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Building the perfect prototype offensive tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft

Building the perfect prototype offensive tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft
LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 17: Mekhi Becton #73 of the Louisville Cardinals blocks against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the game at Cardinal Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

We all know the 2020 NFL Draft offensive tackle class is sublime and full of Day 1 talent. Many analysts view it as the best tackle class in recent years. These talented prospects possess plenty of unique traits. What if we could combine the best of several of these players to build the perfect “prototype” offensive tackle? I took inspiration from fellow PFN draft analyst and wide receiver guru Brad Kelly, who built the perfect wide receiver prospect recently, and I am applying the same concept to the 2020 offensive tackle class. 

For this list, I’m breaking it down into eight categories: size, functional athleticism, length, lower body mechanics (footwork), fundamentals, IQ, power, and toughness. I won’t repeat any names on this list.

Size – Mekhi Becton, Louisville

Listed at a whopping 6’8, 369 pounds, Becton is a behemoth to behold on the football field. With the 2020 NFL Combine coming up, it’ll be interesting to see his exact measurements and testing, but Becton looks like Godzilla on the football field and plays like it too. He looks like a Created Player in Madden due to his immense frame.

Honorable Mention: Matthew Peart, UConn; Charlie Heck, North Carolina

Functional Athleticism – Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

Tristan Wirfs is, pound-for-pound, one of the best athletes in this entire draft class, so it makes sense he’d fill in for the functional athleticism portion of our 2020 NFL Draft offensive tackle prototype. His rumored athletic testing numbers would back this up, with a vertical jump of 35 inches (which would have been first among all OTs last year) and a broad jump of 113 inches (93rd percentile). That 35” vertical jump would be the highest since Terron Armstead jumped 34.5” in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Oh, and he does this as well.

Honorable Mention: Josh Jones, Houston; Ezra Cleveland, Boise State

Length – Alex Taylor, South Carolina State

Alex Taylor may be a small-school prospect, but he’s got big-league measurements. At the Senior Bowl, Taylor came in with 36 1/8” arms and a wingspan of 88”, or 7 feet and 3 inches! Tyron Smith measured 36 3/8” arm length (97th percentile) at the 200 NFL Combine, for comparison’s sake. Alex Taylor’s wingspan is the same as NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

Honorable Mention: Matthew Peart, UConn

Lower Body Mechanics (Footwork) – Jedrick Wills, Alabama

Jedrick Wills’ lower half is something to marvel over. His footwork is incredibly smooth and efficient, with no wasted movement. His hips are quick and clean, allowing for incredible movement in his lower half. He showed no limitations when dealing with speed rushers, which some tackles with poor lower body mechanics do. His foot cadence and balance is among the best I’ve seen. Wills is one of the cleanest tackles in recent memory and my clear favorite for OT1 of this 2020 NFL Draft offensive tackle class.

Honorable Mention: Saahdiq Charles, LSU

Fundamentals – Trey Adams, Washington

Trey Adams isn’t the most athletic tackle on this list, and his injury history is a pretty extensive red flag, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more fundamentally sound tackle in this class. Adams is patient with his hands and demonstrates excellent knowledge of hitting his strike zones with sound timing and a strong punch. His passing sets are top-notch and pro-ready. He may not be the player he once was after his injuries, but Adams’ quality experience shows up in his elite fundamentals.

Honorable Mention: Lucas Niang, TCU

Football IQ – Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Andrew Thomas is an experienced and savvy tackle prospect. He’s seen it all and rarely, if ever, gets caught up in a blitz. He’s the most pro-ready tackle from an IQ standpoint. He’s excellent at sniffing out stunts and blitzes, and his awareness as a tackle is a sight to behold. Fellow UGA tackle Isaiah Wynn was much the same way when he declared a couple of years ago. Thomas’s IQ is a big reason why he’s thought of as a first-round pick and will help him be an excellent pro for many years.

Honorable Mention: Trey Adams, Washington

Power – Isaiah Wilson, Georgia

Isaiah Wilson is a bulldozer in the run game, plowing through defenders and opening up holes. His drive blocking is fun to watch. When he gets his lower body set properly, Wilson has a nasty anchor as well, stonewalling pass rushers. He’s a work in progress, but the raw power that Wilson has in his body is something to behold.

Honorable Mention: Mekhi Becton, Louisville

Toughness – Ben Bartch, St. John’s

There were a few tackles I could have put here, but ultimately, the D3 product had to be my choice. Bartch showed up to the Senior Bowl this year and put on a show against players that were supposed to be leagues above him. His tape is full of him putting guys in the dirt and launching them out of frame.

 

Bartch deserves to be on this list with the upper-echelon offensive tackles for the 2020 NFL Draft class.

Honorable Mention: Andrew Thomas, Georgia; Jedrick Wills, Alabama


AJ Schulte is an NFL Draft Analyst for @PFN365. You can follow him on Twitter @AJDraftScout.

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