1) Marcell Dareus, Alabama*
Range: Top 5
Synopsis: Big, physical, deceptively athletic, a hard worker, played in a pro system, and amazing instincts. What more could you want from a defensive tackle? Can play multiple positions and is a sure-fire top 5 pick.
2) Nick Fairley, Auburn*
Range: Top 10
Synopsis: Incredibly talented, but doesn’t come without baggage. A great athlete for his size, Fairley plays with a nasty demeanor. He needs to get bigger/stronger and clear up some concerns teams have with him.
3) Corey Liuget, Illinois*
Range: Top 20
Synopsis: More of an unknown prospect, but has everything you want from a 3 technique. Has a good balance of size and athleticism He only had one breakout year before declaring so experience is lacking.
4) Marvin Austin, North Carolina
Range: Late 1st – Mid 2nd
Synopsis: Oh where to begin. He was probably a top 10 pick before being suspended all season long thanks to the North Carolina scandal. Great size, an amazing athlete, and has everything a DT should have. Buyer beware.
5) Jurrell Casey, USC*
Range: Late 2nd – Mid 3rd
Synopsis: Left after starting 2 years at USC. He is relentless as a defensive tackle and uses brute strength to his advantage. He doesn’t have the size teams want, but he makes up for it with an outstanding amount of effort.
6) Drake Nevis, LSU
Synopsis: Probably one of the lightest/smallest DTs in the draft, but plays bigger than his size indicates. He’s a great athlete who uses quickness to win battles. His upside is limited, but he’s a hard worker and will be solid if in the right scheme.
7) Terrell McClain, South Florida
Range: Late 3rd – 4th
Synopsis: Undersized tackle, but quick off the snap and stout at the point of attack. McClain has come out of nowhere to put himself in the middle of the draft. His size and lack of strength will limit the schemes he can play in.
8) Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson
Synopsis: Too many Clemson DL have underperformed in the NFL to put him higher. Jenkins has good size and all the measurable you want, but wasn’t overly productive at Clemson. Could surprise, but I’d bet against it.
9) Cedric Thornton, Central Arkansas
Range: 4th – 5th
Synopsis: One of the top small school prospects at defensive tackle. He has decent size, a good motor, and the quickness you want from a 3 technique tackle. However, he hasn’t played top talent and will need to get stronger.
10) Martin Parker, Richmond
Synopsis: 4 year starter at Richmond who has put up great numbers for a tackle. He is good at stopping the run, but also has a good bevy of pass rushing skills. How he adjusts to the higher level of competition will go a long ways.
11) Colby Whitlock, Texas Tech
Range: 5th – 6th
Synopsis: Average size for a tackle, but played the 1 shade as a junior and NT in Tech’s 3-4 defense as a senior. Has a great balance of quickness and strength, but will never put up big numbers. Does the dirty work and a great team player.
12) Karl Klug, Iowa
Range: 6th – UDFA
Synopsis: Klug is the epitome of a productive college player who won’t get many chances in the NFL. Think of Klug as the defensive version of Mike Hart. His best shot will be with a team like Indianapolis who loves undersized DL.
13) Sealver Siliga, Utah*
Range: 6th – UDFA
Synopsis: Good size, but left after his junior year when he never really produced at Utah. He has some talent, but at this point is nothing more than a developmental prospect.
14) Ollie Ogbu, Penn St
Range: 7th – UDFA
Synopsis: Not very big, but he plays like it. His style of play actually matches someone about 40 pounds heavier. Can he overcome his size deficiency to find a way to make it in the NFL?
15) Ladi Ajiboye, South Carolina
Range: 7th – UDFA
Synopsis: Mediocre player in the SEC who has the size and numbers you look for. However, he’s stout at the line and is a tough, heady player. Most likely won’t do much but he’s worth a shot.