2018 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings: From The College Perspective

2018 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings: From The College Perspective

2018 NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings: From The College Perspective


It’s NFL Draft time. Finally. Who are the defensive tackles who’ll matter from the 2018 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?

Daily Five: NFL Draft Defensive Tackle

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Just an okay year for defensive tackles, there are a few fantastic prospects up top, a lot of good football players who are missing a few key parts, and a few tools-not-tape guys who require a big call to be made.

15. JoJo Wicker, Arizona State

6-3, 273: Way too small, he’s not going to be for every team and every situation, but he’s a dangerous producer in the backfield who could grow into a good third down specialist. A coaching staff will love him, and he’ll do absolutely everything to make the squad. He might be limited, but he might be the rare late-round flier who’ll pay off large.
Projected Round: Sixth

14. Trenton Thompson, Georgia

6-4, 295: He might not be massive, but he’ll hold up well and can get behind the line. Tough as nails, there’s no questioning his heart or desire, but he’ll get beaten on by the pounding lines. Always banged up at Georgia, he’ll never be a 16-game starter, but he’ll work his way into a strong backup job.
Projected Round: Fifth

13. Kendrick Norton, Miami

6-3, 312: Very aggressive with good interior pass rushing skills, he’s a big body with the production to be a very good, very reliable part of a rotation. He might not be all that quick, but he finds his way to the ball by always going full-tilt. He might not be the most talented player, but he makes things happen.
Projected Round: Fourth

12. Deadrin Senat, USF

6-0, 314: Short and stumpy, he won’t do anything flashy and he won’t fill up a stat-sheet, but good luck moving him off his base. The effort is always there to take on the double team and be a true anchor – just don’t expect him to get behind the line. He’s always going to beat up interior linemen.
Projected Round: Fourth

11. Breeland Speaks, Ole Miss

6-3, 285: A bit too small to eat up any space and gum up the works against the run, but he’s a pass rusher who knows how to change games once he turns on the motor. It took a while before he lived up to his potential, and then he showed what he could do. For good and for bad, he could become an emotional tone-setter for a line – he’s got the fire.
Projected Round: Fourth

10. RJ McIntosh, Miami

6-4, 293: Likely to be undervalued because he’s more like an end playing tackle, he’s a terrific interior pass rusher who does a fantastic job of screwing things up. He moves well, is quick off the ball, and keeps coming play after play. Once he hits an NFL weightroom for a few years, look out.
Projected Round: Fourth 

9. Tim Settle, Virginia Tech

6-3, 335: The NFL is going to love sticking his body on the interior of a D line. With his bulk, he’s a true nose who isn’t bad at getting into the backfield when needed. As long as he’s able to keep his weight from ballooning up, he can play anywhere on the interior and do his best work eating up the run.
Projected Round: Third

8. Nathan Shepherd, Fort Hays State

6-5, 315: The right size with the right frame and the right measurables, he’s a late-bloomer who kept his athleticism. He’s a dangerous pass rusher with a world of upside if allowed a year or two to develop, but it’s all there. There’s a chance he’s a first round talent wrapped up in a third round selection, but some defensive coordinator is going to scream and yell to get him in the top 50.
Projected Round: Third

7. B.J. Hill, NC State

6-4, 315: He never got a whole lot of national attention with Bradley Chubb on the outside, but he’s extremely athletic, great against the run, and is a good, sound interior presence. He doesn’t do anything at a must-have, superstar level, but he does a little bit of everything right. He can grow into a good starter, and/or a great part of a rotation.
Projected Round: Third

6. Derrick Nnadi, Florida State

6-1, 299: He doesn’t look right, he doesn’t have the right body, and he doesn’t have the superstar NFL tools. If you can get past all of that, he’s simply a fantastic football player who works his tail off, finds his way into plays, and always seems to show up when needed.
Projected Round: Third

5. Harrison Phillips, Stanford

6-4, 307: Way strong, way tough, and with a motor that won’t quit, he makes himself into a good, productive presence on the inside.

Tough as nails, he’s a mauler who loves to get physical and is great at taking advantage of every mistake. Throw in the right technique to do the right thing  every time out, and he’ll make a coaching staff happy by always bringing the effort.

Ultra-productive, he led the Cardinal with 102 tackles last season with seven sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss, but don’t expect him to be a pass rusher at the next level.

He’s hardly a perfect prospect, with a different sort of body type for an NFL tackle, little next-level athleticism when it comes to getting on the move, and with most of his production coming from the Stanford scheme and busting his tail.

He’ll be fine. Not amazing, but he’ll be a good part of a line.

Projected Round: Third
Real Value: Top 100

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