• Olu Fashanu has top-10 potential in the 2024 draft: Penn State’s standout could have been a 2023 first-rounder if he had declared it.
• Joe Alt of Notre Dame ranks second: He allowed jJust a 2.5% rush rate on 409 blocked passes in 2022.
• Amarius Mims follows some promising steps: Broderick Jones, Georgia’s 2022 left tackle, went down as a first-round pick. Mims now has the opportunity to do the same.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Summer scouting continues with the top early offensive tackle prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft class. It’s shaping up to be a good year to need an offensive tackle, as the headliner of this class, Penn State’s Olu Fashanu, would have been a first-round pick (probably a top-10 pick) in 2022 if he had. declared. Beyond Fashanu, Note Dame’s Joe Alt and Duke’s Graham Barton are first-round caliber players, and there are plenty of Day 2 names to learn about further down the list.
1. OLU FASHANU, PENN STATE
Fashanu earned a first-round rating from the NFL draft advisory board for the class of 2023, but as only a redshirt sophomore at the time, he opted to return to Penn State for another season.
He opens the year as our best offensive tackle, one who has top-10 and even top-five potential. His 6-foot-6, 319-pound frame is above the 50th percentile for NFL offensive tackles in both height and weight. He didn’t allow sacks on 299 true pass-blocking plays in 2022, with a rushing percentage of just 3.0%.
Fashanu’s movement abilities at his size are impressive. She covers so much ground on her kick slides and combines that with great balance by mitigating contact. Her IQ is also far beyond her age. She understands the importance of offensive line chemistry and the pressure that could come from all angles. He, too, will be just 21 years old come draft night in 2024.
2. JOE ALT, NOTRE DAME
Huge 6-foot-8 Joe Alt has been on NFL radars since high school. His figure will naturally remind people of the former Notre Dame offensive tackle. mike mcglincheywho stood 6-foot-7 and weighed 309 pounds at the 2018 NFL Combine.
Alt provides the same appeal with its size; he is so hard to handle. But where some offensive tackles get by just being mountains on the edge, Alt also has some finesse in his game. His feet are light and quick for a player his size, and that showed in his PFF stats, allowing just a 2.5% rush rate on 409 pass-blocking plays in 2022. He also showed off his power in the running game with an elite team. 91.4 stroke block degree. He could make a case as the best offensive tackle in the draft.
3. GRAHAM BARTON, DUKE
Barton will get the Peter Skoronski treatment this draft cycle with questions about whether he’s an offensive tackle or offensive guard. My answer at this point: he’s just a very good soccer player.
At 6-foot-5 and 306 pounds, he’s below the 30th percentile for both height and weight. He, too, can see from the tape that he probably won’t cross any traditional arm-length threshold to play offensive tackle. But he watches what he does on the field. He played seven sports growing up, and that athleticism is evident in the way he moves. As a leading shooter and blocker in power run concepts, he posted a 91.4 run block rating in 2022, often wiping top linebackers and defenders out of the tackle box. He also allowed just two sacks in 457 pass blocking plays. The trait I like the most about him though is his grip strength. He has a good understanding of where his hands should go, and when he catches on, he doesn’t break.
4. JC LATHAM, ALABAMA
Latham had some of the highest points on our summer offensive tackle clock, but also some of the least memorable repeats, especially among the players in this top five. He is a former five-star recruit who made his first starter in 2022 and earned the right tackle job for the Crimson Tide. On the year, he didn’t allow a sack on 426 true pass-blocking plays.
First off, he checks the measurable boxes at 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds. His footwork and hand movement was faster than you would think for a player who can win with power the way he does. He is also comfortable at a variety of different pre-center bases with his foot distance for run blocking and pass blocking depending on where the closest defender is lined up (he shows good balance). Auburn pushed him a bit and took him out of his game. That revealed a bit of a trend: when he anticipates correctly, it’s very hard to dodge. But when you can catch him off guard, he’s not as quick to recover.
That’s the next step we need to see, and if we do, the first round is certainly realistic.
5. JORDAN MORGAN, ARIZONA
Morgan is one of the highest-risers from a year ago, and honestly, he could have been a solid pick in the 2023 NFL Draft if he hadn’t torn his ACL in 2022.
Prior to his injury, Morgan was having a career year. He finished 2021 with a low 53.8 pass blocking and 54.0 run blocking rating, but rebounded last season with a pass blocking 82.4 and 78.9 run blocking rating. He was a different player in all the right ways. He’s on the smaller side for offensive tackles, at 6-foot-4 1/2 and 306 pounds, but that smaller size comes with speed and movement benefits. He also shows good flexibility, always crouching in his stance, not only at the snap, but also when he kicks his passes, ready to generate as much power as possible from his lower half.
If he can come back and be the same player he was in 2022, he’ll move up the draft boards.
6. AMARIUS MIMS, GEORGIA
Georgia’s left tackle last season, Broderick Jones, rose from a promising young player with great size and movement skills to a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 14 overall. Mims may not reach those heights, but he has much of the same promise that Jones had before last year’s season.
Mims is a 6-foot-7, 330-pound former five-star offensive lineman who saw 368 snaps at right tackle as a true sophomore in 2022. His youth and inexperience show up with a lack of anticipation in some replays, but he he understands the importance of leverage, can move very well as a shooter and pass blocker, and has good power in his game. His hand placement needs more consistency and he can be too aggressive at times, as he likes to set the tone. But if he can be more patient in his game, there’s a lot to get excited about.
7. KINGSLEY SUAMATAIA, BYU
Suamataia is a 6-foot-6, 315-pound former five-star offensive tackle who began his career in Oregon. He was only in Eugene for a while, as he wanted to be closer to his family in Utah.
Last season, now at BYU, he allowed zero sacks on 337 pass blocking plays with a 3.3% rush rate. Notably, in the running game, he posted a 62.6 run-block rating from Weeks 0-7, but an 81.4 run-block rating from Week 8 onward. That’s evidence that his talent is now coming to life as he gets more snaps at the college level. His size and movement abilities that made him a top recruit are immediately apparent. But the placement of his hands, when and where he blocks his hold on defenders, and the balance on his footwork don’t look as precise and comfortable as they could. If he’s able to hone his technique this season, he’ll win a lot of fans in the draft community for his intangibles.
8. PATRICK PAUL, HOUSTON
Paul passes the “off the bus” test as he is 6 foot 7 and weighs 308 pounds. He immediately stands out on Houston’s offensive line for that reason. He earned an elite 93.0 pass-blocking rating in 2022, allowing just one sack in 595 pass-blocking plays. His arm length is a huge advantage, and he used it to really battle Tyree Wilson when the Cougars played Texas Tech early in the 2022 season. His lack of natural leverage shows up against the smaller, more flexible edge running backs that they can get into your chest, and your reading and reaction time is a slow tick. But when he anticipates well, it’s almost impossible to dodge.