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NFL Draft Positional Rankings: Offensive Tackles

Next up in the series of positional rankings is offensive tackles. The Packers seem to be set for 2016 with both David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga as starters, but neither of shown they can stay healthy. JC Tretter proved to be a very capable back up swing tackle but both he and Bakhtiari will be free agents at the end of this year. The Packers would be wise to draft one this year so they can develop him before he has to see the field. I’ve only ranked players I feel comfortable enough with to form a solid opinion/analysis on. It would be disingenuous to rank players I don’t have a strong opinion on.

Previous positional rankings:

http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/nfl-draft-positional-rankings-quarterbacks

http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/nfl-draft-positional-rankings-running-backs

http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/nfl-draft-positional-rankings-wide-receivers

http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/nfl-draft-positional-rankings-tight-ends

Offensive Tackles

1.       Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss- Tunsil is arguably the #1 overall player in this draft. The 6’5” 310lb offensive tackle is an absolute rock in pass protection. Tunsil plays with flawless technique and always seems to be in control. He is strong enough to move his man in the run game and has no trouble getting to the 2nd level. Tunsil has all the makings of a future All-Pro 10+ year franchise left tackle.

2.       Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame- Stanley is one of the most well rounded tackles coming out. He is very quick footed and can get into his pass sets really quickly. At 6’6” 312lbs Stanley has the length to ride defenders outside of the pocket and is functional as a run blocker. Stanley does need to work on his strength, particularly core strength to withstand stronger defensive ends he’ll face in the NFL.

3.       Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St. – Decker is a tenacious run blocker and has exceptional feet getting to the 2nd level. He does a nice job mauling linebackers and defensive backs in space. He uses his length well in pass protection but needs to work on consistency with his technique. At 6’7” 310lbs Decker has a tendency to play a little high which allows defenders to get into his chest.

4.       Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana- Spriggs is one of the most athletic tackles in the class. He’s 6’6” 301lbs and moves like a player whose 40lbs lighter. He has good length to keep speed rusher outside and can move his man in the run game. Spriggs struggles to consistently anchor vs strong defensive ends. He could stand to gain some strength and needs to work on consistency. With his athleticism he has the chance to develop into a very good starting left tackle.

5.       Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St. - Conklin is a very polarizing tackle prospect among draft evaluators. I feel Conklin has the tools to mature into a very good starting tackle in the NFL. At 6’6” 308lbs Conklin was a very good blind side protector at Michigan St and blasted open holes for their ground game. There are some technique issues that plague Conklin from time to time and although it’s not always pretty Conklin more often than not got the job done.

6.       Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M- The 6’6” 324lb behemoth has great length and when he plays with good leverage and balance he can be a very good tackle. The problem is that Ifedi occasionally extends himself too far and can get beat by savvy pass rushers.

7.       Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota St. - Haeg is the definition of solid but not flashy. He’s 6’6” 304lbs and has started 60 games at both tackle spots. Haeg needs to work on sustaining his blocks longer but he can be developed to be a swing back up tackle.

8.       Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech- Clark has a ton of potential to mature into a franchise left tackle but his film is very inconsistent. The 6’5” 316lb tackle has great physical tools and if a good o-line coach takes their time with him he could be special.

9.       Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn- The 6’5” 307lb Coleman has a unique back story of battling and beating cancer. Coleman does very good in pass protection and plays with a good base, he struggles when asked to get to the 2nd level and run block.

10.   Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford- Murphy is an intriguing talent having played both the right and left side for Stanford. The 6’6”305lb tackle is aggressive in the run game and is a functional enough pass protector on the outside. He does struggle some with elite speed rushers.

11.   John Theus, OT, Georgia- Theus plays with good technique both in pass protection and when run blocking. However, the 6’6” 313lb tackle needs to get stronger and develop more of an anchor to hold up against bull rushes. 

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Comments (4)

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Icebowler's picture

April 05, 2016 at 07:29 pm

Could we get lucky and get a Tackle of lasting value in the 4th round again (like we did with Bakhtiari) or do we need to get one earlier? I guess it depends upon whether the Packers think Tretter could hold up at Tackle for multiple games in a row.

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AgrippaLII's picture

April 05, 2016 at 09:05 pm

I agree... it would be wise for the Packers to draft an OT this year. Ted seems to like drafting Left Tackles and moving them to other positions on the OL if they don't work out. As you point out the OL is set for this year. So unless a top tier Tackle falls to him I look for him to draft one in the later rounds.

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Turophile's picture

April 11, 2016 at 04:46 am

You can probably get value even in round 7 (Stephane Nembot - needs plenty of technique work, but has the great size and fast feet).

If you want a gem in rounds 4/5, try Ryan Kelly, who can play all five positions along the line.

I'd love an offensive tackle early, both Ifedi and Clark look like they have the wherewithall to develop into fine players.

I'd even consider OG Whitehair as an early pick, because he is also multi-positional, probably able to survive at tackle and able to take over as starting guard after one of Sitton & Lang depart, when their contract runs out at the end of 2017.

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Icebowler's picture

April 12, 2016 at 05:00 pm

Looks like slim pickins this year after the 1st round. I'd feel more comfortable if the Packers would sign a veteran backup before camp starts. Hopefully, we could also sign a raw Tackle prospect, with some upside, that we could develop with one of our 4th round comp picks.

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