As one of the most vital positions on a football team, offensive tackles have gotten better and better coming out of college over the years. The 2021 class is no different as there’s a number of very intriguing players. During my preliminary viewings of the tackles, I gave out four first-round grades, the highest of which is also my number one overall player. The talent in his class is both strong at the top and the position has a lot of depth, so finding which players were the best at specific traits and skills proved to be a challenge. However, here are my 2021 NFL Draft offensive tackle superlatives.
Offensive tackle superlatives
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Best player: Penei Sewell, Oregon
Did you expect anything else? Penei Sewell is, in my eyes, the closest thing we’ve had to a generational talent in quite some time. When looking at tackles drafted in the top 10 over the past decade, the only one that compares is Jake Long who went first overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Sewell is as consistent as they come, an absolute mauler in the run game, and pass pro savant. He has room to improve, like all players, but he’s my pick for the best player in the class.
Honorable Mentions: None.
Most underrated: Rasheed Walker, Penn State
One of my favorite studies this summer, Rasheed Walker plays with a football IQ, unlike most others. His understanding of leverage, situation, placement, and angles is some of the best I’ve ever evaluated. After summer scouting, I gave Walker a first-round grade as my OT4, the consensus seems to have him as a day three-level player.
Honorable mentions: Adrian Ealy, Oklahoma/Landon Young, Kentucky
Most overrated: Samuel Cosmi, Texas
I’ve seen some analysts have Samuel Cosmi as high as OT2 and that blows my mind. What’s even more interesting is that I’ve seen people mention his performance against LSU as one of the reasons they’re a fan of him. When I watched Cosmi against LSU, I saw an underdeveloped athlete losing far too consistently for my taste.
Cosmi will have a lot of developing to do before I can see him even making my top 50. Luckily for him, he’s an elite athlete which will cause the NFL to overdraft him.
Honorable mentions: Dillon Radunz, NDSU/Walker Little
Best athlete: Dillon Radunz, NDSU
I know I just put Dillon Radunz as an honorable mention for “most overrated,” but to be honest I’m not low on him at all. However, there have been some very high profile draft pundits that think Radunz is a top-10 player, a good 40 spots too high in my eyes.
With that being said, I understand the infatuation. Radunz has dominated his level of competition, showing elite athletic ability and a strong motor. Radunz is a bit light for the position, but he should be one of the elite testers at the NFL Combine.
Honorable mentions: Samuel Cosmi, Texas/Abraham Lucas
Best hands: Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
During Chase Young’s season of dominance last year, he comfortably dominated every tackle he faced. Every tackle except Rashawn Slater. An elite technician, Slater’s hands are active and aggressive. He uses good timing and strong punches to throw off pass rushers, and he latches on very well in the run game. Slater is small for the tackle position and he has no dominant physical traits, but his hand usage is the best in class and his overall technique is excellent.
Honorable mentions: Penei Sewell, Oregon/Rasheed Walker, PSU
Best feet: Abraham Lucas, Washington State
I love watching Abraham Lucas because he puts on a pass protection clinic. His feet are smooth and effective. He anchors extremely well, and he’s a strong athlete. Lucas is currently my OT2 and projects as an instant starter in the NFL due to his high floor. Washington State is well known for its development of elite pass protecting offensive lineman, and Lucas is no exception to the rule.
Honorable mention: Penei Sewell, Oregon/Jaylen Mayfield, Michigan
The 2021 offensive tackle class is one of the deepest groups to come out in some time. Unlike most classes, it possesses high-end talent and depth. There’s value at every stage of the draft and teams in need of help on the end of their lines should be excited with this group. The offensive tackle superlatives were difficult to form due to the sheer number of quality tackles and how well rounded they are. It’s a truly exciting class.