly aggressive

Bottom line

Dillard may well be the best pass-protector in this class despite concerns about his length. The Washington State product is a phenomenal athlete whose movement gives him upside in space and working upfield in the running game. Adding strength is a must if he hopes to reach his ceiling, but that's an area that can be developed in an NFL training program. Dillard's ceiling is extremely high.

3. Jawaan Taylor

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School: Florida
Height: 6-5
Weight: 312 lbs

Strengths

  • Ideal frame and length for offensive tackle
  • Physical mauler in running game
  • Blows opponent off ball and drives them out of their gap
  • Can climb to second level and make block on target in space
  • Pass rush is shut down when he gets his hands on opponent
  • Anchors well against power-rush moves
  • Shows athleticism in space

Weaknesses

  • Has difficulty dealing with edge speed off line
  • Must improve hand placement to keep within defender’s frame
  • Could make better use of length for leverage in running game
  • 12 penalties in 2018

Bottom line

Taylor is the most dominant run-blocker in this class, moving bodies off the line with power and even showcasing his athleticism by working upfield or getting out in space. His strength also shows up in pass protection, where opposing rushers can be shut down pretty quickly if he gets his hands on them. He'll struggle with speed to the outside, but he's athletic enough to improve in that area. Taylor is a long-term starter at right tackle, a position that's becoming just as important as the left.

4. Cody Ford

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School: Oklahoma
Height: 6-4
Weight: 329 lbs

Strengths

  • Great size with strength and athleticism to match
  • Lower-body strength to anchor in pass protection and drive legs while run-blocking
  • Mirrors opponent with good lateral movement to account for counters
  • Good awareness to pass off twisting rushers and pick up others
  • Plays physical with a nasty demeanor to finish blocks

Weaknesses

  • Needs to improve hand placement and timing of punch in pass protection
  • Doesn’t really work to the second level effectively in the run game
  • 10 penalties in 2018

Bottom line

Ford is a massive lineman whose physicality and aggressive style can set the tone for a five-man unit up front. His technique will need to improve, and ideally, his athleticism would better translate to effectiveness working upfield in the running game, but those are areas that can be developed. Everything else in his game is very impressive. Whether it's as a guard or as a tackle, Ford should be an impact starter from Day 1.

5. Dalton Risner

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School: Kansas State
Height: 6-5
Weight: 312 lbs

Strengths

  • Four-year starter with experience at center, tackle, and guard
  • Sound technique for any spot on offensive line
  • Good hand usage and placement in pass protection
  • Anchors well against power
  • Climbs to second level and makes difficult cutoff blocks in running game
  • Good hips to roll through blocks and steer defenders out of gaps
  • Nasty demeanor to finish blocks

Weaknesses

  • Athletic limitations may hint at struggles in space in NFL
  • False step and general lack of fluidity out of his stance in pass protection
  • Lacks expected lateral movement from top pass-protectors
  • Difficulty matching edge speed raises questions about fit at tackle
  • Will be 24 in Week 1

Bottom line

Risner seems destined for a move to guard, with athletic limitations and difficulty against edge speed working against his fit on the outside. His skill set, highlighted by strength, physicality, and sound technique, would likely play far better on the inside, but the versatility certainly works in his favor either way.

6. Yodny Cajuste

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School: West Virginia
Height: 6-5
Weight: 312 lbs

Strengths

  • Great foot speed in pass sets
  • Mirrors pass-rushers with lateral movement
  • Anchors against power rush attempts with strength and a solid base
  • Explosiveness off the ball and power in running game
  • Upper-body strength to help steer opponents out of gap
  • Works to second level as a run-blocker
  • Athleticism to get out and make blocks in space

Weaknesses

  • Relatively thin frame
  • Tendency to drop head and get caught leaning forward
  • Needs to develop hand usage to combat rush moves
  • Hand placement must improve
  • Takes a lot of penalties

Bottom line

Cajuste is an interesting prospect who shows flashes of everything you want to see from an NFL left tackle. He gets into fluid pass sets with a strong base, shows lateral agility to stick with pass-rushers, and demonstrates strength both in protection and as a run-blocker. There are some frustrating inconsistencies, though, so the hope is that NFL coaching can help to clean up some of the technical flaws. Any success in that regard could make him one of the better all-around tackles in this draft.

7. Greg Little

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School: Ole Miss
Height: 6-5
Weight: 310 lbs

Strengths

  • Ideal combination of size and movement ability for left tackle
  • Great length to keep opponent from getting inside frame
  • Mirrors edge rushers with good lateral movement
  • Active and effective hands to shut down pass-rush moves

Weaknesses

  • Hand usage and length doesn’t translate to much movement in the running game
  • Struggles to find target when climbing to second level
  • Will need to improve strength for matchups with NFL power rushers

Bottom line

Little enters the NFL with an impressive profile of pass-protection traits, and his abilities in that all-important area of the game should make him a Day 1 starter at left tackle. He still needs to get stronger, and there's some development required for the finer points of run-blocking, but his impact should be immediate and there's upside for even more.

8. Tytus Howard

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School: Alabama State
Height: 6-5
Weight: 322 lbs

Strengths

  • Good frame with room to add more weight
  • Athleticism translates to fluidity both in pass sets and in space
  • Mirrors defenders with good lateral quickness
  • Smooth and effective second-level run-blocker
  • Has played at both tackle spots

Weaknesses

  • Needs to improve play strength in the pros
  • Doesn’t yet make good use of length
  • Struggles to generate push in running game
  • College experience came against lower-level competition

Bottom line

An athletic tackle whose best attribute is his movement ability, both in terms of mirroring pass-rushers and getting out in space in the run game, Howard has a ton of upside. He's a bit of a project, though, as he'll need to get stronger and the jump in competition from FCS to the NFL will be steep. He could be a long-term starter at either tackle spot if he fills out his projectable frame and continues to develop his technique.

Other notable prospects

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Kaleb McGary (Washington)
David Edwards (Wisconsin)
Max Scharping (Northern Illinois)
Chuma Edoga (USC)

Top 50
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL
EDGE | DL | LB | CB | S

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2019 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Offensive tackles
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