Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.|Michael Conroy | Associated Press
NFL

NFL Draft Preview: Eckel ranks the top 5 best offensive linemen with the help of an expert — and likes Temple center Matt Hennessy

If you’re an NFL team needing a boost on the offensive line, you can find your share of tackles in the draft. Guards may be a different story.

Mark Eckel

If you’re an NFL team needing a boost on the offensive line, you can find your share of tackles. Guards may be a different story.

According to a longtime executive in personnel, who agreed to help us on this series of stories there are no fewer than five and as many as seven tackles who should go in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

“It’s not a bad year (for tackles),’’ he said. “There are a few really good ones and some others who could develop and become very good. If you need a tackle, you should be able to find one.’’

That’s not the case at the guard position.

“It might be the worst I’ve seen in years,’’ he said of the 2020 guard class. “There’s one (Ben Bredenson) from Michigan who is pretty good and that’s about it.’’

There are, however, a few centers.

“I do like some (centers). Again, the Michigan kid (Cesar Ruiz) is the best. But (Lloyd) Cushenberry from LSU is good. I like the Temple kid (Matt Hennessy) and (Trystan) Colon-Castillo (from Missouri) is good, too.’’

Here’s his list of the best of the best offensive linemen:

Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 6-5, 315

Arm size/Hand size: 36.1/10.2

Quote: “To me, he’s the best one overall. I like his game. He’s smart, he’s tough; he can do it all.’’

Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 6-6, 320

Arm size/Hand size: 34/10.2

Quote: “He’s good, you could say he’s No. 1. I just like Thomas better.’’

Mehki Becton, Louisville

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 6-7, 357

Arm Size/Hand size: 35.6/10.7

Quote: “Big, big man. For a guy his size he can move. He’s right there (with top 2). He’s gonna be good.’’

Josh Jones, Houston

Class: Sr.

Height/Weight: 6-5, 311

Arm size/Hand size: 33.6/10.1

Quote: “I like him. He went and worked out well and now everyone is on him. He really helped himself (at the Combine).’’

Jedrick Wills, Alabama

Class: Jr.

Height/Weight: 6-4, 312

Arm size/Hand size: 34.2/10.2

Quote: “I don’t like him as much as others do. He’s going to go higher than he should. He’s not as good as the top four guys.’’

OVERRATED: Austin Jackson, So.Cal

UNDERRATED: Isiah Wilson, Georgia

SMALL SCHOOL STAR: Ben Bartch, St. John’s (Minn)

BEST GUARD: Ben Bredenson, Michigan

BEST CENTER: Cesar Ruiz, Michigan

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