2024 Big Ten OT Rankings: Oregon, USC Hijack the Top of the List

    The additions of Oregon, Washington, UCLA, and USC bolster the 2024 Big Ten Rankings, but several returners fill the list.

    The additions of Washington, UCLA, USC, and Oregon — particularly the last two — have shaken up the 2024 Big Ten OT Rankings.

    And with several top OTs, including Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu, off to the NFL, a talent void at the top needs filling.

    Big Ten 2024 OT Rankings

    10) Bryce Benhart, Nebraska Cornhuskers

    At 6’9″ and 315 pounds, Bryce Benhart is a looming tackle with the length to ride edge rushers around the arc. He is entering his sixth collegiate season and fifth as a starter at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers will rely on him to keep five-star true freshman Dylan Raiola’s jersey clean as he gets his feet wet under center.

    9) Riley Mahlman, Wisconsin Badgers

    Yet another massive Big Ten OT at 6’8″ and 320 pounds, Riley Mahlman has the footwork and hand usage to combat most pass rushers.

    Speed around the edge can give Mahlman issues when he misses with his hands, but his size and length alone stymie attempts to go through or around him.

    8) Josh Simmons, Ohio State Buckeyes

    The Buckeyes moved Josh Simmons from right to left tackle after he transferred from San Diego State, and it paid off for both sides.

    Simmons looked comfortable and clearly took to his coaching, cutting his penalties in half and improving his technique as both a run and pass blocker. With another offseason to hone his craft, he should continue his upward trajectory in 2024.

    7) Gennings Dunker, Iowa Hawkeyes

    After spending his freshman campaign as a backup guard, Gennings Dunker earned the Hawkeyes’ starting RT role last season and didn’t look back.

    Outside of a rough outing against Penn State — which, let’s be honest, isn’t much of a knock for a first-year starter at a new position — Dunker stood tall in pass protection and used all 6’5″ and 320 pounds of his frame to generate movement in the ground game.

    6) Jack Nelson, Wisconsin Badgers

    Had he declared, Jack Nelson could have been selected with a mid-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. He is explosive off the snap and loads up his long arms with overwhelming power at the point of contact.

    Nelson’s technique can waver from rep to rep and in between, but he has the physical tools to make up for those inconsistencies at the collegiate level and still dominate.

    5) J.C. Davis, Illinois Fighting Illini

    J.C. Davis became one of the Mountain West’s premier OTs last season after a promising sophomore campaign, and now he’ll protect the blindside against Big Ten EDGEs.

    He may have some growing pains early on, but Davis has the movement skills and length to stand his ground (see: Week 1 vs. Texas A&M in 2023).

    4) Josh Conerly Jr., Oregon Ducks

    The Ducks were Joe Moore Award finalists in 2023, so it’s no surprise they landed two OTs in the top five. Former five-star Josh Conerly Jr. is relatively undersized at 6’4″, 305 pounds, but that allows him to acquire leverage and maintain his balance quicker than most other OTs.

    He’ll never be imposing as a run blocker, but Conerly is more than serviceable there and should hear his name called early in the 2025 NFL Draft.

    3) Aireontae Ersery, Minnesota Golden Gophers

    Aireontae Ersery is an athlete at 6’6″ and 325 pounds, able to pull and seal off lanes for RBs to run through. He is the definition of a “people mover” in the run game, which overshadows his inconsistencies in pass protection.

    If he can continue to develop his hand usage and work to maintain his anchor, as he did from 2022 to 2023, Ersery could challenge for the OT1 spot in the 2024 Big Ten OT Rankings.

    2) Jonah Monheim, USC Trojans

    Jonah Monheim can line up anywhere on the offensive line and dominate, but he has played most of his career at tackle (both left and right).

    Mauling defenders isn’t rare for the USC lineman, yet he’s clearly spent most of his time in the lab fine-tuning his pass-blocking skills. He largely kept Caleb Williams’ jersey clean, and that wasn’t always easy due to the former Trojans QB’s pocket tendencies.

    1) Ajani Cornelius, Oregon Ducks

    Ajani Cornelius transferred in from Rhode Island and hit the ground running. Apparently, the jump from the FCS to the FBS, let alone the Power Five, was a small one.

    Oregon kept him at his natural right tackle spot, and he proved to be one of the best in the nation, allowing zero sacks and moving men against their will as a run blocker.

    2024 Big Ten OT Rankings | 11-20

    11) Myles Hinton, Michigan
    12) Hollin Pierce, Rutgers
    13) Marcus Mbow, Purdue
    14) Drew Azzopardi, Washington
    15) Corey Stewart, Purdue
    16) Trey Wedig, Indiana
    17) Alan Herron, Maryland
    18) Nolan Rucci, Penn State
    19) Josh Thompson, Northwestern
    20) Caleb Tiernan, Northwestern

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