Well, we are in unprecedented times. Almost all sports are either canceled and postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. However, as of now, the 2020 NFL Draft is still scheduled for late April. WFNY is here for you to get you familiar and ready for the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns have been extremely busy this offseason. It started with the changes at head coach and general manager but now has moved to the free agency. The Cleveland Browns have made numerous signings so far in the free agency period. The most notable and big-money additions came on offense in right tackle Jack Conklin and tight end Austin Hooper. But, the Browns have also made numerous moves on defense, too. So, Cleveland is trying to fill some of their biggest holes before they enter the draft. This will also free the Browns to open their options up more in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With all of this in mind, I have been examining each of the positions in the upcoming draft, giving my top five prospects at each position group, while also giving my thoughts on the overall class for each position. The series began with the most important position on the roster, quarterbacks. I am now turning my attention to the offensive tackle position. Here are my top five offensive tackles and my overall thoughts on the offensive tackle class in the 2020 NFL Draft.
1. Jedrick Wills, Alabama
2. Andrew Thomas, Georgia
3. Mekhi Becton, Louisville
4. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
5. Josh Jones, Houston
Best of the Rest: Ezra Cleveland (Boise State), Lucas Niang (TCU), Prince Tega Wanogho (Auburn), Matt Peart (Connecticut) and Ben Bartch (St. John’s (MN))
Which offensive tackle do you feel stronger about than most people?
I feel really strongly about Josh Jones of Houston in terms of his standing with the offensive tackle class. I believe he belongs in the elite level group made up of my top five offensive tackles. I think Jones deserves the high billing as the other four, who are widely thought of as the top tier group. Jones has the athleticism and movement skills teams cherish in their left tackle. He is a smooth operator. He should be mentioned right there with the other four ahead of him.
Who is your No. 1 offensive tackle in the class and why do you believe he is the best offensive tackle?
My No. 1 offensive tackle in the class is Jedrick Wills of Alabama. He is a complete tackle with the best technique in the crop. His feet and balance are superb, looking almost clinical in his movements. As a pass blocker, he shows great feet in his drop and has a strong anchor to take on rushers. As a run blocker, he is a powerful man with the ability to uproot defenders out of the way, creating holes for the running game. He is a clean prospect overall.
What are your thoughts on the overall offensive tackle class? How would you rate the class?
This is the best offensive tackle class I have ever evaluated. The class has five top-tier talents in Jedrick Wills of Alabama, Andrew Thomas of Georgia, Mekhi Becton of Louisville, Tristan Wirfs of Iowa and Josh Jones of Houston. I would be comfortable taking these five in the top 15 picks of the draft. But beyond those five, the class has good depth and should be able to produce even more quality starters or contributors in the NFL. The second, third and fourth rounds should be a place where teams can still find quality prospects who in other years would be gone by that point in the draft.
Who has the best single skill set and what is that skill set?
I think the best skill set in the class is Louisville’s Mekhi Becton’s combination of size and movement skills. I cannot believe how a man at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds can move so well. He moves smoothly with big steps. It is tough getting around a man his size, but it is even tougher to get around a guy who can move his feet like he can at that size.
Who is a sleeper offensive tackle who you are keeping an eye on?
Ben Bartch of St. John’s (MN) is a small school prospect who has the talent to be an offensive tackle in the NFL. He has the size and movement skills that teams want in a prospect. If the right coach can work with him, Bartch can start in the NFL and be a good contributor to an NFL team.
What is the impact of this offensive tackle class to the Browns?
The Browns are most likely going to take an offensive tackle in the first round. I think the Browns will end up with either Thomas, Wills, Becton, Wirfs or Jones with the first-round pick. The team needs a left tackle as it is the biggest hole remaining on the roster. The team could also look to add a developmental offensive tackle later in the draft, too. This class is immensely important to the Browns.