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Triple Take: Offensive tackles

The "Triple Take" team breaks down of the offensive tackle. In this installment of this draft prospect preview by position, the Steelers Radio Network trio of Matt Williamson, Dale Lolley and Mike Prisuta give their takes on the top prospects at the offensive tackle position. If you want to hear the audio version of "The Triple Take" click here.

The opinions of these Steelers Radio Network personalities do not reflect the views of the Steelers organization.

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Dale's Take …

Offensive tackles aren't sexy picks in the NFL Draft, but they're necessary. And they often go higher than many think.

This year's group doesn't have an absolute star at the position, but it does have some depth. Teams will be able to add players into the second and third rounds that might come in and contribute right away at the NFL level, even if you take Northwestern's Peter Skoronski out of the equation, which I did here, moving him to guard.

#5 - Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse (6-5, 318 lbs.) - A 23-year-old native of Quebec, Bergeron became the first true freshman to start at Syracuse at tackle in more than 20 years in 2019. He's played both the left and right side throughout his career, and a number of the draft's top pass rushers named him their toughest lineman to go against at the NFL Scouting Combine. He's a dominant run blocker who needs some refinement in his pass pro, but that could come with work.

#4 - Anton Harrison, Oklahoma (6-4, 315 lbs.) - A classic left tackle type, Harrison is very intriguing. He posted a 4.98-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and looked athletic. He's not a mauler, but his pass blocking is excellent. As he gets stronger and better coaching, the run blocking could follow suit. But we know that pass blockers are coveted. And he just turned 21, so there's room for growth for a player with 34 career collegiate games under his belt.

#3 - Darnell Wright, Tennessee (6-5, 333 lbs.) - Wright moved over to the right side in 2022 after playing the left side in 2021, so he showed he can do both. Can he do so at the NFL level? That's the big question. His size suggests he's a right tackle in the NFL, but he showed some fluidity at the Combine to suggest he could be played at either side in the NFL. Wright is a premiere run blocker.

#2 - Broderick Jones, Georgia (6-5, 311 lbs.) - A redshirt sophomore, Jones essentially has a year and a half of experience, albeit for the two-time defending national champions, starting at left tackle in both title games. Has a strong punch, but still has to learn to stay on his blocks a little longer. He's a very athletic, moldable piece of clay.

#1 - Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (6-6, 313 lbs.) - Started at right guard in 2021, but kicked out to left tackle in 2022. Since 2000, only 19 offensive tackles have had arms that were 36 inches or longer. Johnson is one of them, checking in at 36 ⅛. Allowed just one sack in his college career. Johnson should be a plug-and-play starter, if not at left tackle, then on the right side.

Mike's Take …

The best tackles get drafted, sooner rather than later.

Two were Top 10 picks in 2022 (Evan Neal, Giants, seventh; and Charles Cross, Seahawks, ninth).

Two were grabbed in the Top 15 in 2021 (Penei Sewell, Lions, seventh; and Rashawn Slater, Chargers, 13th).

And four went off the board in the first 13 selections in 2020 (Andrew Thomas, Giants, fourth; Jedrick Wills Jr., Browns, 10th; Mekhi Becton, Jets, 11th; and Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers, 13th).

Quarterbacks and edge rushers may be more hyped and wide receivers may be spectacular, but offensive tackles that can play are a precious commodity and they're drafted as such.

#5 - Dawand Jones, Ohio State (6-8, 374 lbs.) - You don't walk with Dawand Jones, you walk among him. At 374 pounds he was the heaviest player at the NFL Scouting Combine. And he can move. "When you watch him in the run game it's just an avalanche," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah insisted. The power rush won't work against Jones. And he's athletic enough to be an avid pick-up basketball participant. Why wouldn't he be? His 87 7/8-inch wingspan is reportedly the second-longest ever registered at the Combine. You can get around Jones, but you have to take a cab.

#4 - Darnell Wright, Tennessee (6-5, 333 lbs.) - Wright moved from left tackle to right tackle for the 2022 season, where he blocked Alabama's Will Anderson Jr., among others (another potential plug-and-play guy from the SEC; who saw that coming?). Wright was first-team All-ACC this season and continued to impress at the Senior Bowl (he was voted the American Team's Offensive Line Player of the Week by National Team defensive linemen and linebackers) and at the Combine.

#3 - Peter Skoronski, Northwestern (6-4, 313 lbs.) - He would top this list if not for his 32 1/4-inch arm length, which is considered less than ideal for an offensive tackle (Jones checked in at 36-3/8" by comparison). Skoronski may be ticketed for guard in the NFL but either way, he can play. There's nothing else not to love about Skoronski, including bloodlines that trace back to a grandfather who was a captain for the Packers under Vince Lombardi.

#2 - Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (6-6, 313 lbs.) - Johnson looks and plays the part, and he'll be as ready as possible when he gets to the NFL thanks to the Cincinnati native's relationship with former Bengals offensive tackle Willie Anderson, a pairing that dates back to Johnson's sophomore year in high school. He has the tools, the talent and the technical understanding of how to use his hands and his feet. And as a journalism major, you just know he's smarter than the average bear.

#1 - Broderick Jones, Georgia (6-5, 311 lbs.) - As Jeremiah noted, Georgia practices the No. 1s against the No. 1s (starting offense vs. starting defense), which means Jones has been going against NFL-caliber players every day while playing for the Bulldogs. Jones was often featured as a puller because of his athleticism and ability to adjust in space. As for the phone booth stuff in the trenches, Jones checks that box, as well. "Once he gets his hands on you he can turn you and torque you with his upper body," Jeremiah noted. "Once it's like a wrestling match up top you're not getting away from him." Bodies usually just go flying through the air when Broderick Jones gets his hands on you.

Matt's Take …

There isn't a no-brainer elite top tackle prospect in this draft, but overall, there are plenty to choose from on the first two days of the draft with starting potential. As a group, this position tested well at the Combine and there are some intriguing developmental players in this group as well.

#5 - Anton Harrison, Oklahoma (6-4, 315 lbs.) - Harrison is a very easy mover and a fluid athlete with good length. Broderick Jones was the only offensive lineman in Indianapolis that ran a better 40-yard dash than Harrison and he moves well laterally. Harrison can adjust to a moving target as well as adjusting to a pass-rusher's countermoves. He didn't allow a sack last year. Harrison has just average explosiveness and could stand to get more powerful. Harrison is more of a finesse player.

#4 - Dawand Jones, Ohio State (6-8, 374 lbs.) - Anyone can see that Jones isn't an ordinary offensive tackle. He is just so massive. Jones has a condor-like wingspan and while he is very heavy, he carries that weight well without a lot of excess baggage. It is nearly impossible to outmuscle Jones and once he latches on, it is over. It takes an extra step or two to get around his edges as well. As you would imagine, Jones isn't the quickest offensive tackle, but he does move well overall and isn't overextended or on the ground all that often. The Senior Bowl and Combine both boosted Jones' stock. There just aren't many players like him.

#3 - Darnell Wright, Tennessee (6-5, 333 lbs.) - Wright was a fine player on the left side for Tennessee, but really found himself at right tackle in 2022. Wright's highlight of the season was how well he handled Will Anderson, often one on one. He is probably a right tackle only in the NFL, but Wright certainly has the athleticism and attributes to handle either side. But Wright's game is mostly about power. Wright manhandles many of his opponents and handles the bull rush with ease.

#2 - Broderick Jones, Georgia (6-5, 311 lbs.) - Jones ran the best 40-yard dash of any offensive lineman at the Combine. That speed really translates to the field, as you often see Jones well downfield blocking smaller defenders. What really stands out about Jones though is how well he moves in all directions with an extremely wide base. This is a very gifted player that could still use a little technique work. Jones is an explosive mover, but his play strength is still developing.

#1 - Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (6-6, 313 lbs.) - Johnson moved to left tackle this year for the Buckeyes after starting his career at guard and excelled in his new role. He is an excellent athlete for the position. Johnson is very balanced and smooth in his movements. Johnson also has uncommonly long arms for the position and a man of his height and could continue to add muscle mass and strength. Johnson still needs some work with his hand usage and isn't extremely powerful, but those things could come before long.

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