2011 CFN All-Americans & Top Players - DTs
Purdue DT Kawann Short
Purdue DT Kawann Short
Posted Aug 11, 2011

CFN 2011 All-Americans and Top 30 Players - Defensive Tackles

Preview 2011 - Defensive Tackles

All-Americans & Top 30 Players

2011 CFN All-Americans & Top 30 Players
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Tight Ends
- Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers

- Defensive Ends | Defensive Tackles | Linebackers | Safeties
- Cornerbacks | Kickers | Punters | Kick Returners | Punt Returners 

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Note: This isn't a ranking of the top pro prospects. This is based on the seasons we think the players are going to have. 


1. Jerel Worthy, Jr. Michigan State
The anchor and star of the defense is Worthy, who has about 13 games left in his college career before he's off to the NFL as a top 15 draft pick. The 6-3, 305-pounder has good size and is extremely active, leading the team with four sacks and eight tackles for loss, to go along with 40 tackles. He got a little bit bigger, but he didn't lose any of his athleticism, and while he's not a massive space eater who can do much on the nose, he can be a terrific one-gap defender and a dream of a 4-3 tackle at the next level.

2. Jared Crick, Sr. Nebraska
The 6-6, 285-pound Crick went from being Ndamukong Suh's sidekick to being the main man on the defensive interior, and he proved he could handle the workload finishing third on the team with 70 tackles to go along with 9.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. The 6-6, 285-pound senior has a knee problem, but he's expected to be back and ready to go full-tilt to start the season and should be on most All-America short lists. A superior interior pass rusher with the bulk and strength to hold up against the run, he's active, quick, and a dream of a 3-4 NFL end who'll make a ton of dough in a big hurry.


3. Kawann Short, Jr. Purdue
With Ryan Kerrigan gone, the star of the line Short, a 6-3, 305-pound interior pass rusher of a defensive tackle and one of the best all around linemen in the Big Ten. A dominator in practices before last season began, he lived up to the hype with 41 tackles, six sacks, and 12.5 tackles for loss while also batting down eight passes. Despite being overshadowed by Kerrigan, he still came up with Second Team All-Big Ten honors and now should take another step up. He destroyed Illinois last year (as much as he could in a 44-10 loss) and he was terrific in the opener against Notre Dame, but his production tailed off over the last month of the year. Even so, the tools and the measureables are in place to be great.

4. Kheeston Randall, Sr. Texas
The Longhorn defensive tackles might not be as strong as usual, but Randall is a good one on the nose and should be a lock for All-Big 12 honors. The 6-5, 295-pounder is ultra-athletic leading all conference defensive tackles in tackles for loss with 13 to go along with 39 tackles. Great at getting to the quarterback on a regular basis, he met the sky-high expectations going into last year and will now have to be the anchor. Now he needs to step up his game with the double teams and the focus of every blocking scheme on him.


5. Brandon Thompson, Sr. Clemson
The anchor on the inside of the Tiger line will be the 6-2, 310-pound Thompson, a veteran of three letters and 25 career starts. He plays very low to the ground, accentuating an already powerful base. In his best season as a Tiger, he had 56 tackles, 7.5 stops for loss, and 15 quarterback hurries. After being overlooked by voters in 2010, he's headed toward All-ACC honors in his final year on campus.

6. Mike Martin, Sr. Michigan
It's not fair to blame the woes of the defense last year and the line on Martin, a high-energy, high-motor, nasty playmaker of a noseguard who made 37 tackles with 2.5 sacks and six tackles for loss. The 2007 Gatorade Michigan Player of the year is very active and is a great leader who can always get around the ball. At 6-2 and 299 pounds he has the size to sit on the nose again, but he can also work as a disruptive one-gap tackle in the 4-3.


7. Malik Jackson, Sr. Tennessee (DE)
The excitement up front of the Vol defense surrounds all the young, rising stars, but the best player on the line should once again be Jackson, a versatile playmaker who started the first part of the year at left end and ended up finding a home as a defensive tackle. The former USC star recruit made 18 tackles with 3.5 sacks in 2009 for the Trojans and was able to step in right away for the Vols last year and produce earning Second Team All-SEC honors. The 6-5, 270-pound tweener made 48 tackles with five sacks and 11 tackles for loss, and he came up with an interception for 44 yards against Memphis.

8. Marcus Forston, Jr. Miami
On the inside, the Canes have a bona fide penetrator in the 6-3, 300-pound Forston, the former blue-chipper who's just now hitting his stride. Somewhat stunted by injuries, including an MCL injury that'll keep him out until July, he managed to make 37 tackles, a dozen stops for loss, and three sacks in 2010. Explosive out of his stance, he has the quickness and strength to command two blockers.

9. Logan Harrell, Jr. Fresno State
The key to the line, and the defense, will be to find the right spot for Harrell, who has WAC Defensive Player of the Year written all over him. The 6-2, 280-pound junior is a natural tackle and a whale of an interior pass rusher making 10.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss to go along with 46 tackles. Moved around across the line throughout spring ball, he was tried out on the nose and as a big end, but he's a defensive tackle who's a perfect fit in a college 4-3 and will be better as a 3-4 end at the next level. He's too quick, too strong, and too productive, and he demands a double team on every play.

10. Tydreke Powell, Sr. North Carolina
Providing veteran leadership on the inside of the Tar Heel line is the 6-3, 310-pound Powell, one of last year's captains and one of two defenders to start all 13 games. Vastly underrated in this group, he's tough and quick, making a career-high 47 tackles, three stops for loss, and 2.5 sacks when the team needed him most. He's one of the unsung heroes of the D.

11. John Jenkins, Jr. Georgia
12. Sharrif Floyd, Soph. Florida
13. Julian Miller, Sr. West Virginia
14. Jaye Howard, Sr. Florida
15. Baker Steinkuhler, Jr. Nebraska
16. Chas Alecxih, Sr. Pitt
17. Alameda Ta'amu, Sr. Washington
18. Billy Winn, Sr. Boise State
19. Josh Chapman, Sr. Alabama
20. Joe Vellano, Jr. Maryland
21. Travian Robertson, Sr. South Carolina
22. Derek Wolfe, Sr. Cincinnati
23. Emmanuel Dudley, Sr. Troy
24. Kendall Reyes, Sr. Connecticut
25. Frank Trotter, Sr. Memphis
26. Scott Vallone, Jr. Rutgers
27. J.R. Sweezy, Sr. NC State
28. Dontari Poe, Jr. Memphis
29. Patrick Butrym, Jr. Wisconsin
30. Omar Hunter, Jr. Florida

2011 CFN All-Americans & Top 30 Players
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Tight Ends
- Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers

- Defensive Ends | Defensive Tackles | Linebackers | Safeties
- Cornerbacks | Kickers | Punters | Kick Returners | Punt Returners