After quarterback, offensive tackle is in the running alongside wide receiver, edge rusher, and cornerback for the most important position in football. As such, the best offensive tackles in the NFL are among the league’s most crucial players. Once teams find a franchise tackle, they’re typically reticent to let them go, which is why there are rarely high-quality OTs on the free agent market.
Let’s go around the league and rank the best offensive tackles in the NFL, beginning with a stalwart in San Francisco.
Who’s the Best Offensive Tackle in the NFL?
Although he’s 34 years old and playing in his 12th pro campaign, Trent Wiliams remains the best offensive tackle in the NFL. With 10 consecutive Pro Bowl berths under his belt, Williams is building a Hall of Fame résumé.
He was always an excellent player with Washington, but Williams has stepped up his game since getting traded to San Francisco in 2020. He earned a first-team All-Pro nod in 2021 and will likely get another after this season.
Williams is still the most physically dominant left tackle in football, and his ability to wash out blockers allows the 49ers to deploy a creative run attack. The only downside with Williams is injuries, as he hasn’t completed a full slate of games since 2013.
Rest of the Top 10 Offensive Tackles Ranked
2) Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Although he was the fourth offensive tackle off the board in a 2020 draft that included Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills Jr., and Mekhi Becton, Tristan Wirfs has been the most productive player among that cohort. After an outstanding rookie season, he was named a first-team All-Pro in 2021.
This year, Wirfs has allowed only four pressures, the lowest total among offensive tackles with at least 500 snaps, per PFF. He’s a magnificent athlete, evidenced by his explosive Combine numbers, and his powerful hand usage is essential to his acumen as a pass blocker.
3) Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles
If Wirfs is the best right tackle in football, then Lane Johnson is right behind him. Johnson’s allowed pressure numbers align with Wirfs’, while the Eagles OT hasn’t given up a sack since the 2020 season.
Johnson’s versatility has been on full display this season. When Philadelphia wants to go deep to A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith, they can rely on Johnson to give Jalen Hurts plenty of time. And when the Eagles decide to go run-heavy, Johnson is an absolute mauler on the right side.
When Johnson was drafted in 2013, many assumed he’d eventually shift to the blindside. Instead, he’s stuck at RT for his entire career, and he’ll end his pro tenure as the best right tackle of his generation.
4) Andrew Thomas, New York Giants
As teams evaluate rookie offensive linemen, they’d do well to reference the example of Andrew Thomas. Drafted fourth overall in 2020, Thomas struggled mightily in his first NFL season and allowed 10 sacks.
But at some point in his sophomore campaign, Thomas figured things out. He’s taken great strides forward as a pass blocker thanks to improved footwork, largely locking down the left side of the Giants’ line.
New York has a lot of work to do to augment the rest of their front five. Evan Neal has looked rough in his rookie season, but if he can develop like Thomas, Big Blue will have elite options at tackle for the next decade.
5) Jordan Mailata, Philadelphia Eagles
If you’ve tuned into Sunday Night Football when the Eagles were on the schedule, you’ve probably heard Jordan Mailata announce his college as “Jeff Stoutland University.”
It’s a testament to Stoutland, Philadelphia’s longtime offensive line coach, that Mailata is not only a competent starter but one of the best tackles in the NFL.
Mailata had never played a down of football before the Eagles selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. After spending two years on injured reserve, the ex-Australian rugby player took over as a starter in 2020 and hasn’t looked back.
A massive man at 6’8″, 365 pounds, Mailata still managed to run a 5.12 40-yard dash at his 2018 pro day. That athleticism is apparent on tape. Mailata suffocates defensive linemen in pass protection, but he’s also magnificent in the run game, which is especially critical for a team that likes to rush as much as Philadelphia.
6) Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints
The final pick of the first round in the 2017 draft, Ryan Ramczyk has been the model of consistency in New Orleans. An All-Pro in three consecutive seasons from 2018-2020, Ramczyk had never missed a game until a knee injury cost him seven weeks last year.
Ramczyk is a better run blocker than pass blocker, and his game is built on technique, speed, and quick first step. With longtime Saints left tackle Terron Armstead gone to Miami, Ramcyzk is by far the best offensive lineman on New Orleans’ roster.
7) Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers
An offensive lineman will likely never win Offensive Rookie of the Year, but Rashawn Slater rightfully placed fourth in OROY voting in 2021 after posting 1,100+ snaps of elite play at tackle. Although he’s one of the smaller tackles in the NFL at 6’3″, 315 pounds, Slater didn’t let his size get in the way of production on the way to a second-team All-Pro berth.
Slater has been sidelined since rupturing his biceps tendon in Week 3, but he may be able to return if the Chargers make the playoffs. If he can come back, Slater will boost a Los Angeles offensive line that’s been beset by injuries and ineffectiveness throughout the season.
8) Laremy Tunsil, Houston Texans
After a down season in 2021, Laremy Tunsil has rebounded with a stellar 2022 campaign. It will always be difficult for Tunsil to live up to the trade that sent him from Miami to Houston in exchange for two first-round picks, a second-rounder, and change, but he’s undoubtedly an elite left tackle, especially as a pass blocker.
Tunsil is still only 28 years old, but it’s unclear if he’s a long-term fit for the rebuilding Texans. He’s under contract through 2023, and his cap charge will hit an astronomical $35.2 million next season. Houston will likely be forced to either extend or trade Tunsil before the start of next year.
9) Christian Darrisaw, Minnesota Vikings
Let’s wrap up our top 10 with two 2021 first-round picks who have taken great leaps in their second NFL campaigns. We’ll begin in Minnesota, where Christian Darrisaw has evolved to become the best Vikings left tackle in years and one of the top offensive linemen in the league.
Darrisaw was above average as a rookie, but he’s become elite this year. With improved consistency and confidence, the Virginia Tech alum has stonewalled opposing pash rushers en route to allowing only 14 pressures on 458 pass-blocking snaps.
Darrisaw faced a tough route to a Pro Bowl berth with Williams, Wirfs, Johnson, and others ahead of him, but he looks to be a Pro Bowl and, potentially, All-Pro regular for seasons to come.
10) Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions
Like Darrisaw, Sewell didn’t have a poor rookie season, but there was certainly room for growth heading into 2022. Sewell, the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, reportedly has an off-the-charts work ethic, and that’s shown up in his development.
He looks significantly stronger as a blocker, his footwork has improved, and he’s done a better job at quickly reacting to opposing pass-rush moves. Detroit’s offensive line has been a driving force in their sustained success this year, and Sewell and left tackle Taylor Decker are the key factors in that effort.
Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention Sewell’s game-sealing reception at the end of the Lions’ Week 14 win over the Vikings. With soft hands and good lateral ability, Sewell could probably make it as a tight end if he ever gets bored at tackle.
Offensive Tackle Rankings | 11-32
11) Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys
12) David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers
13) Terron Armstead, Miami Dolphins
14) Kolton Miller, Las Vegas Raiders
14) Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore Ravens
15) Taylor Moton, Carolina Panthers
16) Terence Steele, Dallas Cowboys
17) Brian O’Neill, Minnesota Vikings
18) Garett Bolles, Denver Broncos
19) Jack Conklin, Cleveland Browns
20) Orlando Brown Jr., Kansas City Chiefs
21) Kaleb McGary, Atlanta Falcons
22) Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions
20) Morgan Moses, Baltimore Ravens
21) Dion Dawkins, Buffalo Bills
22) Braxton Jones, Chicago Bears
23) Charles Leno, Washington Commanders
24) Tyler Smith, Dallas Cowboys
25) D.J. Humphries, Arizona Cardinals
26) Jake Matthews, Atlanta Falcons
27) Duane Brown, New York Jets
28) Rob Havenstein, Los Angeles Rams
29) Sam Cosmi, Washington Commanders
30) Tytus Howard, Houston Texans
31) Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers
32) Jamaree Salyer, Los Angeles Chargers