The tackle class is one of the deepest in recent times. In PFF, we’ve traditionally been lower in many tackles due to the steep learning curve the position faces when translated to the NFL, but there are four players in this class that we think have a chance to start right away. Let’s take a look at how the top 10 stack up.
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[editor’s note: these rankings were originally published on february 26th, they were edited on april 9th after the combination of 2018 nfl scouting and various pro day workouts, these rankings last evolved maybe on april 23, as it’s just days away from the 2018 nfl draft.]
1. mike mcglinchey, notre dame
mcglinchey’s three-year rating sample is as good as we’ve seen since we started rating college players and easily outperforms this class. the fact that he’s done it at both left and right tackle makes a projection to the next level that much easier. he’s far from a perfect prospect, but he does so many things well that he’s risen to the top of this class.
2. connor williams, texas
dump the injury-plagued 2017 tape of williams and go back to his sophomore year. that season he was utterly dominant and allowed just four pressures all season. Not many true sophomores are capable of the level of play we saw from Williams in 2016, as he displayed all the tools necessary to be a top-level tackle in the NFL.
3. jamarco jones, ohio
jones wins the award for the most beautiful passing games in the class. That’s even more encouraging when you consider how little the Ohio State offense asked him to take true passes. He’s already NFL ready in that regard and has improved every season of his college career.
4. tyrell crosby, oregon
Crosby is possibly the most physical tackle in the class. he is also another player who has made it to both the left and right sides in the college ranks. Crosby isn’t going to win any awards for his athleticism and could ultimately end up at guard, but he’s an easy projection as a run blocker.
5. orlando brown, oklahoma
brown has more recorded replays that make you say ‘wow’ than any offensive plate in this class. he just gobbles up defensive linemen on a regular basis. Sometimes he can have problems with speed, but he is immune to the bull run with the size and length of him (he didn’t allow a single bull rush all year).
6. brian o’neill, pittsburgh
o’neill is an excellent athlete for the position and possesses some of the best mirror skills in the entire class. however, right now he lacks the strength to hit and play, and it’s concerning how poorly he performed in senior bowl week. while he was there, he won just 27 percent of his reps in 1-on-1 practice.
7. kolton miller, ucla
Miller has the size and athleticism to stay at tackle at the next level, but he’ll need to add a lot of strength to be a quality player at the next level. he was harassed too often against college defenders and that problem is only going to increase exponentially in the nfl.
8. will richardson, n.c. status
richardson took a big step forward in 2017 and allowed just five pressures all season and never more than one in a single game at right tackle for the wolf pack. Richardson has a handful of off-the-field issues that could bring him down, though, including a dui as a freshman and a two-game suspension for marijuana last season.
9. Christian Geron, Louisville
louisville did christian no favors by having him switch from left tackle to right tackle every game depending on the play. however, that cross-training could come in handy in the nfl.
10. martinas rankin, state of mississippi
rankin is one of the few extremely long arm tackles that already knows how to use that length advantage properly. However, his slow feet could cause a difficult transition to the NFL and he allowed 18 pressures in just 247 pass-blocking snaps last season.
11. chukwuma okorafor, western michigan
okorafor is just a projection at this point. His size, length and athleticism scream NFL tackle, but his technique and physique leave a lot to be desired. one would expect an entry of the dominant caliber from him against the competition okorafor faced, but that was rarely the case.
12. desmond harrison, west georgia
Harrison’s movement abilities jump out immediately when you look at him. however, he is a bit small and will see a big jump in competition coming from western georgia.
13. alex cappa, humboldt state
another little school tackle jumping off the tape. cappa, however, does it for his impressive technique rather than sheer athleticism.
14. tony adams, state of north carolina
adams has impressed as a pass protector in his time at nc state. the last two seasons he has allowed 17 pressures.
15. zachary crabtree, oklahoma state
crabtree is one of the rare college tackles who is already technically proficient in pass protection, allowing all 12 pressures last season.
16. jeromy irwin, colorado
irwin was very productive in his four seasons at colorado, improving his grades each year. however, it’s too easy to lose your balance and he’s too small for a tackle.
17. joseph noteboom, tcu
noteboom fits what the nfl is looking for from a size and athleticism standpoint, but was exposed too often in pass protection in college.
18. toby weathersby, lsu
weathersby is an ox whose best position is probably guard at the next level. In a phone booth, he may seem domineering, but when he has to play on the move he’s a lot less pretty.
19. zack golditch, colorado state
With three consecutive years of ratings in the 84.0 to 86.0 range, Golditch is worth a look in the later rounds. he ranked 10th in the draft class with a pass blocking efficiency of 98.2 last season.
[editor’s note: These rankings were constantly evolving as we got closer to the draft. comments, questions, or for more information, follow @pff_college.]
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