Here are the top 10 wide offensive tackles prospects (with projected round) for the NFL draft, which is set for April 23-25:
1. Jedrick Wills, Alabama, 6-foot-4, 312 pounds (first round): He's a mauler as a run blocker. Played in 39 games at Alabama and made 29 starts. He was named second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC in 2019. The big fella had a 34.5 vertical jump at the scouting combine.
2. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa, 6-5, 320 (first round): He started 33 of 34 games for the Hawkeyes. He started 29 at right tackle and four at left tackle. Some teams consider him a better guard prospect.
3. Mekhi Becton, Louisville, 6-7, 364 (first round): He was the talk of the combine with his 40-yard dash time of 5.1 seconds. He started 33 of 35 games for the Cardinals, including 21 starts at left tackle and 15 starts at right tackle.
4. Andrew Thomas, Georgia, 6-5, 315 (first round): He was the winner of the SEC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy, UGA's first recipient of the award in 21 years. He was an All-SEC first-team selection by the coaches and the Associated Press. He was a key player on Georgia teams that won 11 or more games three consecutive seasons, won three consecutive SEC Eastern Division titles, and played in three consecutive New Year's Six Bowl games (2018 Rose, 2019 Sugar, 2020 Sugar). He was selected as a member of the AJC Super 11 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2016. He started 41 games for the Bulldogs, including 26 at left tackle and 15 at right tackle.
5. Josh Jones, Houston, 6-5, 319 (first round): He made 45 starts at left tackle for the Cougars. He is considered a better pass protector than a run blocker.
6. Austin Jackson, USC, 6-5, 322 (second round): He was highly recruited coming out of Arizona. His grandfather Melvin Jackson played on USC's 1974 national championship team and went on to play five seasons in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers. He picked the Trojans of Arizona State and Washington. Over three seasons, he played in 39 games and made 25 starts at left tackle.
7. Ezra Cleveland, Boise State, 6-6, 311 (second round): A very good athlete. He moves well for a big man, but needs to get stronger in order to hold up in the trenches in the NFL.
8. Isaiah Wilson, Georgia, 6-7, 350 (second/third round): He was a second-team Associated Press All-SEC selection and co-winner of the offensive "Up Front" award, given at the team's postseason awards banquet. He played in 11 games, starting in 10 in 2019. He entered the season on the Outland Trophy watch list. In the pros, he'll fit better in a man-base blocking system vs. a zone blocking system.
9. Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas,6-4, 308 (Third round): He started at left tackle for the Jayhawks. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.17 seconds, bench pressed 225 pounds 26 times, had a 34-inch vertical jump. He had formal and informal interviews with the Falcons.
10. Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn, 6-5, 308 (third round): He was raised in Nigeria playing soccer, basketball and swimming. He played just a year of high school football after moving to Alabama. He put on 50 pounds while at Auburn and has developed from a being a raw prospect.
Best of the rest: TCU's Lucas Niang, Connecticut's Matt Peart, South Carolina State's Alex Taylor, St. John's (Minn.) Ben Bartch, Auburn's Jack Driscoll, LSU's Saahdiq Charles, Mississippi State's Tyre Phillips, North Carolina's Charlie Heck, Missouri's Yasir Durant, Washington's Trey Adams and Ohio State's Branden Bowen.
Teams in need: New York Giants, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver and Tampa Bay.
Need area for Falcons. Yes, the Falcons are looking for swing tackle to replace Ty Sambrailo and backup Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary. They could bring in someone to compete with McGary, who gave up 13 sacks to lead the league last season, if he continues to struggle in pass protection.
Top 5 seniors for 2021 draft. South Carolina's Dylan Wonnum, Oregon's Penei Sewell, Michigan's Jalen Mayfield, Alabama's Alex Leatherwood, Stanford's Walter Little and Texas Sam Cosmi.
D. Orlando Ledbetter, Esq is the award-winning Atlanta Falcons beat writer for the newspaper, has been on the staff since 2003. Every day D. Orlando strives to provide inside in the Falcons and the NFL. He finds the most joy in providing insight into the team, the coaching moves, the offseason business moves, the draft and the games.