Top offensive tackles picked in USFL Draft

In rounds 5-7 of the inaugural USFL Draft, each team selected three offensive tackles to build the foundation of their offensive line.

Let’s take a look at some of the top tackles selected.

1. Pittsburgh Maulers – Chidi Okeke (Tennessee State)

Offensive lineman Chidi Okeke, shown with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The first offensive tackle to come off the board was an international-born player, Chidi Okeke. At 6’6”, 315 pounds, the Pittsburgh Maulers selected him with the first pick in the offensive tackle round with the hopes that he can protect their top quarterback selection Kyle Lauletta. Born in Nigeria, Okeke did not pick up American football until moving to the United States in 2013. Despite his inexperience, he became a highly touted high school prospect, being ranked as high as the #2 offensive tackle prospect in the country by 247 Sports. He joined the LSU Tigers but was never able to find his role on the team. He landed at Tennessee State University, where he thrived and was named 1st team all-Ohio Valley Conference in 2018. He later spent time with the Washington Commanders, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

2. Birmingham Stallions – Darius Harper (Cincinnati)

The next player taken was Darius Harper, who was drafted by the Birmingham Stallions. Harper has an interesting background as well, as he originally started his collegiate career playing basketball for Miami of Ohio, where he played for 2 years. He transferred to Cincinnati in 2018 and switched from the hardwood to the gridiron. He broke into a starting role at tackle for the Bearcats in 2019, and continued his strong play into 2020, earning an Honorable Mention in the All-American Athletic Conference. Moving on to the next level, Harper had a stint with the Los Angeles Chargers before being released before the 2021 regular season. At 6’7”, 308 pounds, Harper is still a young player who has the potential to become a key piece for the Stallions for several years.

3. Houston Gamblers – Brandon Hitner (Villanova)

Rounding out the top three is Brandon Hitner, drafted by the Houston Gamblers. Hitner played for Villanova University in Philadelphia from 2014-2018, earning plenty of starts at offensive tackle. After graduating, he went on to spend some time with the Los Angeles Rams, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, and the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks. The 26-year-old stands at 6’6’ and weighs 304 pounds. The Gamblers are trusting him with protecting quarterback Clayton Thorson in their debut season.

Here are the rest of the offensive tackles to come off the board in the 5th round.

4. New Orleans Breakers: Paul Adams
5. Michigan Panthers: Keith Williams
6. New Jersey Generals: Garrett McGhin
7. Philadelphia Stars: Blake Alan Camper
8. Tampa Bay Bandits: Tyler Catalina

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.