2017 NFL Draft Rankings: Offensive Tackles

2017 NFL Draft Rankings: Offensive Tackles

This article originally appeared on NFCNBarroom.com on December 22, 2016. The Editor has updated some information.

With the success of the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons NFL general managers are being reminded at how vital it is to have continuity amongst their offensive line. Particularly vital to that continuity is talent. Unfortunately, the 2017 offensive line draft class is one devoid of lots of talent.

With that being said, here’s a look at my top-3 offensive tackles of the 2017 class:

Image result for garett bolles utah1. Garett Bolles (6’5″, 300) — Utah 

A relative unknown, the Utes’ blindside protector stands out amongst the weak offensive tackle class.

What I see from Bolles on film is a tremendous athlete, who plays with a nasty edge that you want to see in tackle prospects. He’s a better run-blocker than pass-blocker, but his deficiencies in pass protection can be corrected with proper coaching.

Bolles will be a 25-year old NFL rookie, which some GM might look at as a minor knock.  But that should not stop a needy team from choosing Bolles. He’s now a married man with a child who had some off the field issues years ago. All signs point to him arriving to the NFL with a very mature attitude and sunny days ahead.

A 2016 First-Team All-PAC 12 selection, the Ute tackle has had a lengthy journey to this point. Prior to attending Utah, Bolles was labeled as the no. 1 overall junior college prospect in the country (Scout.com). Since suiting up at Utah, the talented tackle has been outstanding.

Pro Player Comparison: Taylor Lewan

Image result for ryan ramczyk wisconsin2. Ryan Ramczyk (6’5″, 315) — Wisconsin

A relatively unknown entering the season, Ramczyk quickly became the anchor for the Badgers offensive line. In 2014, he transferred from UW-Stevens Point, a division-III school. Due to transfer rules, Ramczyk had to sit out the entire 2015 season.

Ramczyk proved to be well worth the wait. In 348 passing attempts this season, he surrendered only one sack and three hits on the quarterback. Both impressive stats for an offensive lineman that just transitioned from playing at the division-III level.

Some scouts will knock Ramczyk by saying he’s only made 13 starts at the division-I level, but he has proven that he belongs in his only season at Wisconsin. What makes the talented tackle so special is his natural strength, athleticism and awareness. The Badger offensive tackle shows tremendous athleticism in his pass sets. His leg kicks are consistently fluid and seem natural. He transitions that into a powerful punch to opposing defenders.

Showing great technique and balance in the running and passing game is what could push Ramczyk into the top-20 of many teams draft boards. He did have hip surgery after the college football season, but by all accounts, he’s expected to pass physicals at the Combine. He comments on the injury in the video below.

Pro Player Comparison: David Bakhtiari

Image result for cam robinson alabama3. Cam Robinson (6’6″, 310) — Alabama 

Coming into the 2016 season, Robinson looked to be a sure-fire top-10 pick. But, in the summer Robinson and teammate Hootie Jones were arrested in Louisiana for possession of narcotics and stolen firearms. The charges were later dropped, but Robinson better be well-prepared to answer questions about the incident when he meets GMs at the Combine.

On-the-field, Robinson is exceptional. After a slow start to the 2016 season, he was phenomenal down the stretch and looked like the 2015 version of himself. I’m on record as saying that “Robinson is the biggest wildcard of the entire NFL draft”.

The 2016 Outland Trophy winner (nation’s best offensive lineman) excels in run-blocking, but he has improved his technique in pass protection during his time in Tuscaloosa.

Robinson’s most impressive stat might be that he’s started every game in his collegiate career — 42 consecutive games. Whichever team drafts Robinson will need to insure he’s joining a locker room filled with mentors and veterans who are willing to take the young man under their wings.

Robinson gets drafted in the latter half of the first-round, unless the Combine interviews fail to convince GMs he’s a safe pick.

Pro Player Comparison: Jason Peters

Best of the Rest

  • Taylor Moton — Western Michigan
  • Eric Magnuson — Michigan
  • Adam Bisnowaty — Pittsburgh
  • Julie’n Davenport — Bucknell
  • Jonah Pirsig Minnesota
  • Roderick Johnson — Florida State
  • Dion Dawkins — Temple

For more NFL Draft news and analysis, follow Jordan Reid on Twitter @JReidDraftScout.

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Tags assigned to this article:
Cam RobinsonGarrett BollesRyan Ramczyk

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