NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Highest-graded offensive tackles in every category

2WFMWT0 MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 31: National offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga of Oregon State (72) during the National team practice for the Reese's Senior Bowl on January 31, 2024 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Houston’s Patrick Paul wins in pass pro with massive size: The former Cougar excelled in pass protection using his incredible length, allowing him to capture the top marks in some of PFF’s most stable pass blocking metrics: true pass set grade and pass blocking grade on 5-to-7 step drops. 

Oregon States Taliese Fuaga brings attitude in the run game: Fuaga has bad intentions in the run game and finishes blocks consistently, capturing the highest PFF run-blocking grades in both zone and gap concepts.

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The NFL draft season is well underway with the NFL combine and individual pro days in the rearview. Every player brings a unique skill set to the table, hoping to have their name called on the big stage. We’re breaking down the draft class’ best players at each and every facet, for every position, to get a more informed view of the NFL hopefuls.

These are PFF’s highest-graded offensive tackle prospects at each key grading facet in the 2024 NFL Draft:

True Pass Sets Grade: Patrick Paul, Houston: 89.9

The massive left tackle out of Houston secured incredible marks on true pass sets – PFF’s most stable and predictive pass-blocking metric – utilizing his incredible length to neutralize rushing threats. Paul surrendered just four pressures, none of which resulted in a knockdown, for a 98.6 pass-blocking efficiency rate. 

Pass Block Grade With No Play Action: Joe Alt, Notre Dame: 90.4

PFF’s highest-ranked offensive line prospect wins with his exceptional football intelligence paired with massive size. Alt’s ability to protect without run action, one of PFF’s stable offensive line metrics, is one of many highlights in his draft profile. The PFF All-American allowed just five pressures on over 281 pass sets for a 1.8% pressure rate, the lowest in the class by any prospect with at least 125 snaps without run action.  

Pass Block Grade With Play Action: Javon Foster, Missouri: 90.0

Foster parlays his understanding of leverage and movement skills into success in the play-action game, particularly in Missouri’s zone-heavy scheme. The former Tiger earned a perfect 100.0 pass block efficiency rating on play action, surrendering zero pressures on over 110 snaps.

Pass Block Grade on Five and Seven Step Drops: Patrick Paul, Houston: 91.4

Paul worked on his footwork and initial step in 2023 and was met with much improvement, allowing him to excel on deep drops. The former Houston left tackle clocked over 350 pass sets on five- and seven-step drops, yet he allowed just eight pressures, only one of which resulted in a knockdown.

Pass Block Grade on Three-Step Drops: Delmar Glaze, Maryland: 84.8

While Glaze may not be terribly high on evaluators’ draft boards, he brings consistency to short-drop concepts that teams would hope for in a potential tackle-guard prospect depth addition. The former Terrapin is the only tackle prospect in the class to be defeated on zero pass-rushing matchups with over 100 snaps on three-step drops.

Zone Run-Blocking Grade: Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State: 91.3

The PFF All-American right tackle has bad intentions in the run game and buries defenders unlucky enough to line up across from him. Fuaga, while adept in all aspects of being a road grading tackle, excels particularly in zone concepts, where he generated a 20.4% impact block rate.

11. Los Angeles Chargers: T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

Gap Run-Blocking Grade: Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State: 78.9 

No matter how you cut it, Fuaga is a force in the run game. The former Beaver’s explosion off the ball matched with his incredible grip strength allows him to bulldoze defenders and open gaps. Fuaga produced a fantastic 17.7% impact block rate on gap concepts while being defeated on just over 7% of these snaps. 

Overall Red-Zone Grade: Kiran Amegadjie, Yale: 93.2

The FCS standout brings the tools and tape that far exceeded his competition, and as a result, he dominated in the red zone. The powerful tackle earned a phenomenal 92.4 PFF run-blocking grade in the red zone, powered by an insane 35% impact block rate. Amegadjie was similarly impressive in pass protection, surrendering zero pressures when attacking inside the opposing 20-yard line.

Overall Late-Down Grade: Patrick Paul, Houston: 83.3

Third and fourth downs are undoubtedly crucial situations where protection breakdowns can effectively swing the momentum. None excelled more than Paul in these late-down scenarios, where he contributed an 89.9 PFF pass-blocking grade, allowing just a 3.4% pressure rate. Additionally, producing a 71.9 PFF run-blocking grade, surrendering a negative play on just 2.6% of his late-down snaps.   

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