The 2020 NFL Draft Prospect series continues with Offensive Line. Let’s review at the various tiers for Offensive Tackles, guards and centers.
Summary of Needs
The Packers have stud LT David Bakhtiari and just signed Rick Wagner to replace Bulaga for two years. 2019 2nd round pick Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner, Lane Taylor and center Corey Linsley is plenty for Green Bay in the interior. However, Linsley, Taylor and Bakthtiari are all in contract years. Green Bay could use a future guard and swing tackle though on day 2 or day 3.
The Vikings need a right guard after cutting Josh Kline. Minnesota does have 4th round pick Dru Samia and Dakota Dozier on the roster. Pat Efflein could be upgraded at left guard as well. The Vikings are set at tackle with Reiff, O’Nell and swing tackle Rashod Hill.
Detroit’s Left Tackle Taylor Decker is in a contract year but the Lions should try to re-sign him because he has played well. GM Bob Quinn signed Vatai to a big contract for right tackle from the Eagles in March. Frank Ragnow is a stud center in year 3. Graham Glasgow left in free agency at 11 per season to Denver but guards Joe Dahl and Kenny Wiggins return with Oday Aboushi and Josh Garnett as depth. The Lions could use one new starting guard on day 2 and some center depth.
Long time Bears guard, Kyle Long retired but Rashaad Coward and newly signed guard/tackle Germain Ifedi could man the right guard spot. Chicago might look for a guard on day 2 or 3 though to push Ifedi on a one-year deal. The Bears could use a swing tackle behind Leno and Massie as well so don’t rule that out on day 2 or day 3.
This is a pretty good tackle class for the first round. There are no sure fire top 5 picks but there is a lot of first round talent. The Giants could take the first tackle at pick 4 though.
Jedrick Wills (Alabama), Andrew Thomas (Georgia), Mekhi Becton (Louisville), Tristan Wirfs (Iowa) is the top tier of tackles and should all be first round picks. There are plenty of tackle needy teams in this draft so I doubt any NFC North team takes one of these players.
Wills is 6’5 320 pounds with great pass pro ability. Wills has great strength, balance and foot work. He is a technician and should be a top 10 pick.
Tristan Wirfs comes from a long-line of solid Iowa Tackles under Kirk Ferentz. Wirfs is 6’5 with good length and anchors well. He needs to improve his hand use but he generates holes in the run game. His pass pro would be categorized as solid and he has a high floor.
Mekhi Bekton is 6’7 379 pounds with tremendous power. He creates holes with strengths and has balance for pass pro. He needs to watch his weight but should be a starter at tackle for many years as he develops.
Andrew Thomas is a three-year starter at left tackle for Georgia. He is strong, good balance and has a good football IQ. He has great power and solid footwork and should anchor the left side for any team that drafts him.
Lucas Niang (TCU), Josh Jones (Houston), Prince Tega Wanogho (Auburn), Ezra Cleveland (Boise State), Austin Jackson and Isiah Wilson (Georgia) are the day 2 tackles in this draft.
Liang is a good run blocker but a little stiff in pass pro. Had a hip surgery in 2019 and is still recovering from that. He should be a right tackle with his run blocking skills.
Jones has great size, length and mobility but needs work on his technique. He could become a starter but will be a project and fall to day 2 due to that.
Tega Wanogho just had knee surgery but produced at Auburn. He has good size, length, balance and footwork but needs to work on technique plus add some strength. He should start as a backup and work his way into a starter.
Austin Jackson was USC’s left tackle but needs a little more balance and footwork. He has good size and strength but may move inside to guard if he doesn’t fix his balance and agility.
Ezra Cleveland has great physical traits but needs a lot of technique refinement. Someone should take a flier on him in Round 3 to try to develop into a starting tackle.
Isiah Wilson is a right tackle with some good power for run blocking.
Ben Bartch (St. John), Saadiq Charles (LSU), and Matthew Peart (UCONN) and Jake Driscoll (Auburn)leads the way for day 3 tackles.
Interior Offensive Line
This is a weak guard/center class
Cesar Ruiz (Michigan) and Lloyd Cushenberry III (LSU) are the only Round 2 worthy guards/centers. They are both versatile to play both in the NFL.
Ruiz is powerful and a great run blocker. Needs to work on his pass pro for stunts but he should be a day 1 starter at guard or center.
Cushenberry is coming off an injury which drops him to Round 2. He has great size and power to anchor and pave the way in the run game. He needs to work on getting to the second level better but he is a day 1 starter.
TIER 2 and TIER 3
Jonah Jackson (Ohio State), Matt Hennessey (Temple), Robert Hunt (Lousiana), Nick Harris (Washington) and Ben Bredeson (Michigan) are potential late 2 or early day 3 interior offensive linemen.
There is some day 2 and day 3 potential for NFC North action at tackle and guard. Tackle class is solid but the guard/center class is weak.