Who are the best offensive tackles in this year’s NFL draft?
Ben Fennell is an Emmy Award-winning producer, editor and researcher across several media platforms, including NFL Network, ESPN College Football, The Athletic and Eagles Game Plan on philadelphiaeagles.com.
He is analyzing the 2019 NFL draft for The Inquirer, breaking down the best player, the riser and the sleeper at each position. Today, in part 3 of our series, he looks at three prospects.
You can follow him on Twitter at @benfennell_NFL.
Andre Dillard, Washington State
6-5, 315 | Arms: 33½ inches | 40 time: 4.96 seconds | Vertical jump: 29.0 inches | Broad jump: 9-10 | 225 bench press: 24 reps
Projected round: 1
Ben’s take: “Dillard didn’t get a lot of attention playing out there in eastern Washington. But they were a competitive team and he was a big reason why. They ran the air-raid offense with tons of dropbacks but didn’t allow many sacks. Their line only gave up 13 sacks the whole year out of over 700 dropbacks.
“There weren’t a lot of elite pass rushers in the Pac-12 the last two years, so he didn’t face great competition. But he showed up at the Senior Bowl and dominated all of the top guys. He looked good against Jaylon Ferguson. He looked good against Montez Sweat.
“Then he showed up at the combine and had all the movement patterns. He’s very athletic. Great out in space. He can get up to the second level. He can run the arc with athletic speed rushers. And he’s a left tackle all day long."
Kaleb McGary, Washington
6-7, 317 | Arms: 32 7/8 inches | 40 time: 5.05 seconds | Vertical jump: 33.5 inches | Broad jump: 9-2 | 225 bench press: 23 reps
Round projection: 2
Ben’s take: “McGary was a D-lineman and tight end in high school who was converted to offensive line at Washington. He had some early health issues when he was diagnosed with heart arrhythmia but is fine now.
“He has some physical limitations. His arms and wingspan are short. But he makes up for it with his nastiness. He’s an absolute mauler. At the Senior Bowl, he looked to finish guys every chance he got. He’s a scrapper.
“I have a scrap rating for offensive linemen. Something usually is going to go wrong after the snap. You might get your foot stepped on or get your hands knocked down or take a bad step. You have to be able to scrap your way out of things sometimes. He can do that.
“Some guys are excellent technicians, but the second they get punched in the mouth or get their toe stepped on, they fall apart. He won’t. He’ll fight you. He’ll scrap. He’ll figure it out. He’s primarily a right tackle. That’s how teams view him. That’s where he’ll be the most effective."
Tytus Howard, Alabama State
6-5, 322 | Arms: 34 inches | 40 time: 5.05 seconds | Vertical jump: 29.5 inches | Broad jump: 8-7 | 225 bench press: 21 reps
Round projection: 3-4
Ben’s take: “Howard was a high school quarterback, so he has a lot of athletic ability. He initially was going to play tight end at Alabama State but ended up settling at tackle. He played both left and right tackle there.
“He has great initial quickness out of his stance. He has really light feet that allows him to run the arc with speed rushers. He played well when he had an opportunity to go against SEC edge rushers. He didn’t look overwhelmed by their speed or power. Then he showed up at the Senior Bowl and looked really good there as well.
“I can see a similar arc with him to Terron Armstead. Armstead came out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and impressed scouts in the predraft process and went in the third round to the Saints and now is one of the league’s top tackles.