2014 NFL Draft: Highlighting the Top 10 Defensive Tackles

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2014 NFL Draft: Highlighting the Top 10 Defensive Tackles
Steve Cannon/Associated Press

War daddies. That's what we call them. They're the anchors of the defense. The men asked to plug two gaps, stop the run and still get to the quarterback. They're defensive tackles, and finding a great one can change a defense overnight.

What do NFL teams look for in a defensive tackle? That depends on the scheme they run and if they want a nose tackle or an under tackle.

A 3-4 defense will want a big, stout, strong nose tackle to pair with longer, more athletic defensive ends who are built like tackles. If you're in a 4-3 front, it's most common to have one nose tackle and one under tackle.

Generally, one is a body built for stopping the run while the other is a smooth athlete with pass-rushing abilities. Sometimes, you get lucky and grab guys who can do it all.

A more in-depth look at what teams want at the position can be found in our "How to Scout" series, but if you're looking for an introduction to the top 10 players at the position in this year's class, you can find it here. 

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