CFB Season Preview: Left tackles you need to know for the 2019 NFL Draft


With conference media days surrounding college football talk, it’s officially okay to begin talking about the upcoming season. The conclusion of media days brings up many conversations about projections concerning all-conference teams and standings, so why not add another angle to the conversation?

The 2018 NFL Draft only produced two true offensive tackles in the first round with San Francisco selecting Mike McGlinchey and Oakland snagging Kolton Miller (excluding New England’s selection of Isaiah Wynn).

College football may have some difficulties matching its first round talent from this past draft, as only a few left tackles meet the call entering the season.

From heralded recruits to small school standouts, the left tackle position has plenty of noise around it looking ahead at 2019 NFL Draft.



Trey Adams, Washington

Adams was nearly a 2018 first round lock until losing the rest of his season after leaving game seven with a torn ACL. The senior left tackle is poised for a big season and enters as one of the top returning players in all of college football.

The 6-foot-8 left tackle thrives in pass protection, gaining immediate extension with a strong and timely initial punch. He delivers his heavy hands quickly into the chest of the defender, almost instantly locking him down for the rest of the play. Adams continues to gain brownie points in the passing game by having a controlled kick slide to adequately mirror the edge rusher. However, he shows inconsistent feet by playing too heavy on his heels and then opening the gate to the defender.

Adams will need to improve some elements in the run game before being considered a lock as a top-10 pick. He gets in a bad habit of only going through the motions and not finishing on blocks. The senior tackle reworks his hands well but has room to improve by showing a more consistent leg drive and sustainment throughout the play.

Michael Deiter, Wisconsin

John Fisher, Cal Sport Media

The first team All-Big Ten player enters his final season in Madison with 41 consecutive starts under his belt. Deiter has 16 career starts at center, 14 at left tackle and 11 at left guard. His consistency and reliability give him an extra boost during the evaluation process.

Deiter hits like a sack of bricks at the point of attack, powering down defenders with above average upper body strength. He showcases an initial punch with plus pop and power that can turn players away immediately. Though his punch serves as a strength, he shows inconsistency from that point on. Deiter struggles to show sustainability on a consistent basis, even when striking first on the snap.

The 6-foot-6 senior shows glimpses of a wide kick slide but doesn’t show any impressive athletic ability when mirroring. Deiter struggles to stay on par with quicker edge defenders due to his lack of foot speed. He can also get crossed up with quicker upper body movements, as he shows a habit of losing too many hand fights.

Deiter’s bread and butter is in the run game. His eyes widen when he gets to work in the trenches, showcasing brute strength and a powerful leg drive to accompany it. Deiter’s experience in the trenches paves the way for his future at the next level.


Mitch Hyatt, Clemson

Hyatt continues to impress since his arrival on campus, as he has been a staple on nearly every all-star postseason team. The former five-star recruit returned for his senior season after receiving first team All-America accolades. Hyatt enters the season with 42 career starts at left tackle.

He hits on all cylinders when facing a speed rusher, showcasing the foot quickness to smoothly shuffle his feet, producing an effective kick slide. He’s quick to go to work off the snap and has little hitch when having to work to the second level.

The all-conference performer received many red marks when I was evaluating his run blocking. Almost on cue, Hyatt drops his head when initiating contact, and the defender is rarely fazed by his strength. He doesn’t show any overpowering strength at the point of attack, and his sporadic and poor hand placement doesn’t do him any favors.

Hyatt shows more negatives than positives, though his school bio may state otherwise. The senior must improve his hands, aggressiveness and overall strength to be considered in first round talks.


Greg Little, Ole Miss

The top tackle recruit in 2016, Little has yet to disappoint in Oxford. The 325-pound junior recently received preseason first team all-conference praise from the media at SEC Media Days. Little has the elements to be great but doesn’t necessarily have the polish quite yet.

He dominates in the run game with plenty of torque to drive defenders off the ball and has the wicked hand strength to forklift his matchup off the snap. He meets the call in the strength department, though he needs to show more finishing ability in the run game.

Little showcases a wide and smooth kick slide to hold down the edge, but, as the game continues, his feet will get heavy and his pad level will shoot high. The junior’s issues grow when you consider his handwork. He struggles to consistently provide an initial punch and fails to gain extension on his defender. If his hand technique improves, a marriage with Little’s upper body strength would make him a near can’t-pass prospect.


Jonah Williams, Alabama

Regardless of who is throwing the football for the Tide this season, his left side will be protected. Williams has been a reliable protector on either side of the line and looks to continue that trend for the reigning national champions.

Williams is a smooth operator, holding down the edge with an easy kick slide with long and controlled steps. He keeps the edge clean by showcasing his foot speed and lower body flexibility.

The two-time All-SEC performer may not post the highest marks in the weight room, but he gets the job done in the trenches. He proves to have a tough punch on his initial move and has the leg drive and discipline to finish every play. His biggest critique comes on his hand technique. Williams shows occasional poor placement when striking his opponent by placing his hands too far outside the numbers or being late on his strike.

Scouts have to be nitpicky to find flaws in Williams’s game. The consistent blind side protector checks the boxes of an elite tackle prospect with few elements needing much improvement.



Ryan Bates, Penn State

Craig Houtz, Penn State Athletics

Bates held down the fort at left guard for Penn State in 2016 but played admirably at left tackle last season. He received third team all-conference accolades, despite missing three games with a leg injury. The junior may be a better fit at guard but has starting left tackle qualities.

Bates delivers a heavy punch on initial contact with strong hands and adequate placement. He keeps extension during his pass protection reps and can easily redistribute his hands throughout the process. Bates has a controlled kick slide with a consistent punch to constantly counter his defender.

The 6-foot-4 lineman doesn’t have an overwhelmingly strong base and occasionally will get pushed off his mark because of it. Bates mirrors well with light feet, but he still has yet to show enough lower body flexibility to feel completely comfortable. Bates anchors a strong offensive line unit in State College, and next-level talk needs to start about this junior.


Alaric Jackson, Iowa

After starting all 12 regular season games, Jackson earned a spot on the FWAA’s freshman All-American team. He was suspended for the Hawkeyes’ bowl game versus Boston College but will have no issue entering the 2018 season.

Jackson gains an instant advantage having a quick burst off the snap and initiating his punch in the same motion. He stays low in his stance and keeps his hands working, looking for opportunities to extend and keep punching.

His lower body flexibility is on display in pass protection, showcasing a smooth and easy moving kick slide. His light feet do not dictate a weak lower body, as he still holds a strong anchor to stay stationary during contact. Quick hand movements and bull rushes will occasionally overwhelm Jackson, but he shows enough consistency and reliability to be viewed as an All-American.


Max Scharping, Northern Illinois

Scharping showed promise versus Power 5 opponents last season (Boston College, Nebraska, Duke) by not seeing any drop off compared to his usual MAC foes. The senior is a consecutive member of the all-conference first team and placed on the freshman All-American team in his first season in DeKalb.

In pass protection, Scharping has a controlled kick slide with wide movements to help keep the blind side clean. He displays light feet but has instances of putting too much weight on his heels, making him vulnerable.

Scharping likes to connect with his matchup early by quickly latching on with both hands with incredible grip strength. His thick build plays well to his anchor, but his higher than desired pad level does not. The 6-foot-6 senior has plenty of potential entering his final season and should not be a surprise candidate for a top-50 pick.

The left tackle class isn’t as polished as the mainstream media may advertise, but with plenty of potential in the group, teams will look forward to eyeing a blindside protector at the top of the draft again.

Christian Page is a scout and writer for His scouting experience dates back to 2015. Christian has a background of radio along with collegiate athletic department experience and corporate marketing.