Top 10 OTs in the 2023 NFL Draft: Paris Johnson Jr. supersedes all others

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 — if you can even call it that. Early on, it seems as though there’s a clear dearth of talent at the top of the board. But as we’ve seen before, a lot can change over the course of the season. Already established prospects can elevate their game, and new stars can come out of nowhere. As we stand, ahead of the 2022 season, how do the top 10 OTs in the 2023 NFL Draft stack up?

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Top 10 OTs in the 2023 NFL Draft

The Power Five conferences dominate the early top 10 offensive tackle rankings in the 2023 NFL Draft, but there’s a surprising amount of variance in the schools present. SEC, ACC, and Big Ten prospects all vie for the top three spots, but only one can take the crown as OT1 in the 2023 NFL Draft.

10) Broderick Jones, Georgia

It seems as if the 2023 NFL Draft class is asking — begging — for a saving grace at offensive tackle. Outside of Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr., who himself is a bit of a projection with his move from guard, the 2023 OT class is very uncertain. But there’s always one or two breakouts we can rely on — prospects who enter larger roles and explode onto the NFL draft scene. Broderick Jones is a good bet to follow that arc in 2022.

Jones only has four career starts under his belt, all from 2021. He filled in for an injured Jamaree Salyer down the stretch in Georgia’s championship-winning season. Jones is short on snaps but huge on potential.

A former five-star recruit, Jones has eye-catching explosiveness and energy off the snap. He’s a phenomenal athlete who closes gaps and attacks blocks, and he brings palpable violence in his game. He can play more controlled and work on refining his hand usage, but Jones has early-round potential with more reps.

9) Connor Galvin, Baylor

It’s hard not to be impressed when looking back at Connor Galvin‘s 2021 campaign. First-team All-Big 12. Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year. And a crucial cog on a Baylor offensive line that helped the Bears win their first Big 12 title in school history. Galvin already has an illustrious résumé as a collegiate blocker. But in 2022, he’ll be looked at as an NFL draft prospect, with reason to believe he’ll be drafted.

Galvin fits an intriguing mold at the offensive tackle position. He’s a solid athlete and is tall at 6’7″, 310 pounds. But he lacks the elite length you’d expect at that height, and he doesn’t have elite functional strength or power.

However, Galvin wins with the polish and composed play you’d expect from an accomplished veteran. He uses independent hands and transfers his weight with steady footwork. Galvin has fluid hips for his size, and an NFL role of some kind is very much in his future.

8) Blake Freeland, BYU

BYU offensive tackle Brady Christensen was drafted in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. There’s a chance Blake Freeland could go off the board even sooner in 2023.

To start, Freeland is considerably younger than Christensen was coming out, set to be 22 years old next May. But also Freeland possesses a high degree of talent and may have legitimate starting potential at the next level.

At 6’8″, 307 pounds, Freeland is a taller, leaner OT prospect. There are some drawbacks that come with that size, as Freeland sometimes strains to get proper leverage. But he’s extremely athletic and possesses surprising strength for his lighter frame. A former state champion in the shot put and javelin, Freeland’s track background visibly translates on the field. And with his athleticism, length, and left-right versatility, he’ll have his fans next April.

7) Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

It’s important not to scout the helmet. There’s no denying Oklahoma has produced a bevy of NFL offensive line talent in recent years. But Anton Harrison is on this list based on his own merit.

As a true sophomore in 2021, Harrison lived up to his four-star billing and started 12 games at left tackle. There were ups and downs, but the potential is clearly visible in Harrison’s game. It’s why he has eyes on him early on in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle.

Harrison is a bit unorthodox as a tackle prospect. His frame is high-hipped and boxy, but he has all the length, strength, and power capacity you need on the left side. He flashed efficient footwork in 2021, and even showed bright glimpses of independent hand usage, rapidly stacking violent extensions and swipes.

For a player who’s entering only his third year, Harrison has already shown plenty of promise. Chances are it’s only up from here.

6) Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland

In a way, the dominant duo of Michigan edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo provided a barometer for Big Ten tackles throughout the 2021 season. Few could match up with their ruthless onslaught of pressure, and almost none did on a down-to-down basis. But when Jaelyn Duncan at least matched the pair out of his stance and mirrored them around the apex, it was worth noting.

Duncan’s easy athleticism is one of his most appealing traits. He stands at 6’6″, with a dense frame of over 300 pounds. Yet, he’s shown to glide out of his stance and carry rushers upfield with little strain. Even as a fifth-year senior, there’s room for Duncan to improve his timing and hand placement. But his physical traits, especially in this tackle class, make him difficult to ignore.

5) Carter Warren, Pittsburgh

With the 2023 NFL Draft offensive tackle group being so uncertain, there’s a definite possibility that some teams defer to more experienced, more proven prospects at the position. That deference to security bodes well for Pittsburgh’s Carter Warren, who’s a sixth-year senior with 22 career starts under his belt. He may be a 24-year-old rookie when he arrives, but Warren is coming off his best year yet, and he has legitimate NFL tools.

Warren isn’t your usual super senior. Some who exhaust their college eligibility lack true professional potential. But Warren, had he declared for the 2022 NFL Draft, could have been a Day 2 selection. Instead, he chose to return and capitalize on his momentum from 2021. At 6’5″, 325 pounds, with arms over 35″ long, Warren has immense power capacity, and his tenacious mauler mentality helps him impose his will at both tackle spots.

4) Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

It might surprise some to see Peter Skoronski come in at No. 4 on our list of the top 2023 NFL Draft offensive tackles. Skoronski is one of the most common first-round selections at OT to this point. His performance certainly backs up his billing, but he has a couple factors working in his favor. The uncertain OT class helps, as does the recency bias provided by the success of fellow Northwestern product Rashawn Slater with the Chargers.

Half the time Skoronski is mentioned, he’s mentioned in the same breath as Slater. Part of that is warranted, as Northwestern’s staff feels just as highly about Skoronski. But when projecting to the NFL, there are some concerns to note.

While Skoronski is athletic and fundamentally sound, he might not weigh over 300 pounds, and his arm length is noticeably below average. Nevertheless, while his future might not be at OT, Skoronski has the skill set to be an extremely proficient interior blocker.

3) Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse

Move over, Patrice Bergeron, soon to be the second-most-famous athlete with his surname. We kid, but Matthew Bergeron is legit, and there’s still a sense that he’s slept on in the 2023 NFL Draft OT class. It’s why he headlines the OL unit on our preseason 2023 NFL Draft All-Sleeper Team. But Bergeron isn’t just a sleeper to write down and come back to later. He’s already a prospect worthy of early-round consideration.

Bergeron is listed at 6’5″, 327 pounds, but he wears that weight extremely well. He’s an athletic, low-cut lineman with impressive length, strength, and power capacity. But even more impressive is his effortless brand of athleticism. He’s a fleet-footed blindside blocker with great mobility in close quarters, and he already shows plenty of promise with his technique and handwork.

2) Darnell Wright, Tennessee

All football players, and athletes for that matter, are human. But there are some who push the boundaries of what one considers possible within that mold. Enter Darnell Wright, a former five-star recruit who more closely resembles the Pokémon Blastoise. Listed at 6’6″, 335 pounds, Wright is a walking tree trunk, whose punches hit as hard as you’d expect, and whose grip strength can render opponents into submission.

Wright is one of the most imposing players in college football. He offers scary power capacity and can legitimately fold players with extensions and hip torque. On top of his power and strength, Wright is a surprising short-area athlete for his size.

While he doesn’t have elite range as a moving blocker, Wright has a potentially dominant skill set in a phone booth, with enough recovery athleticism to hold his own. His experience at both tackle spots is a mere bonus for an already exciting NFL draft prospect.

1) Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

It’s dangerous to make foregone assumptions about where prospects will end up. But with some, it’s a safer venture than others. Paris Johnson Jr. was a five-star offensive tackle in high school and a top-10 recruit, signing with Ohio State out of the 2020 class.

Johnson broke out as a dominant right guard in 2021. Now, he moves back to tackle, where he’s expected to affirm himself as the top OT in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Johnson has it all. He’s athletic, he’s long, and he’s powerful. He can match defenders effortlessly and drive through blocks with force. Johnson is an absolute bulldozer in the ground game, but he also has the traits to lock rushers down as a pass protector. There’s some uncertainty as Johnson makes another position switch. But he’s played tackle before, and his traits project well there. Little is standing in the way of him taking over the 2023 class.

Honorable mentions

Jordan Morgan, Arizona
Dawand Jones, Ohio State
Zion Nelson, Miami (FL)
Warren McClendon, Georgia
Jordan McFadden, Clemson
Robert Scott Jr., Florida State
Ryan Hayes, Michigan
Cody Mauch, North Dakota State
Garret Greenfield, South Dakota State

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @IC_Draft.

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