View Full Version : NFL Draft Dissecting the Draft: DT's

Tribal Warfare
03-09-2011, 01:48 AM
Dissecting the Draft: DT's (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/03/08/2707683/dissecting-the-draft-dts.html)
By Scott Garbarini, Sports Network
The Sports Network

As we nervously keep our fingers crossed that this week's extended labor talks will finally produce a new collective bargaining agreement, now's a good time to focus our attention on the marquee event of the NFL offseason -- the college draft.

Over the next six-plus weeks, the Sports Network will be providing a detailed synopsis of the top prospects for this year's draft, which will take place at New York's Radio City Music Hall from Apr. 28-30. We'll begin this multiple- part series by breaking down the defensive tackles, a position that once again appears to be well-stocked with potential contributors.

The defensive tackle class was particularly loaded a year ago, with Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh being taken by the Detroit Lions with the second overall choice and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy going to Tampa Bay one pick later. Suh more than justified his advance billing with a 10-sack campaign that earned him NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, while McCoy was having a solid season that was cut short by a biceps injury in mid-December.

No defensive tackle has been the No. 1 overall pick since the Bengals tabbed Ohio State's Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson in 1994, but that drought could very well end this year. With Carolina and Denver, owners of the top two selections, each saddled with major deficiencies along the interior line, there's a reasonable chance of the headliners of the 2011 crop -- Auburn's Nick Fairley and Alabama's Marcell Dareus -- becoming the first defensive tackle duo in the history of the draft to go first and second.

A closer look at this year's candidates:

1) NICK FAIRLEY, AUBURN Height: 6'4" Weight: 291 Age (as of 9/1): 23

No player has undergone a more meteoric rise over the past 12 months than Fairley, a 2009 reserve who stamped himself a premium prospect with a sensational senior year at Auburn. The former JUCO transfer established school records with 11 1/2 sacks and an incredible 24 tackles for loss during the Tigers' national championship run and was honored with the Lombardi Award at season's end. He's virtually unblockable one-on-one as a pass rusher due to exceptional quickness and athleticism, and can also disrupt the quarterback's lanes with his height and long arms. Isn't the thickest and sturdiest of guys for the position, but Fairley's biggest knock is his lack of sustained production, with some scouts questioning whether he's a one-year wonder who's truly got the drive and desire to be great.

PROJECTION: Even with those concerns about his attitude and motor, Fairley will be under serious consideration by both the Panthers and Broncos at No. 1 and 2 and won't make it out of the top 10.

2) MARCELL DAREUS, ALABAMA Height: 6'3" Weight: 319 Age (as of 9/1): 21

With a more complete body of work than Fairley and the ability to play anywhere along the line, there are likely a number of teams that have Dareus rated the higher of the two Alabama natives on draft boards. Was utilized as a 3-4 end by the Crimson Tide, but is also big enough to handle two-gap responsibilities as a nose on a three-man front and showed at the combine he's got the agility and explosive first step to potentially be an impact defender as a three-technique in a 4-3. The early entrant is a better run stopper than Fairley, but not as skilled or advanced as a pass rusher. Suspended the first two games of 2010 for receiving improper benefits, but contains no other character issues.

PROJECTION: A top 10 lock whose excellent combine performance will also draw significant interest for the teams choosing at the head of the draft.

3) COREY LIUGET, ILLINOIS Height: 6'2" Weight: 298 Age (as of 9/1): 21

Liuget is an ascending talent and one of the youngest members of this year's draft class, as he won't turn 21 until March 18. He's also one of the more athletic members of this defensive tackle group, sporting a proficiency to fire off the ball along with very good natural strength and a thick lower half. Plays with a lot of energy and hustle as well. Isn't as experienced as many of his cohorts, having spent only one season as a full-time starter with the Illini and entering the draft as a true junior, but there's little question the tools are there for him to develop into a top-flight 4-3 under tackle.

PROJECTION: Liuget's tremendous upside greatly outweighs his lack of seasoning, and teams picking in the mid-to-late first round will surely be taking notice.

4) DRAKE NEVIS, LSU Height: 6'1" Weight: 294 Age (as of 9/1): 22

Fairley was the SEC's most dominant defensive lineman this past season, but Nevis rated a close second after compiling six sacks and 13 tackles for losses as a senior, numbers comparable to ex-teammate Glenn Dorsey the year he was drafted fifth overall by the Chiefs in 2008. His burst, agility and effort are all first-rate, and can anchor at the point of attack as well due to good playing strength and a low center of gravity. A bit shorter and lighter than some teams will prefer, however, and that lack of bulk will limit him to a three-technique for clubs that employ 4-3 alignments.

PROJECTION: May not go as high as others listed below because of his size, but Nevis' proven production makes him a worthwhile second-day pick that will especially appeal to Cover 2 teams such as Indianapolis, Chicago and Tampa Bay.

5) STEPHEN PAEA, OREGON STATE Height: 6'1" Weight: 303 Age (as of 9/1): 23

Paea's game is all about power, and the Tongan import put on a show at the combine by bench pressing 225 pounds an astonishing 49 times to establish a new high mark for that category. His extraordinary natural strength is just as evident on the playing field, as the 2010 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year is extremely tough to move off the line and excels at clogging interior lanes. May be only a two-down player at the next level, however, because he's not a dynamic pass rusher, and can also struggle in pursuit on account of his speed and lateral range limitations.

PROJECTION: Teams seeking a run-stuffing 4-3 nose will take a long look at Paea. May not possess the overall ceiling as most of his competitors, but his superior strength and high character make him a sound second-round choice.

6) MARVIN AUSTIN, NORTH CAROLINA Height: 6'2" Weight: 309 Age (as of 9/1): 22

Austin would be at or near the top of these rankings if measured solely on pure ability. However, the blue-chip recruit didn't dominate like he should have during a rocky three-year tenure with the Tar Heels, and was forced to sit out his entire senior campaign after it was revealed he accepted improper gifts from an agent. A strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game did help rehabilitate his stock, and Austin further displayed his elite physical skills with an impressive combine performance. However, still needs to convince teams he's mature and committed enough to justify a high draft selection.

PROJECTION: A top 10 talent who's unlikely to hear his name called in the first round because of all the red flags, but will surely draw interest as a quintessential boom-or-bust prospect in the second or third.

7) PHIL TAYLOR, BAYLOR Height: 6'3" Weight: 334 Age (as of 9/1): 23

Considered the premier 3-4 nose tackle among this year's crop, Taylor exhibits the prototype build for the position and really moves well for a man of his size, so he's not just a two-gap plugger that'll be only effective on run downs. Still needs to improve both his technique and conditioning, though, as well as show a salary drive wasn't behind his strong senior year. Was an inconsistent player prior to this season and also has a checkered background, having spent his first two years at Penn State before being dismissed for an assault charge stemming from an on-campus fight.

PROJECTION: Taylor solidified his status as a top 50 selection by acquitting himself well on the workout circuit, and if a team prioritizes the nose tackle spot in the draft and is comfortable with his past, a first-round designation isn't out of the question.

SLEEPER: KENRICK ELLIS, HAMPTON Height: 6'5" Weight: 346 Age (as of 9/1): 23

Ellis' massive frame would be enough to garner the attention of scouts, but he's also an excellent athlete with the explosion and flexibility to make an impact as both a pass rusher and a lane-clogging run defender. Teams will need to do their homework on the South Carolina transfer, however, and not just because he's raw and played at a lower level of competition. Was kicked out of the Gamecocks' program in 2008 for a repeated violation of rules, including allegations that he failed a drug test, and was suspended for Hampton's 2010 opener for an unspecified reason as well. Those behavior issues don't extend to the playing field, though, as Ellis competes with both energy and intensity.

PROJECTION: Some teams will have Ellis off their boards entirely due to his previous transgressions, but the ones that don't will have a intriguing second- day pick whose future rewards may eventually be worth the risk.

Best Run Stopper: Paea Best Pass Rusher: Fairley Most Versatile: Dareus Underrated: Martin Parker, Richmond Biggest Risk: Austin On the Rise: Taylor Stock Falling: Jerrell Powe, Ole Miss


spanky 52
03-09-2011, 05:48 AM
As bad as I want a new center for the Chief's, I'd be okay with them taking Taylor at 21.

03-09-2011, 06:32 AM
I'd much rather get the most athletic OLB on the board or even an OT over another D lineman in the first

Quesadilla Joe
03-09-2011, 08:44 AM
A couple of the talking heads on ESPN said that Fairley had one of the most impressive Pro Day performances they have ever seen.

Great year to have the #2 pick. LMAO

03-09-2011, 10:01 AM
A couple of the talking heads on ESPN said that Fairley had one of the most impressive Pro Day performances they have ever seen.

Great year to have the #2 pick. LMAO

He has bust written all over him. I sure hope you guys take him.
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03-09-2011, 10:36 AM
That Paea dude is interesting. Upper-body strength like that is reminiscent of Curly Culp who could probably dominate even in today's game.

Teach him proper technique and you might have your NT.


03-09-2011, 10:49 AM
A couple of the talking heads on ESPN said that Fairley had one of the most impressive Pro Day performances they have ever seen.

Great year to have the #2 pick. LMAO


They say that every year.

03-09-2011, 10:50 AM
That Paea dude is interesting. Upper-body strength like that is reminiscent of Curly Culp who could probably dominate even in today's game.

Teach him proper technique and you might have your NT.


Im with ya. I'm really high on this Paea kid.

03-09-2011, 10:51 AM
Im with ya. I'm really high on this Paea kid.

There's nothing like having an NT who can pick up an NFL center and throw him into the crowd.


03-09-2011, 11:51 AM
There's nothing like having an NT who can pick up an NFL center and throw him into the crowd.


well I guess so when that NT is constantly out with shotty knee problems all he has time to do is sit around and work on upper body strength.

I wouldnt touch that guy with a 10 foot pole as my pick for a 3-4 NT.

03-09-2011, 11:56 AM
I have to say that I'm a little scared off on drafted d-linemen in the first. Sure the next one could work, but not one of the many we drafted in the first the past 10 years have done diddly shit. Glenn Dorsey is the best one and he plays ok, but he doesn't do anything special.

03-09-2011, 12:07 PM
Lets be honest here. Didn't the awe with Paea really start when he benched 225 49 times?

Fantastic! You're really strong but still light in the pants at just barely over 3 bills.

Yes I'd like to have one 330+ NT to go please. :thumb:

03-09-2011, 12:39 PM
Really dislike Liuget - the kid just isn't very good on tape. Paea is another to be wary of; check the history of combine bench press champions and see what I mean. I'd drop both of those towards the bottom of that list and slide Wilkerson in above Ellis.

04-11-2011, 04:01 PM
if we go d-line I'll take ELLIS.like the size of this dude and has good movement,will he be there in the 2nd?We need a receiver and a center this year too!!!!!!!!