2013 NFL Draft - Defensive Tackles

Posted Apr 17, 2013

From a college football perspective, the analysis of the top defensive tackle prospects.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Def Tackles

By Pete Fiutak
Follow Us ... @ColFootballNews 

2013 NFL Draft Analysis
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers
- 2013 Defensive Tackle Rankings

- 2013 Defensive Tackles - No. 11-25

2014 Top DT Prospects
1. Anthony Johnson, LSU (Jr.)
2. Louis Nix, Notre Dame (Jr.)
3. Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina (Jr.)
4. Leonard Williams, USC (Soph.)*
5. Timmy Jernigan, Florida State (Jr.)
6. Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State
7. DeAndre Coleman, California
8. Ashton Dorsey, Texas
9. Bruce Gaston, Purdue
10. Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
11. Khyri Thornton, Southern Miss
12. Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma (Jr.)
13. Villami Moala, California (Jr.)
14. Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech
15. Tyeler Davison, Fresno State (Jr.)
*Not eligible until 2015
2012 CFN Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DTs
- ILBs | OLBs | CBs | Ss

2011 CFN Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | FBs | WRs
- TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs 
- OLBs | ILBs | DTs | DEs
- CBs | Ss  

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs
This Class Is … fantastic, and really, really big.

Star Lotulelei, Sylvester Williams and Sheldon Richardson are all big, strong and quick, and Sharrif Floyd has the potential to be a superior interior pass rusher with a little bit of time and work. From John Jenkins to Johnathan Hankins, from Kwame Geathers to Montori Hughes, and throwing in the 380-pound T.J. Barnes out of Georgia Tech, this class is literally massive with a little something for everyone.

It's a new world of defensive tackles, and the SEC is showing why it's succeeding on such a consistent level with at least nine draftable interior playmakers and several other intriguing options. By comparison, the Pac-12 has Lotulelei and … Lotulelei.

Defensive tackle is a premium position now, and this draft will show why.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … Jesse Williams, Alabama
Most Underrated … Jared Smith, New Hampshire
Most Overrated … Sharrif Floyd, Florida
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Jomarcus Savage, Concordia College - Selma

1. Star Lotulelei, Utah 6-3, 311
If it wasn't for a concern about his heart – literally, his heart and not his desire to play – he'd be a sure-thing top three overall pick if not No. 1 overall. While he's not going to be a Haloti Ngata-like Hall of Fame-like rock in the middle, he's a great anchor who not only holds up well against the run, but also can get off the ball in a hurry and get into the backfield. Keeping his weight and conditioning in check will be a must, and he'll have to try to keep the pounds off to keep his quickness, but he's ridiculously strong and won't have any problems holding down the interior.

Does he have the fire and the punch to be great? He doesn't kick it in full-tilt for a full sixty minutes, and he was way too inconsistent considering he was often the best player on the field. He has the interior quickness, but he didn't generate enough big hits on the quarterback. He'll have moments when he destroys a line, and there will be other times when he's not heard from. Even so, he's a Pro Bowl talent who'll be a cornerstone of a defense is the medical problems aren't too much to overcome.
CFN Projection: First Round

2. Jesse Williams, Alabama 6-3, 323
A tough guy's tough guy, he's insanely strong who doesn't get shoved off of his base – ever. The working definition of an anchor, he won't put up stats and he'll never hit the quarterback, but he'll sit in the middle of a line, occupy two blockers and won't get shoved back. There aren't any frills to his game whatsoever as a no-nonsense, high-motor defender who doesn't seem to believe in pain or excuses. He'll slip way too far because he's not quick and isn't athletic, but if you can be Nick Saban's nose tackle on two national champions, you can play at the next level. Staying healthy could be a problem considering the beating he takes, but as long as he's healthy, you know exactly what you're going to get. Let your ends rush the passer.
CFN Projection: Third Round

3. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina 6-3, 313
With fantastic size and good toughness, he's an intimidating force with pure nose tackle ability and run stuffing skills. Put him in the middle of the line and let him stop everything up. While he's not going to get to the quarterback and he's not going to get in the backfield nearly enough, that's not necessarily going to be his job. However, he showed off shocking quickness at times at the Combine and he does everything he'll need to do to improve – he's a pro's pro who'll quickly become a leader of a line. The biggest concern is that this might be it. 25 this season, he's not going to change by leaps and bounds and he'll have to come up big – but not too big - right out of the box. If he looks at a double cheeseburger the wrong way he'll slip up to 330 pounds, but he's a good enough guy and a hard enough worker to think he could become a star for the next five years.
CFN Projection: First Round

4. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri (Jr.) 6-2, 294
When he's on and when the switch is flipped, he can be the most impressive defensive tackle prospect in the draft. However, the light is off way too often. There's no questioning his quickness off the ball or his pass rushing potential with terrific technique and explosion off the snap, and his athleticism is outstanding as a 3-4 end or a 4-3 tackle, but the motor is a problem. He disappears way too often and isn't big enough to occupy two blockers on a regular basis. If a blocking scheme wants to erase him, he's invisible. When the good SEC lines wanted to take him out, he was gone. There's a world of upside with Pro Bowl potential on sack stats, but he could be the type who'll have one or two big games here and there and then disappear for stretches. The attitude is there because he has the talent to be a star – just ask him – but the motor has to be going 100% all the time.
CFN Projection: First Round

5. Sharrif Floyd, Florida (Jr.) 6-3, 297
Versatile with the ability to play in any spot in the 3-4, he can work as an end and be a tough pass rusher or he can sit on the nose and hold his own as an anchor. A superstar prep prospect, it took a little while but he came through and showed what all the hype was about as a smooth, quick defender off the ball and the motor to kill linemen who don't bring it on every play. However, while he was a key part to a special run defense, the production and numbers weren't there and he hasn't yet reached his potential. On the good side, there's a high ceiling with Pro Bowl tools, but he's not a sure thing and can be erased by double teams and power ground games that run right at him. Even with all the concerns, there's enough talent and athleticism to be special with a little bit of time and patience.
CFN Projection: First Round

6. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State (Jr.) 6-3, 320
A gigantic run stuffer, he's a massive widebody who can be thrown in the middle of a line and eat everything up. A fighter, he'll beat people up in the interior and can use his raw skill and strength to ragdoll people out of his way with a relentless style and good fight. Now he needs to get in shape. The potential and talent are there to become a perennial Pro Bowler, but he needs to transform his body from squishy to hard, and he needs to get quicker and more athletic. Awful at times in offseason workouts, he has the skills to become an interior pass rusher and a disruptive force, but he needs to be molded into a hard rock and could stand to work at a tight, taught 310 to be more effective. Far from a finished product, the upside is limitless, but he needs tweaking and toning – lots and lots of toning.
CFN Projection: Second Round

7. John Jenkins, Georgia 6-3, 346
A big-time JUCO recruit for the Bulldogs, he was fine, but he never materialized into the superstar gamechanger he was projected to be. With rare size and anchor strength, he can sit in the middle of the line and hold up against the run by taking up a ton of space, but he has to watch his weight with the potential to balloon up to 360 without trying. As long as he can stay in shape and be disciplined enough to get his stamina and conditioning up, he can be everything a 3-4 defensive line needs on the nose. Don't expect any sacks and don't look for any creativity in his moves, but he'll stuff things up and be a nice two-down big man to work everything around.
CFN Projection: Second Round

8. Kawann Short, Purdue 6-3, 299
Productive on a bad defense, he could've big-timed it and shut it down in a dead year, but he didn't. Keyed on by Big Ten offensive lines games after game, he still came through and still fought the good fight as a team leader. Quick off the ball, he's a nice athlete with good pop and nice explosion on third downs when he gets to lock in and fire into the backfield. With nice size and good athletic skills, he now needs to get in better shape. Too fleshy, even after dumping around 25 pounds, the strength is there but he needs to be able to go full-bore for a full four quarters. He'll disappear for long stretches and needs get his wind up so he can last. There are concerns about his body and his full-time fire, but with the right coaching staff and in the right system that takes some of the heat off, there's Pro Bowl potential.
CFN Projection: Second Round

9. Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern State 6-1, 335
Everything is in place but the big school reputation. A bit too squatty and with the potential to balloon up to 350 if he doesn't watch it, conditioning is going to be an ongoing concern, but he's freakishly athletic for a player of his bulk and size. He's built like an NFL nose tackle, but he can be used as a pass rushing three-technique or even move a spot out if he absolutely has to. With his versatility and hustle, coaches are going to love what he brings down in and down out, but he still has to prove he can handle the big-time spotlight after shining in the D-II ranks. He needs lots and lots of technique work after getting by on his next-level tools and talent against mediocre competition, but the skills and upside are intriguing. It just might take a little time before he fully shows what he can do.
CFN Projection: Second Round

10. Bennie Logan, LSU (Jr.) 6-2, 309
He just might be scratching the surface and could turn out to be a huge steal in the middle rounds if he starts to slide. A former end, he bulked up to get up over 300 pounds this offseason while maintaining his quickness and athleticism. Extremely active, he works his way to the runner in a hurry and makes bad things happen when he gets there. A hard worker who'll do what's needed, he still needs to transform his body a bit and go from fleshy to fabulous, and he has to learn the finer points of the position, but there's a high ceiling as an interior pass rusher once it all clicks. He has the want-to and the attitude to get there, but a team will have to be patient for the payoff.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

- 2013 Defensive Tackles - No. 11-25