2020 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Top 5 offensive tackles available
There are several standout offensive tackles available this year, and the top five alone have the potential to carry a team’s offensive line. Here are the top five tackles in the 2020 NFL Draft, according to Rotoworld’s Thor Nygard.
1. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Wirfs’ strength has always been prominent, as the hometown hero was not only a standout OL during his time at Mount Vernon High School, but he was also a two-time state champion in shot put and discus throw and a champion wrestler. After his shot-put championship in his sophomore year, he received offers from Iowa and Iowa State and committed to Iowa as a four-star recruit in his junior year.
The Iowa native became the first true freshman to start for the Hawkeyes in the Kirk Ferentz era, starting eight of 10 games, with seven of those being at right tackle. The following year, he bounced back from a suspension in the 2018 season opener to receive honorable All-Big Ten notice after being a dominant presence over 12 games on the right side, working in tandem with Alaric Jackson. In 2019, he built on his performance, playing 13 games (10 at right tackle) and was named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and was a 2019 second-team AP All-American.
At 6-5, 320 pounds, Wirfs’ size and strength makes him dominant at the OT position, as his work in the weight room translates easily to his strength on the field. He can throw anyone back with force and also has the speed and stealth to keep up with his opponents, as well as large arms and hands that can put anyone on their backs. Not only that, he’s versatile in the fact that he can play either side with ease.
He does, however, have to expand his overall play and ability and make the most of all of his attributes, while also working on his positioning, but is the NFL draft top offensive tackle.
Another outstanding selection, Thomas slid down a bit in regards to his 40-yard time at the Combine, but in all respect, he is perhaps one of the tackles that is most likely to hit the ground running at the NFL level.
A five-star recruit from Georgia’s Pace Academy, transitioning to the NCAA was nothing for Thomas, who started all 15 games for the Bulldogs in his freshman year. There was no drop-off in his playing ability, as he received numerous Freshman All-American accolades for his performance. And when it came to switching from right tackle to left tackle in his sophomore year, he again was able to adapt without issue to the change, starting 13 games and being named a second-team AP All-American, while receiving first-team All-SEC honors. He then earned first-team all-conference accolades in 2019 and was named a first-team AP All-American for his performance at left tackle in 2019.
Over the course of his NCAA career, he missed just two games: one in 2018 due to an ankle injury, and another to prepare for the NFL draft in 2019.
The 6-5, 315-pound OT is arguably the most ready for the NFL. His competitive drive and quickness makes him incredibly hard to play against, and he’s incredibly aware of what’s going on around him. Not only that, he can recover and redirect on the fly, and has the size and speed to never let his guard down.