There might not be a Jonathan Ogden in the 2020 NFL draft. However, there are some quality players at the offensive tackle position. In a league where teams are investing $30 million annually in their starting quarterback, it is paramount that you protect that investment with a quality offensive line.
Tristan Wirfs is the headliner, as he could be the best right tackle in the National Football League in the very near future. Also, don’t sleep on players such as Andrew Thomas (Georgia), Walker Little (Stanford), Trey Smith (Tennessee) and Alaric Jackson (Iowa).
While it may sound insane, there are up to 20 quality draft-eligible offensive tackles in the 2020 draft class. Mid-round players such as Lucas Niang (TCU), Jon Runyan Jr. (Michigan) and Liam Eichenberg (Notre Dame) all have starting potential at the next level.
Before we take a deep dive into the 2020 class, let’s take a gander at my rankings for the last few draft classes:
- Cam Robinson (Alabama)
- Ryan Ramczyk (Wisconsin)
- Garett Bolles (Utah)
- Dion Dawkins (Temple)
- Taylor Moton (Western Michigan)
- Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame)
- Connor Williams (Texas)
- Kolton Miller (UCLA)
- Orlando Brown Jr. (Oklahoma)
- Tyrell Crosby (Oregon)
- Jonah Williams (Alabama)
- Jawaan Taylor (Florida)
- Yodny Cajuste (West Virginia)
- Greg Little (Mississippi)
- Andre Dillard (Washington State)
Now, let’s take a jump into the 2020 NFL Draft offensive tackle class.
5. Alaric Jackson (Iowa)
Weight: 320 lbs.
Alaric Jackson, born in Ontario, Canada in 1998, has 24 starts over his first two seasons as an Iowa Hawkeye. He played for Lou Beatty at Renaissance high school in Detroit, Michigan.
Provided that Jackson is a good technician and an above average athleticism, he has no trouble handling speed-rushers. Jackson proves to be a smart, heady player that excels in pass protection. However, there is room for improvement when it comes to run blocking.
4. Trey Smith (Tennessee)
Weight: 320 lbs.
Trey Smith was a five-star recruit coming out of the University School of Jackson in Jackson, Tennessee. It didn’t take long for Smith to find the field at Tennessee. He started all twelve games of his freshman season. He chose the University of Tennessee despite having strong interest from Ohio State and Alabama. Given that Smith has earned playing time at left tackle, right tackle, right guard and left guard, it is evident that he offers tremendous versatility.
He started the first seven games of his sophomore campaign at left tackle, however, that came to an abrupt end when doctors discovered blood clots in his lungs. This will be on the radar of NFL teams looking to draft Smith.
If Smith can prove his health and continue his progression as a quality left tackle, I see no scenario where he isn’t a first-round selection in the 2020 NFL draft.
3. Walker Little (Stanford)
Weight: 313 lbs.
Walker Little enters the 2019 season as one of the most intriguing left tackle prospects in the nation. Little, a unanimous five-star recruit coming out of Episcopal High School, looks the part of future NFL left tackle standing at 6”7 and 315 pounds. He is a gifted athlete whose best work is in pass protection. However, he shows promise as a run blocker as well.
Little is far from a refined prospect, as he needs to respond to his coaching to improve he footwork. When you watch Little’s tape, one thing that consistently is exhibited is a habit of struggling with speed rushers.
With that said, Little is a smart player that should elevate his draft status to the next level with a superior 2019 campaign. When the dust settles, Little should find himself as a surefire top-15 selection in the 2020 NFL draft.
2. Andrew Thomas (Georgia)
Weight: 320 lbs.
Andrew Thomas is the best left tackle prospect in the 2020 NFL draft. Thomas chose Georgia over Alabama as a five-star recruit coming out of Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2017, as a true freshman, ESPN named Thomas as a Freshman All American. In 2018, Thomas started all thirteen games he played in at left tackle, where he played at a high level putting him on the maps of NFL teams across the league.
Thomas looks the part of an NFL left tackle, highlighted by his long arms and well-built frame. He also plays with tremendous power, sound technique and solid footwork which will result in a top-10 draft selection in the 2020 NFL draft for Thomas.
1. Tristan Wirfs (Iowa)
Weight: 320 lbs.
While Andrew Thomas is the best pure left tackle prospect in the 2020 NFL draft, Tristian Wirfs serves as the best offensive tackle prospect overall. Wirfs played his high school ball at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Fun fact, Tristian Wirfs was the first player to ever start a game at offensive tackle for Iowa under head coach Kirk Ferentz.
Wirfs is strong, and I mean super strong. In fact, Wirfs set an Iowa football weightlifting record where he successfully “hang cleaned” 450 pounds, four times. That strength and power translate directly to his play on the football field, as there is a great deal of tape that highlights Wirfs ability to dominate his opposition with pure power.
According to Bleacher Report’s draft analyst Matt Miller, there is already substantial draft buzz surrounding Tristian Wirfs. Miller writes that the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Wirfs “has enough height and length to handle outside speed but also has the power to anchor and sit down on bull-rushers and strong defensive ends.” Wirfs could very well be a top-5 2020 NFL draft selection when all is said and done.
In my first 2020 NFL mock draft, I have all five of these players being selected in the first round.
2020 NFL DRAFT: Offensive Tackle Rankings
|1||Tristan Wirfs||Iowa||JR||6’5″||320 lbs.|
|2||Andrew Thomas||Georgia||JR||6’5″||320 lbs.|
|3||Walker Little||Stanford||JR||6’7″||313 lbs.|
|4||Trey Smith||Tennessee||JR||6’6″||320 lbs.|
|5||Alaric Jackson||Iowa||JR||6’7″||320 lbs.|
|6||Mekhi Becton||Louisville||JR||6’7″||355 lbs.|
|7||Saahdiq Charles||LSU||JR||6’4″||305 lbs.|
|8||Thayer Munford||Ohio State||JR||6’7″||321 lbs.|
|9||Jedrick Wills||Alabama||JR||6’5″||315 lbs.|
|10||Calvin Throckmorton||Oregon||SR||6’5″||316 lbs.|
|11||Prince Tega Wanogho||Auburn||SR||6’7″||308 lbs.|
|12||Trey Adams||Washington||SR||6’8″||316 lbs.|
|13||Zach Robertson||Arizona State||SR||6’5″||335 lbs.|
|14||Austin Jackson||USC||JR||6’6″||306 lbs.|
|15||Isaiah Wilson||Georgia||JR||6’7″||340 lbs.|
|16||Drew Richmond||USC||SR||6’5″||316 lbs.|
|17||Liam Eichenberg||Notre Dame||SR||6’6″||308 lbs.|
|18||Jon Runyan Jr.||Michigan||SR||6’5″||310 lbs.|
|19||Lucas Niang||TCU||SR||6’7″||328 lbs.|
|20||Yasir Durant||Missouri||SR||6’7″||330 lbs.|
|21||Matt Womack||Alabama||SR||6’7″||325 lbs.|
|22||Scott Frantz||Kansas State||SR||6’5″||297 lbs.|
|23||Ezra Cleveland||Boise State||SR||6’6″||310 lbs.|
|24||Colton Jackson||Arkansas||SR||6’5″||310 lbs.|
|25||Josh Jones||Houston||SR||6’7″||311 lbs.|
|26||Hakeem Adeniji||Kansas||SR||6’5″||310 lbs.|
|27||Devery Hamilton||Stanford||SR||6’7″||287 lbs.|
|28||Patrick Mekari||California||SR||6’4″||320 lbs.|
|29||Landon Young||Kentucky||SR||6’7″||275 lbs.|
|30||Victor Johnson||Appalachian State||SR||6’5″||295 lbs.|
|31||Brady Aiello||Oregon||SR||6’7″||310 lbs.|
|32||Gewhite Stallworth||Louisiana Tech||SR||6’8″||322 lbs.|
|33||Colton McKivitz||West Virginia||SR||6’7″||310 lbs.|
|34||Cole Chewins||Michigan State||SR||6’8″||295 lbs.|
|35||Jack Driscoll||Auburn||SR||6’5″||300 lbs.|
|36||Cameron Clark||Charlotte||SR||6’5″||280 lbs.|
|37||Coy Cronk||Indiana||SR||6’5″||321 lbs.|
|38||Justin Herron||Wake Forest||SR||6’5″||290 lbs.|
|39||Charlie Heck||UNC||SR||6’8″||310 lbs.|
|40||Kamaal Seymour||Rutgers||SR||6’6″||309 lbs.|