Summer Scouting: Top 5 Defensive Tackles

The college football season is just around the corner. With that in mind Rory Daniels’ brings you his top 5 draft eligible prospects at each position ahead of kickoff. We also include an FCS prospect to watch courtesy of resident small school expert Rebecca Rennie.

1. Demarvin Leal

Demarvin Leal is one of the best defensive prospects in the 2021 NFL draft cycle. A wrecking ball across the defensive line he offers a unique threat to offensive lines. Although his frame could be classed as ‘tweener’, he lacks in neither size or speed. At the next level he projects as a pass-rushing defensive tackle but could equally line up as a base end. That versatility should now be embraced in NFL circles.

Best Trait: Versatility

2. Haskell Garrett

We had to wait until Garrett’s senior season to truly see his potential as an undersized three technique. Fortunately for fans of college football the Covid pandemic has allowed Garrett another year to prove himself. His age will be of concern but the tape shows a high-motor player who can consistently get into the backfield. He has honed a nice swim move and uses his hands well to disengage from blocks. The glimpses are there, consistency will help his rise up draft boards.

Best Trait: Hand usage

3. Jordan Davis

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The nose tackle position has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance in the NFL. Despite the narrative that the run game has lost importance, decision makers at the next level still look for space eaters in the middle. Jordan Davis fits a similar mould to that of Dexter Lawrence at the Giants. Plug him in the middle of your defense and he will occupy two blockers no problem. If he can show more pash rush ability and potential to be an every down player it would massively benefit him.

Best Trait: Size

4. Perrion Winfrey

Photo creidt: Brandon Wade/USA Today

It wasn’t a straightforward route to the top of college football for Perrion Winfrey. He spent two years developing at Iowa Western. As one of the top-10 rated JUCO prospects, he committed to become an Oklahoma Sooner and go someway to replacing the void left by Neville Gallimore. Winfrey is a leaner, more athletic style tackle giving the Sooners somewhat of a track meet up front. Nik Bonitto, Ronnie Perkins and Isaiah Thomas were a formidable combo and with only Perkins not returning, Winfrey should feast again.

Best Trait: Athleticism

5. Zi'Yon Hill

This year’s defensive tackle group isn’t as deep as previous which leaves the door ajar for a player slightly off the radar. Louisiana defensive tackle Zi’Yon Hill is well regarded by PFF (ranked in the top 10 for the position) and what he lacks in length he makes up for in relentlessness. With Geno Atkins vibes, Hill is disruptive in the pass game, logging 4 sacks last year. Could he be the surprise package of the group?

Best Trait: High-motor

FCS Prospect to Watch: Mike Greene

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Rebecca Rennie: In order to get a more accurate perspective on Greene, watching both 2019 and Spring 2021 film is essential. A bullish interior lineman in 2019, injuries to teammates led the Dukes defender to kick outside to defensive end earlier this year. Greene’s frame is more applicable to playing primarily inside long-term but arguably his recent film at DE was the most compelling. Looking slightly trimmer and more toned for the outside, Greene shows explosiveness with upfield burst and more lateral agility than expected.
The JMU D-lineman is a force at the point of attack, quickly attacking into the body with an impactful first step. His hands deliver a rocking punch, followed by violent and rapid disengaging techniques. Greene is imposing versus the run and overall is disruptive to the backfield far beyond any stats he compiles. Motivated and driven, Greene is an early personal favorite among the upcoming FCS draft class.
Best Trait: Disruption at the point of attack.
Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at