Three weeks prior to the draft the Philadelphia Eagles announced that Beau Allen tore his pectoral muscle and could be out for as long as the early portion of the regular season. After losing Bennie Logan to free agency the Eagles had become pretty thin at tackle. Trading for Timmy Jernigan helped, but with Allen’s 2017 production a big question mark, you can bet this team will be targeting a lot of tackles in the draft.
The defensive tackle class as a whole doesn’t wow you, but there is decent depth throughout the draft. You can get quality interior rushes and gap stuffers in all 7 rounds this year and I can’t say that about most positions in this draft.
I couldn’t tell you what round the Eagles will take a defensive tackle because I think it’s going to be a value pick. I don’t think they leave the draft without one, but because of the depth here I don’t think they will feel forced to get one by a certain round either.
Defensive Tackle Rankings
1) Jonathan Allen/Alabama- I was really disappointed in Allen weighing in at 286 pounds at the combine. I think his regular playing weight is closer to 295, but it is a concern. On tape he reminded me a lot of Fletcher Cox. He’s got a nice frame with room to grow, he can beat his man playing inside or outside and he has a lot of power. As for his shoulder concerns, I’ve been told it will be an issue later on down the road for him, not early in his football career. It could lead him to retiring a little bit early, but not something that would keep him off the field much before he hits 30.
2) Montravius Adams/Auburn- At times Adams looked like a legit first round prospect and at other times he looks like a day 3 player. His pad level is the culprit for that. He gets something locked up when his pad level gets too high and he didn’t dominate at the college level like he is capable of. When he is on, he is a powerful and explosive tackle that can dominate games and wreak havoc in the backfield. The right coach will turn this guy into a top 5 tackle in this league.
3) Carlos Watkins/Clemson- He was consistently the best player on the field when I watched Clemson’s defense. He’s strong, quick, and well coached. He’s ideal in this defense because he can beat his man with quickness and he can be stout against the run. He can take on double teams or expose the blocking if he only has to beat one guard or center. He reminds me of a slightly quicker Bennie Logan.
4) Malik McDowell/Michigan State- The freak of this group, McDowell showed more speed at 295 pounds than most defensive ends in this class. He played both end and tackle in college and looked natural at both spots. He’s really long with a good bend and has good power inside. He can beat you in a lot of ways, but his consistent effort and technique are big question marks.
5) Caleb Brantley/Florida- I love him as a pass rusher, but see him as a poor run defender. Great sub-package guy, really quick inside, good defensive end to have in 3 man rush packages. He’ll have a similar role to Grady Jarrett in that he will be a very good interior pass rush who will have big games against teams that are pass heavy.
6) Dalvin Tomlinson/Alabama- An ideal 4-3 nose tackle or run stuffer. Could take on the Beau Allen role in Philly if he isn’t ready for the start of the season. He’s a good base DT, but not someone who will get a ton of snaps on passing downs or sub-packages. Still, he will hold more value here facing Dallas twice a year. Philly can’t get too finesse with their front when you face a physical rushing attack like that for the division every year.
7) Jaleel Johnson/Iowa- Another tough run defender. Johnson has a ton of upper body strength and uses his hands well. He’s not a great athlete and he gets eaten up by double teams at times, but a lot of that will improve with a lower pad level and adding more strength to his lower body. He projects as a solid base DT at the very least.
8) Chris Wormley/Michigan- Maybe the most versatile lineman in this draft. He’s 6’5, 297 and played end and tackle in college. He can be an athletic player you move around on your line or you can bulk up his frame and develop him into a really good defensive tackle and there is a ton of value in either role.
9) Larry Ogunjobi/Charlotte- A very raw tackle with huge upside. He has a ton of power, but it’s the athleticism he showed at the combine that has me intrigued(4.97 40, 7.55 3-cone, 32 inch vertical).
10) Ryan Glasgow/Michigan- A good run defender who lacks explosion, but has pretty quick feet for a 300 pound lineman.
11) Eddie Vanderdoes/UCLA- Pretty agile for a big guy with a dangerous spin move. He can rush the passer and play the run, but his technique and pad level are all over the place. He gets taken out of plays far too easy and he is going to take some work at the next level.