The Browns took Jedrick Wills with the 10th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to help address their lack of talent at offensive tackle. While it generally takes three seasons to get a really good idea of what teams have in a rookie, let’s look back on the last few offensive tackles drafted in the first round and see how they performed in their first season.
There are unique situations that Wills will face too on top of this. He will be moving from right tackle over to left tackle due to the free agency signing of Jack Conklin. Also, rookies would have a longer preseason and several preseason games to adjust, his first real snap is likely to be week one of the 2020 season.
Here are the 39 tackles drafted since 2010, how many snaps they played in year one, and where PFF graded them in that first season.
Jonah Williams – 0 snaps (IR)
Andre Dillard – 338 snaps, Below Average PFF
Tytus Howard – 488 snaps, Below Average PFF
Kaleb McGary – 1,105 snaps, Below Average PFF
Mike McGlinchey – 1,055 snaps, Good PFF
Kolton Miller – 1,008 snaps, Poor PFF
Isaiah Wynn – 0 snaps (IR)
Garett Bolles – 1,107 snaps, Good PFF
Ryan Ramczyk – 1,164 snaps, Very Good PFF
Ronnie Stanley – 834 snaps, Good PFF
Jack Conklin – 1,062 snaps, Very Good PFF
Laremy Tunsil – 867 snaps, Average PFF
Taylor Decker – 1,089 snaps, Very Good PFF
Germain Ifedi – 926 snaps, Below Average PFF
Ereck Flowers – 960 snaps, Below Average PFF
Andrus Peat – 428 snaps, Average PFF
Cedric Ogbuehi – 73 snaps, Average PFF
D. J. Humphries – 0 snaps (inactive)
Greg Robinson – 729 snaps, Average PFF
Jake Matthews – 955 snaps, Below Average PFF
Taylor Lewan – 355 snaps, Very Good PFF
Ja’Wuan James – 1,046 snaps, Average PFF
Eric Fisher – 792 snaps, Below Average PFF
Luke Joeckel – 276 snaps, Below Average PFF
Lane Johnson – 1,164 snaps, Good PFF
D. J. Fluker – 1,162 snaps, Average PFF
Justin Pugh – 1,027 snaps, Good PFF
Matt Kalil – 1,096 snaps, Good PFF
Riley Reiff – 326 snaps, Very Good PFF
Tyron Smith – 1,040 snaps, Very Good PFF
Nate Solder – 1,023 snaps, Average PFF
Anthony Castonzo – 693 snaps, Average PFF
James Carpenter – 578 snaps, Below Average PFF
Gabe Carimi – 98 snaps, Average PFF
Derek Sherrod – 110 snaps, Below Average PFF
Trent Williams – 870 snaps, Average PFF
Russell Okung – 671 snaps, Average PFF
Anthony Davis – 981 snaps, Below Average PFF
Bryan Bulaga – 1,088 snaps, Average PFF
In total, we have 39 offensive tackles drafted in the first round since 2010 before this year. We will look below how many snaps they have played as well as how they graded by PFF.
Based on the Browns depth chart we should expect Wills to play all the snaps this season. If we had a solid veteran also in the room then he might have a battle to win or a slow transition. Both Hubbard and Lamm also favor the right side meaning they could have issues too filling in at left tackle. We also have an 8% chance that he lands on IR before playing a snap.
The average PFF grade for a first-round offensive tackle is 67.1 in their first year. Looking at tackles that have played 50% snaps in a season that would be in the 33rd to 44th range which is solid from a rookie.
In more recent years the crop of tackles seems to have performed worse than in the past. It could be just standard variation but it could also be a reduction in practice time having a knock on their impact.
Expectation For Wills
Overall we shouldn’t have that high of expectations for Wills overall play in year one. If he can achieve a league average then he is doing very well. It is roughly the same level that Greg Robinson performed at last year but a big increase in the play of Chris Hubbard.
We will see quite a few errors in his play as he has to quickly get up to speed with the change of position and the speed of the league. But don’t let that let you get disappointed about his future. There are many tackles that have had bad first years and turned out great where some have had great first years and turned out bad.
I hope you enjoyed the piece, if you have any questions feel free to ask me on Twitter at @JackDuffin, my DM’s are always open.