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2020 NFL Draft Preview: Offensive Tackle

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 27 Florida v Georgia Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dolphins have one of the leagues best young LTs in Laremy Tunsil. I really liked his tape last year and believe he will be ever better this season. The RT however, is more up in the air. In addition I am a big believe in fortifying the trenches and would love to see the Dolphins add young depth for the future. This potential offensive tackle class is actually really talented. It really impressed me when I got into this film how many of them stood out. I think there is going to be a lot of talent and potential starters even in the middle and later rounds of the 2020 draft. Let’s start at the top of the draft though with probably the most well-known offensive tackle in this class...

Andrew Thomas, Georgia (Jr)

Thomas is one of the headlines of this potential offensive tackle draft class. He’s got a ton of experience dating back to his freshman year at Georgia and he certainly looks the part – 6’5” 320 lbs. His film to me though is inconsistent, and it’s up and down enough to make me worried. Let’s start with the good: he’s big and obviously spends a lot of time in the weight room. He can easily handle the bull rush, shows tremendous upper body strength (I saw him simply a throw speed rusher 5-7 yards away from the QB) and is surprisingly athletic for such a big guy. I think he’s a better pass protector than run blocker but he’s more than capable to move guys and peel off to hit linebackers as well. The bad for me is just the inconsistent film. He’s got everything you would look for in a LT but sometimes he’s just not what I would expect. I saw plenty of times where he blocked his man but did not drive at all. I even saw times where he got driven back – on a running play. The specific one I am referring to, is a 3rd and 1 against Kentucky where his man made the tackle for a loss resulting in a punt. That drove me nuts. However, the next drive he’s pushing guys into the linebackers. For this season I will be looking for Thomas to clean up those type of plays. He’s got first round talent, if the draft were tomorrow, he would go early, because overall his film is good, and he’s got immense potential. I’d like to see him be a little more dominate this season and prove without any doubt that he’s the best tackle in this talented OT class.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Texas v Georgia Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Trey Smith, Tennessee (Jr)

Trey Smith is an interesting and scary story. The 5-star recruit who is incredibly talented was discovered to have blood clots in his lungs back last February. Obviously, his health is the most important thing, but he still claims he’s going to get back out on the field and play. Smith, if healthy, clearly has the talent to play in the NFL. Capable of playing multiple positions, Smith will be highly sought after if he can overcome a rough hand that life has dealt him and get back on the football field. I certainly, wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him play again.

Alabama v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

Alaric Jackson, Iowa (Jr)

Jackson is a former 3-star recruit who has started 24 games in his first 2 years at Iowa. He has the size that you look for in an offensive tackle and the film to back it up. I think he does a good job in both run and pass blocking. I see him get to the second level often and does a good job of latching onto defenders. I think he handles the bull rush well and get his hands-on speed rushers. He is a little inconsistent in multiple areas of his game – so this season I will be looking for improvement on that. Overall, I think Jackson is a potential starter at LT and should hear his name called early if he chooses to declare.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 03 Iowa at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (Jr)

Wirfs joins his Hawkeye teammate on this list. Wirfs is another potential starter at tackle in the NFL. He plays RT for Iowa and I believe that is where he lands in the NFL. He is a terrific pass protector. He’s got the strength, fantastic hand use, great anchor and good footwork – I rarely saw him get beat. In the ground game I was a little less impressed. He was good but not great. For as strong as he is, I didn’t see a good drive, he’s athletic enough to get to the second level but couldn’t maintain blocks for long. In all though, I like Wirfs a lot and see him as a day 1 starter at RT.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 03 Iowa at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Trey Adams, Washington (Sr)

Adams has had a rough last 2 years. Tearing his ACL in 2017 and injuring his back in 2018, durability is going cause him to be taken completely off some team’s draft boards. Now, assuming he’s healthy Adams has shown the talent and potential to be a starting OT in the NFL. He’s pretty athletic; gets caught flat footed at times, but moves well. He’s shown good strength and knows how to use his size to his advantage. Durability is definitely the most important thing Adams needs to focus on this season. If he can prove he can stay healthy for a full season, that would be huge for his draft stock. I am hoping that happens.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Pac-12 Championship Game - Washington v Utah Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Other Notable OT Prospects:

Walker Little, Stanford (Jr)
Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn (Sr)
Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon (Sr)
Yesir Durant, Missouri (Sr)
Sam Cosmi, Texas (Jr)
Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas (Jr)
Mekhi Becton, Louisville (Jr)
Lucas Niang, TCU (Jr)
Josh Jones, Houston (Sr)
Colton McKivitz, West Virginia (Sr)