NFL Draft: Defensive Tackles
2. Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma) 96
If it weren’t for Suh, we’d all be singing McCoy’s praises right now. He would have been a lock first round pick last year and he came back and followed up his 6.5 sacks in 2008 with a repeat performance this year of 6.5 sacks. He is a top ten pick lock and could go in the top 3, along with Suh, the first time a defensive tackle has gone in the top 3 since 2000. He would be an ideal fit as a 4-3 one gap penetrator in a zone scheme defense but he can play the 3-4 as a defensive end and all 4-3 schemes.
3. Dan Williams (Tennessee) 86
1/30/10: Williams was a big disruptive force all game and really pushed the defensive line back in a big way. However, what really impressed me is, at 325 pounds, how mobile he is. He moved around great and actually covered a running back and prevented him from catching the ball out of the backfield. He also had a pass deflection. He can play any scheme, unlike Terrence Cody. He’s big enough to play 3-4, but also fast and agile enough to play defensive tackle in a 4-3, and he actually has experience in a cover 2 scheme at Tennessee so, despite his size, he can play that scheme at the next level. I can’t see him falling past Tennessee at 16, who needs a big defensive tackle to play in their cover 2 defense. I currently have him ranked as the top nose tackle ahead of Terrence Cody because of his scheme versatility, even though Cody is a better natural run stopper. Cody also weighed in at 15 pounds higher than expected at his weigh in which is not good.
Williams is the more versatile of the two elite nose tackle prospects this year as he can also play 4-3 defensive tackle and is a true 3 down nose tackle. He moves extremely well for his size and gets a great push up front, but he is nowhere near as physically dominant as Cody.
4. Jared Odrick (Penn State) 85
1/27/10: After Suh and McCoy go off the board early, Odrick makes a great case to be the next 3-4 defensive end chosen by displaying great agility, size, and hand use this week. He could also push Brian Price to be the 3rd defensive tackle chosen as well.
Very good agility for his size and good use of his hands to shed blockers, but a DUI back in March of 2009 could hurt his stock. He fits one gap penetrating schemes and also as a 3-4 defensive end. I think he actually would be better at the next level as a 3-4 defensive end which is good because a ton of teams have switched to the 3-4 lately creating a bigger need for natural 3-4 defensive ends like Odrick.
5. Brian Price (UCLA) 85
Burst onto the scene with 7 sacks as a junior this year and should be able to turn that into a first round selection. He may be a bit of a one hit wonder, but if he continues his physical dominance at the next level, he will be a very solid player in the NFL as either a 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end.
6. Tyson Alualu (California) 79
Not a great athlete, but makes up for it with hustle and work ethic which is a major plus for his draft stock in my eyes. He also has experience in a 3-4 scheme as a defensive end, which gives him an advantage over the other 3-4 defensive end prospects in this draft class. He has 13 sacks over the last 2 years and always seems to be in good position to make the tackle. He isn’t an ideal 4-3 defensive tackle at 4-3, but he’ll fit some schemes and can move inside on nickel packages. He can also play some 4-3 left end depending on how a team views him because he has experience as an edge rusher.
7. Mike Neal (Purdue) 79
1/30/10: Neal had a bunch of nice hustle plays that won’t really show up on the stat sheet and was a huge part of the front 7 domination by the north. He’s a big undersized to be a defensive tackle, but he fits perfectly as a Darnell Dockett type 3-4 defensive end and I think he goes in the 2nd round.
One of my favorite sleeper prospects, a 4th round pick in many people’s eyes, but a 2nd round prospect here. 10 sacks in 2 years is good, a 4.95 40 at 6-4 300 pounds is better, actually I’m surprised he’s not getting more hype, but the best thing about him is his tenacity and his hustle on the field. Some smart GM could snatch him in the 2nd or 3rd round so he’s likely going to a good home. He reminds me of Darnell Dockett.
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