There’s athletic offensive linemen, and then there’s the 2020 NFL Draft offensive line draft class which boarders on terminator-athleticism.
For the Jaguars, there have been mixed opinions from fans, the media, and the team itself on whether or not an offensive lineman is in play for the ninth-overall selection this year. While the Jaguars offensive line probably gets scrutinized a bit too much for their play in 2019, there are still concerns that are worthy of mention.
Last year, the Jaguars played with two right guards for the majority of the season — splitting repetitions between guards A.J. Cann and former tackle Will Richardson, the Jaguars didn’t come to a clear determination on who would play throughout a single game. At left tackle, Cam Robinson missed the first game due while continuing to recover from a torn ACL suffered during the 2018 season, and never seemed to get healthy while finishing out the remaining 14 games.
This year appears to be a fantastic year to need an offensive lineman. Not only are they athletic, but some of the best players in this draft class from a talent perspective were among the very best in their Combine testing.
Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The player who headlined the class today was former Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. Wirfs, 6-5, 320 pounds was electric on Friday.
40-Yard Dash: 4.85 seconds
10-Yard Split: 1.69 seconds
Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches
Broad Jump: 121 inches
Three Cone: 7.65 seconds
All three of Wirfs’ testing numbers were among the best of all time and led all offensive linemen during this year’s combine. Not only did Wirfs surpass his fellow offensive linemen, he bested two tight ends — Tennessee’s Dom Wood-Anders and South Florida’s Mitchell Wilcox in 40-yard dash time.
Tristan Wirfs is an absolute beast:— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) February 29, 2020
✅Broke Combine record in vertical jump for OL
✅Tied Combine record in broad jump for OL
✅Broke Iowa record of 4 450 lb Hang Cleans@TristanWirfs74
(Third video via @HawkeyeFootball) pic.twitter.com/wOuk6dy8tt
In his explosiveness testing, vertical jump and broad jump, Wirfs was once again better than all other offensive linemen, and was ahead of 26 out of 46 wide receivers including notable names such as Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy (36 inches) and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb (34.5 inches).
Needless to say, Wirfs is an athletic freak of nature. During his career at Iowa, Wirfs started at right tackle along the Hawkeyes’ offensive line, allowing only two sacks and six total pressures last season according to Pro Football Focus. Wirfs is slated to become a top-15 pick, and could be taken as high as the top five according to draft analysts.
Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
To preface: 40-yard aren’t a good barometer of anything for offensive linemen. There will almost never be a time when an offensive tackle, guard, or center is running in a straight line for 40 yards on the gridiron.
With that said, Becton is an exception. At 6-7, 364-pounds, the former Louisville left tackle shocked the world with a blazing 5.11 40-yard dash on Friday. Built like a giant, Becton proved he’s one of the most athletic big men at the combine. A man this big simply shouldn’t be able to run this fast.
Due to an injury, the former Louisville left tackle couldn’t perform any other drills during the combine, but this was enough to open eyes. His 10-yard split time of 1.80 seconds was among the best at the Combine along the offensive line.
No player 350 pounds or more in NFL Combine history has run a 40-yard dash faster than Becton. In fact, the closet was Tennessee defensive tackle Daniel McCullers in 2014 with a 5.18 40 time, according to Pro Football Reference.
Becton allowed five sacks in his collegiate career, according to Pro Football Focus.
Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
There are at least four tackles in this draft class worth taking in the top-15 picks this year and Wills is absolutely one of them.
40-Yard Dash: 5.05 seconds
10-Yard Split: 1.83 seconds
Vertical Jump: 34.5 inches
Broad Jump: 113 inches
Three Cone: N/A
After impressing in his 40-time of 5.05 seconds, Wills put on a clinic during positional drills. Showcasing fluid movement and quick feet, Wills looks every bit of what was advertised during his years at Alabama. Wills allowed only one sack in his junior season at Alabama.
Jedrick Wills— Kyle Henderson (@Rivals_Kyle) February 29, 2020
6-foot-4, 312 pounds
The video below will help you understand why he’s one of the best overall O-linemen in this draft. Incredible directional footwork pic.twitter.com/Md79GVhjb1
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Thomas fits exactly what the Jaguars could look for in an offensive tackle. At 6-5, 315 pounds with 36 and 1/8 inch arms, Thomas is a similar mold to Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor, and possess the same ‘nasty’ as him too.
40-Yard Dash: 5.22 seconds
10-Yard Split: 1.83 seconds
Vertical Jump: 30.5 inches
Broad Jump: 109 inches
Three Cone: 7.58 seconds
A standout left tackle out of Georgia, Thomas has plenty of athleticism. With a three-cone time of 7.58 seconds, the former Georgia standout was ahead of the most all-around athletic offensive lineman in this draft class in Wirfs.
In three years at Georgia, Thomas allowed just five sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
Compilation video of Andrew Thomas and Jedrick Wills on field work at the Combine. Wills really blew me away tonight (look at that punch!) and Thomas continues to look smooth and incredibly athletic. Absolutely awesome to see these athletes go to work. pic.twitter.com/eTYHXp1PWK— Justin Penik (@JustinPenik) February 29, 2020