View Full Version : NFL draft: Ranking the DT class by tiers

03-29-2012, 12:57 PM

NFL draft: Ranking the DT class by tiers

Wes Bunting, The National Football Post Mar 28, 11:01 am EDT


LSU DT Michael Brockers takes down Kentucky QB Morgan Newton.
(AP Photo)

Breaking down the tiers of defensive tackle prospects

Tier 1

Michael Brockers: Louisiana State (6-foot-6, 306 pounds)
He might be a little raw and could have used some more work at the college level. However, hes an NFL talent with "plus" upside but can also come in and play vs. the run at a high level right away. Should get looks at both the three and five-technique spots and in my mind has the ability to become one of the better defensive lineman in the NFL down the line.

Tier 2

Devon Still: Penn State (6-5, 310)
Put it all together as a senior. If you can keep him motivated, Still has the talent to mature into a very good starting caliber lineman at a number of positions in the NFL.

Alameda Taamu: Washington (6-3, 337)
This is the kind of guy who has the ability to anchor the middle of an NFL defense in either a 3-4 or 4-3 front. Needs to do a better job finding the football, but overall he looks like a starter who you eventually will be able to win with in the NFL.

Brandon Thompson: Clemson (6-2, 310)
A guy who should be able to come in and be a lineman who can win inside vs. the run game. Looks a bit limited as a pass rusher, but will be able to push the pocket and threaten gaps off the ball. A starting caliber 43 nose inside.

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Tier 3

Fletcher Cox: Mississippi State (6-4, 295)
I think his best spot might be as a 34 five technique who is able to penetrate and make plays off the ball. Hes raw and needs to learn to play with his pad level lower. However, as a potential five technique hes a guy who has the skill set to earn a starting role.

NFL Draft: Ranking the DT Class by Tiers

Dontari Poe: Memphis (6-5, 350)
Has a rare physical skill set due to his combination of flexibility, power and get off burst. However, hes still learning the nuances of the position. If hes willing to put in the time, Poe can mature into one of the leagues better interior presences. Nevertheless, because hes raw his floor isnt overly high either.

Tier 4

Jerel Worthy: Michigan State (6-3, 310)
A talented kid with a thick frame, plus get off burst and snap awareness to his game. However, doesnt shed blocks well when engaged and lacks ideal anchor ability inside. Looks like a one-gap type lineman only who could give solid reps at both nose and three-technique in a 43 front. But is going to need some time before hes ready to start.

Tier 5

Josh Chapman: Alabama (6-1, 310)
Has the making of a starting caliber nose at the next level in either a 3-4 and 4-3 front. Can consistently anchor on contact, is long armed and tough to move off the football. Also, is a better pass rusher than given credit for. Will likely fall because of medical concerns, but could be a real bargain because of it.

DaJohn Harris: Southern California (6-4, 310)
Improved his pad level, balance and hand usage as a senior and looks like one of the better senior DT prospects. Looks like an intriguing rotational guy with some long term upside to start.

Kendall Reyes: Connecticut (6-4, 295)
Displays some natural talent and did a better job at Senior Bowl playing with a lower pad level. If he can continue to play lower should be able to fight for a starting role in both a 34 or 43 scheme as a three or five technique.

[ Related: Ranking defensive ends by tiers ]

Mike Martin: Michigan (6-2, 304)
The kind of prospect you dont want to bet against. Is limited and doesnt have the kind of frame to get all that bigger, but I can see him working his way into a rotation as a 43 nose in the NFL and being the kind of guy coaches love.

03-29-2012, 03:12 PM
we need Alameda Ta’amu!!!

03-29-2012, 03:41 PM
Is this the NBA now where people come out too early to get a paycheck, even though they need more time in school?

03-29-2012, 03:46 PM
Wait, so according to this Ta'amu is better than Poe, yet some mocks have us taking Poe in the first while others have us taking Ta'amu in the second. If Ta'amu is the third best DT out there, do you think he will still be there by the time our second pick comes around?