I think we need a long term solution at Nose Tackle. What we have is fine, but the 3-4 is built on big bodies. I’m not really impressed with any of our D-line but our ends are young and have some room to grow. Having said that, I put together something of a "Watch List" for NT’s this season.
More after the Jump.
First fan post so suggestions welcome.
9/2/10 Top DT prospects.
I started with our cousin cite Mocking the Drafts board of prospects. Wrote down the 300+ pounders and started research on who to watch this season as possible NT, which I believe is a need. Having said that, it certainly isn’t the only need just the one I chose. So here is what I have found.
Saia Falahola | 6'2, 310 pounds | DT | Arizona State
Plays in a 4-3 and Rivals.com gives him 2 stars. ASU’s web cite didn’t list last years stat’s conveniently and I didn’t go looking. Oregon (9/25) California (10/23) and USC (11/6) are probably the games to see, but I personally don’t expect a big showing.
Lawrence Guy | 6'5, 300 pounds | DT | Arizona State *
Just a junior and ASU’s web-cite lists him at 270, but will be starting opposite Falahola (above) so he would be easy to catch at the same time. Maybe another year on this one.
Phil Taylor | 6'4, 355 pounds | DT | Baylor
Looks like this guy got kicked out of PSU for behavior issues. There are some conflicting reports, most say he has straitened out at Baylor but a lot of the bloggers are down on him. Here is my favorite and probably most telling quote. DawgSoldier Wrote: I went to the Kent state baylor game and saw it live. Traylor SUCKS big hairy monkey balls. Guy was getting stone walled by a 275 MAC center 1 on 1. From Draftinsider.net:What to say about Phil Taylor? The Penn State transfer is a mammoth lineman that breaks down well, shows incredible power and is impossible to move off the point. He flashes athleticism and is a load to handle in the middle. Taylor was also significantly overweight last season, easily wears down over the course of the game and faded so badly last season he was benched late in the campaign. He has a tremendous amount of physical skill yet must prove he’s willing to be more than just a fat guy that gets by on natural skill. Plays Texas 10/30 and Oklahoma 11/20.
21. Nose Tackle - Phil Taylor
Tackles For a Loss: 2.5
Total Tackles: 25
Solo Tackles: 8
Forced Fumbles: 0
High School: Gwynn Park
Hometown: Clinton, Maryland
Recruit Rating: Standout - Scout (#29 DT), Rivals (#11 DT)
Report: The future of Phil Taylor’s football career looked to be in major jeopardy after he was kicked off the Penn State football team for fighting in the summer of 2008. Taylor had played two seasons in Happy Valley before the departure. He started the final five games of the 2007 season, and was a major cog in the defense’s efforts to shut down opposing rushers.
After being booted by Paterno, the Maryland native reemerged down in Waco, Texas at Baylor. He came into the 2009 season with some big expectations, but failed to live up to the hype. Even though he played in all 12 games and ended up starting nine, Phil was noticeably out of shape, and there were times when his effort was questioned.
After learning his lesson about what it takes to go up against the offenses of the Big 12 on a weekly basis, it now looks like Taylor is finally ready to reach his potential in his last go round.
He has everything it takes to be a starting nose tackle in an NFL defense. Now it’s up to Taylor to show that his commitment level is there. http://bleacherreport.com
Derrick Hill | 6'1, 305 pounds | DT | California
California's talented, but oft-injured, noseguard Derrick Hill is having a bout with gout (and, yes, I didn't see that one coming either). Depth chart decisions are coming for the Bears (from espn pac10 blog)
He doesn’t look like a starter, his career stat-line reads no tackles and one interception. Odd. Nov 1 & 8 vs Oregon and USC respectively.
Jarvis Jenkins | 6'4, 305 pounds | DT | Clemson
School & Year/Status:
Clemson - Junior
Height & Weight:
6'4 - 310 lbs.
2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:
Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
Jarvis Jenkins was a pretty highly
regarded recruit coming out of high school, but he only saw limited action as a true freshman in 2007. However, when he was on the field he made a big impact.
That success as a freshman led to bigger things in 2008. Forced to play a bigger role due to injuries, Jenkins did not disappoint. He totaled 36 tackles, 10.0
tackles-for-loss and 2.0 sacks.
By 2009 Jenkins was certainly ready to emerge as the star of the Clemson front four. The 6-4, 310 pound defensive tackle
had already proven to be a solid run stuffer who can also cause havoc in the backfield. Jenkins had a superb regular season as a junior and totaled 66 tackles,
11.0 tackles-for-loss and one sack. He has consistently gotten into the backfield and has emerged as a great run stuffer.
Jenkins has proven to NFL
scouts what he can do on the field, but he still has not gotten much national attention for his efforts. He is pretty much off the NFL radar right now and it
would take one amazing performance in Clemson's bowl game to make it a smart decision to forgo his senior season with the Tigers and enter the NFL
Last Updated Dec-08-2009 by Joel Welser fftoolbox.com
Plays Auburn 9/18 Miami 10/2 Georgia Tech 10/23 BC 10/30
Kenrick Ellis | 6'5, 340 pounds | DT | Hampton
A one time South Carolina signee, Kenrick Ellis was dismissed from the school for an undisclosed reason. He then choose to go to Hampton where he has been a disruptive force, being named 2nd Team All-MEAC in 2008 and 1st Team All-MEAC in 2009. During the time span, he has accumulated 90 tackles, 22.5 TFL, and 5 Sacks and is arguably the most dominant defensive tackle in the entire subdivision. Ellis’s combination of size and athleticism are nearly impossible to argue and the way he is able to manhandle blockers at times makes you wonder what he could do if he was still in the SEC.
Vs. Delaware State is supposedly on ESPNU 9/30.
Corey Liuget | 6'3, 300 pounds | DT | Illinois *
I see his name on a couple of “top” lists but it’s hard to find actual scouting. The report out of HS has him listed as DT/TE, which is interesting. Also looks like he starts at NT in a 3-4.
VS. Missouri 9/4 Ohio State 10/2 Penn State 10/9 Michigan 11/6
Ted Laurent | 6'1, 305 pounds | DT | Mississippi
(http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=2890) The fourth Rebel lineman to keep on the radar is Ted Laurent. Like his teammates he’s strong and bulrushes lineman off the ball. Laurent plays with good degree of explosion, firing through gaps up the field and is tough to move off the point. Laurent does not play with great balance yet has a lot of tools to work with
Laurent looks like #2 behind Powe.
Jerrell Powe | 6'2, 340 pounds | DT | Mississippi
Jerrell is a disruptive force in the middle for the Rebels defense and possesses the size-strength combination to play in the NFL. I think he shows explosiveness at the snap of the ball where he exhibits great hand use to rip off and disengage from blocks. He had a number of TFL's (Tackles for loss) vs. the Vols and it seems Jerrell possesses the instincts to locate the ball through trash. He plays with good hand-hat placement and can maneuver his way through the interior of an offensive line to apply pressure on the QB. I don't think Jerrell is a violent tackler, but rather someone that is going to do anything possible to simply get the ball carrier down
this is a review of last years Miss vs. Tenn game from Draftnasty.com, it also features a couple of players we are familiar with...McCluster and Berry.
Alabama 10/16 Arkansas 10/23 Auburn 10/30 Tennessee 11/13 LSU 11/20
Marvin Austin | 6'3, 305 pounds | DT | North Carolina Scouts Inc.’s top 32 and NFL Mocks top 5 at position.
Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina (Senior)
Projection: 2nd-3rd Round
Last Updated: July 19, 2010
Good lateral movement – Stout against the run – Able to apply pressure to the QB – Good size and bulk – Commands a double-team when active – Great functional strength.
Very inconsistent motor – Poor instincts – Takes himself out of plays – Needs polish on his technique – Could add to his rush repertoire – Will miss 2010 NCAA season due to rule infractions.
4 Sacks / 6 TFL http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com
Tydreke Powell | 6'3, 310 pounds | DT | North Carolina *
I almost ranked North Carolina defensive tackle Tydreke Powell on my redshirt breakdown post on Wednesday, but since he doesn’t start on the UNC defense, I decided to leave him off. But after watching him play last night, I’m convinced this guy could start for just about any other team in the ACC. He showcases impressive power and range in the run game, and his ability to close on the football away from his frame is a skill you rarely see from a guy his size. The Tar Heels are going to lose a lot of talent inside after the season, but if Powell decides to say, he will quickly become one of the ACC’s best defensive linemen. Follow me on Twitter: WesBunting
It seems like everyone was so enamored with his now suspended teammate that Powell was largely overlooked. The NCAA investigation into the program is ongoing so there is no telling how deep the cuts will go.
Vs. LSU 9/4 GT 9/18 Miami 9/23 Florida State 11/6 VT 11/13
Devon Still | 6'5, 311 pounds | DT | Penn State *
I’ve found less on Still than any other player to this point. All I really know is he is an injury concern and plays for Penn State.
Vs. Alabama 9/11 Iowa 10/2 Ohio State 11/13
Travian Robertson | 6'4, 298 pounds | DT | South Carolina *
From wltx.com: And no duel has been more watched than the one between redshirt sophomore Kenny Davis and 340-pound JUCO transfer Byron Jerideau for the fourth tackle spot to join Ladi Ajiboye, Travian Robertson and Melvin Ingram in the rotation.
I understand there is a philosophy of rotation here, but if they are getting a little giddy over a juco transfer and a redshirt impacting an already 3 man rotation...... yea....um... no.
Vs. Georga 9/11 Auburn 9/25 Alabama 10/9 Arkansas 11/6 Florida 11/13
Jurrell Casey | 6'1, 300 pounds | DT | Southern California * NFLMocks.com Top 5 at position.
Tale of the Tape: USC DT Jurrell Casey
As of late, many of the USC Trojans’ big name defenders have suffered major draft slides. Once touted as a future top ten pick, Rey Maualuga ended up dropping to the 2nd round. The hard-hitting, arthritic-hipped Taylor Mays suffered a similar fate, and freakish defensive end Everson Griffen slid all the way to the 4th frame.
For that reason, it’ll be particularly interesting to see where the now highly-touted Jurrell Casey’s stock ends up settling. The junior defensive tackle debuted at #34 overall on MockingTheDraft’s 2011 NFL Draft top 75, but based on what’s happened to recent USC prospects, he’ll either eclipse that ranking or freefall way below it.
And after watching tape of Casey against Stanford, Arizona, and Boston College, I can spot reasons why the USC defensive tackle could be a bigtime riser or an unfortunate draft day slider.
Initially, what stands out about Casey’s game is not how he plays but where he ends up: the defensive tackle is an almost constant presence in the opponent’s backfield. His quick, active hands allow him to slip & shed blocks at the point of attack, providing him an unobstructed path into the backfield. When he deploys his excellent swim move, it almost looks as if Casey’s running a 40 yard dash right into the quarterback. With his quick first step, he’s able to get upfield in a jiffy. As a result, he’s great on slants and gives slow-footed fatties fits.
Even when Casey doesn’t make the play, he often manages to disrupt it. His pressure in the 4th Quarter of the Emerald Bowl forced Boston College QB Dave Shinskie into a costly interception, and his multiple pressures made Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Arizona’s Nick Foles scramble and force throws. In addtion, Casey does a good job of getting his hands up to deflect passes and shut down passing lanes.
Given his disruptive play and potential as a pass rusher, it’s easy to envision Casey making a big rise up draft boards. Though he’s not quite on the level of Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, Casey could be very effective in a one gap defense. For a team that only wants to rush four defenders, a guy like Casey could be extremely valuable — read: early to mid-1st round pick.
On the other hand, Casey could be dragged down by some disconcerting flaws in his game. Despite his thick lower body, he’s not very good at anchoring against the run. He’s not the type of interior plugger who’ll hold up well against double teams. Though the stumpy defensive tackle has a low center of gravity, he gets pushed back when his pad level gets too high. If he doesn’t win the initial battle at the point of attack, he lets linemen get into his chest, after which he struggles to disengage. As a result, it’s not all that uncommon to see Casey get into the backfield on one play, then get knocked back five yards on the next one.
Casey often lines up at defensive end when the Trojans employ a three man front, but he appears to lack the strength to play 3-4 end. At 6’1″, 295 lbs., he also lacks the prototypical length for a five technique. His scheme versatility could be very limited; if he doesn’t improve his run defense, even some 4-3 teams could lose interest. If that happens, he’ll have to make the choice between going back to school to improve his draft stock or risk a major draft slide by declaring as an underclassman.
To illustrate Casey’s strengths and weaknesses, here’s a clip of Casey against Stanford. In it, you can spot his ups & downs: what makes him an enticing draft prospect and what could kill his draft stock. http://draftbreakdown.com/tale-of-the-tape-usc-dt-jurrell-casey
Vs. Oregon 11/30 Oregon State 11/20
Anthony Gray | 6'0, 315 pounds | DT | Southern Mississippi
Projected 40 Time: 5.22.
Projected Round (2011): 5-6.
5/8/10: A solid nose tackle who earned an All-Conference USA honorable mention, Anthony Gray had 7.5 TFL and two sacks in 2009 http://walterfootball.com/draft2011NT.php
Gray has been a playmaker for USM the past two seasons. He gotten in better shape each year at USM and improved his foot quickness and stamina. He's good at shooting gaps and getting into the back field. He might not have the power to take on double teams consistently, but he'll be a good rotation tackle. from mockingthedraft.com.
Vs. Kansas 9/17 Houston 11/20
Sione Fua | 6'2, 307 pounds | DT | Stanford
32. Defensive Tackle - Sione Fua
Tackles For a Loss: 3
Total Tackles: 24
Solo Tackles: 6
Forced Fumbles: 0
High School: Crespi Carmelite
Hometown: Encino, California
Recruit Rating: Standout - Scout (#17 DT), Rivals (#47 DT)
Report: At just about 300 pounds, Sione Fua doesn’t have the sheer mass needed to be a 3-4 nose tackle at the next level. But with his strength at the point of attack, expect the senior to be just fine in the middle of Stanford’s 3-4 defense.
Fua is well built and can handle the double teams that offenses are going to throw at him this year. He showed he could really occupy blockers during the latter stages of the 2009 season. After breaking into the starting lineup early in the year, the defensive tackle continually progressed into a dominant force in the middle of Stanford’s defense.
Sione isn’t the greatest pass rusher out there, but he doesn’t need to be. His game is all about causing havoc in the middle and letting the players around him make plays. He’s a bit of a scheme limited player, but if he ends up on the right NFL defense, he could really make a difference. http://bleacherreport.com
Vs. Oregon 10/2 USC 10/9 Oregon State 11/27
Muhammad Wilkerson | 6'5, 305 pounds | DT | Temple * Position: DT
Hometown: Linden, N.J.
High School: Linden
Honors: 2009 first-team All-MAC honoree … named a second-team All-MAC honoree by Phil Steele … named MAC Defensive Player of the Week (Nov. 23) following the Kent State game … named the coaches’ defensive player of the week four times (Sept. 4, 2009; Nov. 1, 2009; Nov. 6, 2009; Nov. 22, 2009).
2009: Started all 13 games at tackle … one of nine players to start every game … one of just two underclassmen to start every game … also played on the punt and opponent field goal unit … finished the season with 61 tackles, a team-best 10.5 TFL, seven sacks, four break-ups, and three hurries … had five tackles, 1.5 TFL, and two hurries against UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl … had six tackles and blocked an extra point at Ohio … had five tackles, two sacks, and two TFL in the win over Kent State en route to MAC Defensive Player of the Week and coaches’ player of the game honors … made two solo tackles and a break-up in the win at Akron … had five tackles and a team-best two sacks in the win over Miami en route to the coaches’ defensive player of the game honors … led the Owls with a career-high 13 tackles, including a career-high nine assists at Navy en route to the coaches’ defensive player of the game accolades … had four tackles, a break-up, and a hurry in the win at Toledo … made six solo stops, including a TFL, in the win over Army … had three tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery in the win over Ball State … made six stops, forced a fumble and had a fumble recovery in the win at Eastern Michigan … made a solo stop in the win over Buffalo … had a tackle and a break-up at No. 5 Penn State … had four solo tackles and a sack against Villanova … named the coaches’ defensive player of the game ... lettered.
Vs. Penn State 9/25
Kheeston Randall | 6'5, 295 pounds | DT | Texas *
DT: Kheeston Randall - Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has been extremely pleased with Randall this offseason. Randall has lost some weight this summer, making him more flexible, quicker on the line and stronger in the weight room.
DT Kheeston Randall is a legitimate talent, but others must step up at the other tackle position
Vs. Oklahoma 10/2 Nebraska 10/16 Texas A&M 11/25
Lucas Patterson | 6'4, 303 pounds | DT | Texas A&M
In order for DeRuyter's 3-4 defense to work, the defensive line is going to need to improve significantly. In the middle, look for senior Lucas Patterson and junior Eddie Brown to share the load here. Patterson had a strong spring practice while Brown was recovering from shoulder surgery. On the ends, sophomoreSpencer Nealy and junior Tony Jerrod-Eddie should be the starters. Nealy is a little undersized for the line at 6'5" and 245 lbs, but he's got the athletic ability to go wide and possibly burst past an offensive lineman. The 300 lb. Jerrod-Eddie is at the other extreme; big enough to engage the lineman, and hopefully has enough speed to chase down running backs on the edge. From Corn Nation
Vs. Arkansas 10/9 Missouri 10/16 Kansas 10/23 Oklahoma 11/6 Nebraska 11/20 Texas 11/25
Other player of note:
17. Defensive Tackle - Cam Heyward
School: Ohio State
Tackles For a Loss: 10
Total Tackles: 46
Solo Tackles: 21
Forced Fumbles: 0
High School: Peachtree Ridge
Hometown: Suwanne, Georgia
Recruit Rating: Standout - Scout (#20 DT), Rivals (#13 DT)
Report: Cameron, the son of the late Ironhead Heyward, has been a chip off the old block during his time at Ohio State.
The big lineman has been a force for Ohio State since his freshman season when he totaled nine tackles for a loss and two sacks. Heyward earned Freshman All America honors that year and has managed to elevate his game each season since.
He can project as either an end or a tackle at the next level but he would probably fit best as a 3-4 defensive end.
Heyward will be one of the main leaders for the Buckeye defense and he will be counted on heavily if the team is serious about making a run at the National Championship. http://bleacherreport.com