Rankings and quick lookaheads of all the defensive tackle prospects invited to the 2019 NFL Combine.
2019 NFL Defensive Tackle Combine Workout: Sunday, March 3
Here we go with the 2019 NFL Combine, with all the breakdowns and analysis of every positive and negative for all of the top prospects. This isn’t that hard. Just simplify it – who can play football well enough to make an impact at the next level?
The bigger breakdowns will come before the NFL Draft, but for now – again, from the college perspective – here are the pre-combine rankings for all of the defensive tackles invited to the big workout.
It’s one of the deepest positions in the draft with almost everyone on this list good enough to potentially start – and with the bulk superstars up top. Before getting into the top six breakdown, here’s a ranking of the best of the rest.
2019 Pre-NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Best of the Rest Rankings
Number in parentheses is the projected round drafted pre-NFL Combine.
22. Albert Huggins, Clemson 6-3, 308 (7 FA)
On just about any other team, he would’ve stood out as a star defensive tackle and would’ve had a shot to show off his tremendous talent. He could be a gigantic steal in the late rounds with the combination of toughness and quickness to become a starter.
21. Daylon Mack, Texas A&M 6-1, 325 (6)
The superstar recruit had a nice career, but didn’t come up with the dominant run many expected. He’s got the right base and the right bulk for the interior, and he can get into the backfield from time to time. He might not be a special pro, but he’ll be a nice late pick to work in a rotation.
20. Chris Slayton, Syracuse 6-3, 315 (6)
Quick and great at getting behind the line and coming up with tackles for loss, he’s got the size to and the makeup to be a terrific 4-3 tackle in a rotation. He’s not a big-time run stopper, but he has the tools and does just about everything well.
19. Trysten Hill, UCF 6-2, 330 (5)
The vocal leader and anchor of the great UCF defenses, he’s got the right size and he moves extremely well. He didn’t put up big numbers until last season, and then he started to get into the backfield more and he predicted at a higher level.
18. Demarcus Christmas, Florida State 6-3, 300 (4)
Good enough to grow into an NFL starter, he has the prerequisite skills, toughness, and quickness – to a point. He doesn’t have any special tools, but he’s got the body and the upside to be a decent flier after the third round.
17. Armon Watts, Arkansas 6-5, 298 (4)
After taking off under the new coaching staff, he’s looking more and more like a potential star at the next level – he’s just scratching the surface. He’s not bulky, but he’s strong, has all the tools, and he showed early on in the offseason workout process that he’ll be a factor in the mid-rounds.
16. Daniel Wise, Kansas 6-3, 290 (6)
A productive starter with a great drive and quick enough step to get behind the line, he’s a nice veteran who’ll be a steady and dependable factor on the inside. Keeping on weight will be a big problem, but he’s simply a good football player. He’ll shine if surrounded by size.
15. Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois 6-0, 318 (3)
A short fireplug of a defender, he’s got a great base and can’t be moved off of it. More importantly, he’s ultra-quick with a whole lot of tools, moves, and crafty ways to get to the ball. He might not have the ideal body or frame, but he’s an NFL starter.
14. Isaiah Buggs, Alabama 6-3, 294 (3)
All the tools are there, but he’s still a bit of a project. Ultra-quick, extremely athletic, and strong enough to be a rock against the run at times, he should be great in workouts. However, he doesn’t have the idea body type and he’s missing the raw bulk. He won’t be a superstar, but he’ll start.
13. Terry Beckner, Missouri 6-4, 305 (3)
How well can he hold up? The talent is undeniable with anchor strength and just enough movement and athleticism to play a variety of roles. He suffered a few knee injuries, and while he was able to come back and show off his quickness, medical evaluations will mean everything. If he can stay in one piece, he’ll be a steal after the second round.
12. Dontavius Russell, Auburn 6-2, 323 (4)
A rock-solid four-year producer, there’s nothing flashy about his game, but he’s a true interior space-eater who’ll make everyone around him better. Don’t expect him to do anything in the backfield, and he might be pigeon-holed as a nose tackle, but he’s the type of tough-guy bruiser every defensive coordinator would love to work around.
11. Gerald Willis, Miami 6-2, 298 (2)
One of the more interesting calls among the defensive tackles in the deep class, he’s not quite big enough, but he’s devastatingly quick and could have moments where he takes over the game. But he’ll get steamrolled over by NFL bulk. He won’t be for everyone, but find the right role in a rotation, and look out.
10. Renell Wren, Arizona State 6-5, 294 (4)
The college production was just okay, but with his frame, his NFL tools, and the upside to get stronger and better, he’ll be a favorite throughout the offseason workout process. Be stunned if he’s not the talk of the Combine after the defensive tackle workouts – he’ll look like he’s going a half-click faster than everyone else.
9. Greg Gaines, Washington 6-2, 320 (4)
A productive and reliable four-year starter, he’s got the base and the bulk to sit on the inside and eat up the run. All out all the time, he can get behind the line on want-to, and he’ll put up decent all-around numbers as a solid and safe mid-round pick.
8. (DE) Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M 6-3, 295 (3)
It took a while to get everything rolling, but he turned into a strong all-around defender on the line over the last few seasons. Versatile, he could end up as a too-quick 3-4 end if he doesn’t end up beefing up a bit and living on the inside. While he’s a bit of a tweener, he can find a home in any scheme.
7. Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame 6-6, 304 (2)
A safe NFL defensive tackle with the ability to crash into the backfield as well as hold up just fine against the run, he carries his weight well, moves like an end, and can play anywhere on a line. He might not be a true bulk run stuffer, but that’s nitpicking for a Day One starter.