The 2013 defensive tackles experienced a bit of a ‘fall’ in terms of where many analysts felt they would go. Sharrif Floyd and Star Lotulelei were thought of as top ten players throughout the pre-draft process but saw fairly dramatic declines on draft day. That said, eleven DT’s went in the first hundred selections, making it a fairly top heavy class of big men.
The 2014 class will rely heavily on the underclassmen that opt to declare early. The senior class is led by tweener DT/DE in Arizona State’s Will Sutton. Sutton is an explosive athlete that lacks the traditional girth for an NFL DT.
The underclassmen will be paced by Notre Dame’s Louis Nix. Nix was spectacular (minus a so-so performance against Alabama) as a redshirt sophomore and will be leaned on this season to fortify the trenches in South Bend. There’s some intrigue with the junior class in highly touted, high potential prospects in Anthony Johnson and Timmy Jernigan.
After the break check out our 2014 NFL Draft defensive tackle rankings.
Sutton is an undersized DT tweener with the motor, explosiveness, and hands that will intrigue scouts early on day one. He has drawn apt comparisons to Geno Atkins and could find a home similar to Atkins’ at the next level.
2. Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
At 6-foot-5, 302 pounds Hageman will make for an intriguing fit in either the 4-3 or 3-4. The former tight end, showed dramatic improvement as a junior and brings a ton of upside as a 5T or 3T. Hageman is still a work in progress from a technique standpoint but his raw tools will have some clamoring for a spot in the first round.
3. Deandre Coleman, Cal
We listed the Cal DT/DE as a defensive end but will rank him in our defensive tackle rankings because he’s an equal fit as a DT in a four-man front. Coleman has everything 3-4 teams covet to play the 5T but will also be sought out by 4-3 teams to play inside.
4. DaQuan Jones, Penn State
Jones may be one of the most overlooked players in the country. Not for long. Jones plays the 1T and has been overshadowed by Devon Still and Jordan Hill. Jones is lighter on his feet than you would expect for a near 330-pounder. His combination of size, strength, and athleticism should vault him up this list as the season progresses.
5. Daniel McCullers, Tennessee
McCullers is a mountain of a man that excelled in 2012 at Tennessee. McCullers spent 2010 and 2011 at Georgia Military College before making the transition to big time college football in 2012. McCullers is very raw but his shear physical tools take over at times and you can see the enormous ceiling he possesses.
6. Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma
Barnett is another JUCO product with one season of major college football experience. That said, he will only get better and has an extremely high ceiling. Barnett showed he could be a disruptive force in the middle of the defense. He will look for him to improve on his ability to win with leverage and improved hands.
7. Ryan Carrethers, Arkansas State
8. Bruce Gaston, Purdue
9. Maurice Couch, Tennessee
10. Khyri Thornton, Southern Mississippi
11. Ashton Dorsey, Texas
12. Beau Allen, Wisconsin
13.Caraun Reid, Princeton
14. Derrick Hopkins, Virginia Tech
15. Tim Jackson, North Carolina
16. Donte Rumph, Kentucky
17. Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech