News

Print
RSS

Draft Snapshot: 10 Defensive Tackles to Watch

Posted Apr 22, 2018

The 2018 NFL Draft is just around the corner.

One of the league’s most important events kicks off with the first round at 7 p.m. (CT) on April 26 in Dallas at AT&T Stadium. The second and third rounds will be held on April 27 and begin at 6 p.m. (CT). Round 4 will start at 11 a.m. (CT) on April 28 and be followed by Rounds 5-7.

The Vikings currently have eight selections in the draft, beginning with the 30th overall pick. Minnesota went 13-3 in 2017 and reached the NFC title game.

Vikings.com is taking a glance at the top prospects at each position leading up to the draft.

Schedule

April 16: Quarterbacks

April 17: Running backs

April 18: Receivers

April 19: Tight ends

April 20: Tackles

April 21: Centers & Guards

April 22: Defensive tackles

April 23: Defensive ends

April 24: Linebackers

April 25: Cornerbacks

April 26: Safeties

Where the Vikings Stand

The Vikings have one of the league’s best defensive players in the trenches in Linval Joseph, as the mammoth defensive tackle has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons. But Minnesota added another big name this offseason when they signed free agent Sheldon Richardson, who has 19 sacks in 73 career games. Second-year lineman Jaleel Johnson could see an increased role this season. Dylan Bradley and Caushaud Lyons are also on the roster.

Recent Draft History (over past five years)

Total number of defensive tackles taken: 94

Round 1: 12

Round 2: 13

Round 3: 19

Round 4: 15

Round 5: 9

Round 6: 16

Round 7: 10

The trend has shown that defensive tackles are always going to be picked often throughout the draft. Teams could go for an impact player like Richardson, who was the first defensive tackle taken in 2013 with the 13th overall pick. Or they could try and find depth with a mid-round talent such as Johnson, who was a fourth-round pick in 2017. Teams could also take a flier on a Day 3 player with the hopes they turn into a solid contributor with a bit of grooming.

The Prospects (based on rankings by CBS Sports)

1. Maurice Hurst

Michigan, Senior, 6-foot-2, 292 pounds

Combine numbers

Hurst was diagnosed with a heart condition at the combine and did not participate in any on-field drills.

2017 stats: started all 13 games at defensive tackle, helping the Wolverines make the Outback Bowl; recorded 60 total tackles (25 solo) with 14.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks; added one forced fumble and two pass breakups; named a consensus All-American by multiple outlets; 2017 Team MVP and Defensive Player of the Year; First-Team All-Big Ten selection by coaches and media; Academic All-Big Ten honoree; Senior of the Week at Reese’s Senior Bowl

2. Taven Bryan

Florida, Redshirt junior, 6-foot-4, 291 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.98 seconds

Bench press: 30 reps of 225 pounds (tied for seventh among defensive linemen)

Broad jump: 9 feet, 11 inches (fourth among defensive linemen)

Vertical jump: 35 inches (tied for fourth among defensive linemen)

3-cone drill: 7.12 seconds (second among defensive linemen)

20-yard shuttle: 4.48 seconds (tied for sixth among defensive linemen)

2017 stats: recorded 40 tackles (19 solo) with 6.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks in 11 games; Second-Team All-SEC selection

3. Vita Vea

Washington, Junior, 6-foot-4, 347 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.1 seconds

Bench press: 41 reps of 225 pounds (second among defensive linemen)

Broad jump: did not participate

Vertical jump: did not participate

3-cone drill: did not participate

20-yard shuttle: did not participate

2017 stats: recorded 44 tackles (31 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four pass breakups, one punt return for 17 yards in 13 games (13 starts); Second-Team All-America by multiple outlets; All-Pac-12 First Team, Morris Trophy (best lineman in Pac-12), Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Academic All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, Polynesian Player of the Year Finalist, Fiesta Bowl Most Outstanding Defensive Player

4. Da’Ron Payne

Alabama, Junior, 6-foot-2, 311 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.95 seconds

Bench press: 27 reps of 225 pounds

Broad jump: 8 feet, 11 inches

Vertical jump: 28.5 inches

3-cone drill: 7.58 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.71 seconds

2017 stats: played and started in all 14 games; recorded 53 total tackles (21 solo, 32 assisted) along with a tackle for loss, a sack, a fumble recovery and four passes defensed; selected as the Defensive MVP of the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game; earned Second-Team All-American honors from the AFCA; named as a First-Team All-SEC selection by the media and a Second-Team All-SEC selection by conference coaches

5. Harrison Phillips

Stanford, Senior, 6-foot-4, 307 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.21 seconds            

Bench press: 42 reps of 225 pounds (first among defensive linemen in 2018)

Vertical jump: 32 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet, 7 inches

3-cone drill: 7.28 seconds (tied for fifth among defensive linemen in 2018)

20-yard shuttle: 4.50 seconds (10th among defensive linemen in 2018)

2017 stats: played in 14 games; recorded 103 tackles (37 solo), 7.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles; recorded career-high 13 tackles against USC in the Pac-12 Championship game; a team captain for Stanford; Pac-12 All-Academic First Team; FWAA All-American Second-Team (defensive line); Associated Press All-America Third Team (defensive tackle); Pac-12 All-Academic First-Team

6. Tim Settle

Virginia Tech, Redshirt sophomore, 6-foot-3, 335 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.37 seconds

Bench press: did not participate

Vertical jump: 23.5 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet

3-cone drill: 7.95 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.83 seconds

 2017 stats: played and started in 13 games; recorded 53 tackles (28 solo), 4.0 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss and had two blocked kicks

7. Derrick Nnadi

Florida State, Senior, 6-foot-1, 299 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.38 seconds

Bench press: 25 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 27 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet

3-cone drill: 8.15 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 5.02 seconds

2017 stats: played and started in 13 games; recorded 53 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10.0 tackles for loss and a forced fumble; named Third-Team All-ACC selection

8. RJ McIntosh

Miami, Junior, 6-foot-4, 293 pounds

Combine numbers

McIntosh did not participate in any on-field drills at the combine.

2017 stats: played and started in 13 games; recorded 52 tackles (25 solo), 2.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, seven pass break ups, one fumble recovery and a forced fumble; named Second-Team All-ACC selection

9. B.J. Hill

North Carolina State, Senior, 6-foot-4, 315 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.99 seconds

Bench press: 35 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 26.5 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet, 5 inches

3-cone drill: 7.28 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds

2017 stats: played and started in 13 games; recorded 57 tackles (20 solo), 3.0 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and three pass break ups

10. Nathan Shepherd

Fort Hays State, Senior, 6-foot-5, 315 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.09 seconds

Bench press: did not participate

Vertical jump: 31 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 4 inches

3-cone drill: 7.50 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds

2017 stats: played and started in 12 games; recorded 38 tackles (18 solo), 4.0 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss; earned First-Team Division II All-American honors by multiple outlets; MIAA Defensive Player of the Year; invited to Reese’s Senior Bowl