Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Prospects - Defensive Tackles

1 – Marcell Dareus (Alabama)
2 – Nick Fairley (Auburn)
3 – Stephen Paea (Oregon State)
4 – Corey Liuget (Illinois)
5 – Drake Nevis (LSU)
6 – Phil Taylor (Baylor)
7 – Jurrell Casey (USC)
8 – Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)
9 – Marvin Austin (UNC)
10 – Jarvis Jenkins (Clemson)
11 – Sione Fua (Stanford)
12 – Lawrence Guy (Arizona State)
13 – Jerrell Powe (Mississippi)
14 – Ian Williams (Notre Dame)
15 – Kendrick Ellis (Hampton)

Yes, I still have Dareus rated higher than Fairley. Call me crazy, but I think in the long run Dareus will end up the better pro. Both possess size and explosiveness, but I’ve found Dareus to be the better, more consistent lateral player. Dareus does a better job of occupying blockers and overcoming double teams. I think he provides more scheme versatility, as I don’t believe Fairley is ideally suited to be a 5-technique. For more on Fairley, check out my thoughts on the #1 overall pick.....I’ve got Paea a distant third to Dareus and Fairley. He doesn’t have their size, but he’s got them in strength. He’s a stout interior defender who does a good job of blowing up plays in the backfield. Paea controls his zone as well as anyone in this class, and with some technique improvement, he could be a dominating force.....Liuget, Nevis, and Casey are penetrators. Liuget put it together in a big way this season, demonstrating the speed and athleticism from the interior that the pros love. He’s got position flexibility (3 and 5 technique) and a high ceiling.....Nevis and Casey are a bit smaller, and I think the former is more active and has greater potential. Nevis doesn’t play with as much force as Liuget, but he has superior lateral movement/speed and hand usage/technique.....Casey uses his hands and a variety of moves to get consistent penetration, but he doesn’t anchor well for a guy with a big base.....Speaking of big bases, likely the draft’s top pure 3-4 NT, Taylor is a two down 330 pound run stuffer. The Chiefs could use someone with his skill set, but pick #21 might be a bit high for him.....Wilkerson dominated questionable competition, but definitely he looks the part. At Temple he was an impressive penetrator for his size, but I’m sure there will be questions as to whether or not he can be as effective against much greater talent.....Ex-Heel Marvin Austin is a disruptive force when he feels like playing. He was a R1 prospect before his troubles this season and will need a strong pre-draft showing to get near that discussion again.

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