2017 NFL Draft: Defensive Tackles

Defensive Tackles

Please note that some of these guys are DT/DE hybrids. Similarly, some of the players I am going to list at defensive end can play at tackle in a 4-3 defense. I just wanted to have some kind of separation for edge rushers.

Full Ratings available here:


Jonathan Allen: He could play pretty much any position on the defensive line, but I think I like him most as a 4-3 tackle or a 3-4 end. Dominant in college, even by Alabama standards. There are concerns he already has a lot of wear and tear on his body. Arthritic shoulders are a major concern, and could cause his draft stock to fall deep into the first round. Alternatively, he could be given a clean bill of health and go in the top five. I don’t have access to that data. If he can stay on the field, I have him as the #2 player in the class, behind only Myles Garrett. It’s a big if, but I think I’d pump the fist were he to end up in NY.

Malik McDowell: Hard pass. His best games were incredible. Dominated Notre Dame, forced Alabama to change their blocking scheme. Thing is, there weren’t enough good games. Was he hurt? Did he quit on his teammates? I don’t know. I do know that his interviews went very poorly. He is going to fall to the point where a team refuses to pass on his talent regardless of his bust potential.

Caleb Brantley: Without question he’s the weirdest DT I’ve ever seen. I mean that, and it isn’t even close. Watch him when he gets to attack. He loves trying to split a gap or get around a guy one on one. Looks like a surefire first-round pick. Now, watch him when he gets double teamed and can’t split or get around them. What the fuck was that? Did he just literally stop playing football? He must have gotten his spikes caught in the field or something. Wait, it just happened again. Dude literally gives up when he feels he can’t make a play. He also didn’t have great conditioning and had to come out of the game a lot. However, his best plays are incredible. He can beat the snap and go through the offensive line like it was made of butter. I suspect he’s going to fall a bit in the draft, so maybe he’ll provide a good value to the team that drafts him. I’m a little concerned about his bust potential though.

Chris Wormley: Dude is a shark. He just keeps moving forward, which made him the king of the coverage sack. I’m not knocking that. Even if the QB holds the ball, someone has to get there and bring him down. Excellent reaction against the run. Wormley was criticized for not being more dominant given his physical attributes, but I loved what I saw of him on film. I’d be happy to see him end up in NY.

Dalvin Tomlinson: Chose Alabama over Harvard. One year starter. Some concern about his knees. Very strong, with good initial burst off the line. Projected as a nose, but he can be a 3-4 end or a 4-3 tackle as well. Impressed teams at the combine. He should be a solid rotation guy for whomever drafts him.

Jaleel Johnson: Highest floor of any nose tackle in the class. Solid power, exceptional quickness. Very smart player who reads and reacts to the initial action very quickly. What he lacks is the next level of athleticism that it takes to dominate in the NFL. I still like him a lot, but know that the ceiling isn’t very high.

Montravius Adams: He’s a conundrum. He made Ethan Pocic look awful, and was a man among boys at the Senior Bowl practices. However, his film was only “alright”. He managed to improve every year, and his senior season was solid. He has the talent to keep improving and has a higher ceiling than anyone other than Allen or McDowell. The problem here was that while his straight line speed is top notch, his agility and reaction time was awful. Can that be improved with coaching? I don’t know. He improved his Senior year by increasing his effort/intensity. I’d have to defer to the coaching staff on this one. If they feel it’s correctable, go get him. If not, trust the film and pass on him.

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