CollegeFootballNews.com Preview 2017: Top 20 Offensive Tackles
Who are the best offensive tackles coming into the college football season? Here are the projected 20 top guys
Preview 2017: Top 20 Offensive Tackles
Who are the best offensive tackles coming into the 2017 college football season? The key to this – this is a projection of the top COLLEGE players, and not really the best pro prospects. Talent, of course, matters, but this is about looking ahead at who are going to be the top 20 this year.
20. Calvin Anderson, Jr. Rice
The 6-5, 285-pounder has been one of the team’s few positives over the last few years. He’s not big and bulky, but he’s a steady, all-star starter on the outside with great run blocking skills for his lack of size – he can move.
19. Koda Martin, Jr. Texas A&M
Is he the next great Aggie tackle? The 6-6, 310-pounder has the frame and the footwork, and now he has to rock on the left side after mostly spending last year as the main backup.
18. Max Scharping, Jr. Northern Illinois
The NIU running game might not have been up to its normal self, but the 6-6, 311-pound Scharping managed to come up with his second straight big season as an all-star all-around blocker.
17. Evan Plagg, Sr. Tulsa
While he’s not all that big at just 6-3 and 279 pounds, he worked his way from a walk-on to an all-star caliber pass blocker for the high-powered Golden Hurricane attack.
16. Austin Corbett, Sr. Nevada
One of Nevada’s biggest positives over the last few seasons, the 6-4, 300-pound senior earned All-Mountain West honors over the last few seasons, and now he gets to be the main blocker in the new Air Raid attack.
15. Brian O’Neill, Jr. Pitt
Athletic and versatile, the former tight end didn’t need much time to turn into a whale of a tackle, spending last season working on the right side. At 6-6 and 300 pounds, he’s a beefed up athlete who can move.
14. Greg Little, Soph. Ole Miss
The former super-recruit will grow into an even bigger piece of the Rebel offensive puzzle after being thrown to the wolves as a freshman. He came up with a good first year, but now the 6-6, 332-pounder should dominate.
13. Tyrell Crosby, Sr. Oregon
Is he finally going to be healthy? The 6-5, 310-pound all-star talent has size, toughness and can move at an NFL level, but he still has to get right after missing almost all of last year with a foot injury.
12. Jeromy Irwin, Sr. Colorado
The Colorado running game should be a killer at times, with the 6-5, 295-pound Irwin leading the way for a good-looking line. He’s well past the torn ACL suffered a few years ago, and now he’ll be one of the Pac-12’s best left tackles.
11. Geron Christian, Jr. Louisville
Someone had to help open up those holes for Lamar Jackson and the ground game. An all-star starter from the moment he hit the field, he’s got ideal 6-6, 318-pound size and next-level upside at either tackle spot.
10. Jamarco Jones, Sr. Ohio State
Athletic, strong, and experienced, the 6-5, 310-pound veteran has been a mainstay upfront. A certain All-Big Ten left tackle who worked himself into a star – after not quite being the typical superstar prospect – he’ll be on several All-America short lists.
9. Chukwuma Okorafor, Sr. Western Michigan
Taylor Moton was taken by Carolina in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft – and Okorafor might be even better. The 6-6, 330-pound Okorafor is destined to be a starter on the right side in the pros – or at guard – but with his size and power, he’s special no matter where he plays.
8. Mason Cole, Sr. Michigan
Write in his spot as one of the nation’s top tackles in pencil. One of the team’s few returning starters, the 6-5, 305-pound versatile star worked all of last year at center after starting every game as a tackle in his sophomore season. He should end up being a rock on the outside, but that could change in fall camp.
7. Braden Smith, Sr. Auburn
If doesn’t matter where he starts, he’ll be one of the SEC’s top all-around blockers. At 6-6 and 303 pounds, he’s got the size to work anywhere, seeing time at guard in his first few years. While he could kick back to the inside, he’ll get the call at right tackle early on.
6. Martez Ivey, Jr. Florida
It was just a question of time. The one-time superstar tackle recruit started out as a very, very good left guard, but now he’ll move to the outside where he should be even stronger. The 6-5, 305-pounder is ready to be a dominant force and pass protector.
5. Orlando Brown, Jr. Oklahoma
A wee bit too big at 6-8 and 360 pounds, good luck when he gets a head of steam for the ground game. An All-America talent, his bulk hasn’t been an issue in pass protection after getting the call as a starting left tackle from the moment his redshirt came off.
4. Trey Adams, Jr. Washington
An almost certain top 50 draft pick next year – if he comes out – the 6-8, 320-pounder has massive size and is a mountain of a pass protector on the left side. When Jake Browning gets ten days to throw, Adams will be the main reason why.
3. Mitch Hyatt, Jr. Clemson
Who said all of the offensive stars are gone? The 6-5, 295-pound superstar recruit has more than lived up to the billing. He started out as a Freshman All-American, and now he’s a veteran of the national championship-caliber wars over the last two All-ACC seasons.
2. Mike McGlinchey, Sr. Notre Dame
It was a huge, huge, huge break for Notre Dame when McGlinchey chose to return for one more season instead of being the first offensive tackle taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. A superior power blocker with great feet and toughness, he can do it all as a rock of a tackle on either side. After dominating on the right side, he moved to the left where he was fantastic next to OG Quenton Nelson – and will be again.
1. Connor Williams, Jr. Texas
The pros are ready for him. The 6-6, 320-pound Williams started as a true freshman at left tackle, and then went from fine to amazing with an All-America-caliber sophomore season. He’s got everything the next-level guys want with size, power, and the smarts to be an instant franchise leader on someone’s left side. First, he has to be one of the rocks of the new Tom Herman offense.