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2020 NFL Draft: Talent in the Trenches

Fab Five Offensive Linemen On The Board

The 2020 NFL Draft is the only vestige of normalcy remaining in professional sports amidst the global pandemic, known as COVID-19. 

Most of the free agency signings have already occurred and the oddsmakers, reveal that the Kansas City Chiefs are still the favorites at anywhere from +500 to +650 (courtesy of Sportsbooks Review) depending on where you shop.

The NFL’s annual meat market this year is rich in wide receivers and offensive linemen with as many as seven of the former and six of the latter expected to be plucked in the opening round.

TOP 5 OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

Let’s focus on the big boys in the trenches, the personal bodyguards to the gunslingers under center, and predict where these talented offensive tackles will call home in their rookie campaigns. 

Tristan Wirfs, Iowa, 6-5, 322 (#4 New York Giants)The chances that the Giants opt for an offensive tackle to protect Daniel Jones’ blindside with the fourth overall pick is probably better than the prospect of Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs being the tackle they ultimately select. There is much debate as to who is the best amongst Wirfs, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, and Houston’s Josh Jones. However, the consensus appears to be that Wirfs is the most game-ready which is what the Giants will need if they want to buy Jones a bit more time in the pocket this season and for years to come.

Andrew Thomas, Georgia, 6-5, 320 (#10 Cleveland Browns)Baker Mayfield needs protection and the Browns will grant him the very thing he desires when they get their pick of what’s remaining in a very fine litter of offensive linemen. Thomas would fit the bill quite nicely as he is better suited to pass protect than run block but is equipped to do both with aplomb. We expect the Browns to spread the field and let Mayfield’s arm do the talking in Cleveland’s offensive schemes this season.

Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama, 6-5, 320 (#11 New York Jets)The Jets’ brass will be thinking virtually along the same lines as the Giants and Browns’ management in getting their young quarterback a physical presence to take the heat off a swarming pass rush, allowing Sam Darnold a chance to scan the field for targets. Jedrick Wills is a quick, athletic tackle with explosive strength. Reports are that Wills is more suited to run blocking as his arm length is a bit of a concern but not enough to prevent Gang Green from selecting him with the 11th overall pick.

Mekhi Becton, Louisville, 6-7, 370 (#14 Tampa Bay Bucs) – The Bucs won the Tom Brady Sweepstakes and recently traded for his sidekick, Rob Gronkowski, to add to an arsenal of offensive weapons. However, their offensive line needs help with the lone exception of guard, Ali Marpet, which means they desperately need a big body in front of Tom Terrific to protect the 43-year-old quarterback. And if the dominos fall just right, they could get the biggest body of them all in an avalanche of a man named Mekhi Becton. The Louisville product was climbing up the draft boards but a flagged drug test at the Combine could see that momentum come to a halt and the Bucs would be the beneficiaries if Becton doesn’t get scooped earlier than No. 14.

Josh Jones, Houston, 6-7, 310 (#18 Miami Dolphins)The Fish have three first-round draft picks and will use the first to select a quarterback at No. 5 while the second will be allocated towards protecting that quarterback. Miami is sitting in the catbird seat because they are virtually guaranteed one of the Fab Five offensive tackles in this draft at No. 18 overall. And if you’re a Dolphins’ fans you should be ecstatic if Josh Jones falls in your team’s lap because he could have the highest ceiling of any offensive tackle in the draft. He is considered the rawest of the five, but with the proper coaching at the next level has the potential to be a Pro Bowler.  

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