Top 10 OTs in the 2023 NFL Draft: Paris Johnson Jr., Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Others Battling for OT1

Who stands atop a polarizing 2023 NFL Draft offensive tackle class at the end of summer? Is it Paris Johnson Jr., Peter Skoronski, or someone else entirely?

The 2023 NFL Draft offensive tackle class is an enigma, but halfway through the season, it’s starting to look like a much stronger group than what was first anticipated. In a 2023 NFL Draft class that’s getting deeper and deeper, who are the top 10 offensive tackle prospects, and who stakes the strongest claim to the OT1 title at this moment?

Top 10 OTs in the 2023 NFL Draft

10) Jordan Morgan, Arizona

It was a close race for the 10th spot in our 2023 NFL Draft Top 10 tackles list. Blake Freeland and Dawand Jones both nearly made the cut. Freeland is an enticing athlete with awesome power, while Jones is a mammoth right tackle who’s made crucial technical improvements this year.

Freeland and Jones were close, and both have starting potential at the NFL level. But the tackle prospect coming away with the 10th spot on our list is Arizona’s Jordan Morgan.

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Morgan was a sleeper in the summer, on account of his tools. Despite standing at 6’6″, 328 pounds, he moves with exceptional knee bend and foot speed and can naturally tempo up to match rushers around the edge. His 2021 tape was dotted with spectacular reps fueled by his raw talent, but also moments of technical inconsistency.

This year, Morgan has been much improved, and he’s now deserving of a spot in the early-round conversation. Morgan is quick and explosive for his size, but also powerful, flexible, and well-timed with his hands and hip turns. He’s earned a top-10 positional spot with his play, and he might not be done moving up the list.

9) Tyler Steen, Alabama

Alabama’s offensive line has more often been a source of ire than excitement this season. Especially in games against Texas and Tennessee, Bryce Young was often forced to create when his blocking failed to hold up.

It’s been an up-and-down year for the Crimson Tide blocking unit, but left tackle Tyler Steen has quietly played very well after transferring over from Vanderbilt. Steen stepped into the LT job after Evan Neal entered the 2022 NFL Draft. Now, heading into November, it’s safe to say Steen hasn’t gotten the recognition he deserves as a prospect.

Steen isn’t quite at Neal’s level, but he does show off the tools to be a starting NFL tackle. He has an NFL frame at 6’5″, 315 pounds, with long levers for arms. But even at that size, Steen moves and leverages himself very well. He’s a fleet-footed pass protector who glides to the apex, and he also has great knee bend and controlled lean when engaging rushers.

At times, Steen’s controlled lean can be a double-edged sword, as he does sometimes lurch past his center of gravity. He also stands to improve the consistency of his hand usage. But with Steen, you have all the necessary components — size, power, strength, athleticism, and leverage acquisition — to build up a high-quality starting tackle with left-right versatility.

8) Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland

Jaelyn Duncan was very much on the radar in the 2022 NFL Draft cycle but chose to return to school. It was a smart decision for Duncan, who flashed the requisite talent but also displayed pressing inconsistencies with his hand placement and timing.

2022 has brought growth for Duncan — not necessarily enough to crack the top 5, but enough that he’s now one of several tackles in the Day 2 cluster behind the top group. The redshirt senior has definite starting upside, and it all derives from his traits.

Duncan is a smooth, fleet-footed athlete with very natural knee bend and leverage acquisition, as well as solid range in space. With his sheer width and short-area quickness, he can envelop defenders, and he has the core strength to keep them contained and drive them upfield. Meanwhile, as a pass blocker, he flashes great synergy heading into contact.

With Duncan, the issues still come on the operational side. He can be more controlled with his footwork at times, as well as more disciplined in recovery. Early wins from rushers can cause him to panic and unravel at the apex. But his raw talent, with the measured improvements we’ve seen, makes him tough to leave off any top 10 list.

7) Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse

Few prospects have been tested more than Matthew Bergeron has been in 2022. In the midway stretch of the 2022 campaign, Bergeron played against Myles Murphy and Isaiah Foskey in back-to-back weeks — both top-15 prospects on PFN’s board.

Those matchups were a gauntlet for Bergeron, and he didn’t come away from them unscathed. But against those opponents, Bergeron also flashed the promise that makes him a potential early-round prospect, and a worthy inclusion in our latest top 10.

Bergeron has the requisite size at 6’5″, 322 pounds, but he moves like he’s 20 pounds lighter. He’s extremely quick out of his stance as a pass protector, and explosive surging downhill in the running game. Also appealing is his control, and his ability to recover with fast feet.

Bergeron has the mix of mobility and size that teams look for from potential NFL starters, and he also has left-right versatility. Hands and set discipline remain areas of needed improvement, and he can get a bit stronger in his upper body. But with the right coach, Bergeron can be a quality addition to a starting lineup.

6) Darnell Wright, Tennessee

PFN was higher than most on Darnell Wright entering the 2022 campaign. He first caught my eye when I was scouting Will Anderson Jr. against Tennessee last season. I watched the Volunteers’ left tackle fold Anderson with one arm on a running play, using overwhelming upper-body torque to seal the Alabama star out with shocking suddenness.

That was the snap with which Wright got my attention. Additional research revealed a promising profile on the 2022 NFL Draft stage: a massive 6’6″, 330-pound mauler with elite power capacity, a five-star recruit background, and versatility between left and right tackle.

Wright came into 2022 needing to refine his game further. But over halfway through, he’s done just that while looking very natural on the right side of the line for Tennessee. When he saw Anderson again a couple of weeks ago, he locked down the Crimson Tide rusher in pass protection, using surprising short-area athleticism, strong hands, and efficient sets to lull Anderson into submission.

Wright’s method of success is one that’s translatable as a starting right tackle in the NFL. He still struggles with pad level and leverage at times, but Wright can simply erase defenders with his dominating strength and power.

5) Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

If you’re looking for a prospect or two to reaffirm your confidence in the early-round depth of this OT class, Anton Harrison is one you can count on.

In the preseason, the 2023 NFL Draft OT class was viewed as very uncertain, both at the top and in the depth tiers. It’s now safe to say that the class has aged very well, and Harrison is subtly a major part of that.

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Both Harrison and right tackle Wanya Morris have shown promise for the Sooners, but Harrison has a chance to be a first-round pick if he can close out the year with continued strong play.

Harrison passes all of the physical checks. He’s big, he’s dense, he has high-end length, and he has eye-catching explosiveness and corrective athleticism. But he’s also improved his pad level, has controlled footwork, and can use lightning-fast hands to gather rushers.

There are still a number of minor inconsistencies that Harrison can work to improve. He still plays a bit upright at times, places his hands too high, and his kick can be a bit more efficient. But all things considered, the Harrison has an enticing mix of high-floor and high-ceiling traits and can easily be a quality starting left tackle down the road.

4) Broderick Jones, Georgia

A former five-star recruit, Broderick Jones was another prospect whose ascent in 2022 was almost universally anticipated by the draft community. True to his potential, we’ve seen Jones do what many expected this season: ascend. And there’s room for him to keep climbing with his tools.

The Georgia Bulldog is still an imperfect operator, and that’s what brings him a notch below the top three in our latest ranking. At times, Jones plays too tall off the snap, and he can lunge into contact, losing balance. He can also be a bit reliant on two-hand extensions, and his grip strength can be inconsistent when anchored.

Jones entered the year as a high-level talent, and there’s still a sense that he’s more of a high-upside prospect than a full-grown NFL tackle. But the 6’4″, 315-pound mauler has all the tools NFL teams look for in their starters. He’s explosive and tenacious in space, he has high-end length and power capacity, and he’s made strides with his footwork and discipline.

For Jones, the goal for the rest of the year is to keep refining the operational portion of his game. If he can continue to improve his leverage and employ more independent hand usage, he has the physical ability to enter the top half of the first round.

3) Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

Perhaps the most polarizing talent in the 2023 NFL Draft offensive tackle class will be Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski. He’s consistently included in first-round mocks, but at the same time, there are serious questions about how his size and length will translate in the NFL.

Skoronski has added weight since the start of the summer and is now playing at over 300 pounds, but his below-average length for the tackle position does throw a wrench in his projection. Some have suggested that a move to the interior may be in the cards. But all of this talk about Skoronski’s size glosses over what is a very compelling profile, otherwise.

It’s at times awe-inspiring to watch how in-control Skoronski is as a run blocker. Even without elite length, he naturally acquires leverage, latches onto opponents, and directs them out of lanes with ruthless consistency. As a pass protector, he routinely stays square, and there are moments of dominating core strength in both phases.

Skoronski’s placement on boards will fluctuate everywhere you look. But a relative constant is this: he’s very much worthy of a look in the early rounds. He has reliability that should draw the affection of NFL coaches.

2) Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

Interestingly, the 2022 campaign has both moved Paris Johnson Jr. closer to and farther away from sole possession of the OT1 mantle. The pool of candidates has been narrowed down, and Johnson is indeed among them — but he’s not the runaway winner as many predicted he would be.

After starting his Ohio State career at guard, Johnson has expectedly shown he can play left tackle at a high level. He’s an extremely explosive athlete who can steamroll opponents off the snap as a run blocker with his length and burst. And with his amped-up movement style, he can easily match and wall off rushers as well.

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All this being said, Johnson hasn’t been as consistent as desired with his technique. He sometimes keeps his hands too wide off the snap, allowing rushers to drive power through his torso. In these situations, he also doesn’t quite have the elite core strength to snuff out momentum. He’ll play too tall off the snap at times, and he’s still learning how to manage his weight transfers on the edge.

To this point, one could make an argument that Johnson hasn’t been the OT1. In fact, it’s an argument we’ll make shortly. But even so, Johnson remains a first-round OT prospect because of his explosive athleticism, length and power capacity, grating physicality, and flexibility as a moving blocker.

1) Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

Preseason boards went back and forth between Paris Johnson Jr. and Peter Skoronski for OT1. But right now, it looks like OT1 of the 2023 NFL Draft class might be someone else entirely.

Olumuyiwa Fashanu flashed promise in his first career start last year during Penn State’s bowl game against Arkansas. It was enough to keep him on the radar heading into 2022. But not even that performance could’ve prepared onlookers for how good Fashanu would be in his redshirt sophomore season.

Fashanu — who doesn’t even turn 20 years old until December — has looked like a true blue-chip offensive tackle prospect this season. He’s passed every test thrown his way with flying colors, while also showing top-end traits in nearly all categories.

Fashanu is a rare athlete with incredible foot speed, balance, and reactive athleticism. But at 6’6″, 321 pounds, he has the size, length, power, and upper-body strength to dominate rushers as well. And operationally, he’s advanced well beyond his years, with strong and independent hands, smooth footwork, synergetic technique, and awe-inspiring patience and discipline.

Fashanu isn’t just OT1 — he’s worthy of early first-round consideration that often comes with the OT1 mantle. He’s a franchise tackle prospect with a long and potentially dominant NFL prime ahead of him.

Honorable mentions

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