Overall, the 2023 offensive tackle draft class looks like a bit underwhelming. While there are quite a few solid prospects at the top, the depth of the class is below average. The offensive tackles are ranked based on in which order I think they will be picked, but it will be highlighted what are my thoughts on them.
1. Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
6’6”, 315 lbs., Junior
Ohio State standout offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. is a well-refined pass protector who’s also an impact player as a run blocker. Johnson Jr. is an explosive athlete with quick feet to mirror opposing pass rushers and possesses above average length that allows him to land his hands first on the defender quite frequently. His combination of athleticism, raw strength and footwork is high-level. In the run game, he’s a people mover who emerges as a dominant force also at the second level.
While he started his career with the Buckeyes as a right guard, Johnson Jr. has developed into a rock-solid left tackle. I expect him to be selected in the top half of the first round.
Personal ranking: #1
2. Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
6’4”, 294 lbs., Junior
Despite not having prototypical size for the position, which leads some scouts to believe he better fits as a guard in the NFL, Skoronski is an elite pass protector who’s the most technically refined prospect in that area in the 2023 draft class. Although he displays some good flashes in the run game, thanks to his explosiveness and power, Skoronski is still inconsistent in that aspect of the game.
Teams could have doubts about his frame and lack of length, but despite that, Skoronski has the skillset and the refinement to play as a left tackle at the next level. Being able to play two positions, Skoronski offers useful versatility. I’m expecting the Northwestern star offensive tackle to be selected in the first round.
Personal ranking: #2
3. Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State
6’6”, 321 lbs., Redshirt sophomore
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fashanu going back to Penn State for his redshirt junior year since he’s only 19, but at the same time, this season he has well displayed why he could be high-end NFL material. Fashanu is a gigantic offensive tackle with impressive footwork and light feet for his frame. He also shows jaw-dropping explosiveness and power in the run game.
The former four-star prospect still has room to grow, given that this is his first season as a starter. But he possesses sky-high potential mainly because of his frame and athleticism. If Fashanu decides to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft, I would expect him to be selected in the late first or early second round. He has the potential to be a dominant left tackle both in pass protection and run blocking.
Personal ranking: #4
4. Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
6’6”, 320 lbs., Redshirt senior
A big-time veteran prospect, Duncan can count on a massive frame that allows him for impose himself physically quite frequently against opposing edge rushers. Duncan is solid but not dominant in both pass protection and run blocking, but given his size, hand usage and raw strength, he emerges as a reliable player in both aspects of the game.
Duncan still struggles sometimes at limiting the explosiveness and change of direction ability of some pass rushers, but throughout his career he became way more active and effective with his feet. The Terrapins standout offensive lineman has all the tools to become a rock-solid left tackle in the NFL. I’m expecting him to be selected in the second round of the 2023 draft.
Personal ranking: #3
5. Broderick Jones, Georgia
6’4”, 315 lbs., Redshirt sophomore
Jones is a young yet extremely promising prospect who possesses all the tools to become a premiere player at his position at the next level. That being said, he still needs quite a lot of technical refinement, especially with the timing and placement of his hands. But make no mistake, he has all the physical traits needed to be an impact player; he’s light on his feet, effective at absorbing direction changes and explosive in the run game.
He knows how to take advantage of his length and rock-solid anchor to dominate pass rushers. Jones has very high potential even though he still has work to do, and I’m expecting him to be selected in the second round.
Personal ranking: #5
6. Dawand Jones, Ohio State
6’9”, 370 lbs., Senior
A mountain of a right tackle, Dawand Jones has been able to gradually improve throughout his Ohio State career, blossoming into a solid prospect. Jones is an elite run blocker who dominates by taking advantage of his power, frame and impressive athleticism for his size. He's the definition of a tone-setter in the run game. As a pass protector, Jones displays top-tier length and strength, but he also has to deal to some limitations given by his massive frame, such as heavy feet and stiffness.
Despite some limits, Jones is still a very good prospect who can be a dominant run blocker at the next level. I expect him to be selected late in the second round or early in the first round.
Personal ranking: #6
7. Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
6’6”, 309 lbs., Junior
Harrison is a big and athletic left tackle with the potential to become extremely solid both as pass protector and run blocker, even though he needs some technical refinement, especially with the placement of his hands. He is a very good athlete with light feet and an effective, natural footwork, he can impose himself physically at the point of attack and use his length to put edge rushers out of position.
The true junior also demonstrates the ability to be an impact player at the second level in the run game due to his athleticism. Although he’ll need some refinement, he has the tools to become a starting left tackle in the NFL. I’m expecting him to be selected in the third round.
Personal ranking: #7
8. Darnell Wright, Tennessee
6’6”, 335 lbs., Senior
Wright is enjoying a breakout season, playing in a Tennessee offense who’s performing at a high level as a whole. Although he has been quite inconsistent throughout his college career, he’s now finally finding that much needed consistency that could boost his draft stock.
Wright possesses a massive frame which allows him to be a people mover in the run game, given the amount of power he’s able to generate with his lower body, but at the same time, his lack of light feet and flexibility limit him quite a bit in pass protection. He’s got experience both at right and left tackle. Despite the fact that there’s still some work to be done, Wright still has the potential to be a starter, most likely on the right side. I would expect him to be selected in the third round.
Personal ranking: #13
9. Zion Nelson, Miami
6’5”, 316 lbs., Senior
Zion Nelson entered his senior season with big-time expectations around him but a knee injury and a subsequent setback are keeping him off the field. And that's not helping his draft stock either. Despite that, Nelson still has put together enough material over the past three seasons for NFL teams to select him in third round as an offensive tackle with very good raw tools.
Although he’s not much of a people mover in the run game, Nelson is a very refined pass protector who displays a great combination of hand usage, ability to take advantage of his length, footwork and power. He can be a rock-solid pass protector in the NFL.
Personal ranking: #11
10. Blake Freeland, BYU
6’8”, 307 lbs., Senior
Freeland comes in with a long frame and physical dominance, but at the same time some natural limitations, mostly in terms of footwork and flexibility. However, he makes up for it by taking advantage of his rare length and pure dominance at the point of attack. He has refined, powerful hands that do a tremendous job at stopping edge rushers.
Freeland is a very good pass protector who has the potential to become an above average pass protector and starter at the next level, but he'll need to improve his technique against very explosive edge rushers.
Personal ranking: #9
* Michigan’s Ryan Hayes and Pittsburgh’s Carter Warren are respectively my #8 and #10 ranked offensive tackles.