2019 NFL DRAFT DEFENSIVE TACKLE RANKINGS

  1. Quinnen Williams 6’3 295 Alabama Crimson Tide (SO)

STRENGTHS: Quinnen Williams created havoc every single week in 2018…Williams dominated the opposing offensive lines by crashing into the backfield consistently…plays all out, all the time—never stops…lightning fast off of the line of scrimmage…can get into the backfield before offensive lineman get their hands on him…quick, strong hands…a versatile defensive lineman who can play anywhere on the line…a very mobile prospect…

WEAKNESSES: You have to be a little wary when prospects seemingly come out of nowhere…Quinnen Williams only has one season of production—one year wonder..?

COMP: Fletcher Cox

OVERALL: Quinnen Williams broke on to the scene in 2018 in a HUGE way…no player had better tape in 2018 than Williams…dominating week in and week out in the SEC—there’s nothing left for Quinnen Williams to prove at the collegiate level…Williams has as high an upside as any prospect that exists in the 2019 NFL Draft…a lock top three pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

2) Ed Oliver 6’3 270 Houston Cougars (JR)

STRENGTHS: Ed Oliver jumps off the page with elite quickness and penetrates the oppositions backfield with ease…has a nose for the ball…Ed Oliver has extreme agility for a defender in the interior…high motor player who maximizes his effort…extremely productive player who provided a high level of tackles in the backfield…a very fluid athlete…

WEAKNESSES: You have to wonder if Ed Oliver can hold up to the physicality at the next level…originally compared to Aaron Darnold, that comparison has proven to be a bit much…Darnold was 285 coming out of college—Oliver may be just 270—big difference…most expect Ed Oliver to be a liability in the run game…did Ed Oliver take advantage of the competition he faced while at Houston..? Does not have the length that you’d prefer from your defensive tackles at the NFL level…

COMP: Tommie Harris

OVERALL: Ed Oliver is one of the more fascinating case studies heading into the NFL Draft…very productive and a very strong work ethic—you would think that this would be an open and shut case for Ed Oliver’s draft stock…given his weight and the issues you could imagine that posing at the NFL level—you have to wonder what effect that has on his draft stock…I think Oliver gets dinged a little bit here…he was once a lock for a Top 5 pick, I don’t see that in that has a certainty anymore…I do think there are many more positives than negatives when evaluating his game…so ultimately I believe Ed Oliver remains a Top 10-15 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

3) Rashan Gary 6’4 280 Michigan Wolverines (JR)

STRENGTHS: Rashan Gary is immensely talented—there is no denying this fact…a high-end athlete with a high level pedigree, Gary’s blend of power and speed is a rare find…Rashan Gary is very strong at the point of contact…able to shed would be blockers with relative ease…Gary is a heavy-hitter when he reaches the QB or the ball carrier…remarkably quick off of the line of scrimmage…has shown the ability to make plays in the backfield…

WEAKNESSES: Rashan Gary has been unable to put it all together during his collegiate career…his production has never matched up with the hype…the scouting community is questioning his motor as he runs hot and cold…at the time, he does not have an ideal position…a bit of a ‘tweener’—does he have the necessary speed to play off the edge..? Does Rashan Gary have the strength to play in the interior of the defensive line..? If he is engaged off the line of scrimmage, Gary has shown little ability to counter and make a play…

COMP: Muhammed Wilkerson

OVERALL: Rashan Gary is one of the more polarizing prospects heading into the draft…Gary was a household name coming out of High School—every college in the country wanted him—and yet, his production was never there…is he a ‘tweener’ without a true position OR is he a versatile prospect who can play a number of positions across the line? As it relates to Rashan Gary—beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m not as high on Gary as are most. Something about the lack of production causes concern, but also, many out there believe he will just adapt to the edge rusher position with ease—and I don’t see it that way. I actually believe he is a better fit as a 3-4 Defensive End o4 4-3 Defensive Tackle, where he will have to bulk up. I like his explosiveness off the line of scrimmage, in a straight line, but if you can get Rashan Gary moving side to side, you can neutralize his athletic gifts. At the end of the day, he is a 1st round talent, and a 1st round prospect, but I believe there are enough questions to cause his stock to slide to the middle of the 1st round in the 2019 NFL Draft.

4) Christian Wilkins 6’3 315 Clemson Tigers (SR)

STRENGTHS: Christian Wilkins is a versatile defensive lineman who can literally play anywhere on the line…at the point of contact—he tends to get off the first punch and causes the opposition to get off balance…plays with good balance…a VERY high IQ player…diagnoses the play—makes the play…one of the higher motors in this class—leaves it all out there on the football field…solid base…holds his own in defending the one…plays with great leverage…very quick off of the line of scrimmage…plays with great body control

WEAKNESSES: Christian Wilkins does not have the ceiling of some of his contemporaries in this defensive line draft class that is creating such a buzz…Wilkins does not have the length that you would like to see from defenders along the interior…has trouble getting off of blocks if he is initially stymied…

COMP: Gerald McCoy

OVERALL: Christian Wilkins is simply a very good football player…I personally like Wilkins more than most in the scouting community…he may not have the upside of some of his contemporaries—but he may have one of the higher ‘floors’ in this entire draft class, regardless of position…I do expect Wilkins to get dinged for his lack of length and high end athleticism, so don’t expect him to go as high as some may have originally projected…that being said, he looks like a lock to go mid-late in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

5) Dexter Lawrence 6’3 350 Clemson Tigers (JR)

STRENGTHS: Dexter Lawrence is another other-worldly talent at the defensive tackle position…moves extremely well for an athlete approximately 350 lbs…very strong…sheds blocks with his high-end strength with ease…the prototype for a Nose Tackle in a 3-4 defense…run stuffing dynamo…plays with a high-level of energy—consistently…if he gets his hands on the QB or ball carrier, it’s over…

WEAKNESSES: As high-end of a run stuffing prospect that Dexter Lawrence is, he does not offer anywhere near as much in the pass rushing department…in the pass-happy world of the NFL—this is a clear and definitive limitation…will Lawrence ever develop into anything more than a part-time player..?

COMP: Star Lotulelei

OVERALL: It will be a fascinating case study to see where Dexter Lawrence is drafted…in days gone by—Lawrence would have been a locked and loaded 1st round pick…the biggest issue is that Dexter Lawrence’s biggest deficiency is what may be more important than ever in the NFL that is evolving to a more pass-happy game than ever before…his pedigree and profile still suggest that he remain a 1st round pick, and that is ultimately where I think he is drafted–somewhere between picks 20-30 in the 2019 NFL Draft.

6) Dre’Mont Jones 6’3 290 Ohio State Buckeyes (JR)

STRENGTHS: Dre’Mont Jones will likely gain some positive momentum once we get to the Scouting Combine and individual workouts…Jones is a terrific athlete who is just scratching his potential…a physical specimen…good burst off of the line of scrimmage…plays with a nuance to keep the opposition off balanced…Jones is a versatile pass rusher—can get into the backfield with a variety of moves…can make plays up and down the line of scrimmage…good, quick feet…

WEAKNESSES: Dre’Mont Jones biggest area of weakness is the fact that he is a deficit as it relates to run defense…Jones plays with poor leverage…if the offensive lineman can get their hands on Jones first, forget about it…Jones has no counter moves to speak of…it doesn’t appear that Jones has a nose for the football…seems to get lose far too often…

COMP: Jonathan Hankins

OVERALL: After the ‘Big 4’ at the defensive tackle position, there really is a large drop-off at the position…Dre’Mont Jones has the ability to step up and fill this void…Jones is athletically gifted as they come and really puts his full pass rushing arsenal on display…the issues being that he does not profile as a high level run defender and he plays too upright—which will be a large problem if not rectified at the next level…I’m beginning to come around on Dre’Mont Jones as I personally feel that he can develop as a run defender, and he can be coached up to keep a lower stance, but his ability to create an impact in the backfield—that will always be alluring to NFL scouting departments…if Dre’Mont Jones shows well at the Scouting Combine, and I believe that he will, he will establish himself as a 2nd round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

7) Jeffery Simmons 6’4 300 Mississippi State Bulldogs (JR)

STRENGTHS: Jeffrey Simmons is dripping with potential…Simmons looks like the prototype you would come up with in a laboratory…fantastic length…plays with a ton of energy—consistently…causes many issues for the offense as he gets into the backfield on a regular basis…good at shedding blocks…brings several pass rushing moves to the table…

WEAKNESSES: Jeffrey Simmons is not the most physical defender…his leverage and fundamentals need to improve to fulfill his potential…he has a bad habit of overrunning the play and taking himself right out of it…would like to see him play with a stronger lower half…needs to improve as a run defender…needs to make a dramatic leap as a tackler…gets to the ball, but is just a hitter, more than a tackle, must wrap up…the recent ACL injury is OBVIOUSLY the biggest concern as you’re not likely to get much from Simmons in 2019…

COMP: Chris Jones

OVERALL: Jeffrey Simmons has established himself as one of the premier defensive line prospects heading into the NFL draft…leaving school early, Simmons is just now scratching the surface of the player that he could very well become…needs some refinement as a tackler and to improve at the point of contact as a run stuffer… but man he has the tools to be a force to get into a teams backfield and cause a myriad of issues…there is some concern given the off the field issue from his Highschool days, but many are willing to put that issue behind him…such a shame that he recently suffered this ACL injury that could cost him the entire 2019 season–I had him as a Top 5 player overall…given that this might be a red-shirt season, I would still select him in the 2nd round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

8) Renell Wren 6’6 300 Arizona State Sun Devils (SR)

STRENGTHS:

WEAKNESSES:

COMP:

OVERALL:

9) Daylon Mack 6’0 320 Texas A&M Aggies (SR)

STRENGTHS: The first thing that jumps out immediately from the film is that Daylon Mack is amazing as getting off the ball with explosiveness and quickness…remarkable movement skills for a 6’0 320 lb. man…very fluid athlete…plays with proper leverage…able to get under the pads of the opposition…very strong at the point of contact…good tackler, wraps up…

WEAKNESSES: At just 6’0—a lack of length may be a major issue when he is encountering bigger, stronger athletes at the NFL level…Mack does not have many pass rush moves, very raw in this aspect of the game…similarly to Dexter Lawrence, Daylon Mack’s lack of pass rushing acumen may force him into a part-time role at the NFL level…

COMP: Kawaan Short

OVERALL: Daylon Mack really does pop at times on film…he gives interior offensive lineman fits with how quickly he gets off the line of scrimmage…his ideal fit at the NFL level will be as a 3-4 Nose Tackle…really improved throughout his college career—there is something here to like about Daylon Mack’s game…there are also limitations, most abundantly is his lack of passing rushing ability…I would expect teams to view Mack as a potential rotation player…I could see Daylon Mack being seleced anywhere from the 3rd-4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

10) Jerry Tillery 6’6 305 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (SR)

STRENGTHS: Jerry Tillery was finally able to put it all together during his senior campaign…using good length and strength—Jerry Tillery gives opposition interior offensive lineman fits…his length allows for his to tackle ball carriers where others cannot…his strength allows for him to bully offensive lineman into the backfield…plays to the whistle…good frame—has the look of a NFL defensive tackle…

WEAKNESSES: Jerry Tillery was plagued by rampant inconsistencies throughout his career…Tillery does not possess the athleticism nor the quickness off the line to win and penetrate the backfield…not fluid, rather very stiff…is controlled at the line of scrimmage far too often…if you can get him moving sideways—you’re likely to win…plays with poor leverage, which allows for offensive lineman to get in on him far too many times…

COMP: Kenny Clark

OVERALL: Jerry Tillery finally put up some numbers that caught the attention of the NFL scouting community…many will point to the fact that Tillery played this season in the best shape of his young life…the question is—can he harness this advancement in his game, and propel it forward..? While I am encouraged with his development, I am underwhelmed by his overall game and athleticism in order to rush the passer. Jerry Tillery has the making of a value pick on the third day, sometime in the 3rd-4th  round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

11) Gerald Willis III 6’2 280 Miami (FL) Hurricanes (SR)

STRENGTHS: Gerald Willis III came back to the University of Miami (FL) a changed man in 2018—and it showed in his production…Willis possesses quite the blend of speed and strength…his speed off the line of scrimmage allows for him to get backfield penetration and make plays…quick feet with a great change of direction ability for a man his size…makes the play when there is a play to be made—doesn’t miss tackles…Gerald Willis III came back in 2018 with renewed energy and passion…

WEAKNESSES: The first thing that pops up when evaluating Gerald Willis’ film is that he plays with very poor leverage—playing too high…off the line of scrimmage, instead of torpedoing into the backfield, he springs upward, rather than outward…this has to be fixed immediately because better offensive lineman at the NFL level will manhandle him if not…wildly inconsistent prospect…collegiate career was completely derailed as he took a year off from football in 2017…

COMP: Domata Peko

OVERALL: What a fascinating evaluation Gerald Willis III is…you’re talking about a player who gave up on playing college football less than two years ago, and then, found himself and came back with a vengeance and played extraordinarily well…it will be fascinating to see how the scouting community at large, and the NFL evaluate Willis from the one season of high level production…if he walked away once—who’s to say he won’t do it again..? It really is a complicated evaluation. At the end of the day, there is some talent here, talent that needs some refinement, but I think a NFL team takes a chance on Gerald Willis III—likely on the third day, in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft.