2024 NFL Draft: Top 10 offensive line prospects anchored by stars from Penn State, Notre Dame

With the 2024 NFL Draft approaching, let's take a look at each individual position's rankings. Here's a look at the top 10 offensive linemen.

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1. Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Some of Fashanu’s unevenness can be attributed to injury (he was wearing a knee sleeve in that Ohio State matchup), and his work against other opponents like Michigan, Iowa and Illinois still showed off his strong traits, quick eyes and improved impact in the run game. I still think Fashanu is a high-end tackle prospect who will adjust early to the NFL because of his first-rate combination of traits, technique and intelligence. He already shows an impressive understanding of how to harness his ability, especially in the pass game, and I am higher on his blocking in the run game than some.

Fashanu still has some things to clean up, most notably allowing inside countermoves too often in his pass sets. Plus his hands did shockingly measure in at just 8.5 inches at the scouting combine, which doesn’t hinder his game on film but must be noted, as the only other recent first-round tackle prospect with hands that small was Isaiah Wynn, who was drafted 23rd overall by the Patriots in 2018.

With college basketball done and MLB Opening Day in the rearview mirror, attention is heating up on the NFL's marquee offseason event. Let's make our turn toward the NFL Draft. (Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)
With college basketball done and MLB Opening Day in the rearview mirror, attention is heating up on the NFL's marquee offseason event. Let's make our turn toward the NFL Draft. (Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)

2. Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Alt kept ascending throughout his last season. He is close to Fashanu as a prospect.

A smooth operator in his pass sets, Alt shows off his tight end background with excellent footwork and quickness and never seems to get out of whack. He improved on his hand usage this season, especially with bringing more initial pop with his blocks, which let him stun defensive linemen as a pass protector and also at the point of attack in the run game.

Alt’s mix of size, length and athleticism, his measurables and his testing numbers closely resemble Jonathan Ogden, with a rapidly improving game that makes him another elite offensive prospect atop of the draft. He will need to continue to add to his strength, as he doesn’t have the ideal shock to his hand strikes on initial blocks, but his youth and frame allows for a clean projection to continue to add strength at the next level. Alt can slot in at either side to start his career, with the high-end potential of a franchise blindside protector.

STANFORD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 25: Joe Alt #76 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish pass protects against the Stanford Cardinal during the second quarter of an NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Notre Dame's Joe Alt should expect to hear his name called early in the 2024 NFL Draft. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

3. JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Latham is built like a globe with legs (measuring in at 6 feet, 6 inches and 342 pounds at the combine) and his blocking in the run game could move a globe as well.

Latham is the strongest and most dominant run blocker in this draft, but don’t let his build fool you. Latham has quick feet and is a clean pass protector, too. His hand strength nullifies pass rushers once he locks on and he is consistently able to recover and mirror inside moves with surprisingly smooth footwork and solid awareness. Latham’s strength shows up when he anchors against bull rushes as well.

Latham easily projects to provide a boon to a team’s run game, but his ability as a pass blocker is underrated, too. His clean feet, especially given his outstanding size that he carries well, was backed up by his drill work in Indianapolis. I consider him extremely close, grade-wise, to Fashanu and Alt.

4. Troy Fautanu, OT/OG, Washington

I am still figuring out what spot along the offensive line that I like Fautanu best. He can be, at the very least, a good starter or better at any of the five spots, including center. Fautanu lacks the ideal height of a starting tackle, but possesses plenty of length (34.50-inch arm length) and is an excellent technician with clean footwork already to handle the better athletes who play edge defender in the NFL.

Given Fautanu’s traits and skills, he has an easily attainable floor of a high-quality starting interior lineman. But the upside to be a strong starter on the outside, perhaps at right tackle, makes me bullish on his NFL career. Fautanu’s combination of foot speed, athleticism, strength and advanced technique as a run and pass blocker is an enticing package, even before considering the positional versatility.

5. Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Because of Georgia’s depth and injuries, Mims has started eight games and played 655 snaps in his college career. Those rep counts look more like a one-and-done NBA prospect than a potential offensive line lottery pick in the NFL Draft.

Mims has prototypical size (6-foot-8, 340 pounds) and length (36 ⅛-inch arms) and is a surprisingly smooth athlete despite his gargantuan frame, which was reflected with his testing in Indianapolis. Watching Mims in space as a puller or on a screen is a sight to behold. And while his technique and awareness are still a work in progress (but adequate, considering his lack of playing time), and he has primarily been only a right tackle, Mims is such a powerful player and superb athlete with a tangible on-field impact that if teams are fine with his medicals, his sky-high ceiling at a premium position will be worth the gamble.

6. Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Barton played left tackle to finish his career at Duke, but he will likely shift inside to guard or center at the next level, providing quality play and positional flexibility that teams desperately covet. Barton wins with quickness and hand placement that gives him a chance against better athletes, with enough bend and strength to hold up against more powerful rushers. More elite defenders will likely give him issues at the next level.

A high-floor player who can help any offensive line somewhere, Barton could even hold up at right tackle. He is another offensive lineman in this class with a high-end combination of athleticism and technique. Given what even a decent starter along the offensive line is going for these days, Barton’s needle-moving potential along the interior, which can allow any offensive line to get its best starting five out there, has real value.

7. Taliese Fuaga, OT/OG, Oregon State

Using the snap like a sprinter uses the shot of a gun, Fuaga fires off the football. He is good on straight-ahead run combinations and can get to the second level in a hurry, but can struggle to adjust at times and will end up too tall and off-kilter. He is good in pass protection, with a mirroring and shielding style that can frustrate pass rushers, but will at times overset and leave himself vulnerable to inside moves, with his ability to recover being hit or miss.

Fuaga has potential to move inside because of his work in the run game, but I like him best at right tackle because of his solid potential as a pass protector and potential chemistry he could create with a good guard next to him.

8. Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

I am likely going to end up higher on Suamataia than a lot of other people. His best football is ahead of him, and with the right team there is a potential starting tackle with the ability to play on either side of the football.

Suamataia was a former five-star recruit and he has an intriguing bundle of tools, with good size (6-5, 326 pounds, 10 ⅝-inch hands) and length (34 ¼-inch arm length). Suamataia’s play is inconsistent, his footwork can get out of whack and he can be all over the place with his hands. But he is a good athlete who can move like a much smaller player with plenty of pop to his hands when he strikes defenders, and he just turned 21 in January.

9. Jordan Morgan, OT/OG, Arizona

Morgan is another good athlete at tackle who wins with more speed and skill than bruising force. Morgan will need to keep developing his strength, as power-first players will give him issues and he has trouble right at the snap. He could be a good fit as a guard in a zone-heavy run scheme because of his movement and length, while also covering up any strength deficiencies. I am still figuring out what Morgan’s ideal weight and position at the next level are, but that potential versatility should be viewed as a positive.

10. Jackson Powers-Johnson, C/G, Oregon

He is built like a strongman from an early-1900s circus.

The 2023 season was Powers-Johnson’s first full-time experience at center (he also has starting experience at guard and even defensive tackle), and while there are still moments of rawness, he's explosive and powerful and plays with an infectious style. He can move in space as a puller and on screens while also having size (over 330 pounds), and plays like he has the awareness meters cranked up. There are multiple times a game where Powers-Johnson will sift through traffic and work to find a more dangerous defender when his original assignment takes themselves out of the play, or tries to take on two blitzing pass rushers at once.

Powers-Johnson still has to develop and add polish to his game — he can still get a bit too high out of his stance, and he uses his hands like a barroom brawler and not a disciplined boxer — but he can be a keystone player for an offensive line for years to come.