NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings 2020: From The College Perspective

Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings 2020: From The College Perspective

2020 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings 2020: From The College Perspective

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Who are the defensive tackles who’ll matter in the 2020 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?


2020 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings

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It’s an okay group of tackles with a few superstars up top and a whole slew of promising-to-terrific starting prospects right after. It’s an amazingly athletic group of big men who can do a little of everything right, but there aren’t many Coke machines – gigantic guys who’ll just sit there and take up space, in a good way – and the power isn’t the same as it’s been in the last few years. Even so, this is a good class to get excited about.

From the college perspective, here are the top defensive tackles in your 2020 NFL Draft, starting with the ones who’ll be in the mix, and then diving into the five who’ll actually matter over the next ten years of the pro football world.

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15. Larrell Murchison, NC State

Size: 6-2, 297

The Good: Extremely athletic and quick, he might be undersized, but he can move. Always working and always grinding, he’s a producer who came up with 80 tackles with 11 sacks and 20 tackles for loss in his two seasons. He’ll never take a play off.

The Not-So-Good: He’s just not quite big enough. The bulk is missing to avoid getting bullied around by the power blockers. For his good combine numbers, he’s not quite as smooth as you might like for an athletic tackle.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Make him a part of your rotation and he’ll be fine. He’ll never be an anchor or a power tackle against the run, but he’ll always bring it. He can be a playmaker in the backfield at a good mid-round value.

Projected Round: Fifth


14. Raequan Williams, Michigan State

Size: 6-4, 308

The Good: One of the main men on a good MSU line over the last four seasons, he made 157 tackles with 11.5 tackles for loss and 29 tackles for loss. With great length and anticipation, he became great at batting down passes as his career went on. He’s got good enough skills to do just about everything you want in an NFL defensive tackle.

The Not-So-Good: He doesn’t do any one thing at a high NFL level. He’s got enough quickness and power to get by, but he’s not going to be anyone’s anchor and needs to be a part of a rotation.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: There’s enough to his game to take him in the middle rounds and expect enough versatility and skill to be a great part of a line. He might be a backup, but he’s got starting traits with the upside to surprise a bit if he’s surrounded by good bulk.

Projected Round: Fifth


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13. Rashard Lawrence, LSU

Size: 6-2, 308

The Good: He’s the alpha-guy with the make-up to make a D line his from Day One. Quick enough to get behind the line, and strong enough to bull his way into the backfield, he made 114 tackles over his last three seasons with eight sacks and 19 tackles for loss. His game is about his nastiness – he’ll take on everyone on the inside to make a play.

The Not-So-Good: He’s not quite the Coke machine type of tackle you want for the interior – he’s not bulky enough. He’s not enough of an athlete for the position to be seen as a consistent pass rusher, and he’s been banged up with an ankle injury that has to be all okay from the start.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: There’s just enough parts missing to think he’ll be a force with the move up to the next level, but you really, really want this guy as a part of your defense. He might not be the most talented player up front, but he’ll be the one who sets the tone and takes on the leadership responsibilities.

Projected Round: Third

12. James Lynch, Baylor (DE)

Size: 6-4, 289

The Good: A pass rusher with just enough size to work inside or out, he turned into a killer behind the line last season with 13.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss with 41 tackles. Don’t get hung up on his lack of bulk – he’s strong enough to hold his own against raw bulk. He’ll overcome his size issues with tremendous quickness.

The Not-So-Good: His game doesn’t necessarily work at the next level, at least as a tackle. He’s athletic, but he’s more of a powerful bull rusher who might be scheme specific as a 4-3 tackle if someone wants him for the interior.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He’ll keep on working and keep on getting into backfields enough in a training camp to push hard for a starting spot. He might not be for every defensive line, but he’ll adapt his style and use his tools to become a dangerous interior pass rusher.

Projected Round: Third


11. Marlon Davidson, Auburn (DE)

Size: 6-3, 303

The Good: Versatile enough work in any style as an end or a tackle, he’s a quick veteran who has been through the SEC wards for the last four years. Durable enough to last throughout his career and battle through the bumps and bruises, he played 50 games with 174 tackles with 14.5 sacks and 28 tackles for loss. He improved as a pass rusher as his career went on, but he’s strong enough to handle life in the interior in a 4-3 set.

The Not-So-Good: He’s way too much of a tweener. He played at under 280 pounds, but check in at just over 300 at the combine – does his weight matter in one way or another? His best fit might be on the outside, but he’s not a speed rusher.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: There’s not a lot of boom but there’s possibly a bust depending on where someone wants to use him. He’s a solid all-around D lineman who can start, but there isn’t enough about his game to stand out by NFL standards. On the plus side, he’s got enough overall skills to be a possibility almost anywhere on any line.

Projected Round: Third

NEXT: 2020 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings Top Ten

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