NFL Draft analyst Rob Rang offers his evaluation of the top offensive tackle prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft class.
Jonah Williams, Alabama, 6-4, 302, 5.12
Strengths: Battle-tested three-year starter with extensive experience playing both tackle roles. Combines good size, strength and athleticism with stellar technique and work ethic. A true technician who understands angles, leverage and hand placement to consistently root out bigger defenders in the running game and stymie twitchy edge rushers in pass protection. May not possess the high ceiling of some of this year’s other tackles but no one has a higher floor, projecting as an immediate and longtime NFL starter.
Weaknesses: Below average size for a modern day tackle, including arm length (33 5/8 inches). More functional than flashy in terms of athleticsm. Viewed by some as a possible guard convert but did not play this position at Alabama and may initially struggle with the tighter quarters, though he does show good knee bend and core strength.
Jawaan Taylor, Florida, 6-5, 312, 5.20 (est.)
Strengths: Old school Earth-mover at right tackle who seeks to not only beat opponents but bury them, exhibiting the prototypical size (including 35 1/8-inch arms), strength and mauling mentality to excite scouts and OL coaches. Surprisingly light on his feet for his massive, well-distributed frame, silencing some of the top speed rushers in the country over his career. Quick to climb to the second level and shows good awareness and body control to adjust once there.
Weaknesses: Struggled with his weight dating back to high school, reportedly tipping the scales at 380-plus pounds at times. Played in a run-heavy offense that rarely asked him to pass protect for longer than a few seconds – scant time for edge rushers to run around him. Cognizant of speed rushers and is so preoccupied with protecting the edge that he leaves the gate open for counters back inside on occasion.
Andre Dillard, Washington State, 6-5, 315, 4.96
Strengths: The best feet of any offensive lineman in the 2019 draft. Dances out of his stance in pass protection, easily maintaining a square obstacle to speed rushers hoping to attack off the blind side. Shows a ballerina’s balance when pulling or climbing to the second level, fluidly changing direction to seal off linebackers from the action. Stellar performance at the Senior Bowl and Combine eased legitimate concerns about the level of competition amid Pac-12 pass rushers and schematic restraints from WSU’s pass-happy Air-Raid attack.
Weaknesses: More finesse than force as a blocker, raising some question as to his fit for clubs hoping to run the ball as often as they pass. Needs to show greater urgency and power in his hands to control edge rushers, sealing them off rather than generating movement. Inconsistent hand placement, too often allowing them to rise, leaving him susceptible to bull rushers and cross chops. Average arm length (33½ inches).
Dalton Risner, Kansas State, 6-5, 312, 5.30
Strengths: Position-versatile, battle-tested, blue-collar blocker who ranks as one of the cleanest prospects in the entire 2019 draft. Started all 13 games as a red-shirt freshman at center and every game since at right tackle, where he excelled at the Senior Bowl. Good size (including 34-inch arms) to remain there in the NFL. Technically sound tough guy with better functional football strength and speed than he showed in Combine drills. Highly competitive. After getting beaten by Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat in early 2018 season matchup, Risner consistently topped the future first-round pick in Mobile.
Weaknesses: Just an average athlete by NFL offensive line standards, including in the 40-yard dash, bench press (23 repetitions) and vertical jump (28.5 inches). Controlled more than quick out of his stance and may struggle with the elite athletes he’ll face off the edge in the NFL. Feasted against questionable Big 12 pass rushers. Projects as a solid starter but unlikely a standout at the next level.
Kaleb McGary, Washington, 6-7, 317, 5.05
Strengths: Imposing four-year starting right tackle voted the best blocker in the Pac-12 by opposing defensive linemen. A bully who seems to enjoy the physicality of the game. Terrific athlete, standing out on tape as well as Combine drills. Combines rare size with mental and physical quickness that shows up on combo blocks and adjusting to blitzes. Persevered through adversity growing up – including losing the family farm to fire and living in an RV.
Weaknesses: Short arms (32 7/8 inches) which could force him inside to guard, a position he never played at Washington (or at the Senior Bowl) and where his height could prove a hindrance to the QB attempting to throw over him. Diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia that could leave NFL doctors nervous.
Best of the Rest:
- Greg Little, Mississippi, 6-5, 310, 5.33
- Isaiah Prince, Ohio State, 6-6, 305, 5.09
- Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia, 6-5, 312, 5.10 (est.)
- Max Scharping, Northern Illinois, 6-6, 327, 5.10 (est.)
- Tytus Howard, Alabama State, 6-5, 322, 5.05
- Oli Udoh, Elon, 6-5, 323, 5.05