While the quarterback position has stolen the show in regards to lacking consistency for the Denver Broncos in recent years, right tackle has been just as bad, if not worse.

To find the last starting right tackle the Broncos have kept around for more than two years, one would have to look all the way back to Orlando Franklin, now a local radio personality, who held the starting job down for three years.

Now long-term solution at right tackle and with newly acquired draft picks on hand, the Denver Broncos have a golden opportunity to finally rectify the position that has been a need for far too long by way of the NFL draft in this upcoming offseason.

Darnell Wright, Tennessee

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in at around 335 pounds, Wright is a mammoth of a starting offensive lineman on, what has become, a very talented Volunteers offense.

Although he’s currently starting at right tackle, Wright has experience all over the offensive line. In the past, he’s started at guard and left tackle, along with now playing right tackle. Versatility up front is at a premium in today’s NFL, making Wright’s background a coveted feature. If a player across the line gets injured, the ability to shuffle the unit around to play the best and most effective five players is a luxury every team would like to have.

To go along with his versatility, Wright has the strength of an ox. Specifically, in run defense, Wright regularly puts opposing defensive linemen on skates, pushing them far out of their gap and causing displacement. He does this with an extremely powerful punch and the type of mean streak everybody loves to see from their offensive lineman.

In pass pro, Wright has gotten better every season and looks to be putting it all together this season.

His frame boasts great length to keep defenders off of him but the trait that most stands out is his grip strength. Once Wright is locked into the opposing player, the rep is as good as done in most circumstances.

This power matched with more-than-adequate athleticism for a player his size has made him a very sound pass blocker through his senior season thus far.

Although he’s a very promising player, no prospect is without flaws and Wright is no exception. In particular, while showing great athleticism for his size, this isn’t a strength for him when compared to leaner tackles.

Because of this limited athleticism, Wright can occasionally struggle on plays where he is asked to pull or reach landmarks.

Another area of improvement for Wright can be found in his high pad level. While it hasn’t had too much of a negative impact on his college career, because of his natural talent, “The low man always wins” and this will start to show in the NFL when matched up against more polished pass rushers.

If the Denver Broncos move away from the zone-style scheme, Wright would be an idyllic target.

Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

Being projected to go high in the first round, Paris Johnson has all the physical tools to one day develop into a high-caliber offensive tackle for years to come.

Listed at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, and with fantastic athleticism, Johnson was always bound to be a future pro, being ranked as the No. 1 offensive tackle coming out of his recruiting class.

This elite athleticism and size easily has transferred over to the college game and is best seen when he is asked to hit landmarks or block in space. Explosive out of his stance, Johnson can climb to the second level, getting to linebackers that other offensive linemen simply cannot, or leading the way on a screen pass, in open field, with ease.

Having to match up against the NFL’s freakiest athletes at the edge position, the natural ability Johnson has gives him an extremely high ceiling in pass protection as well.

Because of his ability to match up with an array of different styled edge rushers, Johnson’s blend of size, length, and athleticism allows him to keep power rushers off his chest plate while simultaneously being able to mirror speed rushers with his quick feet and flexibility.

While having a great deal of potential, Johnson still has room to improve.

Most notably, Johnson can get better with his technique, as his base can become too narrow, allowing power rushers to work him back into his quarterback’s lap.

Another area of improvement can come with his hand placement and timing. Too often does Johnson’s great reach become obsolete because his timing is off, allowing pass rushers to work into his chest plate and control the rep.

Paris Johnson is sure to get consideration from the Denver Broncos, with his rare blend of tools.

Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

Replacing now-Chargers offensive tackle Rashawn Slater, Peter Skoronski has picked up right where Slater left off, becoming one of the most highly touted tackles in his class.

Being a player with a more slender profile, only listed at 6-foot-4 and 294 pounds, Skoronski wins in quite a different way than the other tackles included on this list. In particular, without having to carry the weight of a prototypical tackle, Skoronski’s movement skills stand out.

This is seen through multiple facets of his game but none more notable than when he is in pass protection.

Skoronski has fantastic feet to mirror and react to opposing edge rushers and is rarely beaten upfield. He has the movement skills and feet to match anybody he may face. Both of these traits are littered all over his college film and seem to be easily translatable once in the NFL.

In addition to Skoronski’s movement skills, he plays with fantastic technique and strength in pass protection. The pairing of great hand placement, grip strength, lower half strength, and footwork, make Skoronski a very refined prospect.

While run blocking, the best way to describe Skoronski’s game is highly intelligent.

Not what scouts would describe as a “people-mover” but Skoronski knows how to utilize his athleticism and body to close off defenders, causing a similar effect, and ultimately opening holes in the run game.


When looking for flaws in his game, however, look no further than his length.

Skoronski has very short arms for an NFL tackle. 33-inch arms are generally viewed as the minimum for tackles, and Skoronski’s are just 32 inches.

When matching up against what may be the NFL’s most naturally gifted position, that length can cause serious issues. While his superior technique can mitigate the issue, college pass rushers far too often can get into the young offensive tackle’s body, ultimately controlling him on their way to the quarterback.

Furthermore, Skoronski isn’t overly powerful. Best utilized while moving, it is important that he lands on a team with the proper scheme to best utilize his skill set.

Skoronski is a name for the Denver Broncos to watch, especially where they’re projected to pick, but he might ultimately be a guard in the NFL, with some limitations in terms of scheme versatility.