2012 NFL Draft Analysis - DTs No. 11-25
Cincinnati DT Derek Wolfe
Cincinnati DT Derek Wolfe
Posted Apr 13, 2012

From a college football perspective, here's the analysis of all the top DT prospects.

2012 NFL Draft Position Rankings

DTs - No. 11-25

By Pete Fiutak

- 2012 NFL Defensive Tackle Rankings - Top Ten

  11. Alameda Ta'amu, Washington 6-3, 348
Massive, he's a huge-bodied interior presence who managed to get in decent shape but stayed large. A leader and a huge character guy, he's an anchor who can fight through a line like a wrecking ball. While it's a bit of a stretch to call him an interior pass rusher, he's able to make things happen in the backfield even though he's glacier-slow. The key will be his weight – he could pack on bad weight in a huge hurry if he's not careful. Purely a nose tackle, he could be a nice value pick in a deep class of tackles if he can become best friends with the strength and conditioning coach. However, he became committed as his career went on and he appears to have the drive needed.
CFN Projection: Second Round

12. Jared Crick, Nebraska 6-4, 279
Extremely athletic, but extremely light for the interior, he's a 3-4 defensive tackle who could even be moved out to the end in a 4-3 if needed. Last year he was growing into a top-shelf prospect, but he was never right and was knocked out after suffering a torn pectoral muscle. Always moving, always working and always fighting, he has great hustle and a terrific motor. A pure football player, he'll always play though bumps and bruises, for good and bad. While he'll never be a top pass rusher and he's not a great athletic – he's a true tweener – he'll be a productive part of any rotation and could be a steal once he gets to 100% again.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

13. DaJohn Harris, USC 6-3, 306
Out of central casting, he looks the part. Very big with a great frame, he has the body and the size to hold up in the interior and be a top run stuffer. There's a world of upside and he could be a phenomenal talent with the right coaching staff keeping a fire lit under him. A good college player, but not a great one, he might just be scratching the surface with the athleticism to be used in a verity of ways. Getting in better shape is a must and he needs to work on his technique and his instincts. A true boom-or-bust pick, he might be able to find a niche in a rotation, he could be maddening. He'll flash moments when he'll look special, but they probably won't last long.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

14. Hebron "Loni" Fangupo, BYU 6-1, 323
The textbook definition of an anchor, he's a bowling ball with a great base and terrific leverage. Stick him in the middle and let him settle in. Ridiculously strong, he put up 36 reps on the bench at the Combine and translates the strength to the field. Not a pass rusher in any way, he'll be in to hold up against double teams and let everyone else have their fun. For good and bad, he's mature and this is it. 26, he won't have a long career, and he'll get beaten on and beaten up, but his combination of size and strength are rare. As long as a team knows that he's a two-down defender and doesn't expect anything other than what he is now, he should find a job.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

15. Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati 6-5, 295
The Big East Defensive Player of the Year got the honor on hustle. Always going 100 miles per hour and always working, he's a disruptive force who's great at screwing things up. A football player, he does the work needed in the weight room and on the field to improve and hone his craft, and he's one of the best interior pass rushing prospects in the draft. Athletic, he moved well in Indy and showed he might be able to play on the outside in a 4-3 if needed. There's no power in his game and he's not going to be a tight run stopper, but being a niche defender might not be a bad thing .At the very least he'll work to become the type of player who makes things happen when he gets the chance.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

16. Kheeston Randall, Texas 6-4, 293
A smallish nose tackle, Randall has no problems against the run and is strong, tough, and holds up well. While he might not be the perfect fit to anchor the middle of the line, he could carve out a nice career as a terrific backup who can find a home on first down and as a spot starter. A smart leader, he'll be great in the locker room and he'll always be reliable; he'll fight through the nicks and bruises. Not a pass rusher, he's a run defender and that'll be about it. However, he gets blocked a bit too easily. At 6-4, he's tall and he often plays like it getting a bit too upright.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

17. Marcus Fortson, Miami (Jr.) 6-3, 301
A phenomenal recruit who was a good college player, but he didn't dominate like he was expected to and now he's trying to come back from a knee injury. With NFL size, he's a big body who looks the part with the right frame; he looks the part. Even though he's large, he moves surprisingly well and isn't a stick in the mud. However, even though he looks like the prototype, he's not a rock against the run and can get shoved around a bit too much. There's upside, though, and he could be a much stronger prospect if he gets with the right strength and conditioning coach and if he can get healthy. There's upside, but he's a prospect who needs a lot of work.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

18. Mike Daniels, Iowa 6-0, 291
There's a lot not to like. He's short with a bad frame, and after putting on a little bit of weight he has no room whatsoever to get bigger. Concussions are an issue and might not last all that long if he's needed for a long stretch as a starter, and he can't be relied on for a full season. However, even though he doesn't have the right-looking body, he's a tremendous athlete who cuts on a dime and flies around like as pass rushing end. Great in the locker room, he'll make himself better and he'll be exactly what a coaching staff wants in a backup interior defender. There's a buyer beware tag because of his injury issues.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

19. Brett Roy, Nevada 6-3, 275
A tweener who doesn't quite fit a normal tackle spot, he'll have to carve out a niche as an interior pass rusher and a high-motor guy who makes things happen when he gets his chances. Either a 3-4 end of a 4-3 specialist, he could be a third down terror with a great burst off the ball and the energy to work for a play. Extremely productive, he was camped out in WAC backfields and couldn't be stopped. But this is it in terms of his tools. 275 pounds is about it, and while he's strong, he'll get shoved around against the run. He'll need the right fit, but he could come up with a long career as a key reserve.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

20. Jaye Howard, Florida 6-3, 301
A phenomenal prospect coming out of high school, he seemed like a sure-thing NFL star out of the box with the size, the athleticism, and all the tools to be special. Smooth, he moves well and he has big-time pass rushing potential depending on the scheme. However, he was just okay at Florida but not special. He gets shoved around way too easily, and despite his 300-pound size he might be just a pass rusher. With his combination of uncoachable skills he'll be a nice prospect, but he'll be frustrating. The production won't match the skills unless the right coach finds the switch.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

21. Logan Harrell, Fresno State 6-2, 274 Proj. FA
22. Rennie Moore, Clemson 6-3, 266 Proj. 5
23. Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, Baylor 6-2, 335 Proj. 5
24. Tydreke Powell, North Carolina 6-2, 309 Proj. 6
25. Travian Robertson, South Carolina 6-4, 305 Proj. FA

- 2012 NFL Defensive Tackle Rankings - Top Ten