NFL draft anal­y­sis: De­fen­sive tack­les

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - NFL - — OmarKelly

Mi­ami Dol­phins beat writer Omar Kelly breaks down the 2017 NFL draft one po­si­tion at a time in a 10-part se­ries.

1. Alabama’s Jonathan

Allen: Allen, whose28 sacks ranks him sec­ond in Alabama his­tory be­hind Derrick Thomas, took home just about ev­ery de­fen­sive honor pos­si­ble be­cause of his dom­i­nant sea­son. But char­ac­ter con­cerns, and his med­i­cal his­tory (shoul­der is­sues) could cause him to slide into the teens of the first round.

2. Michi­gan State’s Ma­lik

McDow­ell: McDow­ell, who oc­ca­sion­ally dis­plays a mix of power and quick­ness, plays with good pad level and has out­stand­ing range, which means he can play as a 3-4 de­fen­sive end in the NFL. There are some con­cerns about his motor and at­ti­tude, which could drop him out of the first round.

3. Florida’ Caleb Brant­ley:

Brant­ley isn’t the most im­pres­sive look­ing athlete, but his motor in­di­cates that he could de­velop into a qual­ity starter in a year or two. De­spite his lim­ited sack pro­duc­tion (5.5 sacks in three sea­sons), hehas quick hands and a clos­ing burst that helps him pres­sure quar­ter­backs.

4. Alabama’s Dalvin Tom­lin­son: Tom­lin­son pos­sesses out­stand­ing strength at the point of at­tack, and ex­hibits the foot­ball in­tel­li­gence needed to di­ag­nose plays be­fore they hap­pen. He’d be a per­fect fit in a de­fen­sive scheme that asks its tack­les to stack and shed.

5. Michi­gan’s Chris Worm­ley: Worm­ley, who has ex­cep­tional size (6-5, 298 pounds) and a high motor, pos­sesses good tech­nique and plays with lever­age. He’s not ex­plo­sive off the ball, which in­di­cates that he might be best used as a de­fen­sive tackle in­stead of serv­ing as a 3-4 end.


Clem­son’s Car­los Watkins, Iowa’s Jaleel Johnson, Auburn’s Mon­trav­ius Adams, UNC Char­lotte’s Larry Ogun­jobi, LSU’s Davon God­chaux, Mississippi’s D.J. Jones, Ok­la­homa’s Charles Walker all have blem­ishes, but they could po­ten­tially be­come NFL starters in time. Wash­ing­ton’s Eli­jah Qualls, Michi­gan’s Ryan Glas­gow, Notre Dame’s Jar­ron Jones, USC’s Ste­vie Tu’lkolo­vatu, Ok­la­homa’s Charles Walker and Arkansas’ Jeremiah Led­bet­ter all have the tal­ent to make an NFL ros­ter.


There are ahand­ful of de­cent de­fen­sive tack­les in this class, but no­body a team can or should build their fran­chise around. If it wasn’t for Jonathan Allen, who would be a per­fect fit as a three­tech­nique end in a 3-4 scheme, this class might not have a first-round tal­ent in it be­cause of char­ac­ter, work ethic, or med­i­cal con­cerns.

Grade: D


Chiefs, Broncos, Charg­ers, Ea­gles, Buc­ca­neers, Fal­cons, Pan­thers, Vik­ings, Dol­phins, Pa­tri­ots, Jaguars, Ravens, Ben­gals, Raiders, Sea­hawks and 49ers


The Dol­phins have one proven stand­out in Ndamukong Suh, a five­time Pro Bowl se­lec­tion, and one in­con­sis­tent starter in Jor­dan Phillips, who had 23 tack­les, half a sack and one in­ter­cep­tion last sea­son. There is very lit­tle from a depth stand­point be­hind those two, which means the Dol­phins need to add two de­fen­sive tack­les to cre­ate a four-man ro­ta­tion be­fore the reg­u­lar sea­son arrives.

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