With Changes Possibly Coming At Defensive Tackle, Draft Prospects Maybe Needed.
The Lions’ current batch of defensive tackles have done a decent job for the team this season. However veteran Haloti Ngata is not getting any younger or cheaper. There’s a very real possibility that the Lions make him a cap causality or he simply retires.
Although the defensive tackles in the Lions rotation this season are serviceable players, none of them offer much in the pass rush department. The Lions could look to get younger and more talented at the position during next years draft.
Draft Prospects For 2017 – Defensive Tackle (Part Two)
Things have changed since the previous look at the defensive tackle prospects for the 2017 draft. Jonathan Allen still sits firmly at the top of most rankings of interior defensive linemen. Malik McDowell’s stock has fallen a bit but he’s still projected as a mid-first round pick, and Davon Godchaux stock isn’t nearly as high as it was at the beginning of the year.
There have also been some prospects who have generated some buzz and have raised their stocks quite a bit.
The three guys that will be highlighted in article are Auburn’s Montravius Adams, Florida’s Caleb Brantley, and Michigan’s Chris Wormley.
Montravius Adams- Auburn
Adams is a senior defensive tackle who has a lot of potential this season. He has great size at 6’4” and 309 pounds. Through 48 games in his career Adams has 19.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.
Adams is a very good athlete for a man his size. Usually when he finds his way into the offenses backfield it is because he past the offensive line with his quickness off the snap.
He also does a pretty good job of using his hands, particularly when getting past linemen with his swim move.
The main area of his game that Adams needs to improve is defending the run. He doesn’t always do a good job of anchoring the point of attack. He often loses his footing and ends up getting taken out of the play. Also he needs to do a better job of consistently keeping his pad level lower.
Adams will play his final college game January 2nd against Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Caleb Brantley- Florida
Adams isn’t the only defensive tackle out of the SEC to raise his draft stock this season. Brantley is a redshirt junior who stands 6’2” and weighs 297 pounds. Florida has one of the best defenses in the country and Brantley plays a big role in that. In 30 career games Brantley has 19.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
Brantley posses very good strength and holds up well at the point of attack while defending the run. He also has shown versatility while at Florida. They move him around the defensive line quite a bit.
As a pass rusher, Brantley hasn’t shown a lot of production throughout his career but he does pressure opposing quarterbacks quite a bit. He has a very good swim move and often slips through the offensive line and into the backfield.
Although he does a good job of pressuring quarterbacks, Brantley needs to do a better job of actually finishing the job and getting sacks. He sometimes comes in too hot and the quarterback is able to make a move to avoid him.
Florida will face off with Iowa on January 2nd in the Outback Bowl.
Chris Wormley- Michigan
Of the three defensive tackles mentioned Wormley has been the most productive. Through 41 career games he’s logged 31. 5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. He has great size for the next level at 6’6” and 302 pounds.
Wormley’s biggest asset is his strength. It helps him in every aspect of his game. He also does a great job of staying low after the snap and maintaing leverage throughout the play. For a guy his size he has a pretty good burst off the ball as well.
Against the run Wormley uses arm extension well and is very good at shedding blocks. His strength also helps him set the point of attack effectively.
Michigan lines Wormley up literally at every position along the defensive line. He plays both defensive tackle and defensive end but he seems to be more productive as an interior defender.
Wormley relies on his strength too much as a pass rusher. He simply tries to overwhelm blockers and move them out of his way. This works well for him on the college level but probably won’t work as well for him at the NFL level. He needs to develop more moves in order to continue to be a productive pass rusher at the next level.
Michigan is set to take on Florida State on December 30th in the Capital One Orange Bowl.