2023 NFL Draft Position Review: Offensive Tackles

Charlie lays out an overview at the top players from each position for the 2023 NFL Draft. For further information, check out our in-depth analysis of 2023 NFL Draft Prospects by Position.

By Charlie Campbell.
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This page was last updated April 6, 2023. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

Offensive Tackle Class
Early-round talent: B+
Mid-round: C
Late-round: C-
Overall grade: B-

Merging the 2023 and 2022 prospects
Ikem Ekwonu
Evan Neal
Charles Cross
Peter Skoronski
Paris Johnson
Trevor Penning
Tyler Smith
Jaelyn Duncan
Tyler Steen
Broderick Jones
Darnell Wright
Anton Harrison
Luke Goedeke
Nick Petit-Frere
Abraham Lucas
Dawand Jones

After a few down years, the offensive tackle group rebounded some in 2019 before providing some superb classes in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The 2023 NFL Draft’s tackle class is down compared to recent years. There is less high-end, or even second- or third-day talent compared to the last few drafts.

If you were to merge the two classes together, Skoronski would be a notch below Charles Cross. However, Skoronski and Paris Johnson are better prospects than Trevor Penning who went late in the top 20 last year. The group of Duncan, Steen, Broderick Jones, Wright and Harrison are prospects than Goedeke, who was a late second-rounder last year. Petit-Frere and Lucas were better prospects than Dawand Jones is.



Safest Pick: Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
Previous Picks:
2022: Charles Cross
2021: Penei Sewell
2020: Andrew Thomas
2019: Cody Ford
2018: Mike McGlinchey
2017: Garett Bolles
2016: Larmey Tunsil
2015: Ereck Flowers
2014: Jake Matthews
2013: Luke Joeckel

While Skoronski is not an elite prospect like a Penei Sewell, Skoronski is one of the safest prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft regardless of position. Skoronski is quick, athletic and strong, plus plays with excellent technique. Whether he is playing left tackle, right tackle, or guard, Skoronski should turn into a quality pro starter.



Biggest Bust Potential: Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
Previous Picks:
2022: Bernhard Raimann
2021: James Hudson
2020: Ezra Cleveland
2019: David Edwards
2018: Connor Williams
2017: Roderick Johnson
2016: Shon Coleman
2015: La’el Collins
2014: Cyrus Kouandjio
2013: D.J. Fluker

This was a difficult decision because no prospect strikes me as having real bust potential. I went with Harrison because he reminds me of some other athletic left tackles who lacked the physicality and aggressiveness to become good pros. Harrison has a good skill set and some strength, but his mentality looks too calm and not nasty enough at times. I could see that being a problem for him and might lead to him not panning out in the NFL.



Offensive Tackles Rankings by Attributes


Pass Protection:
NFL prototype: Laremy Tunsil, Texans
  1. Peter Skoronski
  2. Paris Johnson
  3. Tyler Steen
  4. Jaelyn Duncan
  5. Broderick Jones
  6. Anton Harrison
  7. Darnell Wright
  8. Dawand Jones


Recap: Franchise left tackles have to be rock solid in pass protection. Most teams feature a right-handed quarterback, so the left tackle has to be trusted to shut down pass-rushers coming from the blind side.

As a pass blocker, Skoronski can bend and is a smooth mover. He has quick feet and can play the typewriter to glide with pass rushers to keep them from running the arc around him. Skoronski does not possess good length, but he uses what he has well and is a smart tactician with how he engages defenders. Skoronski places his hands well and shows good technique with negating speed or power rushes.

In pass protection, Johnson is consistent at keeping rushers off his quarterback. What sets Johnson apart how good of an athlete he is for his size. Johnson moves well and is natural on the edge. With good size and agility, Johnson was able to cut off the edge and showed the ability to get depth in his drop. He has plays where he will bend but not break and remain effective and assignment sound. With his good length, Johnson is hard for defenders to get around, and he does a nice job of using that length to tie up defenders. Johnson could stand to get stronger in his base for the NFL and add more power to knock defenders back.

Steen is a polished pass blocker who bends at the knee and shows good development in his set up. He slides his feet well to cut off the edge and does not bend at the waist to lunge after defenders. With a thick and strong build, Steen anchors well against bull rushes, holding his ground and not getting driven into the quarterback. Steen strength gives him a nice ability to sustain blocks in combination with strong hands.

There are a lot of natural strengths to Duncan that make him an effective pass blocker. For starters, his size and length are ideal, making defenders really struggle to get around him. On top of his mass, Duncan has special speed and athleticism. With his quick feet, he plays the typewriter and is able to get depth in his drop to cut off the corner. Duncan can also kick slide with fast rushers and shut down speed off the edge. His bulk allows him to anchor and stop bull rushes while only giving up a little ground. Improving his hand placement would enable him to give up less ground. Duncan is a very gifted pass blocker.

In pass protection, Broderick Jones has the quickness and agility to mirror speed rushers. He also has a strong base to hold up against bull rushes. While Jones has talent and technique, he lacks length, and that could be problematic for him in the NFL. Longer defensive ends and rush linebackers could give him problems with being able to shed his blocks.

Harrison is a natural pass blocker who has quick feet that allow him to get depth in his drop and neutralize speed rushers. He should be an asset in the NFL to take on the fast edge rushers because he is quick out of stance and reacts immediately to cut off the corner and prevent them from running the loop around the edge. With his quick feet and an ability to bend at the knee, Harrison doesn’t have to reach after rushers, so he is not a waist bender. Harrison uses his length well to tie up rushers and does a very good job of sustaining his blocks. However, Harrison could stand to get stronger in his base to defend bull rushes and power moves.

For pass protection, Wright has enough quickness and athleticism on the edge to neutralize speed rushers. While he is not an elite athlete or especially fast, Wright is quick out of his stance and gets in position to wall off defenders. Wright gives up little ground when taking on bull rushes and is able to anchor with his lower body to keep himself from getting pushed into the quarterback. Thanks to solid technique, Wright gets good depth in his drop and is able to play the typewriter with his feet to mirror speed rushers. He has quality feet, and while they’re not elite, they’re above average.

Dawand Jones is a giant pass protector with height and length that make it tougher to run around him. He also has strong hands to sustain blocks and prevent second efforts. However because of his height, playing too high can get him into trouble and he has to watch how he bends. Jones’ feet make him only a fit for right tackle in the NFL because they can get stuck in the ground, and that keeps him achieving some necessary depth in his drop. Jones has some athletic issues, and adding that in with playing too high could lead to speed rushers giving him problems at the pro level. As a result of these issues, Jones would fit as a right tackle only in the NFL.



Run Blocking:
NFL prototype: Penei Sewell, Lions
  1. Peter Skoronski
  2. Broderick Jones
  3. Darnell Wright
  4. Dawand Jones
  5. Tyler Steen
  6. Paris Johnson
  7. Jaelyn Duncan
  8. Anton Harrison


Recap: In the ground game, Skoronski is effective and contributes well. He generates movement on defenders, possessing the ability to push them or manipulate them through some advanced power. As a junior in 2022, Skoronski showed more strength and power to knock defenders off the ball and drive them backward. He was a tough blocker in short-yardage situations, and he displayed the necessary strength to be a starting right tackle in the NFL. With Skoronski’s quickness and smooth moving ability, he is very good at firing to the second level to get to blocks on linebackers or move in space pulling around the line.

In the ground game, Jones has aggression and blocks with a mean streak. Finding nasty bullies up front is getting more difficult thanks to how the uptempo and spread concepts have changed the game. Jones is a throwback who blocks through the whistle, pushes defenders around, buries them into the ground, and finishes them off with violence. He has developed strength to push defenders out of their gaps and open holes in the ground game. With heavy hands, Jones is able to sustain his blocks after shocking defenders backward. He also has the quickness and athleticism to get to the second level. He can pull and would be a fit in either a zone or power-man scheme.

Wright is nasty at the point of attack in the run game. He can knock defenders backward and drive them off the ball. Wright has the strength to control, turn and manipulate defenders at the point of attack. With violence and tenacity, Wright will finish off opponents and pound them into the turf. While Wright is a mauler, he is able to hit blocks on the second level and able to kick out to the perimeter. Wright brings a fighting temperament that helps him block through the whistle and sustains his blocks. He should be a solid run blocker in the NFL.

Jones is a tough run blocker, driving through the whistle. He can be a nasty lineman who bullies defenders at the point of attack. There are times when he is a beast in the ground game who can push defenders around at the point of attack. Jones does a nice job of placing his hands to get into the chest of defenders, and then they are in trouble as he will ride them out of their gap. With his mean streak and power, Jones will finish defenders off violence.

Steen is able to tie up and manipulate defenders in the ground game. He can push defenders back and keep them from getting to his runner. Steen is not exactly an overpowering force, but he is a quality, reliable run blocker.

In the ground game, Johnson is a solid blocker, although he is not a true bull. He does not blast defenders off the ball and drive them around the field. With his length and size, Johnson latches onto defenders, turns them, twists them, and manipulates them away from the ball-carrier. If Johnson can get stronger for the next level, that would make him more well-rounded.

Duncan could stand to become more physical as a run blocker for the NFL. He has strength but is not a dominant bull in the ground game who will push defensive linemen off the ball and knock defenders backward. Duncan’s hand placement needs work from his NFL position coach. However, Duncan is very adept at getting to spots as a run blocker. He is quick to the second level to hit blocks in space and get in position downfield on screens. With his athleticism and speed, Duncan is valuable to hit blocks away from the box. He would be a very good fit in a zone-blocking system with his mobility and athleticism.

As a run blocker, Harrison is not a bull in the ground game. He is not strong or physical to blast defenders off the ball and ride them around the field. That being said, he is not a liability as he ties up, twists, turns, and manipulates defensive linemen to keep them from getting to his back. Harrison shows some quickness to the second level and agility to pull.





Feet:
NFL prototype: Ronnie Stanley, Ravens
  1. Peter Skoronski
  2. Paris Johnson
  3. Jaelyn Duncan
  4. Anton Harrison
  5. Tyler Steen
  6. Broderick Jones
  7. Darnell Wright
  8. Dawand Jones


Recap: The best feet in the 2023 NFL Draft could belong to Skoronski or Johnson. Both of them are very light on their feet and have the ability to play the typewriter and consistently put themselves in good position. Skoronski and Johnson have quick, smooth feet that are very impressive for large tackles.

Duncan has very quick feet that he can pick up and put down in his backpedal or while firing out of his stance. Harrison is a good athlete with quick feet and has the ability to kick slide with speed rushers. He is very good at defending the edge from fast pass rushers.

Steen and Jones both have solid feet. Both consistently get in the correct position to make their blocks.

Wright has decent feet, but is a right tackle only because his feet are not quick enough to play left tackle. Jones is a massive offensive tackle, and as a result of his size, his feet can get stuck in the ground at times.



Zone-Blocking Scheme:
NFL prototype: Tyron Smith, Cowboys
  1. Peter Skoronski
  2. Paris Johnson
  3. Jaelyn Duncan
  4. Anton Harrison
  5. Tyler Steen
  6. Broderick Jones
  7. Darnell Wright
  8. Dawand Jones


Recap: Most of these tackle prospects could execute in a zone-blocking system. Almost all of them have the athletic ability and the speed to play it. Skoronski, Johnson, Duncan and Harrison would be great fits for a zone scheme because they are quick and mobile. Each one demonstrated the ability to block on the move in college. Steen and Broderick Jones are not as fast as those four, but they are both still quick and athletic enough to run zone plays. Wright can do some zone as well for a right tackle, but he is better suited for man. Dawand Jones would be a bad fit for a zone scheme because he lumbers and is not quick enough in space. He would be a better fit for a power-man scheme.



Man Scheme:
NFL prototype: Trent Williams, 49ers
  1. Peter Skoronski
  2. Darnell Wright
  3. Dawand Jones
  4. Tyler Steen
  5. Broderick Jones
  6. Paris Johnson
  7. Jaelyn Duncan
  8. Anton Harrison


Recap: The top five of Skoronski, Wright, Dawand Jones, Steen and Broderick Jones are good fits for a man-blocking scheme. Each sustains their blocks well in the ground game overall and is plus run blockers on the edge. All of them also have the quickness to fire to the second level to hit blocks and seal linebackers from the hole. Johnson and Duncan have the ability to play in a power-man scheme, but each could stand to play with more of a mean streak. Harrison needs to get stronger and block with more physicality. He would not be a good fit for a man scheme.



Guard/Right Tackle Potential:
NFL prototype: Lane Johnson, Eagles
  1. Peter Skoronski
  2. Paris Johnson
  3. Tyler Steen
  4. Broderick Jones
  5. Jaelyn Duncan
  6. Darnell Wright
  7. Anton Harrison
  8. Dawand Jones


Recap: Some teams like to move college tackles inside to guard or over to right tackle. Other roster considerations also cause some tackles to start their careers on the right side or shift to guard. Having the versatility to be moved around and play a variety of positions adds a lot of value to an offensive lineman.

The top four stand out as having good flexibility. Skoronski could be a good starter at left tackle, right tackle, or guard as a pro. Johnson and Steen are also capable of playing guard or tackle, including on either side of the line. Jones could be a nice fit to play guard in the NFL, or he could stay at left tackle.

Duncan has the physical versatility to play guard or tackle, but he would need more developmental time if he is being moved to the right side or inside. Wright does not have the ability to play left tackle, but he could be a candidate for right guard as well as right tackle. Harrison would likely only fit at left tackle because he would have to get significantly stronger to play guard or on the right side. Jones, meanwhile, will probably only fit at a right tackle due to lacking the feet for left tackle. If he were inside at guard, his height would cause problems for his quarterback’s throwing lanes and ability to see the field.




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