NFL Draft – Defensive Tackle Rankings

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7.) DaQuan Jones, Penn St (6’4, 322):  Jones struggled with weight issues early in his college career, but trimmed down before his senior year and showed more explosion and consistency last season. He looked much quicker in 2013 and flashed some pass rush ability at the Senior Bowl. Jones holds the point of attack well and can be an asset against the run. Jones’ best fit is as a 3-4 NT but could play the 1-technique in a 4-3. Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd round

8.) Will Sutton, ASU (6’0, 303):  It’s hard to know what teams think of Sutton. He looked like a first rounder as a junior (13 sacks) then gained a bunch of weight and became a run-stopper as a senior (Pac 12 co-defensive player of the year). He’s had success in both roles, but with his weight fluctuations I think teams will be wary of using a high pick on Sutton. If he can get near 290 pounds consistently, he could be a dynamic 3-technique tackle or 5-technique end. If he’s at 320+ he’s probably not going to be in the league long. Sutton is a risky pick but he’s talented and well worth a pick in the 3rd or later. Draft Projection: 3rd round

9.) Ego Ferguson, LSU (6’3, 315):  Ferguson is a great athlete and has tons of potential, but wasn’t as dominant as expected in college. He didn’t start until his junior year and while he excelled at stopping the run, Ferguson only had 1 sack in three years at LSU. He has good quickness and sheds blockers well, so it’s possible the pass rush will develop eventually. Good developmental prospect but I think it will take a year or two before he is a solid contributor. Draft Projection: 3rd round

10.) Anthony Johnson, LSU (6’2, 308): I was disappointed with Johnson’s lack of athleticism at the combine. He finished near the bottom of the D-lineman group in most drills and just didn’t look like he cared all that much out there. On tape, he looks like an intriguing mix of power and quickness, and somebody might reach for him before this point of the draft despite his poor combine performance and mediocre production in college (3 sacks). Draft Projection: 3rd-4th round

11.) Caraun Reid, Princeton (6’2, 301): Reid is extremely quick for a 300 pounder with polished pass rush moves and the strength to hold the point against the run. The ivy-league competition was weak, but Reid put up 168 tackles, 41 TFLs, 20.5 sacks, and 7 blocked kicks (!) in his three years as a starter and was Princeton’s first two-time All-American. The lack of competition is a legit concern, but when you consider that he put up those numbers against double and sometimes triple teams, it’s pretty impressive. Reid also took a big step towards erasing those concerns at the Senior Bowl; Against future NFL players, Reid dominated 1-1 drills and made an impact in the game with two sacks on consecutive plays, beating two different guards (Cyril Richardson, Brandon Linder) with two different pass rush moves. Reid also impressed at the Senior Bowl weigh-in, weighing 301 with no visible fat on his frame. Reid has the quickness, strength, and closing speed to be a force against both the run and pass. He is probably pretty smart too (Princeton!). Reid would be a good value pick as early as the 3rd round and should be on the Bears radar for depth at the 3-technique. Draft Projection: 3rd-4th round

12.) George Uko, USC (6’3, 275): Would have been a much higher pick if he had stayed in school another year, but is an explosive DT prospect who has starter potential once he gets stronger and puts on some weight. The more I watch Uko, the more I like him. He has a ton of potential. Draft Projection: 4th round