NFL Hot Press: Large Variance in OT Class Grades

Large Variance in OT Class Grades

Updated Feb. 9, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

The 2021 NFL Draft looks to be very strong at the offensive tackle position, with a number of candidates who could go in the first round, although some of them will slip to the second round. There was little consensus among the teams spoke with about the offensive tackele class aside from Oregon’s Penei Sewell being the top tackle prospect. Beyond him, grades vary widely around the league.

The closest to a consensus on the second-rated tackle prospect was USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker, but there could be some teams that could have another tackle over him. Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater has received some high first-round projections from various draft media outlets, but there are teams that have him graded in the second round and view him him as a guard or center for the NFL. Some teams have second-round grades on Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw as well, while some others graded him as a first-round pick.

Some teams have a late first-round grade on Alabama left tackle Alex Leatherwood, but a number of sources were down on Leatherwood and project him as a late second- or early third-round pick. Texas left tackle Sam Cosmi was the same boat, but a number of teams have him graded in the second round. Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg is another prospect who could go has high as late in Round 1 or as low as early in Round 3.

Some in the media have Oklahoma State right tackle Teven Jenkins projected as a first-round pick, but there are teams that graded him on Day 2. “He wasn’t close to a first-rounder for us,” said a director of college scouting. “He’s a right tackle or guard in the NFL. He’s a nice player, but not a first-rounder.”

Another second-day candidate is Texas A&M right tackle Dan Moore Jr. Team sources say Moore helped himself at the Senior Bowl by showing the ability to handle himself on the edge. Some teams feel Moore could become a good NFL starter and end up being a nice value from Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Some graded Moore as a late second-round or early third-round pick, while some others put him in the third round. A few had him a bit lower as a late third- to early fourth-round candidate. Given all that, Moore has a shot at going off the board during Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The 2021 NFL Draft will be an exciting year for the offensive tackle position given all the depth. A few teams could luck out by landing excellent values early in the second round who would be a first-round picks in a different draft class.