Twenty-one offensive tackles have gone in the first round of the past five drafts, including three of the top four picks in the 2013 draft. So when NFL Network analyst Shaun O'Hara said during the NFL Scouting Combine that the top three tackles this year might even be better than the top three tackles last year, it makes you sit up and take notice.
NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock said each of the top three tackles this year is "big, strong, fast, highly athletic," and all three could be off the board by the 12th pick.
We decided to take a look at the top three tackles in this draft class -- Michigan's Taylor Lewan, Texas A&M's Jake Matthews and Auburn's Greg Robinson (we've listed them alphabetically because no one seems to have reached a consensus on their order) -- and compare their combines performances with those 21 tackles drafted in the past five first rounds.
Here's a look at how this year's top three match up (quite well).
This year's top three
Michigan's Taylor Lewan
Size: 6-7, 309 pounds, wingspan of 79 7/8 inches
Combine events: 4.89 in the 40 (unofficial 10-yard split of 1.64 seconds); 30.5-inch vertical jump; broad jump of 9 feet, 9 inches; 29 reps in the bench press; 4.49 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle; 7.39 seconds in the three-cone drill.
Texas A&M's Jake Matthews
Size: 6-5 1/2, 308 pounds, wingspan of 79 1/2 inches
Combine events: 5.07 in the 40 (unofficial 10-yard split of 1.70 seconds); 30.5-inch vertical jump; broad jump of 8 feet, 9 inches; 24 reps in the bench press; 4.47 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle; 7.34 seconds in the three-cone drill
Auburn's Greg Robinson
Size: 6-5, 332 pounds, wingspan of 82 3/4 inches
Combine events: 4.92 in the 40 (unofficial 10-yard split of 1.68 seconds); 28.5-inch vertical jump; broad jump of 9 feet, 5 inches; 32 reps in the bench press; 4.86 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle; 7.80 seconds in the three-cone drill
The 21 1st-rounders in past 5 drafts
2013: Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, No. 1 overall to Kansas City; Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, No. 2 overall to Jacksonville; Oklahoma's Lane Johnson, No. 4 overall to Philadelphia; Alabama's D.J. Fluker, No. 11 overall to San Diego; Syracuse's Justin Pugh, No. 19 overall to the New York Giants.
2011: USC's Tyron Smith, No. 9 overall to Dallas; Colorado's Nate Solder, No. 17 overall to New England; Boston College's Anthony Castonzo, No. 22 overall to Indianapolis; Alabama's James Carpenter, No. 25 overall to Seattle; Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi, No. 29 overall to Chicago; Mississippi State's Derek Sherrod, No. 32 overall to Green Bay.
2010: Oklahoma's Trent Williams, No. 4 overall to Washington; Oklahoma State's Russell Okung, No. 6 overall to Seattle; Rutgers' Anthony Davis, No. 11 overall to San Francisco; Iowa's Bryan Bulaga, No. 23 overall to Green Bay.
2009: Baylor's Jason Smith, No. 2 overall to St. Louis; Alabama's Andre Smith, No. 6 overall to Cincinnati; Virginia's Eugene Monroe, No. 8 overall to Jacksonville; Mississippi's Michael Oher, No. 23 overall to Baltimore.
Average size of the 21: 6-foot-6, 314 pounds
The five best 40 times: Lane Johnson at 4.72 in 2013; Trent Williams at 4.88 in 2010; Matt Kalil at 4.99 in 2012; Nate Solder at 5.05 in 2011; Eric Fisher at 5.05 in 2013.
This year: Lewan's time would have been third-best, Robinson's fourth-best.
The five best vertical jumps: Trent Williams at 34.5 inches in 2010; Lane Johnson at 34.0 inches in 2013; Anthony Davis at 33.0 inches in 2010; Nate Solder at 32.0 inches in 2011; Gabe Carimi at 31.5 inches in 2011.
This year: None would have been in top five.
The five best broad jumps: Lane Johnson at 9 feet, 10 inches in 2013; Eric Fisher at 9 feet, 8 inches in 2013; Trent Williams at 9 feet, 5 inches in 2010; Eugene Monroe at 9 feet, 2 inches in 2009; Nate Solder at 9 feet, 2 inches in 2011.
This year: Lewan's would have been second-best, Robinson's tied for fourth.
The five best bench presses: Russell Okung at 38 reps in 2010; Jason Smith at 33 in 2009; Matt Kalil at 30 in 2012; Gabe Carimi at 29 in 2011; Tyron Smith at 29 in 2001.
This year: Robinson's would have been third-best, Lewan's tied for fifth.
The five best 20-yard shuttles: Nate Solder at 4.34 seconds in 2011; Anthony Castonzo at 4.40 seconds in 2011; Eric Fisher at 4.44 seconds in 2013; Lane Johnson at 4.52 seconds in 2013; Michael Oher at 4.60 seconds in 2009.
This year: Matthews would have been fourth-best, Lewan's fifth-best.
The five best three-cone drills: Anthony Castonzo at 7.25 seconds in 2011; Lane Johnson at 7.31 seconds in 2013; Matt Kalil at 7.33 seconds in 2012; Luke Joeckel at 7.40 seconds in 2013; Derek Sherrod at 7.43 seconds in 2011.
This year: Matthews' would have been fourth-best, Lewan's fifth-best.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.