With the signing of Rick Wagner to a one-year agreement with a second-year option, the Packers have put a bandaid on the right tackle position for the next year which almost certainly means that they will be drafting for a new tackle here in the next month when Roger Godell opens the 2020 NFL Draft.
There is a clear cut top tier of tackles that will go before the Packers have their first selection, but this article will take a look at several options that may still be available in the 3rd to 5th rounds.
Ezra Cleveland is an RS Junior that played at Boise State and measures in at 6’6″ with a 310-pound frame. A 40 game starter for the Broncos, Cleveland was hurt last year in the second game of the year which hampered him for the rest of the season. As Davante Adams can tell you, trying to get back to game shape after a turf toe injury is very difficult and requires time off to heal, which is impossible to find in the middle of a season.
From a purely physical standpoint, Cleveland has some of the slightest feet of any of this class as exemplified by his sub-5 second 40-yard dash. His moves off the line are very smooth and while his pass sets are still very raw, he has the traits that O-line coaches covert when looking at tackles to develop. He will not be a day one contributor, but will most likely come off the board on day 2 or 3 of the draft.
A redshirt senior hailing from the Bronx, Matthew Peart is a 6’7″ 318-pound mauler coming out of UConn. One of the most interesting stories of players in this year’s draft class, Peart’s family moved from Jamaica to New York when Matthew was 4 years old. A basketball player growing up, his high school football coaches made sure he was a part of the team and he has continued to dominate at the line of scrimmage ever since then.
Peart was a four-year starter for the Huskies after sitting out his freshman year so he could put on muscle and fill out his massive frame. He played on both the left and right sides of the line, starting the entire season this past year on the right-hand side which would make a right tackle fit very logical at the next level.
Similar to Cleveland, Peart does not have the raw strength or technique found in the top tier guys but does have the physical tools to be a serviceable swing tackle after increasing his playing strength. A dedicated player program and being able to learn behind pros like David Bakhtiari and Rick Wagner could prove fruitful if the Packers decide to take Peart on as a developmental project.
The heaviest of the three prospects detailed in this article, Isaiah Wilson stands 6’6″ with 350 (!!!) pounds of mass. Hailing from Brooklyn, Wilson was one of the most highly recruited tackle prospects coming out of high school where he decided to take his talents to Athens, Georgia to play for the Dawgs.
Despite missing some time from last season due to an ankle injury, Wilson was a second-team AP All American selection and a 2-year starter for Georgia in the brutal SEC. While it was a surprise that he decided to come out for the draft despite only playing for 2 years at Georgia due to his redshirted freshman year, Wilson is undoubtedly one of the top 10 tackle prospects in this draft.
Wilson has been playing at right tackle for the last few seasons so he would also be a logical long-term project for Adam Stenavich and the offensive team.
——————Joe Kelley is a lifelong Packer fan born in Wisconsin and currently living surrounded by Patriots fans in New England- please send messages of support to @Jkelleylol on Twitter or @j.k.lolz on Instagram.