The NFL’s 10 Best Offensive Tackles of 2023: Trent Williams of the 49ers and Lane Johnson of the Eagles are the most dominant positions

Offensive tackle is a heavily scrutinized position in the NFL, reflected more in the sacks and pressure a player has given up than in the elite pass rushers keeping those same players in check. While it’s difficult to judge how good an offensive tackle is, evaluating position is even more difficult.

The advanced stats can be used to better assess how good an offensive lineman is and how valuable they are to the offensive system in which they are deployed. It’s still difficult to rank the best of the best offensive tackles based on rating a left tackle vs a right tackle (a position that doesn’t get enough respect).

There are other factors at play as well. Is barrel blockage more important than print rate? Are great offensive tackles the ones that protect the quarterback? Can they do better than their teammates, who they line up alongside every week?

Qualification for this tackle ranking depends on how good the player was in 2022. We’ll use achievements from recent seasons to weigh up the rankings, but performance in 2022 is the key equation in the formula. This is a ranking of the best offensive tackles currently available, not based solely on past or future accomplishments.

Before the 2023 offensive tackle rankings are scrapped, these are last year’s rankings:

  1. Trent Williams (San Francisco 49ers)
  2. Tyron SmithDallas Cowboys
  3. Tristan Wirfs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
  4. Lane Johnson (Philadelphia Eagles)
  5. Rashawn Slater (Los Angeles Chargers)
  6. David Bakhtiari (Green Bay Packers)
  7. Ronnie StanleyBaltimore Ravens
  8. Ryan Ramczyk (New Orleans Saints)
  9. Kolton Miller (Las Vegas Raiders)
  10. Jordan Mailata (Philadelphia Eagles)

Without further ado, the 10 best offensive tackles in the NFL:

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Not only is Sewell developing into one of the best tackles in the NFL, he’s also one of the most athletic players in the league (see his nine-yard catch for a first down against the Vikings in Week 14). Sewell was a very good right tackle in his sophomore season, making it his first Pro Bowl appearance.

Already one of the best run-blocking tackles in the league, Sewell also improved pass protection in his sophomore season. Last year he only allowed two sacks and 26 pressures (4.2% pressure rate) on 626 pass-blocking snaps.

Already an anchor on the Lions’ offensive line, Sewell could become one of the best right tackles in the game in 2023.

9.David Bakhtiari (Packers)

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When healthy, Bakhtiari is one of the best left tackles in the game. The problem is that he’s missed 26 games (out of 50) over the past three seasons.

Bakhtiari is still very good when he’s on the field. He allowed just one sack and 10 pressures in 323 pass-blocking snaps last season, with no quarterback hits, and a 3.1% pressure rate.

Regardless of his injury, Bakhtiari is still one of the best pass blockers in the game. He’s still capable of being the player to make an All-Pro team five straight seasons from 2016-2020.

8. Rashawn Slater (Chargers)

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One of the best young left tackles in football, a bicep injury limited Slater to just three games last season. Slater sustained the injury in Week 3 and never returned, allowing just one sack and three pressings in 110 pass-blocking snaps (2.7% pressing rate).

Slater only allowed a 3.6% pressure rate per dropback in his rookie season and allowed just five sacks and 25 pressures in 699 pass-blocking snaps. In 2021, he was selected to the Second Team All-Pro selection.

The Chargers offensive line took a serious hit when Slater was out. Los Angeles is bringing him back for 2023, a welcome sign for Justin Herbert and this talented offensive line.

7. Jordan Mailata (Eagles)

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Pass blocking numbers don’t tell everything about Mailata, who is one of the best run blockers in football. The Eagles have been No. 1 running offense for the past two seasons thanks to Mailata, a left tackle force who has started 30 of a possible 34 games.

As for the pass blocking numbers? In 2022, they were somewhat on the decline as Mailata allowed six sacks and 33 pressures at a 5.9% pressure rate in 557 pass-blocking snaps (three sacks, 18 pressures, 4.1% pressure rate in 2021).

Mailata is still one of the best left tackles in football and was still very good even in a “bad” year.

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Armstead was a free-hand homerun signing for the Dolphins and had an impressive first season in Miami. A 2022 Pro Bowl selection, Armstead allowed just one sack and 14 pressures in 412 pass-blocking snaps last season (3.4% pressure rate).

Injuries still remain a concern for Armstead (he’s missed 13 games over the past two seasons), but the Dolphins’ offensive line was significantly better at pass protection in 2022 thanks to Armstead. He’s one of the reasons Miami finished with a top 10 offensive yards per game for the first time since 1995.

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The most improved tackle in the league was Thomas, who offers hope to a Giants offensive line that has been stuck at times in 2022. As a Second Team All-Pro pick, Thomas had four sacks and 20 presses to pass-blocking snaps in 578 last season (3.5% press ratio).

Not only is Thomas a good pass protector, but he’s also one of the best run-blocking tackles in the game. Thomas has been one of the best tackles in football since the second half of the 2021 season.

The Giants have strong left tackle.

4. Tristan Wirfs

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Wirfs is still among the elite tackles in the game and had one of his best seasons in 2022. He conceded just two sacks and five presses in 587 pass-blocking snaps, for a career-best pressing rate per dropback of 0.9%. This earned Wirfs a place in the second-team All-Pro selection, his second consecutive All-Pro selection in his three seasons.

Tom Brady getting rid of the ball quickly certainly helped Wirfs, but his career pressure rate per dropback of 1.9% is excellent. He’s only allowed 19 pushers over the past two seasons.

Wirfs will switch to left tackle in 2023 and it will be interesting to see if he can keep up his pass block numbers as well as he can with right tackle.

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Tunsil recovered from a thumb injury last season and went on to become one of the best left tackles in football. Tunsil, who earned his third Pro Bowl selection in four years, should have been an All-Pro last season.

In all 17 games, Tunsil allowed just one sack and 16 pressings in 640 pass-blocking snaps (2.5% pressing rate at a career-high of 1,014 snaps). He only allowed four quarterbacks hits in a dominant season.

The Texans are lucky to have Tunsil protecting young CJ Stroud. At 28, Tunsil’s best football is ahead of him.

2. Lane Johnson (Eagle)

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It’s fair to say that Johnson is the best tackle in football (he certainly is the best right tackle). Johnson hasn’t allowed a sack since Week 11 of the 2020 season (playoffs included), and he’s had a year with no sacks, just eight pressings and a career-best pressure rate allowed of 1.5% per dropback allowed 519 pass blocks snaps.

Johnson has only conceded one sack and 20 pressings in the past three seasons, just four quarterback hits in that span. He didn’t concede a single quarterback hit in either the regular season or the playoffs last season.

A First Team All-Pro in 2022, Johnson is the top offensive lineman on the top offensive line in football. He has only allowed one sack since he was 30.

1. Trent Williams (49ers)

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Williams claims another year as football’s top tackler – and can claim to be the best player in the 49ers’ talented roster. Williams allowed just one sack and 15 pressings in 439 pass-blocking snaps (3.4% pressing rate) last season, earning his second straight First Team All-Pro nomination.

Williams conceded just one sack and two quarterback hits in the regular season and playoffs, but he also dominated run-blocking in the 49ers’ outside-zone scheme (which isn’t easy to master).

Williams, another player who’s getting better and better in his mid-30s, has only allowed a 3.2% push rate per dropback over the past two seasons. He’s still the best tackle in the game – and one of the best players in football.

Other names considered (in no particular order): Ryan Ramczyk (New Orleans Saints), Ronnie Stanley (Baltimore Ravens), Tyron Smith (Dallas Cowboys), Jake Matthews (Atlanta Falcons), Orlando Brown (Cincinnati Bengals), Jack Conklin (Cleveland Browns), Christian Darrisaw (Minnesota Vikings), Kolton Miller (Las Vegas Raiders). Braden Smith (Indianapolis Colts), Taylor Dekker (Detroit Lions)

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