2024 NFL Draft Rankings: Offensive Line

With the NFL draft less than a week away, the Bears are poised to add Caleb Williams to the team, and it’s time I address who will be protecting the quarterback. The 2024 draft class has the best linemen I’ve seen in years, and top talent is falling. The draft is front-heavy with quarterbacks and receivers, but don’t sleep on the linemen. I favor the Bears trading the ninth pick and acquiring more capital, because flexibility is valuable. The Bears can then think about future needs, and not just the immediate ones. Blue-chip talent is important, but so is filling your roster. I’m seeing an increase in mock drafts showing the Bears selecting an offensive tackle at nine as well, but regardless of the direction they go, here are my offensive line rankings.

The Bears offensive line had a tumultuous season last year, which led to the departure of former starters Cody Whitehair and Lucas Patrick. Ryan Poles was a lineman, and he’s been quick to address the o-line in his short tenure. In 2022, Poles used a fifth-round draft pick selecting Braxton Jones, and in 2023, Poles traded back and selected Darnell right. In addition to drafting Wright, Poles added Nate Davis in free agency last year. This year, Poles gave up a fifth-round pick and made an offer for rights to Ryan Bates, and the Bills chose not to match. Then Poles signed former Rams center Coleman Shelton shortly after, and filled the recently emptied center position. The only linemen Ryan Pace drafted are Tevin Jenkins and Larry Borom, but both have expiring contracts this year. The centers are a stop-gap and contracts are ending, but the draft may have solutions.

1. Joe Alt OT Notre Dame 6’9″ 321lbs

If a team is searching for a complete offensive tackle to shore up the left side for a decade, Joe Alt is the ideal candidate. Alt, if anything, might be oversized, but he has everything a team could want in a tackle prospect. He’s a natural knee bender, and he has elite anchor and mirroring skills. The Notre Dame alum keeps his hands tight inside and has an above-average grip, but does let defenders into his body at times. Alt rarely makes mistakes, but if he lunges or takes a shallow step, he recovers well. It was easy for me to make Alt my number one linemen, but will the GMs drafting find it as easy?

2. Jackson Powers-Johnson C Oregon 6’3″ 328lbs

Alt is the best offensive tackle, but if we’re talking about the interior offensive line, few are better than Jackson Powers-Johnson. He’s the best interior pass blocker, and his anchor is better than many of the tackles in this draft class. Powers-Johnson has quick, athletic feet and maintains a strong base throughout his movement, but his legs need to keep churning throughout the play. He will need to square up better at the second level too, because he whiffs too often. Powers-Johnson has the vision, intelligence, and physicality to dominate in the NFL, but if he does some fine-tuning of his technique he’ll ensure it. He’s good enough that the Bears could consider drafting him if they trade down.

3. Olu Fashanu OT Penn St 6’6″ 312lbs

Strong and long, Olu Fashanu is ready to dominate the NFL, and besides his size, his technique is close to elite too. Fashanu drives back rushers and utilizes good leverage throughout each rep. His long strides will allow him to mirror and keep pass rushers in front of him but he must speed up laterally to keep up in the NFL. Fashanu’s grip might be too good, because it’s led to unrefined hand technique. His footwork is magnificent, though, and more than makes up for his hands. He utilizes a quick first step and explodes off the line in the run game. Fashanu consistently gets to the second level, but he won’t make it to the second round in the draft. 

4. Taliese Fuaga OT Oregon St. 6’6″ 324lbs

Taliese Fuaga might be the best run-blocking tackle in this class, and he reminds me of the Bears’ current right tackle, Wright. They’re both aggressive run blockers with raw talent, but that’s a problem as much as it’s a compliment. Fuaga can get a little overaggressive, lunging or overpursuing angles, but he can hang with the best when he calms down. His pass blocking is serviceable but will need refinement at the next level. Fuaga needs to speed up his first step, and his hand placement needs to improve. Though his strikes are powerful, they lack precision and get quiet, but he has the grip to control defenders and should lean on that trait. He’s a mauler, and he’ll hear his name early on Thursday. 

5. Cooper Beebe G Kansas St. 6’3″ 322lbs

I thought Cooper Beebe could have been a first-round selection in last year’s draft, but he decided to go back to KSU for one more year. His decision might have been the right one, because he repeated as Big 12 Offensive Lineman of The Year. Beebe is also a three-peat recipient of First-Team All-Big 12 Conference honors. He’s had a hell of a college career, and he’s ready to make the move to the pros. Beebe has strong strikes, keeps his legs churning, and drives through defenders. With a broader frame, he’ll play guard at the next level, but he was a First-Team All-Big 12 Conference left tackle in 2021. That versatility will make Beebe even more desirable on Thursday, and he’ll find himself selected within the first two rounds. 

6. Troy Fautanu OL Washington 6’4″ 317lbs

Troy Fautanu is another versatile lineman who has succeeded in multiple positions. He was integral to his team’s winning the Joe Moore Award and he won several individual accolades as well. Outside of some issues with his head dropping and getting out in front of himself occasionally, Fautanu’s game is nearly complete. He exposed several defenders that lunged, smacking their hands, getting them to the ground, and finishing on top of them. It was almost comical at times, but I was mostly just amazed at his athleticism and understanding of leverage. Whether Fautanu plays tackle or guard in the NFL, he’ll play well, and I’m looking forward to watching his growth in the future. 

7. JC Latham OT Alabama 6’6″ 342lbs

We breed them big out here in Wisconsin, and JC Latham, an Oak Creek native, is another reminder. With 342 lbs and a 35-inch reach, Latham has the build to bulldoze and control defenders in the NFL, and his technique is ahead of the average two-year starter. He has a grip like an alligator, and he strikes like Chuck Liddell. It appears impossible to go through him, and going around him is tough because of his agility. Latham’s frightening in space when he gets a head of steam going, and he’ll continue to drive his legs when he reaches the defender. The only knocks on his game for me are his slower mirroring and his pad level. Latham plays about as tall as I’ve ever seen, but if he gets some bend in those legs he’ll be a real menace. 

8. Graham Barton OL Duke 6’5″ 313lbs

9. Kiren Amegadjie OT Yale 6’5″ 323lbs

10. Sedrick Van Pran-Granger C Georgia 6’4″ 298lbs

11. Zach Frazier C West Virginia 6’3″ 313lbs

12. Amarius Mims OT Georgia 6’8″ 340lbs

13. Roger Rosengarten OL Washington 6’5″ 308lbs

14. Blake Fisher OT Notre Dame 6’6″ 310lbs

15. Jordan Morgan OT Arizona 6’5″ 311lbs

16. Patrick Paul OT Houston 6’7″ 331lbs

17. Christian Jones OT Texas 6’5″ 305lbs

18. Christian Mahogany G Boston College 6’3″ 314lbs

19. Christian Haynes G Connecticut 6’3″ 317lbs

20. LaDarius Henderson OT Michigan 6’4″ 309lbs

21. Sincere Haynesworth C Tulane 6’1″ 310lbs

22. Tyler Guyton OT Oklahoma 6’8″ 322lbs

23. Javon Foster OT Missouri 6’5″ 313lbs

24. Isaiah Adams G Illinois 6’4″ 315lbs

25. Javion Cohen G Miami 6’4″ 324lbs

26. Zak Zinter G Michigan 6’6″ 309lbs

27. Brandon Coleman TCU 6’4″ 313lbs

28. Kingsley Suamataia OT BYU 6’5″ 326lbs

29. Matthew Jones G Ohio St. 6’3″ 316lbs

30. Dominick Puni G Kansas 6’5″ 313lbs

31. Beaux Limmer C Arkansas 6’5″ 302lbs

32. Andrew Coker OT TCU 6’7″ 317lbs

33. Nathan Thomas OT Louisiana-Lafayette 6’5″ 332lbs

34. Trevor Keegan G Michigan 6’5″ 310lbs

35.. Layden Robinson G Texas A&M 6’3″ 302lbs

36. Kingsley Eguakun C Florida 6’3″ 304lbs

37. Andrew Raym C Oklahoma 6’4″ 314lbs

38. Drake Nugent C Michigan 6’1″ 298lbs

39. Matt Goncalves OT Pitt 6’6″ 327lbs

40. Hunter Nourzad OL Penn St. 6’3″ 317lbs

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