Let’s get right into the fifth group in our look at position rankings for the 2023 NFL draft: the offensive tackles . This group before the season started looked to be a bit of a drop off from the previous classes; but a few guys have stepped up and a few have seemingly come out of nowhere. This class looks to be another solid group. Picking a top 10 was difficult.
As always, I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. Be sure to check out my previous part detailing the tight ends, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.
2023 NFL Draft Offensive Tackles: The Top 5
- Paris Johnson, Ohio State: Johnson started at right guard in 2021 and played really well. He is a big man who plays with a lot of power. The question heading into 2022 was could he make the transition to left tackle? He has answered that question and then some. He looks to be #1 tackle in the class.
- Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State: Speaking of guys who came out of nowhere: Fashanu played just just a few snaps here and there in 2021 before starting their bowl game and balling out. But he was still a question mark coming into 2022. He has really shown his true potential. He is a huge man at 6’6 320 pounds with nimble feet and great core strength. He is just a redshirt sophomore, so his technique is still a work in progress, but he has Pro Bowl potential.
- Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland: Duncan is another big, dancing bear. Same size as Fashanu. The difference is he is essentially a 4th year starter and, while he has shown growth, it hasn’t been enough. The massive potential is still there. He just needs more consistency. His technique is also not where it should be. He probably needs a redshirt year in the NFL.
- Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse: Bergeron is another big dude at 6’5 324 pounds. He doesn’t have the athletic upside of the three ahead of him. But his floor is much higher — and he is still a good athlete in his own right. He has played both left and right tackle. He could see himself starting out at RT in the NFL as a rookie before moving to the other side. He has the experience and technique to start as a rookie.
- Anton Harrison, Oklahoma: Harrison is in a similar boat to Fashanu, and Duncan. He is a big dude at 6’6 309 pounds, but has the feet of a smaller player. He is his second year as a starter. He is pretty consistent from game-to-game. He seems to have one bad game a season. While consistent, he has yet to reach his potential.
2023 NFL Draft Offensive Tackles: Best of the Rest
6. Dawand Jones, Ohio State: Jones is a true mountain at 6’8 359 pounds with 36″ arms. He actually dropped 10 pounds from last season. Pass rushers have a very hard time getting around him because he is so big. Of course, what goes with that is he is not the quickest. For his size, he has decent quickness. He can also get out leveraged at times, too, due to his height. He has been really good in the passing game. The one thing that might give some teams pause would be he is a “one position only” player, only a right tackle.
7. Tylan Grable, UCF: Grable was a big sleeper coming into the season. I don’t think most in the scouting community knew much about him. He transferred up from Jacksonville State, and he has proven the stage is not too big for him. He has ideal size for a left tackle. Listed at 6’7 (probably closer to 6’6) and 290 pounds. He has the requisite feet, size, and arm length to be a starting left tackle in the NFL. He needs to add some bulk, but has the frame to do it.
8. Patrick Paul, Houston: Another sleeper entering the season. Paul has been starting at left tackle since 2020, but he only played two games that season due to injury. Paul has shown continual growth. He also has a brother Chris, who was just drafted by Washington. He has the size at 6’7 315 pounds, and the athleticism to stay at left tackle. The current Cougar may never be elite, but he will be very, very good.
9. Blake Freeland, BYU: Freeland fits the mold of the traditional BYU offensive lineman at 6’8, 307 pounds. The main difference is he isn’t 24 years old. He still has some upside, even though he has been a starter. Freeland has gotten better every year. He has been a four-year starter. I’m just not sure if he plays physical enough to be anything more than just a solid starter.
10. Cody Mauch, North Dakota State: Mauch has been a good blocker the last three seasons. He plays with the physicality that teams like. He also has good overall athleticism. The thing that might be an issue with certain teams is his arm length at only 32 3/8″. Some teams may see him as a guard. It will be important to see him at an All-Star game, since he plays in the FCS, to see him against better competition.