ARIZONA CARDINALS

Rapoport: No consensus ranking of top 4 OT in 2020 NFL Draft

Apr 15, 2020, 2:38 PM
Offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs #74 of the Iowa Hawkeyes before the match-up against the Wyoming Co...
Offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs #74 of the Iowa Hawkeyes before the match-up against the Wyoming Cowboys, on September 2, 2017 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

There isn’t a strong consensus on the ranking of the top four offensive tackle prospects with the 2020 NFL Draft just over a week away, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Wednesday.

The top four tackles are said to be Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, in no particular order. Per Rapoport, who is well-connected with NFL decision-makers, “Thomas may be the ‘safest,’ while Becton has the most potential.”

This is especially relevant to the Cardinals, who are widely thought to be in the mix to draft an offensive tackle with their eighth overall pick, although that’s far from a certainty. Kyler Murray’s inflated sack numbers in his rookie year were partly on him — not his O-line — and the team already has Marcus Gilbert and Justin Murray in the fold for its right tackle spot.

General manager Steve Keim also said in a video conference with reporters Wednesday that they haven’t ruled out drafting a wide receiver despite trading for All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins. The same probably goes for several other positions.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., an NFL Draft analyst, told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf something similar to what Rapoport said: If the Cardinals go offensive line in the first round, it’s going to come down to whichever prospect they prefer and who’s available. That’s anyone’s guess.

“The offensive line is iffy because there’s really not an elite guy even though they tested well,” Kiper said. “There’s a lot of mixed opinion on those guys.”

“For the Cardinals, it’s which lineman do they like? Which lineman is there? It could be (Mekhi) Becton from Louisville, it could be (Tristan) Wirfs from Iowa, it could be (Jedrick) Wills from Alabama.”

Whoever it is, Kiper’s mock drafts have consistently linked the Cardinals to offensive linemen in the first round. As previously mentioned, though, that’s not a foregone conclusion.

Here’s a quick look at the four aforementioned prospects:

Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

Measured at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds at the combine. Had a 4.85 40-yard dash time and 24 bench-press reps. His college head coach, Kirk Ferentz, told Doug & Wolf that Wirfs can play left or right tackle.

“I think you could play him probably anywhere but center, and he probably could do that if you gave him some time,” he said. “You play a guy like that inside, he’s basically going to kill guys. He’s a dominant player that way.”

Mekhi Becton, Louisville

Stands 6-foot-7 and 364 pounds with a 40-yard dash time 5.1 seconds. Was a first-team All-ACC selection last season at Louisville.

He has an “enormous frame complemented by surprisingly nimble feet and functional athleticism to handle either tackle spot,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said.

Jedrick Wills, Alabama

Zierlein told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta that he feels Wills is better than Becton or Wirfs.

“He’s just better than most,” Zierlein said in March. “Jedrick Wills fires from his hips, he unlocks into his drive-blocking. He’s a physical, aggressive drive blocker, he’s got a nasty streak. He’s got really nice feet to set out wide to catch speed rushers, and he’s got the ability to slide back inside against counters, and that’s a major problem right now for Wirfs.”

At the combine, Wills ran a 5.05 40 and measured in at 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds.

Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Some NFL mock drafts have had the Cardinals taking Thomas with the eighth pick. This 6-foot-5, 315-pound O-lineman won the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy to go along with his All-SEC first-team selection in 2019.

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Rapoport: No consensus ranking of top 4 OT in 2020 NFL Draft