The position of Defensive Tackle can sometimes go unnoticed until there's a burning for it. There are definitely some teams in the league that have this burning need, but who should they take?
Obviously, Suh, McCoy and Brian Price the top at this position, will be gone. This position is an extremely deep and talented position, but here's a look at a few after McCoy, Suh and Price in no particular order.
Jared Odrick is a name most die hard and casual football fans are familiar with. In a stellar career as a Nittany Lion he produced 14.5 sacks plus another 24.5 tackles for a loss.
He's very versatile for a man his size and height as he can be a NT in a 3-4 scheme or a 3 technique in a 4-3.
Where he projects: Could move up on the board during the draft, but right now late 1st, early 2nd.
This guy was a HUGE figure in Alabama's 3-4 defense as a NT. As his height and weight suggest, the Mt. Cody nickname is definitely an apt one.
When he's in the middle you can forget about running as he's a premier space eating run stuffer. His weaknesses are obviously that he struggles with weight and is essentially a two-down DT.
As his lack of sack numbers suggest, he's not a pass rusher, but you can't ignore his game film when he's on.
Where he projects: Between 2nd and 3rd rounds. Possibly higher.
Jones is definitely your prototypical 3-4 end. He boasts a quick 1st step, good snap anticipation and good hands. While he's not a sack monster, he's solid against the run.
In the opinon of many experts he played out of position a bit at Syracuse as an interior D lineman, as he was often pushed off the ball, but displays good gap penetration.
Where he projects: late 2nd, early 3rd.
Atkins played great football at UGA. He exploded as a sophomore recording 7.5 sacks, but the following year faced double teams. He's either a 3 technique in a 4-3 or an end in a 3-4.
His struggles against double teams is the only weakness. Interesting note; he gave Idaho guard Mike Iupati a tough time during the Senior Bowl.
Where he projects: 3rd or 4th round. A steal either way.
Alaulu (pronounced Ahloo-loo) is the DT with the best motor in this draft. He ran a 4.87 at the combine and performed the best 3 cone drill as well.
Alaulu has the ability to play any position on the D Line. He recorded 11.5 sacks at Cal and led the Golden Bears in that stat.
Where he projects: High 2nd, but could fall as low as 3rd or 4th.
Image and stats courtesy National Football Post
Houston made an appearance in the NT game along with Mt. Cody. He also comes from the same place that produced Redskins DE Brian Orakpo.
Houston is being compared to Pittsburgh's Ziggy Hood, but is more powerful and can be used in more ways. He's a very agile 300-plus pounder.
Where he projects: a sure fire 1st round if in any other year, but with so many guys ahead of him, a 2nd to 3rd rounder.
Thomas played NT at UNC and possesses elite size and strength. He has no trouble taking on the double team and still making plays on the ball. He has great quickness for a guy his size.
While he didn't produce eye popping numbers during his collegiate career, a guy his size and strength is tough to find.
Where he projects: Mid 3rd, early 4th. Maybe sooner.
Smith put up some adequate numbers in a small conference. He finished with 12.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss. This versatile 300 pounder can play NT or end in a 3-4, but his best fit is an interior lineman in a 4-3.
Displays solid pass rush and bull rush moves. The biggest red flag here is that he seemingly lacks passion for the game. This can be changed if put in the right position.
Where he projects: 3rd or 4th round for sure, possibly lower
Troup garnered alot of attention at Central Florida. He is also a typical NT in a 3-4 scheme. Plays with a wide base and is hard to knock off the ball. He is indeed a space eating, run stuffer. He plays better in a rotational deal, much like the aforementioned Mt. Cody.
Where he projects: 2nd round possibly, but sure fire 3rd rounder.
Corey Peters started three years at Kentucky. He tends to get lost in the shuffle of the many elite defenders that are the SEC.
He's good at shooting gaps, pushing the pocket and reacting to blocking schemes, but doesn't have the necessary power at the point of attack t finish plays. Still a solid guy. He's here because of his high ceiling for development.
Where he projects: 6th or 7th
Baston is described as a high motor DT witha nasty mean streak. This alone nullifies his height and bulk concerns to play in either scheme. He is also a pretty disruptive run defender.
Where he projects: As high as 5th round or could go undrafted. He'd be a great steal if he goes undrafted.