College News & Analysis

Top 10 returning offensive tackles in college football for the 2023 season

Stanford, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Joe Alt (76) blocks Stanford Cardinal linebacker Jordan Fox (10) during the fourth quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

  • Notre Dame’s Joe Alt: The sophomore was both the highest-graded and most valuable tackle in the country this past season and is the easy choice for No. 1 here.
  • Duke’s Graham Barton: The junior is second on this list after he was the only Power Five tackle with 85-plus grades as both a pass-blocker and run-blocker.
  • Alabama’s JC Latham: The sophomore is third on this list and is living up to the hype placed on him as a former No. 2 overall recruit.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

It’s officially time to hit the reset button.

Now that we know who will continue playing on Saturdays next fall, let's take an early look at the top returning players at every position.

Here are the top 10 offensive tackles returning to college football next season. Please note that NFL projection is not taken into account here.

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1. Joe Alt, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

As was the case for quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end, an argument can be made that 2022's best offensive tackle in college football is returning to school.

Alt was both the highest-graded and most valuable tackle in the country according to PFF’s wins above-average metric. The sophomore’s 91.0 run-blocking grade led all FBS tackles while his 99.0 pass-blocking efficiency score was fifth. Alt looks like a potential top-five pick in 2024 and the best offensive tackle prospect since Penei Sewell.

2. Graham Barton, Duke Blue Devils

Barton was one of the best all-around tackles in the country as a junior this season.

In fact, he was the only Power Five tackle who posted 85-plus grades as both a pass- and run-blocker. He finished the season with 17 big-time blocks (PFF’s highest-graded blocks), five more than any other tackle in the country. Barton likely could’ve been a Day 2 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft but instead will be one of the best offensive tackles in college football for another season.

3. JC Latham, Alabama Crimson Tide

The fact that Latham is playing at an elite level shouldn’t be a surprise. Coming out of high school in 2021, he was the No. 2 overall recruit in the country according to the On3 consensus ratings. In fact, Latham was the highest-rated offensive tackle recruit since Florida’s Martez Ivey in 2015.

He was an elite pass protector as a sophomore at right tackle this season. His 84.5 pass-blocking grade on true pass sets ranked fourth among all tackles in the country. On 486 pass-blocking snaps, Latham didn’t allow a sack and only gave up one hit. He only earned a 70.9 run-blocking grade, but it’s his pass protection chops that could challenge Alt for OT1 in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

4. Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State Nittany Lions

Fashanu is also a serious challenger to Alt’s OT1 status in the 2024 draft because he would’ve likely been a first-rounder in 2023 had he declared. 

Like Latham, Fashanu is a dominant pass protector. Also like Latham, Fashanu didn’t allow a sack and only surrendered one hit from 281 pass-blocking snaps. His 84.7 pass-blocking grade ranked sixth among Power Five tackles. His 59.4 run-blocking grade certainly needs improvement, but he just turned 20 years old in December and has an uncoachable smoothness in pass protection.

5. Jonah Monheim, USC Trojans

Playing on one of the best offensive lines in the country, Monheim was one of four Power Five tackles with 80-plus pass- and run-blocking grades. His 82.0 overall grade was seventh in the Power Five.

Only Alt was a more valuable tackle in the country this season according to PFF’s wins above-average metric. Monheim totaled the most pass-blocking snaps in the country without allowing a sack or hit (570). While he played right tackle this season, many expect him to kick inside to right guard in 2023. Regardless, he’s still one of the best offensive linemen in college football heading into next year.

6. Will Campbell, LSU Tigers

It’s not easy to survive at left tackle in the SEC, and it’s nearly impossible to do so as a true freshman. Not only did Campbell survive, but he also thrived.

The true freshman’s 85.6 pass-blocking grade on true pass sets ranked third in the country and trailed only Peter Skoronski among Power Five tackles. He only gave up pressure on 2.7% of his 515 pass-blocking snaps. He’s the early favorite to be OT1 on this list next season and in the 2025 draft, although the next guy might have something to say about that.

7. Kelvin Banks Jr., Texas Longhorns

Campbell wasn’t the only one who excelled at left tackle as a true freshman, as Banks was the blindside protector in his first year with the Longhorns after entering Austin as a five-star recruit.

Like Campbell, Banks dominated as a pass protector. His 3.5% pressure rate allowed on true pass sets ranked sixth among Power Five tackles. His 98.4 pass-block efficiency score was also second among Big 12 tackles, behind only Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison a top-25 prospect on PFF’s big board. Banks could become one of the best offensive linemen in the nation next season if he continues developing as a run-blocker, where he earned a 64.9 grade.

8. Javon Foster, Missouri Tigers

Not a lot went right for Missouri’s offense this season, but the Tigers knew the blindside would be protected by Foster. 

Among Power Five tackles, only Skoronski had a higher pass-blocking grade than Foster’s 86.7 mark this year. On 457 pass-blocking snaps against some of the best edge defenders in America, the redshirt senior only gave up a 3.5% pressure rate. 

9. Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State Beavers

This season, Fuaga’s 10 big-time blocks were tied for fifth among all tackles in the country. 

At right tackle in his first year as a starter, Fuaga earned an 80.4 grade. At 6-foot-6 and 326 pounds, he possesses excellent upper body strength that allows him to toss bodies around in the run game.

10. Jordan Morgan, Arizona Wildcats

In his first year as Arizona’s starting left tackle, Morgan struggled to a 53.1 grade.

He turned it around as a junior with an 83.1 grade that was tied for fourth with Paris Johnson Jr. among Power Five tackles. On 420 pass-blocking snaps, Morgan only allowed one sack and two hits. He, unfortunately, suffered a torn ACL in late November, which should keep him out until at least the summer. When healthy, he’s the best returning left tackle in the Pac-12. 

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