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Potential Saints offensive tackle prospects in this year’s NFL draft

With the uncertain future of both tackle positions, here are a few prospects New Orleans should look at.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Florida Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the New Orleans Saints offensive line was bad in 2023. PFF graded them as the 25th best pass blocking and run blocking team in the entire league this season.

They will now enter 2024 with even more uncertainty on the offensive line than they had entering last year. Both tackle positions have no clear future. Unfortunately, Ryan Ramcyzk’s football career may be coming to an end shortly as he had to deal with a multitude of injuries since he entered the league and Trevor Penning doesn’t seem to be the answer yet on the left side of the line.

I have almost no doubt in my mind that the Saints will use their first or second round NFL Draft picks on an offensive tackle, especially if Ramcyzk decides to call it a career this offseason. Since the Saints season is over, it is basically draft prospecting season, so I thought we could go through and look at some offensive tackle prospects the Saints could draft.

Do note that this is a very deep class for offensive tackles and there are a lot of people who grade them very differently. Outside of Joe Alt and Olumuyiwa Fashanu, there isn’t a bonafide OT3 in this class, so it’s hard to predict where exactly these guys will land. Some guys who are projected as second round picks today could be first round picks by April and vice versa.

First Round Prospects

Amarius Mims - Georgia

Mim’s was Georgia’s starting right tackle in 2023, but before that, he played a big role as a reserve during their 2022 championship run. He was injured two ankle injuries in 2023 which limited his playing time, but when he was on the field, he was one of the best tackles in the game.

Over his three-year career, Mims allowed zero sacks in 402 pass blocking snaps. He also never allowed a quarterback hit and gave up just seven pressures, earning a career efficiency rating of 99.1. It’s not like Mims did this at some mid-major school, he did it in the SEC against some of the best pass rushers in the nation, some of which will hear their name called in the first round of this year's draft.

Obviously, Mims’ injuries are a concern, and no one wants to see the Saints draft another injury prone lineman, but before this year, he never missed time with an injury. He very likely could end up inside the top-10 with a good combine, so he may be out of the Saints reach, but if he falls to 14, it would be a very nice pick.

JC Latham - Alabama

Latham has been the starting right tackle at Bama for the past two seasons and has been one of the best RT’s in the country during that time. In 1,016 pass blocking snaps, he’s allowed two sacks (both in 2023) and 30 pressures, giving him an efficiency rating of 98.4.

Latham also graded out as one of the best run blocking tackles in the SEC last season and should provide an instant boost to the rushing attack. He’s one of the more experienced options on the board, and the Saints would likely welcome him with open arms.

Taliese Fuaga - Oregon State

Fuaga could be a very fast riser in the pre-draft process and could find himself as the third tackle drafted this season. He’s started every game at tackle for Oregon State over the past two seasons and has played over 1,500 total snaps in his career.

Of those 1,500 snaps, 734 came in pass protection. Over those 734 snaps, Fuaga allowed zero sacks and 23 pressures, earning a 98.3 efficiency rating. He also earned the best run blocking grade of any offensive tackle with more than 100 snaps this past season.

Fuaga would probably be my first choice at OT (outside of Alt and Fashanu), but I don’t see him being there at pick 14 if he performs well at the combine.

Troy Fautanu - Washington

Fautanu has been the Huskies starting left tackle for two seasons now and has a ton of playing experience. He’s played over 2,100 snaps in his career and has played 900+ each of the last two seasons.

In 1,336 pass blocking snaps, Fautanu has allowed three sacks and 43 pressures, earning a 98.2 efficiency rating. He was a solid run blocker in 2022, but like many of the Huskies offensive lineman, he struggled in 2023.

I’d have him ranked lower than all the guys above him just because his run blocking hasn’t been as good, but if everyone else is gone by pick 14 (which I don’t see happening) then Fautanu could be the pick.

Second Round Prospects

Jordan Morgan - Arizona

Morgan is someone who could sneak his way into the first round, depending on how many teams want an offensive tackle. He’s probably OT7 or so on most board, but in this class, that’ll probably put him at the beginning of the second round.

The 6-foot-6, 320-pound tackle has been a three-year starter for the Wildcats and has more experience than pretty much anyone in this draft. He’s played 2,404 snaps, 1,500 of which have been in pass protection, and he’s given up 10 sacks (three in last two seasons) and 71 pressures (33 in last two seasons). He also boasts a 77.0 and 78.6 run block grade in 2022 and 2023.

His early career stats really drag him down, but he made a big turnaround in 2022 and 2023. He’s got a lot of tread on his tires but hasn’t missed a game since week one of 2021. He’d be a viable second round option if he makes it to pick 45.

Kingsley Saumataia - BYU

Saumataia has been the Cougars starting left/right tackle for the past two seasons and has 1,342 snaps of experience under his belt. The junior prospect has been amazing in pass protection, giving up two sacks and 27 pressures in his 746 pass blocking snaps.

He struggled a bit in the run game in 2023, but he posted a 74.2 run blocking grade in 2022. His strength is his versatility. He started 12 games at right tackle in 2022 before taking over as the starting left tackle in 2023. He can play both sides of the line, which is a huge plus for a Saints team that needs help on both sides.

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