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Top 10 Offensive Tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft: Charles Cross is surging

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.

A year after one of the stronger offensive tackle classes in recent memory, 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 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) Jaxson Kirkland, Washington

Jaxson Kirkland got some first-round hype in NFL mock drafts over the course of the 2021 offseason. Personally, I don’t quite see it. I’m a big fan of Kirkland’s hands and his mauler mentality, but his lower body is unnaturally lean for his size. That lack of density visibly impacts his ability to absorb power, and he also has some lateral stiffness.

Against more athletic technicians in the NFL, Kirkland may have a tough time — and his stiffness could lead him to slide inside to guard. However, while Kirkland’s upside is somewhat limited, the Washington offensive lineman has a high-floor projection. Thus, he could quickly earn a role at the professional level.

9) Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

Darian Kinnard is one of the most tantalizing offensive line prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class. As a pure physical specimen, he’s popped off the screen for a while. He was logging starts as a true freshman back in 2018, and now he’s morphed into an NFL Draft prospect with exciting potential. That potential, however, hasn’t been fully realized yet.

Kinnard has a massive, compact frame, and he’s explosive off the line. He can reach the second level with terrifying quickness, and his length provides an impressive conduit for power. Unfortunately, in a phone booth, Kinnard is somewhat stiff. His hands are also imperfect. He opens up his torso too often and doesn’t strike cleanly on a consistent basis. Still, his physical talent is enough to place him in the Day 2 conversation.

8) Abraham Lucas, Washington State

Washington State has had its fair share of turmoil this season, but Abraham Lucas is one player they can count on to be steady. Lucas could’ve been a mid-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he chose to return to school for another year to potentially improve his stock.

So far, Lucas has remained close to where he began the year. Nevertheless, he still projects as a good investment with starting potential in the NFL. Lucas’ calling card is his pass protection. With athleticism, balance, and his 6’7″ frame, he can lock defenders down. His run blocking isn’t at the level of other tackles, but he has the traits to develop.

7) Daniel Faalele, Minnesota

Edge rushers don’t line up against literal mountains. It’s impossible. Mountains don’t have legs. But if you were to seek out the closest thing to a mountain in college football, Daniel Faalele would be the one. Listed at 6’9″, 380 pounds, Faalele is the biggest man on whatever field he steps on by default.

Size is what sets Faalele apart, but his profile extends beyond that. The Minnesota tackle can exert an insane amount of power with almost unfair ease. He’s a bit lumbering as a mover, which is to be expected for someone with his frame. But he can still reach the second level and block on the move, making his upside in the run game even more enticing.

6) Sean Rhyan, UCLA

His length may be a defusing factor for his stock, but aside from that, there aren’t many negative things you can say about Sean Rhyan. The physical Bruins blocker has once again been tremendous in 2021, helping to direct a productive UCLA offense. Rhyan received some top-30 love among our panel of analysts, and there’s plenty of reason for that.

At 6’5″, 320 pounds, Rhyan has great size, core strength, and frame density. Even if his length isn’t ideal for the tackle position, I think he’s more than athletic enough to stay there. He traverses the edge with ease and gets to the second level quickly. Once there, Rhyan has a ferocious closing burst into contact, and he’s not afraid to maul defenders all the way to the whistle.

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

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

5) Rasheed Walker, Penn State

He’s a bit more polarizing among the top offensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft, but Rasheed Walker has fans, both in the scouting community and at PFN. All three PFN NFL Draft analysts gave Walker top-60 rankings, and Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline had Walker in his top 30.

For Walker, the story is the same as it was before the season. He has a lot of upside but also has room to keep improving.

Frame density isn’t an issue for Walker, who stands at 6’6″, 330 pounds, and sports a massive all-around makeup. His work amidst displacement also generates some confidence.

Walker doesn’t always have the spryness to match explosive first steps. But with his length and lateral athleticism, he can match rushers around the edge and direct them outside the pocket. On top of that, Walker’s power as a run blocker pops. If he can be more consistent, he’s right up there in the early-round conversation.

4) Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

If you want your offensive tackles mean, you won’t find a meaner one than Trevor Penning. The dude lives for driving defenders into the dirt. Although his off-the-rails style can backfire on him, Penning’s aggression is unmatched. On top of that, he has the necessary physical traits to dominate with that aggression at his peak potential.

Penning stands at 6’7″, 340 pounds, and has a very well-proportioned frame. He’s dense in both his upper and lower body and has great length as well. Moreover, Penning has the athleticism to get to the second level quickly and envelop defenders with his width. He’s a bit stiff laterally, but overall, he checks most of the physical and mental boxes you want. If Penning can cut down on reckless hand usage, he can be a very good starter.

3) Charles Cross, Mississippi State

Nicholas Petit-Frere and Mississippi State’s Charles Cross are extremely close. In fact, one could make a case for Cross being OT2 over Petit-Frere. Personally, I feel that the Ohio State anchor is a bit stronger and more consistent as a run blocker. That said, one could argue Cross is more fluid in pass protection. Like Petit-Frere, Cross is a stellar lateral athlete who moves extremely well along the edge.

With light, efficient shuffles, Cross can match even the most athletic edge rushers. Additionally, he can use his length to prevent opponents from finding a window into the pocket. Cross is a bit wiry in his upper body, but he has great lower body density, with which he can absorb power.

Although he’s only a redshirt sophomore, Cross’ hand usage is advanced beyond his years. He has early-starting potential and the talent to be one of the top offensive tackles, not just in the 2022 NFL Draft, but in the NFL.

2) Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State

It seems as though Nicholas Petit-Frere has come out of nowhere, but he hasn’t. He was a five-star recruit out of high school. He showed immense progression down the stretch last year and flashed great promise. It was only a matter of time before Petit-Frere became one of the top offensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft. Some, however, didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.

Petit-Frere has been sensational in 2021. He’s moved over from right tackle to left tackle, and the results have been tremendous. He’s incredibly smooth as a pass protector with great feet quickness but violent and active on running plays.

Petit-Frere is one of the most well-put-together OTs in this class. He’s a high-level athlete with a long 6’5″, 315-pound frame, and a strong anchor. Additionally, his physical skill set enables him to dominate his opposition.

1) Evan Neal, Alabama

The title of OT1 might’ve been up for grabs — if Evan Neal didn’t exist. Neal came into the season with arguably the highest upside at the position, and he’s done well to maintain his standing on our Consensus Top 300 Big Board. With top-10 grades from all three NFL Draft analysts, Neal comfortably takes home the top spot.

Neal is 6’7″, 350 pounds, but moves with unfair lightness in his feet. Yet, the ground tremors when he walks, and so do the lips of opposing defensive linemen. He’s athletic, extremely powerful, and developing a greater understanding of how to most efficiently channel his traits. For those reasons, Neal is OT1.

Honorable Mentions

  • Zion Nelson, Miami
  • Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
  • Nick Broeker, Ole Miss
  • Tyler Smith, Tulsa
  • Jamaree Salyer, Georgia

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and his voice and face on Pro Football Network Daily. Follow him on Twitter @ian_cummings_9.

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