2014 Preseason All-American Projections: Offensive Tackles

By Charlie Campbell
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Heading into the 2014 college football season, WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises, and this coming fall’s stars could be the headline players next May for the 2015 NFL Draft.

First-Team Offensive Tackles:

Andrus Peat, Stanford

The Stanford offensive line has been a hard-nosed unit since Jim Harbaugh led the program to relevance. The Cardinal has produced some good NFL prospects over the past few years, but Peat stands a good chance of being drafted earlier than any of them, including 2012 first-rounder David DeCastro. The 6-foot-7, 312-pound Peat has the quickness, athleticism, strength and developing technique to be a potentially dominant left tackle.

Similar to Alabama moving Barrett Jones from left tackle to center for 2012, Stanford moved left tackle David Yankey inside to guard last year because of the presence of Peat. The Cardinal’s staff felt that Peat was a rare talent and a more natural tackle than Yankey. Peat lived up to the big expectations in 2013. The first-year starter had an excellent debut for Stanford. In the ground game, the sophomore did an impressive job of opening holes for Tyler Gaffney and getting movement of defenders. As a pass-protector for Kevin Hogan, Peat was very reliable at keeping pressure away from his quarterback. He was an All-Pac-12 Second-Team selection for 2013.

Peat is going to see quality defensive linemen throughout his junior season. The Pac-12 is one of the best conferences in the nation, and the Cardinal takes on the best the conference has to offer. However, Peat doesn’t appear to have a grueling slate of elite edge rushers. He should continue to protect Hogan well and open holes in the ground game. It would be a big surprise if Peat wasn’t considered to be one of if not the best left tackle in college football by the end of 2014.

Cameron Erving, Florida State

Jameis Winston took college football by storm as a first-year starter en route to leading the Seminoles to the National Championship and winning the Heisman Trophy. He wouldn’t have been able to do it without a reliable offensive line up front and that unit was led by Erving. He protected the blind side of Winston as the line consistently gave Winston a plethora of time to throw the ball.

Erving is very quick for his size and moves well on the edge. He also has the strength to be a downhill run-blocker. HeErvingplayed defensive tackle early in his career, and you can see why coaches played him there: He is athletic for a 6-foot-6, 310-pounder.

The Seminoles have a relatively easy 2014 schedule and should dominate the ACC. Erving will get plenty of notice as the primary protector for Winston and is in position to win a lot of postseason honors.

Second-Team Offensive Tackles:

Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M

Ogbuehi could make it three years in a row that the Aggies will produce a left tackle who gets drafted in the top half of the first round. At most colleges, Ogbuehi would have been starting at left tackle for years, but that wasn’t the case at Texas A&M. When Luke Joeckel manned the blind side when Ogbuehi was inside at guard. Last year when Jake Matthews was playing left tackle, Ogbuehi was at right tackle. Now, the senior takes over the left side and should handle the transition well.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder isn’t the biggest of lineman, but he is athletic and quick. Ogbhehi opens holes in the ground game and has been a very reliable blocker to negate the speed rushers of the SEC. During the past two seasons, Ogbuehi demonstrated a great ability to sustain blocks as Johnny Manziel danced around behind the line of scrimmage.

Ogbuehi’s senior season could be challenging with the loses that the Aggies have sustained, but he looks ready to keep up the tradition of fantastic play at the left tackle position.

La’el Collins, LSU

Some questioned whether La’el Collins could handle playing left tackle after being a solid guard in 2012, but he silenced the doubters with an excellent 2013 season.

Quarterback Zach Mettenberger was protected extremely well by Collins, and the big lineman did well in run defense. He played well against Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M and Iowa. In the ground game, Collins got a lot of movement and showed the ability to be a plus run blocker as a left tackle. Running back Jeremy Hill had a lot of success running behind him.

The SEC coaches made Collins a Second-Team All-SEC selection for his first season at left tackle. He has upside to develop. Collins could be even better in 2014 now that he has a year of experience at tackle.

Third-Team Offensive Tackles:

Brandon Scherff, Iowa

Iowa has produced a lot of good NFL prospects on the offensive line, and Scherff is the latest Hawkeye to be an early-round prospect. He was one of the top tackles in the Big Ten in 2013. To end the season, Scherff played well against LSU in his bowl game.

Scherff has the feet and agility to move well as a pass-protector. He is very good in the ground game, too. The 6-foot-5, 320-pounder has a lot of strength to get movement at the point of attack. The senior should be the best tackle in the Big Ten in 2014.

Spencer Drango, Baylor

Drango has become a standout left tackle for Baylor since his first season. He is a strong run-blocker who has steadily improved his pass protection. Before getting injured last year, Drango was reaching dominant form as a pass-protector for Bryce Petty. Baylor really missed him when he went out for the season with a ruptured disk in his back in mid-November. The Bears weren’t the same without him in losses to Oklahoma State and Central Florida.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder enters his third season as a starter. Drango earned the spot as a redshirt freshman. His ability to block on an island is very impressive, and he should be poised to help Baylor put up some more prolific point totals in 2014.

Honorable Mentions: Syracuse’s Sean Hickey, Texas Tech’s Le’Raven Clark, Oklahoma’s Daryl Williams, Oklahoma’s Tyrus Thompson, Georgia’s John Theus, Florida’s D.J. Humphries, Florida’s Chaz Green, South Carolina’s Corey Robinson, South Carolina’s Brandon Shell, Oregon’s Jake Fisher and Oregon’s Tyler Johnstone.

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 23

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12