Top 10 Offensive Tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft: Ikem Ekwonu rising fast

Who are the top offensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft? Here's the latest look, courtesy of our Consensus Top 300 Big Board at PFN.

With the current draft cycle slowly coming to a close, how does the group of top offensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft shake out? Here’s a look at our latest top tackles list, courtesy of our latest Consensus Top 300 Big Board.

Top 10 Offensive Tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft | 6-10

Which top 2022 NFL Draft offensive tackles take up spots 6-10 on our list?

10) Sean Rhyan, UCLA

Sean Rhyan sometimes goes overlooked in the 2022 NFL Draft offensive tackle class. That’s partly because of his uncertain projection. With arms that measure at 32 3/8″, some may project Rhyan to the interior to account for his lacking length. But you could also argue that insufficient length is the most pressing issue in Rhyan’s report. He’s an excellent player, otherwise.

Rhyan tested like an elite athlete at the NFL Combine, with a 33.5″ vertical and a 110″ broad jump among his more notable numbers. The UCLA mauler shows that quick acceleration and violence off the snap on tape, and while his length is limited, he uses it well. He’s a mean blocker with violent hands and outstanding upper-body torque. Additionally, Rhyan has elite core strength, which he can use to maintain anchors and stymy rushes.

9) Daniel Faalele, Minnesota

The 2022 NFL Draft isn’t heavy on natural right tackles, so teams will be quick to swipe them up. Daniel Faalele is one of those natural right tackles, and clubs that value size will be especially eager to get him on their roster.

Faalele is a legitimate mountain of a man, standing at 6’8″, 384 pounds. His sheer frame is wide enough to delay edge rushers from getting around him, but he also has 35 1/8″ arms and a massive 85 1/8″ wingspan. Faalele can be a little stiff laterally at times, but his size and power make him an enticing right tackle candidate.

8) Abraham Lucas, Washington State

Abraham Lucas was yet another top offensive tackle who kept his spot in our final 2022 NFL Draft positional rankings. He started the year as PFN’s eighth-best tackle and finished in the same spot. It’s a stable arc, reminiscent of Lucas’ steadiness as Washington State’s right tackle over the past few seasons.

Lucas is quietly a stellar NFL Draft prospect, with plenty of the traits you look for in long-term starters. He’s an exceptional pass protector with solid hands, and he can also win in the run game with his length and athleticism. Also beneficial for Lucas is his experience at right tackle. After Evan Neal, he’s one of the best blockers with right tackle reps under his belt.

7) Tyler Smith, Tulsa

If you want Trevor Penning a round later, Tyler Smith could be your guy. There are whispers that Smith could end up being a surprise first-round pick. But even so, he provides a similar skill set to Penning at a potentially cheaper cost. The key similarity for both prospects? Physicality. Smith has that trait in spades.

Smith is a nasty mauler who always blocks to the end of the rep. He sports violent, powerful hands, and he shows off impressive upper-body torque on his punches. He’s also a great athlete with smooth mobility and lateral recovery. While he can improve his timing and synergy, he’s a young blocker with the physical upside and the angry disposition that offensive line coaches love.

6) Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

First-round prospects don’t often come from the MAC ranks, but that could change this year with the ascent of Bernhard Raimann. Raimann isn’t a guaranteed first-round pick, but he’s been getting that kind of hype late in the 2022 NFL Draft cycle. He could be one of the top offensive tackles off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Raimann will be a 25-year-old rookie, and he can also improve some facets of his game. He plays too high at times and struggles to maintain his anchor. But he’s a terrific athlete, as his NFL Combine performance showed. He ran a 5.05 40-yard dash, had a 30.5″ vertical and a 117″ broad jump, and logged 30 bench reps. The traits are all there, and NFL teams often gravitate to that.

Top 10 Offensive Tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft | 1-5

Here are the top five offensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft.

5) Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State

Ask yourself — who is the best run-blocking offensive tackle in the 2022 NFL Draft? Ikem Ekwonu is a good bet, but Nicholas Petit-Frere would also rank highly on that list. Petit-Frere is quietly one of the most imposing run blockers in this class. He’s incredibly violent off the snap, plays with impressive leverage and power, and can steamroll opponents in the ground game.

The drawback with Petit-Frere is that he’s very much a work in progress in pass protection. His footwork, timing, and upper-lower synergy can all improve. Those weaknesses were exploited by the likes of Aidan Hutchinson and Arnold Ebiketie. Even so, Petit-Frere has great potential — he’s 6’5″, 316 pounds, with 33 5/8″ arms and a 30.5″ vertical. He also has versatility between left and right tackle, which may drive his stock up.

4) Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

Trevor Penning ends the process where he started for the PFN Draft team — as the fourth offensive tackle in the top OT rankings for the 2022 NFL Draft. Neal, Ekwonu, and Charles Cross are on an island of their own, but there’s a case to make that Penning is the next-best blindside blocker.

Penning is far from a finished product, and his over-physical style may be a source of penalties early on in the NFL. But his upside is extremely rare and compounded by a relentless mauler mentality that never quits. Penning ran a 4.89 40-yard dash and logged a 28″ vertical, 111″ broad jump, and a 7.25 three-cone at 6’7″, 325 pounds.

3) Charles Cross, Mississippi State

The top three offensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft are all very close on PFN’s latest board. Neal is second overall, Ekwonu is fourth, and Mississippi State’s Charles Cross is sixth. This ranking is not a slight to Cross but a nod to Neal and Ekwonu. They’re both phenomenal prospects, but Cross is right there with them.

Cross is a bit leaner at 6’4 3/4″, 307 pounds. But he’s the longest of the “Big Three” with massive 34 1/2″ arms. And like his counterparts, he’s an incredible athlete. Cross is exceptionally nimble with his lateral athleticism, and his ability to recover is arguably the best in the class. He’s only a redshirt sophomore, but the future is bright for Cross, whose independent hand usage shows wisdom beyond his years.

2) Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

Remember when Ikem Ekwonu was going to be a guard? Me, neither. There was no consensus before the 2021 season as to where Ekwonu’s future would lie in the NFL. The NC State blocker had tackle and guard experience, but a superb 2021 campaign sealed the deal for Ekwonu. He’ll be a tackle in the NFL, and he has the tools to be a very good one.

Ekwonu still has room to clean up his pass protection further, but he improved considerably in 2021. He also has a well-advertised edge in the run game. His length, power, tenacity, and open-field athleticism make him a nightmare for linebackers and defensive ends trying to set the edge. Ekwonu has a dominant physical profile and aims to dominate defenders as well.

1) Evan Neal, Alabama

Since the start of the cycle, Evan Neal has been PFN’s consensus top offensive tackle in the 2022 NFL Draft. The gap has undoubtedly closed — the top three offensive tackles on our latest 2022 NFL Draft Big Board all ranked in the top six overall. But Neal still holds the top spot by a slim margin.

It isn’t just Neal’s physical attributes that grant him the OT1 mantle, but also the steadiness with which he uses those tools to lock down the edge. If there’s such a thing as a lean 6’7 1/2″ and 337 pounds, Neal is it. He’s a rare athlete with tense violence off the snap, power in his punches, and a mix of patience and decisiveness that can be difficult for edge rushers to attack.

Honorable Mentions

  • Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
  • Dare Rosenthal, Kentucky
  • Matt Waletzko, North Dakota
  • Rasheed Walker, Penn State
  • Braxton Jones, Southern Utah

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