2013 NFL Combine - Defensive Tackles
Ohio State DT Johnathan Hankins
Ohio State DT Johnathan Hankins
Posted Feb 22, 2013

Pre-Combine quick looks at the defensive tackles invited to Indy.

2013 NFL Pre-Combine

Top Ten DT Rankings

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 - 2013 CFN Pre-Combine DT Rankings, No. 11 to 25 
1. Star Lotulelei, Utah 6-4, 320 Proj. 1
Positives: There are no major holes. He's big, athletic, smart and tough. He's the total package. He might not be explosive, but he's a rock-solid as any defensive tackle in the last decade. … Has a nice array of moves to go along with his quickness and strength. Creative and relentless. … Will keep working to improve. Outside of injury, there's no bust potential.

Negatives: Can he keep his weight and body in check? He's not a massive-bodied 350-pounder, and he wouldn't be as good at the bigger size. He'll have to work to keep the pounds off. … Not necessarily a top NFL interior pass rusher. He'll get behind the line and should collapse the pocket, but he won't get to the quarterback on a consistent basis. … Needs a wee bit more of a nasty streak. Needs the attitude to want to be a killer.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? A cornerstone of a defense who'll be a fixture on the Pro Bowl roster.

2. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State 6-3, 335 (Jr.) Proj. 1
Positives: A gigantic run stuffer with a terrific frame and the body to take on double teams without a problem. He looks and plays the part. … Beats people up. He doesn't need perfect leverage to throw his man out of the way and make the play. Extremely tough and strong. … Can play any tackle position and fits any scheme. He doesn't have to just be on the nose.

Negatives: Not an NFL pass rusher. He'll get behind the line from time to time, but he won't be a disruptive force on a regular basis. His job will be to stop the run. … Weight is going to be an issue. He could yo-yo if he's not careful and quickly get up to over 350 pounds. He has to be disciplined and has to want to be great. … Needs consistent technique work. He won't be able to get by just on his tools and talent – he has to stay focused.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? Very big and very versatile with room to get even better. There's bust potential, but he does too many things at a high level to not be someone's franchise defensive lineman.

3. Jesse Williams, Alabama 6-4, 320 Proj. 2
Positives: Insanely strong. Forget about shoving him off his base – ever. He's the definition of an anchor on the nose. … Intense tough guy. A no-nonsense player who takes on all the dirty work. Lives to hit and has a high-octane motor. Never takes a play off. … Doesn't make mistakes. Make up for problems with brute force.

Negatives: Not enough of a pass rusher. He can be a 4-3 tackle if absolutely needed, but he's going to have to be on the nose. … Doesn't make a ton of plays behind the line. His worth will be as a run stopper; he might not be a three down defender. … Not a great athlete. He might be limited in what he can do when going against NFL interior linemen who can match his strength.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? Stick him in the middle of the line and don't worry about the run defense for the next several years.

4. Sharrif Floyd, Florida 6-3, 298 Proj. 1
Positives: Versatile with the ability to play any spot in a 3-4. If absolutely needed he can be used outside as a true end on running downs. … Has all the tools with good size, excellent quickness and the technique to destroy weaker linemen. He kills blockers who don't bring it on every play. … A potentially superior interior pass rusher. Smooth and quick off the ball with the first step to blow through the line.

Negatives: Mediocre production. He still has to learn the finer points of being a top-shelf defensive tackle. There's plenty of upside, but he's not a finished product. … Needs time and seasoning. It might take a while before he reaches his potential – not a sure thing. … Can be erased by double teams. Not a big enough body to hold up against teams that'll want to run right at him.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? He's too versatile and too talented not to find a starting home on someone's line for a long time.

5. John Jenkins, Georgia 6-4, 359 Proj. 2
Positives: HUGE. A massive man who takes up a ton of space and uses his body well against the run. He's the prototypical anchor for the nose. … Barrels over blockers. If he gets the slightest bit of leverage, he's going to make something big happen. … Has to be double teamed on every play. Has just enough quickness to go along with his size to be dominant at times.

Negatives: Has to be on the nose and can't play in just any scheme. He's not going to be a pass rusher in any way. … Gets shoved aside way too often for a player of his size. He doesn't have the quickness or the balance to get unblocked. … Has to get in better shape. He'll always have stamina issues and slight injury problems.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? He might not be a three down tackle, but he'll be the perfect addition to the middle of someone's line. He'll be a premier run stuffer with good upside if he gets in better shape.

6. Kawann Short, Purdue 6-3, 308 Proj. 2
Positives: Productive on a bad defense. Was keyed on by Big Ten offensive lines game after game, and he still came through. Creative. … A good leader who's well respected. He'll be a coach's favorite. … A nice interior pass rusher who finds ways to make things happen. A good football player who does the little things right.

Negatives: Doesn't use his weight well enough and can get shoved. He's not the most physical of interior presences. Put a double team on him and he's erased. … Doesn't have the prototype body. He needs to spend lots and lots of time with an NFL strength and conditioning coach. … He had to do it all at times, and wore down. He could be better when surrounded by more talent, but he has to make sure he's in shape.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? He might never be a star, but he'll be a starting fixture on a D line. He'll be a good part of the puzzle.

7. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina 6-3, 313 Proj. 2
Positives: Terrific size and bulk with the ability to be someone's anchor on the nose. An intimidating force with a great base and the right body type. … Was great at getting behind the line and making things happen. He might not get to the quarterback, but he'll be disruptive. … Physical. Doesn't get shoved off the ball.

Negatives: Not going to do anything on the move. He needs to keep going forward and has to hope the running plays come to him. He's not going to be much of an NFL pass rusher. … Old. Started taking football seriously late in the game. Already matured. … He can't cut and move if the play isn't coming at him. He doesn't have the athleticism to shake the next level interior linemen.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? He'll start in the interior for the next decade. He'll be a good value in the second round.

8. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri 6-3, 290 (Jr.) Proj. 1
Positives: When he wants to be great and when he's ready to turn it on, it's all there. Tremendously quick off the ball, he's an elite interior pass rusher who can wreak havoc into the backfield. … Overcomes his lack of size with technique. He uses his leverage and quickness to immediately get in the right position. … Fine as a 3-4 end or a 4-3 tackle. He'll be too athletic for most NFL defensive linemen.

Negatives: The motor. When it's off, it stays off. Does he want to do all the little things to be great? Consistency at the next level will be a huge concern. … Can be erased by the double team. When good SEC lines wanted to take him out of the play, he was out. … Not going to be a brick wall against the run. He needs to be on the move.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? There's too much athleticism and talent to fall out of the first round, but he's not an anchor and he's going to run hot and cold. Some team will have to take the good with the bad.

9. Bennie Logan, LSU 6-3, 290 (Jr.) Proj. 4
Positives: He's still growing into his talent. A former end, he hit the weights hard and now has the quickness and athleticism to be a good fit for any scheme. … Active. He gets to the runner easily and packs a punch. Quick and physical. … Moves like a much smaller player in space, but he's also strong at holding his ground. He handles double teams well.

Negatives: Size could be a problem. This could be about as big as he's going to get. He had to work hard to get around 290, and he might have a hard time maintaining his weight. … Wasn't really an every down defender for the Tiger line. He's going to need to be part of a rotation. … Not going to outphysical any NFL offensive linemen. He's strong, but he doesn't have the size to push anyone into the backfield.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? A high-end, big ceiling prospect who could be a cheap mid-round get. His quickness will make him a good fit for anyone.

10. Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern State 6-2, 341 Proj. 3
Positives: Terrific body and frame. He's built like an NFL defensive tackle with a strong base and the right build to hold down the interior. … Terrific production at the lower level. Dominated for years with the spotlight on. He didn't take plays off. … Versatile. Can play just about anywhere in the interior with the strength to hang on the nose and the quickness to be a 3-4 end.

Negatives: D-II. He was phenomenal against the mediocre competition, but it's going to take a while before he's able to prove himself against the big boys. … Has to bring the effort every single play. Got by on his tools against the lower level talent. … Can be engulfed. Just okay at getting off blocks. Stays blocked.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? His versatility and his quickness are enough to use in several ways as a good backup. Worth developing.

 - 2013 CFN Pre-Combine DT Rankings, No. 11 to 25