June 23, 2024

Alabama’s JC Latham hasn’t been widely regarded as the top offensive tackle prospect (OT1) in the 2024 NFL Draft process so far. However, on the day of the draft, two well-connected league reporters are predicting that he could be selected in the Top 5 and become the first tackle off the board.

JC Latham - Football - Alabama Athletics

The NFL draft’s offensive line class this year is exceptionally strong, making it challenging for a clear consensus to emerge. While many evaluators initially favored Joe Alt from Notre Dame as the top offensive tackle (OT1), the spotlight shifted to Olu Fashanu from Penn State for a significant portion of the year. However, on draft day, several NFL insiders have unveiled their final mock drafts, positioning Alabama’s JC Latham as OT1 and a potential top-five pick.

Peter Schrager of NFL Network, known for his insider connections, has suggested that Latham could be selected as high as No. 5 by the Chargers under the leadership of Jim Harbaugh. This assertion carries significant weight given Schrager’s credibility. Similarly, Daniel Jeremiah, a draft analyst for NFL Network and commentator for the LA Chargers radio network, has echoed the sentiment, further emphasizing Latham’s potential as a top prospect.

At the outset of the 2023 season, Alabama faced significant challenges with its offensive line, impacting quarterback Jalen Milroe. However, as the season progressed, the unit led by Latham emerged as a strength for the Crimson Tide. Many of the sacks incurred were attributed to either Milroe’s performance or the performance of Latham’s counterpart on the opposite side of the line.

Alabama allowed a total of 120 pressures on the quarterback during the previous year, with left tackle Kadyn Proctor accounting for 36 of those pressures. In contrast, Latham, operating at right tackle, only conceded nine pressures over 874 snaps. With his imposing physical stature at 6-foot-5 and 342 pounds, Latham is ideally suited for Jim Harbaugh’s run-oriented offensive scheme.

The Los Angeles Chargers have faced challenges during the offseason, losing both Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, making the wide receiver position a significant area of need. However, the right tackle position is also a concern. The team has struggled to find a suitable player opposite the dominant left tackle Rashawn Slater, who has excelled since joining the team from Northwestern in 2021. Given Latham’s traditional role as a right tackle, he may be the preferred choice for the Chargers over players like Alt and Fashanu, who primarily played on the left side during their collegiate careers.Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman JC Latham (J.C. Latham),

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