With 9 days until the NFL Draft, we continue my pick six with the offensive tackles. We went through the pass catchers yesterday: today it’s tackles, then with interior offensive line, interior defensive line, edge, linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties following. If you’re new to our draft coverage, the way these rankings work is I will give you:
-my top 6 at each position with stats
-my round grade
-their overall ranking on my big board
-something that wows and worries me about each prospect.
Mehki Becton and Connor McGovern are locked in as starters on the OL, while George Fant seems to be locked in at the RT position. The Jets do not have a capable starter on the interior, and Joe Douglas’s refusal to even call Corey Linsley and then allowing himself to get outbid for Joe Thuney either means he is confident in Greg Van Roten and Alex Lewis or he is planning to address these holes in the draft. This doesn’t mean he should ignore tackle completely, especially when you consider that Fant’s contract has only $1M in dead money and can save the Jets almost $10M if he’s released next year. This class has some good tackles that can start out inside before kicking out to RT if/when Fant is released. If you need more info about each prospect, make sure to subscribe to Badlands to read Connor’s excellent Draft Guide.
Let’s take this pick six back to the future.1. Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater
Overall Ranking: 6th
Round Grade: 1st
Wow: allowed 5 pressures over 355 dropbacks, a rate of 1 pressure every 71 snaps. That would’ve been tops in the league, which is where I think Slater will be at the next level. Slater has the potential to be an All-Pro guard, tackle, or center in the NFL and his strength and footwork and where he already is (he’s already good enough to start on an NFL offensive line and actually be good) make him the best tackle in this class for me. For evidence, see what he did to Chase Young in 2019.
Worry: hasn’t played football in a year.
2. Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw
Overall Ranking: 10th
Round Grade: 1st
Wow: did not allow a single sack or hit all year, and only allowed six pressures. Darrisaw improved every year in Blacksburg and reminds me a lot of former Jets great D’Brickashaw Ferguson. The former Hokie is strong, athletic, and can play both tackle positions really well. I think Darrisaw can, also, play inside and be dominant from either guard position.
Worry: his feet aren’t the most consistent when matched up versus speedier edges.
3. Oregon OT Penei Sewell
Overall Ranking: 18th
Round Grade: Mid-1st
Wow: still incredibly raw for a player that was as good as he was at 19 years old, it is scary to think what Sewell’s ceiling is. He has excellent hands, and was PFF’s highest graded collegiate tackle ever. Just an absolute violent blocker in the run game, Sewell has the potential to develop into a franchise LT.
Worry: does not have the best technique and may be better long-term at OG.
4. Oklahoma OT Tevin Jenkins
Overall Ranking: 22nd
Round Grade: Late-First
Wow: 11 pressures in 623 snaps over two seasons, an absurd rate when you consider how many one-on-one matchups left tackles generally face. Has a violent punch to thwart off pass rushers, and loves to dominate the competition.
Worry: his lack of athleticism.
Overall Ranking: 23
Round Grade: Late-First
Wow: as NFL-ready a prospect as you’ll find in this class who I originally thought should transition to guard but really think he’d be an excellent right tackle at the next level. Eichenberg has sound fundamentals and really could find a lot of success wherever he is drafted.
Worry: better run blocker than pass protector at this point in his career.
6. North Dakota State OT Dillon Radunz
Overall Ranking: 33
Round Grade: 2nd
Wow: really good agility and a really good run blocker, Trey Lance’s blindside was thoroughly protected by Radunz. He has experience in a pro-style offense so his transition to the NFL won’t be as difficult as other prospects.
Worry: wondering if he will remain as agile if he’s asked to put on weight.