If you are a true football fan then you love the trenches. The big guys that weigh just a little bit more than you, but are so much more faster and make A LOT more money than you do. Oh, and they have sweet cars, too.
Defensive tackles are so fun to scout because they’re all unique. To the average viewer, they’re just big fat guys that run forward for five seconds. If only they could see what I do.
This defensive tackle class is impressive. Do not go over to our safeties player rankings thinking that you are going to have a celebration afterwards. Stay here and analyze these winners down here for the defensive tackle rankings of the 2015 NFL Draft:
1. Danny Shelton (Washington)
Shelton is hungry. He’s hungry for space. He’s a space eater if you didn’t get my reference. I need to work on my jokes. But seriously, this guy is massive at 6’2 339, but plays with a good bend and gets great leverage. Top 10 is not out of reach.
2. Eddie Goldman (Florida St)
I tell you what. Have Goldman cut down to 325 and tone up and you’ve got yourself a Muhammad Wilkerson. Goldman is a beast who shouldn’t get stuck as a 34 nose tackle, although he could rotate if need be.
3. Malcom Brown (Texas)
To maximize Brown’s ability, you have to put him on a 43 defense in which he can be the NT. He’d still be able to utilize some of his quickness to penetrate, while also able to plug gaps. Get him in the weight room and he’ll be just fine.
4. Jordan Phillips (Oklahoma)
Looking for a 34 nose tackle? Look no further than Phillips who will gladly eat up space inside, allowing your linebackers independence. He could be a bigger threat as a lateral mover, but he’s going to play somewhere.
5. Carl Davis (Iowa)
His lack of a true pass rush keeps him from any first round consideration, but he’s still a “best of the rest” with his big frame and ability to penetrate with power and force. He’s still not going to produce right now.
6. Michael Bennett (Ohio St)
A big time locker room guy with a high IQ and passion for the game. Coming off of a huge National Championship team and about to become a day two pick at worst, Bennett is in a good place. But he’ll need to show that he’s more than just a two down player with his inconsistency. He’s got a lot of heart and fight that just needs some conditioning and drive in the second and third quarters.
7. Xavier Cooper (Washington St)
He’s a one trick pony as an aggressive pass rusher. But rushing downs he’ll be useless. If you’re in need of a situational interior pass rusher, Cooper is a stud.
8. Gabe Wright (Auburn)
I love Wright as a five technique player who can eat up blocks up front. He doesn’t have ideal arm length, but he’s strong at the point of attack and can find the running back.
9. Grady Jarrett (Clemson)
Another guy who’s going to flourish if utilized properly as a 43 nose. He’s got the power to shut down the run, is inconsistent with his pass rush, but can still disrupt. May be a two down player until he’s conditioned.
10. Christian Covington (Rice)
Covington leaving early was a surprise, but his ceiling is high. He’s just a bit raw and really doesn’t excel at anything. He’s a mediocre player all the way around with the ability to become a star in the next four years. If you’re an upside team with patience, Covington is your guy.