Offensive Tackle Rankings
1. Russell Okung– Okung is the top tackle prospect in this class, and should play at a Pro Bowl level from day one. He is by far the best pass blocker in this class, and will go a long way to limiting sacks for whatever team drafts him. I think there are some questions of his consistency as a pass blocker, as sometimes he reverts to bad form, but it shouldn’t be a major question. I do feel his run blocking isn’t at the elite level that his pass blocking is at the next level, but he still remains the top tackle in this draft. Overall he might not be on the Joe Thomas-Orlando Pace level of tackles, but he does have the potential to reach that class of tackles.
2. Bryan Bulaga- Bulaga has fallen in some draft circles, but he remains in the 2nd spot in my tackle rankings. Bulaga gets great leverage and has a strong initial push. His lateral movement is sometimes an issue, but he held up well in the Big Ten, against a number of talented pass rushers. I think too much has been made of his lack of speed, Bulaga makes up for it with quickness and excellent anticipation. He is a true student of the game, and does an excellent job of finishing blocks. His run blocking also is better than he is given credit for. While I think some other tackles have the chance to develop into better tackles, Bulaga is almost as much of a sure thing as Okung.
3. Trent Williams- Williams is the most versatile of the top tackle prospects as he has shown the ability to play all 5 positions. The good news is that due to that versatility Williams will find a starting role in the NFL, the bad news is he is still a bit raw as a LT prospect. Last season was the first year he handled the position, and the results were mixed. Athletically he has all the tools, but they didn’t translate into the dominate blindside protector everyone hoped for. Given his potential though, I don’t see how Williams doesn’t get taken in the top 10 picks.
4. Anthony Davis- Davis has probably fallen out of top 10 consideration, but remains a very talented LT prospect. He could be targeted in the early teens by either the 49ers or Seahawks, and should be a starter from day one. I think there are some concerns that Davis has had a pretty poor showing this off-season, and there are lingering questions about his work ethic, leaving some to believe that he could end up being a bust. While I wouldn’t go to that extreme, I do think the mental aspect of the game has yet to catch up with Davis’s physical talent. Davis will only be limited by his own personal issues, because talent wise he has the potential to be a Pro Bowl tackle year-in-year-out.
5. Bruce Campbell- Campbell has seemingly fallen down every draft board (except of course the Raiders), and some of that fall makes sense given how raw he is, I think Campbell might get overlooked in this draft. Many draft experts have begun to mock Campbell deep into the 2nd round (some even in the 3rd round), that to me is way to far for Campbell to fall. Campbell has the potential to end up being the best LT in this draft class three years from now. Campbell also has the size and strength (unlike say Brown or Capers) to learn on the job his first couple of seasons as a stud right tackle. Now I’ll admit Campbell has some limitations, he is extremely raw as a tackle and didn’t show much consistency throughout his time at Maryland. Also, coming from Maryland he didn’t have nearly as complex an offense as some of the other top tackles. Overall though I believe in Campbell’s potential and think at worst he will be a 10-year starter in the NFL.
6. Charles Brown– There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on Brown as you will see him mocked anywhere from the mid-first round to mid-second round. Overall I like Brown’s potential and talent, but don’t see him going before the end of the 1st round. He didn’t dominate in college and didn’t have quite the workouts that were expected of him. I also worry that he hasn’t bulked up enough to play RT in his rookie year, and he probably isn’t advanced enough to protect the blindside as a rookie. For me his best fit would be a team like the Packers or Cowboys who can get by this year at tackle, and next year insert Brown into the starting lineup.
7. Roger Saffold- Saffold has moved up high on draft boards and is considered by some as a borderline first round pick. While I wouldn’t put him up that high, I understand how he could get drafted there, given the need at the position. Saffold has shot up draft boards with good showings at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine. While he has some left tackle potential, I think his ceiling is that of a very good right tackle. He shouldn’t last past the middle of the 2nd round.
8. Jared Veldheer- Veldheer was truly a man amongst boys at tiny NAIA Hillsdale College (his graduating class will be slightly larger than his draft class). While he dominated at the collegiate level (I would hope so), the question remains how will he do against the NFL’s best. Veldheer shows amazing size, skills, and knowledge of the game, which allows me to believe that he will be selected in the 2nd round. He might not be a starter from day one, but the potential is there.
9. Selvish Capers- Capers has a lot of potential and has the athletic ability to one day be a starting NFL left tackle, but right now is too raw to be more than a 3rd round prospect. While overall I like Capers as a prospect, I don’t believe he can start even at right tackle in year one. Overall though I think he is worth an early 3rd round pick, given his natural talent and work ethic.
10. Kyle Calloway- Calloway was overshadowed by his line mate, Bulaga, but put together a nice career at Iowa. He isn’t much more than a right tackle prospect (could possibly move inside to guard), but could end up being a starter in a few years. He shows good drive, and bulk which helps him dominate in the run game. The true test will be how well he can handle pro pass rushers, especially speed rushers.
Best of the Rest: Tony Washington has 2nd round talent, but some off the field baggage could drop him in this draft class. Jason Fox at one point would have been in the 2nd-3rd round range but some health concerns knock him down a few notches. Sam Young has great marks in terms of work ethic and durability, but he has never showed the skill set to be more than an average right tackle at the pro level.