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Draft Preview Scouting Report: Defensive Tackles

Day One

PlayerSchoolHt.Wt.

Leonard Williams*USC6-5302

Danny SheltonWashington6-2339

Arik Armstead*Oregon6-7292

Malcom Brown*Texas6-2319

Eddie Goldman*Florida St.6-4336

Day Two

Jordan Phillips*Oklahoma6-5329

Grady JarrettClemson6-1304

Carl DavisIowa6-5320

Michael BennettOhio St.6-2293

Xavier CooperWashington St.6-3293

Day Three

Marcus HardisonArizona St.6-3307

Rakeem Nunez-Roches*Southern Miss.6-2307

Christian Covington*Rice6-2289

Sleeper: *Darius Philon, Arkansas, 6-1, 298

By most accounts, Williams is the most talented player in the draft, even though he likely won’t be the top overall choice. Last season, Williams had 80 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles. He proved to be effective as an end and a tackle, and USC used him at both positions. … Shelton excels as an inside pass rusher, generating nine sacks last season, and looks to be an ideal fit as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme. … Armstead, who is seen as an end and a tackle, has an outstanding combination of size, speed and athleticism. … Brown is a powerful force who has the ability to dominate in any type of defense. … Goldman is remarkably light on his feet and has developed some good pass-rush moves.

Phillips doesn’t always put forth the best effort, but when he does, he can be extremely tough to block. … Jarrett’s relative lack of size knocks him out of being a Day One pick, but he has enough athleticism and strength to be productive. … Davis grabbed the attention of many NFL scouts with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl, although some draft analysts have questioned if he has worked hard enough to get the most out of his natural pass-rushing skills. … Bennett brings considerable energy to the field, showing consistent effectiveness against the run and excellent quickness that helps him as a pass-rusher. … Cooper is a disruptive force, although he could do a better job of finishing plays.

–Vic Carucci

Class grade

B

This is a strong class of defensive tackles, led by the most talented player in the draft, and that should be reflected by the half-dozen or so selected in the first round.

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