2021 NFL Draft OT Rankings


That is the sixth installment of my 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings collection, following quarterbacks, working backs, a two-parter on huge receivers (WR1-9 right here, WR10-50 right here), and tight ends. We’ll be again subsequent week with inside offensive line rankings.

Earlier than we hop into the column, I wish to encourage everybody to take a look at NFL Draft Battle Room with Thor & Lindsay, a reside NBC Sports activities EDGE authentic Twitch present each Wednesday at 8 pm EST the place I sit down with NFL agent Lindsay Criminal and speak NFL Draft. This week’s episode, Lindsay and I might be discussing offensive deal with rankings and professional day outcomes.

1. Penei Sewell (Oregon) | 6’5/325

Comp: Trent Williams

The final time we noticed Penei Sewell, in 2019, he’d simply change into the first-ever offensive sophomore to win the Outland Trophy (nation’s prime inside lineman) and solely the third participant at school historical past to be named a unanimous first-team All-American (becoming a member of LaMichael James and Marcus Mariota).

Sewell completed that season because the top-graded offensive lineman in Professional Soccer Focus historical past (95.5). He ranked No. 3 within the nation in pass-block grading (91.1) and led the nation in run-blocking grade (95.3) and big-time blocks (13). The yr earlier than, Sewell proved, as a real freshman, to be one of many Pac-12’s finest offensive lineman.

Sewell missed six video games throughout that 2018 marketing campaign with a high-ankle sprain, and he opted out in 2020, so we haven’t seen him on the sphere as usually as nearly each different latest top-10 total offensive line prospect. However the tape we do have is definitive: Sewell is the most effective offensive lineman I’ve evaluated within the 5 years I’ve been doing this.

An athletic freak with an unlimited body — Sewell has weighed 350 kilos up to now however might be finest suited at his present 325 kilos — Sewell combines thunderous, elephantine hand pop with the sunshine ft and short-area pounce of a tiger.

Sewell uncoils like an industrial-sized loaded spring off the snap, with super power and accuracy. Elite quickness offers Sewell a head-start in each rep. On wide-zone runs he can hit the edge-rusher’s exterior shoulder with a jolt and shuffle his ft to place his physique between his man and the ball with unparalleled haste.

Like a shortstop with unbelievable vary, Sewell’s quicks enable him to win down and seal blocks that different tackles wouldn’t even try, missing the explosion and footwork. Extraordinarily cell and agile usually, Sewell is a head-hunter within the second degree that sends linebackers and defensive backs flying.

It’s true that Sewell isn’t fairly pretty much as good within the cross recreation because the run recreation in the mean time. That is principally semantical. Sewell dominated in that side at Oregon, permitting only one sack over 1,375 profession snaps. As a 19-year-old 2019, his solely full marketing campaign, Sewell didn’t enable a stress, hurry or QB hit in 9 of his 13 begins.

Sewell units up shortly in pass-pro with a sturdy, huge base. He invitations his man attempt to run round him, a dead-end, mouse-taking-the-cheese maneuver — Sewell is simply too fast and agile, he’ll shuffle you round a clear semi-circle of the quarterback, or, if you happen to attempt an inside counter, flip your momentum in opposition to you, a well-timed punch sending you crashing to earth or spinning out of orbit.

The facility Sewell generates from his uncoil is unavailable to him in cross professional, and, although he throws imply arms, Sewell’s approach can undergo when he isn’t allowed to be the bully. In opposition to bull-rushing energy, there have been situations of Sewell getting caught taking part in too excessive, dropping his leverage and getting walked again.

Shocking to see Superman with out his cape, and this was one of many few kryptonite-instances you see Sewell defanged within the wild. This isn’t an influence difficulty, it’s a way difficulty. Sewell doesn’t have an elite anchor, however his pass-pro play energy is greater than ample. As a substitute, he loses to energy when energy wins inside leverage early, the one time you see any panic in Sewell, dropping his ft and pad-level whereas desperately attempting to re-assert dominance.

Sewell remains to be a child — he gained’t flip 21 till his rookie season. His 2019 season, some of the dominant we’ve ever seen, got here as a greenhorn 19-year-old. He’s some of the explosive, agile 325-pound-plus offensive linemen that we’ve ever seen enter the NFL.

And soccer runs in his blood, along with his uncles Isaac Sopoaga and Richard Brown having performed within the NFL, and all three of his brothers at the moment taking part in FBS ball (Noah, a linebacker, was a teammate at Oregon, whereas Gabriel is a LB at Nevada and Nephi is a DB at Utah).

He’s a top-five total prospect within the class.

2. Rashawn Slater (Northwestern) | 6’4/315

Comp: Zack Martin

Dominant as a junior in 2019 — Penei Sewell is the one different deal with on this class exterior of Slater that had a 90.0-plus PFF grade that grade — Slater opted-out in 2020 after a sterling three-year beginning profession at Northwestern. Over 787 snaps in 2019, Slater didn’t enable a sack, and solely as soon as did his man a lot as contact the quarterback. Freakish athleticism in an enormous package deal runs within the household — his father, Reggie Slater, was a 6-foot-7 energy ahead that performed eight years within the NBA.

Image a really perfect deal with prospect that has been condensed right into a smaller body by a compactor — that’s Slater. He’s 6-foot-4, 315 kilos, along with his mass and muscle groups packed tight. At Northwestern’s professional day, he proved to be an elite athlete, as anticipated, ending above the ninety fifth percentile within the 40 (4.91), vertical (33’), shuttle (4.45), 10-yard cut up (1.68) and bench (33) — in the end ending with a 9.74 (out of 10) RAS rating (Slater ranked because the Thirtieth-most athletic deal with out of 1,108 in Kent Lee Platte’s system from 1987 to 2021).

Slater measured in with 33-inch arms. He instructed reporters that NFL groups haven’t expressed issues about his means to remain at deal with. The one deal with eventually yr’s NFL Mix that measured with shorter arms was the 6-foot-6 Ben Bartch (32 ⅞”).

The shortage of size didn’t hinder him within the Large 10 — Slater began at proper deal with in 2017-18 earlier than shifting to the left aspect in 2019 — however would make him one of many NFL’s most reach-disadvantaged tackles. Slater’s size is nearly smack-dab common for league guards.

Due to what he’s confirmed on the faculty degree, I’m rating him at deal with, and hoping he will get a chance to start out there. The dominance over a three-year pattern speaks for itself, with Slater shutting down a procession of NFL edge rushers throughout that point (per PFF’s Austin Gayle, Slater allowed solely two pressures over 80 pass-blocking snaps in opposition to Chase Younger, Zack Baun, A.J. Epenesa and Kenny Willekes).

On the skin at deal with, Slater overcomes an absence of size with elite ft and ridiculous quickness. He’s a cork out of a champagne bottle off the snap, arriving like a hangover, with ft finer than the glass of a flute. Slater constantly has his hat on the best aspect along with his vicious hooks dug deep and his cleats ripping up divots within the run recreation.

He’s not a mauler, however when Slater wins early place, as is nearly all the time the case, he has you near useless rights. Linebackers hate seeing him within the second degree. Slater descends on them so shortly that in the event that they haven’t identified the play instantly, they’re toast — there isn’t a escape as soon as Slater is in your doorstep able to knock.

In cross safety, Slater’s mixture of fast set, {smooth} ft, lively/sturdy mitts and yogi’s core energy and stability have a tendency to thoroughly mitigate his lack of size. It’s near unimaginable to beat Slater with pace across the edge or motion.

He has a heavier anchor than anticipated when wanted, dropping it on shocked energy rushers that believed they’d the reply to fixing Northwestern’s stubby All-American. Nonetheless, going fire-on-fire with Slater inside is nearly assuredly your finest shot, because you aren’t going to beat him across the nook.

Slater additionally in all probability boasts the best soccer IQ of any offensive lineman on this class, with eyes-in-his-earholes consciousness on stunts and blitzes. That is a particularly distinctive factor to see on a collegiate offensive linemen’s tape — you don’t see it yearly. Quenton Nelson is a latest prospect that had consciousness so excessive he seemed to be watching the sport on All-22 and controlling himself like a online game. Slater’s like that.

Slater supplies true five-position versatility, and can nearly assuredly flip right into a Professional Bowler at a type of spots. His size gained’t get him into any surprising issues inside, however I’d take him with the expectation I’m going to let him fail down the offensive line spectrum.

Slater could be a spectacular match on a workforce just like the Vikings, which wants a number of beginning offensive lineman and has long-term items with the flexibility to maneuver if wanted (Brian O’Neill to the left aspect, or Ezra Cleveland from guard to proper deal with). A company like that might audition Slater in camp at a number of spots and go along with the configuration that makes probably the most sense after boots-on-the-ground experimentation.

3. Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech) | 6’5/314

Comp: Duane Brown

Arguably the most effective offensive lineman within the nation final season, Darrisaw capped off a three-year beginning profession at left deal with by posting a national-best 95.6 PFF grade whereas permitting zero hits or sacks on 293 pass-pro snaps. Darrisaw’s run-blocking (94.5 PFF grade) helped Virginia Tech end within the top-10 of the FBS in speeding yards per recreation and elevate RB Khalil Herbert right into a official NFL prospect.

It was an unbelievable collegiate journey for a man who was principally recruited by FCS faculties popping out of highschool. Darisaw took the one Energy 5 provide he obtained, spent a yr at prep college post-graduation, and locked down the Hokies’ left deal with job for 3 years after that. You do not see that.

Darrisaw is a sub-sea-level-firing, low-man-wins hammer within the run recreation that refuses to lose the leverage recreation. Should you watch Khalil Herbert’s tape, you’ll discover that runs to the left provide constant free yards, not solely re-setting the road of scrimmage backwards, however creating all types of cutback lanes in Virginia Tech’s zone scheme, a few of which led to breezy run-on-the-beach explosive Herbert runs the place he did not exert himself a lot exterior of that first minimize and accelerator stomp.

Darrisaw can be extraordinarily adept on the transfer upfield, preserving his head on a swivel and searching with objective. Due to his ft and motion, his accuracy fee hitting targets on the transfer is extraordinarily excessive. As soon as Darrisaw makes contact with a linebacker, they’re shifting backwards in the event that they’re fortunate sufficient to maintain their ft.

Darrisaw isn’t the tallest left deal with, however he’s a long-armed technician with electrical energy in his arms to maintain you on the skin. Darrisaw performs with a pleasant sturdy basis and is never seen teetered or over-extended. His oh-so-smooth ft and clear, under-control shuffles enable him to stay in entrance of his man from an influence base, able to uncork these puncher’s fists if the enemy’s facemask will get too near his chest.

Darrisaw noticed freaky developmental jumps yearly he was on campus, and there’s no cause to assume he gained’t proceed enhancing. You may see the beneficial properties he made in each space, together with penalties, the place he went from six as a freshman to a few mixed in his remaining two years. Darrisaw was legendary within the ACC, not often overwhelmed, like The Mountain in Recreation of Thrones.

When he was, it was usually with exterior pace when he was fooled or due to an unforced error within the run recreation, equivalent to pulling up earlier than the whistle. Some say that is an absence of ending hearth, however I am keen to chop some slack for a man that clearly made a conscientious effort to play with extra self-discipline his final two years on campus earlier than heading to the NFL. Darrisaw has no weak spot that may’t be addressed by teaching, and thus have to be rated as a top-3 deal with, even in a robust class like this one.

4. Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State) | 6’7/320

Comp: Joe Thuney

In distinction to Oklahoma State’s finesse repute on offense, Jenkins introduced violence and unhealthy intentions to the Pokes’ assault each recreation over his three-plus-year beginning profession. A brawling barroom bouncer that seeks to drop opponents, Jenkins gave up no sacks and solely two hits during the last two years.

Jenkins units up in pass-pro at desired depth with a large, highly effective base. He has dynamite in his arms, however Jenkins has the commendable self-discipline to not throw till his man breaches the sides of his attain. You don’t see him get out over his skis to land a blow, and when he connects, it’s usually a wind-stealer into the chest that creates distance and stalls or outright kills the enemy’s momentum.

Jenkins’ greatest weak spot in pass-pro is one thing he can’t do something about: For all of the speak of Rashawn Slater’s lack of size, Slater, regardless of giving three inches to Jenkins, truly has the marginally longer attain (Jenkins’ arms had been measured just below 33-inches).

Whereas Jenkins’ excellent hand utilization permits him to play barely longer than he’s, stretched-out, long-levered edge rushers on the subsequent degree may give Jenkins extra points within the professionals. These varieties, uncommon within the Large 12, gave Jenkins points by placing their arms on him first, saving themselves the high-wattage pop of Jenkins’ punch whereas creating sufficient separation to attempt to take his exterior shoulder en path to the quarterback.

It is a provided that Jenkins will present his workforce with one of many class’ finest run-blockers (elite 93.6 PFF run-block grade final yr). He’s a load shifting ahead, all the time coming with unhealthy intentions. Jenkins planted Large 12 edge rushers within the filth with the crazed dedication of your obsessive, green-thumbed aunt. Jenkins makes use of a forklift method, torque and leverage, getting low, exploding by the hips at contact.

As soon as he’s received these highly effective arms on you and units the hook, you are coming into the boat. Jenkins’ upper-body energy, core stability and ft render restoration makes an attempt from the enemy a long-shot. In OSU’s unfold scheme, which thinned bins, Jenkins proved to be a second-level killer, springing Chuba Hubbard residence runs by taking linebacker’s scalp with impunity.

Jenkins’ greatest difficulty exterior of his arm-length at current is his brawling mindset. It’s turned him into the participant he’s, so we don’t wish to discourage him an excessive amount of, however when the aggression spills over into bloodlust, as has been the case earlier than, Jenkins will get caught, as they are saying, along with his pants down. Within the run recreation, that manifests when Jenkins goes for the kill shot as an alternative of the straightforward seal, dropping management of his base through the use of his physique as a projectile as an alternative of a human wall.

Although primarily Oklahoma State’s beginning proper deal with the final three-plus years, Jenkins has collegiate snaps at left deal with and each guard spots. If I’m taking him, it’s with no consideration deal with, the place his points with size and pace across the edge gained’t be as problematic. Jenkins will instantly enhance any workforce’s run recreation whereas offering above-average cross safety long-term in that publish.

5. Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State) | 6’6/301

Comp: Brian O’Neill

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have gotten loads of warmth — justified, and from myself included — for not providing Minnesota native QB Trey Lance (Marshall) a scholarship. The Gophs also needs to take warmth for not securing his blind-side protector. Radunz, from Becker, Minn., obtained solely two FBS provides, and just one from the P5 (Mizzou) earlier than in the end deciding to signal with NDSU. Lance and Radunz had been the premier QB/LT combo within the FCS, and would have been within the FBS as effectively. Alas.

Radunz profiles as a zone deal with, with excellent athleticism and restricted play-strength. At NDSU’s professional day this month, Radunz submitted a 9.3 RAS (out of 10, bear in mind), rating because the 79th most-athletic deal with in Kent Lee Platte’s metrics since 1987 (out of 1,109 OT prospects). Radunz’s 7.26 second 3-cone drill ranks within the 99th percentile of all deal with prospects, whereas each his vertical and broad jumps are within the top-75 amongst all OT prospects since 1987.

Naturally, Radunz explodes off the road, hitting his goal with accuracy and pop. Radunz performs with an edge shifting ahead as a run-blocker, belying his finesse profile, working to the whistle to de-cleat his opponent. Radunz fires out low, however he does have a breakable behavior of overcompensating for lack of elite pure play energy by generally forgetting to maintain a sturdy base as he hurls himself right into a collision, a behavior NFL defenders will choose up on and make him pay for if not corrected.

When he’s on in pass-pro, Radunz is below management, taking part in with excellent stability, lateral agility and core energy. When he’s off, it’s principally due to user-errors. Radunz is at his finest when he’s settled again into his hips from a pleasant, huge base. He invitations edge defenders into his house and drowns them with size and energy in a grappling match. He’s at his worst when he begins popping up, with a skinny base, when he tends to lose his stability from a well-timed membership.

I really like athletic tackles with a imply streak — Radunz is most definitely my kind. However whereas I absolutely anticipated him to make a star-turn in 2020, Radunz was sadly restricted to solely recreation as a consequence of NDSU’s season being moved to the spring. His finest full-season PFF grade was 77.3 within the FCS in 2019. A jump-up in competitors is coming for a man that has fake-it-til-he-makes-it motion abilities and Professional Bowl-upside — if he patches the glitches, no certain factor.

6. Samuel Cosmi (Texas) | 6’7/310

Comp: Taylor Decker

Take 1: Many Texas recruits don’t match the hype. Samuel Cosmi, a lowly three-star prospect not ranked within the top-100 OTs in his class by the 247Sports composite, vastly exceeded his. A recruiting discover of former HC Tom Herman out of Humble, Tex., Cosmi flipped from Houston to Texas when Herman’s provide stood at his new college (the one P5 provide Cosmi obtained). Cosmi packed on 30 kilos of bulk throughout a redshirt yr after which earned Freshman All-American honors in 2018 because the beginning proper deal with. He was an All-Large 12 choice every of his final two years, together with First-Group in 2020. Cosmi’s PFF grades improved from an eye-opening 79.7 in 2018 to an elite 90.8 final yr.

Then Cosmi entered the draft course of and proceeded to make an argument he’s one of many most-athletic tackles ever to enter the league, posting a 9.99 RAS rating and ending with the second-best athletic profile of any deal with getting into the NFL since 1987. Cosmi’s 40 (4.87), broad leap (9’9), brief shuttle (4.39) and bench (36) all ranked top-15 all-time for tackles. We didn’t even want these outcomes to know Cosmi strikes like a decent finish. And we all know he has loads of upper-body pop and a veteran’s understanding of his task. What else would you like the man to show to name him a first-rounder?

Take 2: Cosmi is lower than the sum of his components and received away with patty-cake video games within the Large 12 that gained’t fly within the NFL. He’s a very good athlete, certain, however he is stiff within the hips, a man who loses energy and stability in pass-pro by taking part in too excessive. He’ll by no means be confused with a road-grader within the run recreation, both, extra of a seal-off type. And for a supposed elite athlete with high-end brute energy, why doesn’t Cosmi hearth off the ball with extra quickness and power? Why isn’t he computerized within the second degree?

He could transfer like a decent finish, however there are occasions he’s spending an excessive amount of time searching for a goal, or not connecting flush with one as a result of he’s searching too excessive and lurching down into contact, permitting defenders to vary the strike zone on him in shut quarters and steal his energy post-collision. Cosmi’s behavior of upright play can be his bugaboo in pass-pro, the place rushers with agility can get him off-balance and crossed-up, and energy rushers can drive him again in the event that they’re in a position to breach his attain (and at 33’ inch arms, Cosmi’s not so long as his body suggests).

The reality: As all the time, it’s in-between the 2. Cosmi is a superb athlete with a really perfect body, good upper-body energy, and a robust sense for what he’s doing. However regardless of his huge enchancment at Texas, Cosmi by no means began taking part in constantly low, possible as a result of he can’t. Opponents erase Cosmi’s athletic and energy benefits after they win the leverage battle and get him on his heals. Okay’Lavon Chaisson, for one, was ready to take action within the 2019 opener.

Cosmi’s lack of flexibility will damage him within the NFL in opposition to star-caliber edge rushers, and in these situations his workforce could have to assist him out with chips or an additional physique. However he’s going to be too-much for lesser rushers to beat, and he’s reliably going to finish his task within the run recreation, perhaps simply not through Mortal Kombat decapitation, and maybe not with fairly as a lot move-block vary as his athletic profile suggests he must be able to.

7. Jalen Mayfield (Michigan) | 6’5/319

Comp: Dion Dawkins

In one other actuality, Mayfield could have had a Jedrick Wills-like rise in 2020, lastly placing his instruments collectively and dominating over a full season. Sadly, we didn’t get to see the talented-but-inconsistent Mayfield as a lot as we’d have appreciated in 2020, as he opted again into the season however in the end suffered a season-ending high-ankle sprain in his second recreation.

Mayfield is a people-mover within the run recreation, detonating off the snap as if his legs and hips had been set to a cadence timer. Mayfield fires out with homicide on his thoughts, hanging with pace and large energy that uncoils out of his hips on contact and sustains due to his fabulous leg drive — these pistons is not going to cease till Jalen Mayfield hears a whistle. Imagine that. He’s additionally a weapon on pulls and within the display recreation.

Move blocking goes to be extra of an journey early on on the subsequent degree. Mayfield is way extra comfy shifting ahead on the snap than settling again right into a pass-pro base. He loses all types of energy when he isn’t in a position to speed up into contact, and is vulnerable to getting walked again into the quarterback’s lap by energy ends who get by his attain and into his chest.

Mayfield additionally received toasted by pace a number of occasions in faculty in situations the place he overcompensated for his common foot pace and lack of size by getting annoyed and attempting to land a untimely strike. Within the second, Mayfield can neglect his size limitations with these early-throws, and it has the impact of pulling him up and ahead, over his skis, in the mean time his opponent is dipping low to snap off a clear nook.

With solely 15 faculty begins, and solely on the precipice of a possible level-up on the sphere, Mayfield presents loads of threat. However fortunately, even when he by no means improves in pass-protection on the sting, he initiatives as a stellar run-game hammer at guard. Mayfield is simply 20, and he stays uncooked. His drafting workforce may take him with the thought he’ll begin at guard in 12 months 1, and doubtlessly kick to proper deal with if wanted in 12 months 2.

8. Liam Eichenberg (Notre Dame) | 6’6/305

Comp: Riley Reiff

Like Riley Reiff, Eichenberg is a sturdy scrapper that performs with glorious approach and know-how. Eichenberg, a former four-star recruit, was a 38-game starter at Notre Dame. He started his profession taking part in with NFL stalwarts Quenton Nelson, Mike McGlinchey and Ronnie Stanley.

Eichenberg isn’t as athletically-gifted as Stanley, nor as Herculean as Nelson, nor as prolonged as McGlinchey. However he makes it work in pass-pro as a technician with a complicated diploma in depth and angles, forcing edge defenders into low-percentage predicaments. He’s an excellent run-blocker, firing out low and fast to win at first contact and set up leverage, exhibiting excellent leg drive and a ending intuition from there. This side of his recreation will translate, no drawback.

Eichenberg profiles as a robust beginning proper deal with within the NFL. Velocity rushers on the blind-side could give him suits. As a result of despite the fact that Eichenberg forces these gamers to take the long-path to beat him, they’ll steal residence on him when Eichenberg loses his endurance and over-extends past his skates to throw a lackluster punch, leaving the again door open with out obstacle or opening up inside-counter alternatives that’ll cross him up.

If he can clear up this bugaboo, which appears affordable given the keenness with which he took to technical points of his craft, he profiles as a robust beginning NFL deal with. Ideally on the best aspect.

9. James Hudson (Cincinnati) | 6’4/302

Comp: Charles Leno Jr.

An enchanting case of prospect-finding-position, Hudson started his profession as a ballyhooed four-star defensive finish at Michigan and ended it as an NFL-caliber left deal with at Cincinnati, transferring after his redshirt freshman season because the Wolverines themselves had been transitioning Hudson to the opposite aspect of the ball.

Hudson popped off the display throughout Cincy’s run to a New 12 months’s Day bowl this season, taking part in with intriguing agility and athleticism and an unmistakable surliness that dances near the road of pointless violence and crossed that line as soon as, in his final recreation, the Peach Bowl in opposition to Georgia, when Hudson blasted defenseless nook (Tyson Cambell) after a whistle.

Hudson’s extremely mushy ft had been what previously made him a prime edge-rushing recruit. They’ve turned him right into a harmful weapon within the run recreation, the place he fires out of the chamber low ala his defensive days and is ready to attain any block and execute, descending on linebackers with a type of euphoric glee.

These faucet footwear can also give Hudson a shot to stay exterior within the NFL — even at left deal with if every thing works out — since you aren’t beating him with motion. Proper now, James Hudson is both bested by energy, or by James Hudson himself.

There are snaps he appears to be like cumbersome and uncoordinated in his shuffle and mirror, the place he goes rogue and needs to instigate a hand struggle, not let his prey come to him when he’s under-control and balanced. With solely 11 profession begins, Hudson is a ball of clay. However he makes numerous sense for zone groups that need ambulatory, second-level head-hunters at deal with.

10. Alex Leatherwood (Alabama) | 6’5/312

Comp: Cam Robinson

A five-star, top-five total recruit popping out of highschool, Leatherwood lived to to expectations in Tuscaloosa, capping a three-year beginning profession by successful the Outland Trophy (nation’s prime lineman) and incomes first-team AP All-American honors in 2020. He arrives within the NFL with potential four-position versatility, having in depth beginning expertise at each left deal with and proper guard.

Leatherwood is an efficient athlete with a freakish 85 3/8″ wingspan. This mixture alone can stymie edge rushers, who discover it troublesome to get inside Leatherwood’s attain and into his chest or beat him across the nook with pace. In different phrases, Leatherwood has all of the instruments essential to take care of both energy or pace.

Leatherwood units up at depth shortly and stays in entrance of his man in lengthy, coordinated shuffles. Due to his size and agility, Leatherwood may be very troublesome to beat exterior. However regardless of his pedigree, huge expertise on the highest ranges of school soccer competitors and mantle stuffed with trophies, Leatherwood arrives within the NFL with questions. He stays a finesse deal with that loses on the collision level too usually.

Not like Penei Sewell, who uncoils from his hips into contact and drives his ft, Leatherwood generally is a tentative striker, stooping clumsily, ft stalling at impression. In pass-pro, the width he performs with permits edge rushers to knock him off stability with a membership or counter. And Leatherwood’s hand utilization sadly stays inconsistent, which has the impact of cleaving his prodigious size right down to measurement.

Leatherwood can be a penalty machine (averaged 0.67 penalties per recreation over his remaining 30). A penalty machine that struggled mightily on the Senior Bowl and in opposition to the higher pace rushers he confronted in faculty (Okay’Lavon Chaisson, Azeez Ojulari, et al). He is additionally on the older aspect (will flip 23 as a rookie). With technical refinement and a extra aggressive angle, Leatherwood could possibly be a steal. With out it, he’s certain to disappoint.

11. Brady Christensen (BYU) | 6’6/300

Comp: Eric Fisher

Christensen was one of many nation’s finest tackles final season, main a top-10 nationwide offensive line that allowed QB Zach Wilson to not often see stress regardless of continually looking for deep pictures. Christensen posted the most effective PFF grade of any deal with within the nation (96.0) and have become BYU’s first consensus first-team All-American since Dennis Pitta in 2019.

Over his three-year beginning profession, on a tick over 1,400 pass-pro snaps, Christensen allowed solely three sacks and two hurries, exhibiting good technical acumen, with sturdy arms and mushy ft working in live performance. Christensen’s brief arms result in points in opposition to lengthy ends, and he offers away leverage when he begins taking part in excessive. He is additionally an older prospect, having served a two-year mission earlier than his freshman season. However Christensen provides a possible early NFL starter at a sticker-price low cost.

12. D’Ante Smith (East Carolina) | 6’5/294

Comp: George Fant

Smith was a four-year starter at ECU that was restricted to 1 recreation as a consequence of an undisclosed damage final season. As a result of his expertise, fast ft, and large 85-inch wingspan, Smith holds sturdy developmental attraction as a possible beginning left deal with on the draft-day low cost. As he confirmed on the Senior Bowl, Smith is most spectacular in pass-pro, staying in entrance of his man with simple shuffles, and getting him locked exterior with octopus arms.

However Smith lacks play energy and received rag-dolled by energy ends at ECU, one thing he’s going to wish to repair (to his credit score, Smith appeared stronger on the point-of-attack in Cellular than his tape professed, both a sample-size aberration — completely doable — or an indication his Achilles Heal could quickly be sturdy sufficient to cease arrows).

Smith stays technically inconsistent in pass-pro, opening himself as much as counters when he cheats with these lengthy arms, Ahab tumbling off the boat trying to spear a whale exterior the size of his line.

I am intrigued, however not sufficient to over-pay with this excessive of a threat profile — I am going to pay a small premium if I run a zone scheme and have the roster leeway to sink a yr of growth right into a highly-mobile deal with with cellphone-reception attain. However I do know, in so doing, that this can be a fixer-upper that’ll must put in off-hours so as to add muscle.

13. Walker Little (Stanford) | 6’7/320

Comp: Luke Joeckel

The previous top-10 total recruit is the 2021 NFL Draft’s thriller man at deal with. Life comes at you quick (as if we wanted to inform Foster Sarrell, Little’s teammate and fellow top-10 total recruit in 2017; Sarrell is ranked beneath, so low he is been disadvantaged the respect of a write-up Little is about to obtain).

Little retains his excellent body and {smooth} technical prowess, two elements that made him one of many nation’s most sought-after recruits only a few years in the past. However we haven’t seen Little because the 2019 season opener, when he suffered a season-ending knee damage. Little then determined to opt-out in 2020.

Little struggled with pace within the cross recreation and an absence of energy within the run recreation earlier in his profession, when high-end Pac-12 edge rushers circled on their calendar the chance to embarrass one of many most-hyped offensive linemen in Pac-12 historical past. Little goes to wish to scrub up his deficiencies, as a result of his lengthy body and lack of drive energy aren’t going to work inside at guard. He is a high-octane risk-reward proposition that might develop right into a high-end starter or be escorted out of the league shortly.

14. Spencer Brown (Northern Iowa) | 6’8/314

Comp: Dennis Kelly

A towering three-year starter for Northern Iowa, Brown placed on 90 kilos in Cedar Falls to make the leap from eight-man highschool TE/DE to NFL-caliber offensive deal with prospect. Brown nonetheless strikes like his tight finish days, providing a size/motion/vary Rubik’s dice for the protection.

However Brown performs too excessive, sapping him of pure energy and alluring bull-rushers right into a basis that isn’t all the time sturdy sufficient to soak up the blow. Brown is an intriguing prospect as a consequence of his size, mobility and dedication to enchancment. All of that mitigates his flooring a bit. However Brown has received a methods to go to change into an above-average NFL starter.

Better of the remaining…

15. Robert Hainsey (Notre Dame) | 6’4/302

16. Alaric Jackson (Iowa) | 6’6/318

17. Josh Ball (Marshall) | 6’8/350

18. Adrian Ealy (Oklahoma) | 6’6/328

19. Brenden Jaimes (Nebraska) | 6’5/300

20. Tommy Doyle (Miami OH) | 6’8/326

21. Landon Younger (Kentucky) | 6’7/305

22. Dan Moore Jr. (Texas A&M) | 6’5/309

23. Cole Van Lanen (Wisconsin) | 6’5/312

24. Will Fries (Penn State) | 6’6/313

25. Drew Himmelman (Illinois State) | 6’9/315

26. Foster Sarell (Stanford) | 6’7/314

27. Greg Eiland (Mississippi State) | 6’8/335

28. Stone Forsythe (Florida) | 6’6/329

29. Grant Hermanns (Purdue) | 6’7/293

30. Syrus Tuitele (Fresno State) | 6’5/305

Try the remainder of Thor’s 2021 NFL Draft work right here:


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