2011 NFL Draft: Defensive Tackle Rankings

  1. Marcell Dareus*, DT, Alabama
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 306.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 5 Pick.

    Marcell Dareus can play for any defense, but is better suited for the 3-4. As a mere sophomore, Dareus notched 6.5 sacks in only four starts (Nick Saban habitually doesn’t play his young guys over his veterans). Dareus will start in 2010 and is expected to reach double-digit sacks.
  2. Nick Fairley*, DT, Auburn
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 296.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.92.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

    10/8/10: WalterFootball.com is maintaining a conservative projection on Fairley until we see some tape. The size, speed and athleticism is there. He has been a monster for Auburn this year with 22 tackles, 11.5 TFL, five sacks and 12 hurries. However, there will always be time to move him up the 2011 NFL Draft Board if he is in fact a locked-in first-round pick next April.
  3. Jurrell Casey*, DT, USC
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 295.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.04.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

    10/8/10: Teams seem to be focusing more in on Casey this season by bringing double teams and chipping the running back to prevent him from being as effective as a pass-rusher. Maybe we also overrated his talent level last season. Whatever the case, his stock is quietly falling.

    5/6/10: A 4-3 under tackle only, Jurrell Casey is expected to have a big junior year; he collected nine TFL and 4.5 sacks in 2009.

  4. Lawrence Guy*, DT, Arizona State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 293.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.91
    Projected Round (2011): 2.

    10/8/10: Guy has excellent strength, speed and a great motor, but we really saw on the Wisconsin tape that Guy struggles when run at. He was mauled by the Badger front and gets overwhelmed against bigger, stronger linemen. However, his pass-rush ability, athleticism and motor enable him to play the 3-technique position though he still seems like a liability against the run.
  5. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.05.
    Projected Round (2011): 2.

    10/8/10: Paea looks like one of the more overrated prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft, but I doubt he gets out of the second round. He has great weight room strength and is a load to deal with because of his competitiveness, but he lacks athleticism to make plays and he isn’t much of a penetrator. When I watch tape, I see a 1-technique only – someone who lines up on the shoulder of the center and generally stuffs the run for a 4-3 defense.

    5/6/10: A 4-3 under tackle only, Stephen Paea had 8.5 TFL and three sacks as a junior.

  6. Jared Crick*, DE/DT, Nebraska
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

    10/8/10: Crick has shown some inconsistency without Ndamukong Suh, and his tape against Washington was unforgivably pathetic. Crick is having a solid season, but he doesn’t look like the first-round pick we saw last year when lined up alongisde the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

    5/6/10: If Jared Crick has another year like 2009 (12.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks), he’ll be a top 15 lock. He’ll have to prove that he can get it done without Ndamukong Suh by his side, however. Crick can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4.

  7. Muhammed Wilkerson*, DT, Temple
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 301.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

    10/8/10: Wilkerson seems to have come into his own this season, consistently getting into backfields and setting the tone on the defensive line for Temple. Sometimes he gets too high and gets washed, but he can still improve as the year goes on and rise up boards.
  8. Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 305.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-4.

    10/8/10: Austin has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Butch Davis, and this is unrelated to the NCAA investigation of the North Carolina football team. Pictures and information have surfaced and there is now a mountain of character concerns surrounding Austin. Some team might take a gamble on Austin’s talent in the early rounds, but there is also the chance that 75 percent of the league removes him from their 2011 NFL Draft Boards.

    5/6/10: This year’s Carlos Dunlap finished his junior year with six TFL and four sacks.

  9. Christian Ballard, DT, Iowa
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 297.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-4.

    10/8/10: I’m not denying Ballard’s talent level. When he gets off the bus he looks like a first-round pick, but on the field he doesn’t play like it at all. He’s a finesse lineman who doesn’t like to get physical, and I’d categorize him as being fairly soft. Every once in a while he can be really dominant, but these moments are few and far between. As Mike Mayock would say: Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane. He projects best as a 3-technique where he can get penetration up the field and disrupt at the line, but his competitiveness and physicality must improve.
  10. Sione Fua, DT, Stanford
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 306.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.18.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-4.

    10/8/10: Fua has had an impressive season for the Cardinal doing a great job of holding up at the point of attack and taking on multiple blockers. He’s been disruptive and has right combination of bulk and strength teams are looking for in a 1-technique. He’s slowly rising up boards.
  11. Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 287.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.92.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

    10/8/10: On tape, I love Nevis as a prospect. He’s disruptive, competitive and quick, and always seems to be around the ball. The problem is his size is a huge issue at the next level and he looks like nothing more than a rotational lineman.

    5/6/10: Had an impressive junior season, collecting 11 TFL and four sacks.

  12. Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 310.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.93.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

    5/6/10: A big, athletic defensive tackle, Jarvis Jenkins notched six TFL and a sack in 2009.
  13. Kendrick Ellis, NT, Hampton
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 340.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.41.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

    5/6/10: Kendrick Ellis dominted Division 1-AA football, notching 15 TFL as a junior.
  14. Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 355.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.50.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

    5/6/10: Like Terrence Cody, Phil Taylor’s weight will need to be monitored. The prospect of adding a 355-pound nose tackle sounds nice until he shows up to training camp at 390.

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  15. Mike Blanc, DT, Auburn
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 297.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.06.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    10/8/10: Blanc is a little inconsistent and doesn’t always plays up to his physical tools, but some team will be intrigued enough with his physical skill set and potential to draft him in the mid rounds.
  16. Ian Williams, DT, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 295.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.11.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    5/6/10: Collected six TFL in 2009.
  17. Anthony Gray, NT, Southern Miss
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 314.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.22.
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.

    5/6/10: A solid nose tackle who earned an All-Conference USA honorable mention, Anthony Gray had 7.5 TFL and two sacks in 2009.
  18. Colby Whitlock, DT, Texas Tech
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 287.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.92.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    5/6/10: Was an All-Big XII honorable mention with 8.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks.
  19. Saia Falahola, DT, Arizona State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 298.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    5/6/10: Notched 7.5 TFL and four sacks as a junior.
  20. Cory Grant, DT, TCU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 303.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.05.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    5/6/10: Cory Grant collected 5.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks in 2009, earning All-Mountain West Second Team honors.
  21. Lawton Scott, NT, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 322.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    5/6/10: Perhaps the funniest random (and probably incorrect) stat you’ll ever see: At 6-2, 322 pounds, Lawton Scott maintained a 65.5-yard kickoff-return average. That’s right. But as Al Davis’ gargoyles will point out to their master, Scott did this on just two kickoff returns.
  22. Ollie Ogbu, DT, Penn State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.07.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    5/6/10: Undersized but productive, Ollie Ogbu had eight TFL and two sacks in 2009.
  23. Lawrence Marsh, DT, Florida
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 305.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.91.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/6/10: Really struggled in 2009; had just 0.5 TFL and 0.5 sacks in nine games. Hampered by an ankle injury all year.
  24. Chris Neild, DT, West Virginia
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 298.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.02.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/6/10: Had just two TFL as a junior. Very effective against the run.
  25. Derrick Hill, DT, California
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 302.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/6/10: In 10 games, Derrick Hill had 4.5 TFL and two sacks.
  26. Ernie Hodge, DT, Ohio
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 295.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/6/10: As a third-team All-MAC member, Ernie Hodge garnered 5.5 TFL and two passes broken up.
  27. Ted Laurent, DT, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 303.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/6/10: Ted Laurent had 2.5 TFL and half a sack in 2009.
  28. Terron Sanders, DT, Florida
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 309.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.16.
    Projected Round (2011): FA.

    5/6/10: Just two TFL and a pass broken up in 2009.

WalterFootball.com: 2011 NFL Draft: Defensive Tackle Rankings.