Could We See a Record Number of Tackles Taken in the First Round of the 2024 NFL Draft?

Notre Dame v Stanford
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There is no secret that the 2024 NFL draft is very deep at the tackle position, however, the fact of the matter is that this draft may be not only historically deep, but possibly the deepest tackle draft in NFL history.

Now there is a disclaimer to be made that some players who played tackle in college will be drafted as guards. Also, depending on which outlets you look at, some players that I will bring up as potential first-round tackles in this year's draft are considered to be interior offensive linemen. That said, the judgment is up to the individual for where you consider a player to be positioned at the next level.

With that established, I have scouted players as tackles that some outlets consider to be interior offensive linemen, like Arizona's Jordan Morgan, so while I have some players scouted at tackle, we may have to wait and see where players eventually play in the NFL. Even still, the top-end talent at the tackle position in the 2024 draft should be recognized for the historic group that it is.

When were the most tackles taken in the 1st round of the NFL draft?

Using to look at the players drafted at tackle going all the way back to 1936 I was able to count the amount of tackles selected in the first round of the NFL draft for the past 88 years.

The most tackles selected in a single first round was in the 2008 season when seven tackles were selected in the first round.

In the 2020, 2011, and 1986 seasons there were six tackles selected in the first round.

So what makes the 2024 NFL draft potentially historic? Again, depending on the outlet and how teams figure that prospects figure in at the NFL level, there could be as many as nine players selected to play tackle in the first round of this year's draft!

Who are the tackles that could be first round picks in 2024?

I'm going to make this disclaimer one more time, these players are dependent on whether different draft outlets view these players as tackles or interior linemen, and not all of these players are locks to be first-round picks but some outlets may have them mocked to go in the first round.

Joe Alt, Olu Fashanu, and JC Latham are all players who are potential top-10 picks and probable day-one starters at left tackle for the teams that draft them.

Joe Alt could be a potential top-five pick, where the first three picks are very possibly quarterbacks, the Arizona Cardinals could select Marvin Harrison Jr. to replace DeAndre Hopkins, and Joe Alt could be the number five overall pick to the Los Angeles Chargers to give Justin Herbert some time to throw the ball to the talented trio of receivers the Chargers have, led by Keenan Allen.

The New York Giants have a lot of needs and may take the chance at a skill position player, but the Titans at pick seven and Commanders at eight are both candidates to take tackles, making three in the top 10 according to the latest CBS first round mock draft.

The next tier of tackles includes Georgia's Amarius Mims, a very athletic tackle who doesn't have the amount of experience as some of his peers in this year's draft but was very effective in the passing game and punishes defensive backs at the second level in the run game.

Graham Barton is the first player on this list who some outlets think translates to the next level as a guard or center. Barton has played 2,134 of his 2,569 career snaps at left tackle for Duke and 430 at center way back in 2020.

Taliese Fuaga, a mauler of a right tackle from Oregon State, may be the best prospect at right tackle in this year's draft and on some boards goes in the middle of the first round, with writer Daniel Jeremiah, mocking him as high as 10th to the New York Jets in his latest first-round mock draft.

Another player like Graham Barton is Troy Fautanu of Washington. Fautanu has spent a similar amount of time at tackle, 2,037 out of his career 2,155 snaps were at the left tackle position. Jeremiah has Fautanu going 20th to the Pittsburgh Steelers, CBS 24th to the Cowboys.

I previously mentioned Jordan Morgan, who could sneak into the late first round, as a player whom certain draft outlets view as a guard. Morgan does have the footwork and the tools to play tackle, good footwork to turn defenders away from the ball in the run game and pass game, and does well against outside rushers in pass protection.

One of the last players that is generally going in the first round, some outlets having him go as high as 24 to the Dallas Cowboys, is Tyler Guyton. Guyton is potentially a bit more of a project tackle as his super athleticism makes him a great target for a running team that needs a tackle that can get to the second level or as a tackle who could move around in the screen game. Guyton does need to work on getting his pad level lower and improve his pass-blocking footwork.

There they are, Alt, Fashanu, Latham, Mims, Barton, Fuaga, Fautanu, Morgan and Guyton, nine players who could be tackles at the NFL level that could all possibly be first-round picks, would be a historic group. The NFL has only seen seven tackles selected in the first round one time and six selected three times. The 2024 NFL draft could far exceed all previous drafts with up to as many as nine tackles selected in the first round!