The Miami Dolphins clearly need depth to say the least at the defensive tackle position. In my first article, I went over four prospects that the Dolphins may be targeting in the 2018 NFL Draft. In my second edition, we will dive a little deeper in this potential draft class. My goal is for us to get a taste of each position’s group that is eligible for next year’s NFL Draft. I will be tackling linebackers for our next sneak peek into potential future Miami Dolphin draft picks.
Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M – Junior
6-0 320 lbs
Mack is a guy who plays with great strength and shows pretty good anticipation. His burst off the ball is particularly impressive and he constantly gets good penetration into the backfield. Consistently gets low and that helps him push the pocket. He’s also a solid pass rusher for such a big guy. I like his anchor but he does struggle against double teams and struggles occasionally to shed blocks. I’ve also seen him at times get too focused on shedding the block and loose site of the ball carrier. He was a rotational player really last season, so it will be interesting to see how much time he will get on the field this year.
Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame - Junior
6-6 310 lbs
Tiller’s tape was a little frustrating for me. On one hand, he’s got the tools to be a pretty good football player; he’s powerful, is capable of pushing the pocket, sheds blocks well, has a good motor….but on the other hand, he’s wildly inconsistent, I saw way too many times he get completely taken out of the play one on one, missed tackles, not keeping his eyes on the ball carrier. He’s a big player; and I definitely consider that a plus, but he plays too stiff. Tiller has potential to be a good football player and this year he needs to focus on his fundamentals and his game play will improve.
Kahlil McKenzie, DT, Tennessee - Junior
6-3 325 lbs
McKenzie is one talented prospect. Unfortunately, the 5 star recruit is coming off a torn pectoral from last November and has some durability concerns. However, he should be 100% by this August so he’s got the season to prove he’s healthy and ready to take the next step. On the field, he a force in the middle. He’s got a great motor, strong and powerful hands and takes on double teams excellently. His tape is good; I was very impressed with him, but I would never lie about my take on a prospect; I did not have a lot of film on him. So, I will be paying very close attention to him this coming season. He could be an early favorite of mine. Also, on a side note, his teammate Shy Tuttle (another 5 star DT recruit) stands out in film too. Sadly, he has worse injury concerns; he’s coming off an undisclosed injury that ended his season last year and a broke leg and torn ankle ligament that ended his freshman year. Still, if he’s healthy, I’ll have an eye on him as well.
Derrick Nnabi, DT, Florida St. - Senior
6-0 312 lbs
First thing that stands out to me about Nnabi is his strength. He’s a powerful guy that clearly has spent some time in the weight room. He’s a stout DT that has a great anchor and can hold up against double teams quite well. He’s solid at stopping the run and plays with excellent hand use. His awareness is impressive too; he does a textbook job of keeping his eyes on the ball carrier, even when engaged with blockers. He, like Mack, was in a rotational last season (which really isn’t a bad thing, every team does it) but I would be interested to see him get a more expanded role this season.
Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah – Senior
6-1 320 lbs
The younger brother of the Carolina Panther’s stud DT; Lowell is picking up where his brother left off. He is a tough, strong and stout DT. He uses his hands effectively, gets very good penetration into the backfield, constantly faces double teams (handles them pretty well) and is good at shedding blocks and making the tackle. He’s obviously a pretty good run stopper but I do see potential for him in the pass rush department. Of course, all of that depends on his conditioning; but I think his motor is not bad. Overall, Lotulelei is a well-rounded prospect; I’d like to see him have more of a violent streak and dominate more but he’s got the opportunity this season to establish himself as a top prospect int he 2018 Draft.
Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio St. - RS Soph.
6-2 280 lbs
This is one of the younger prospects that I’ve scouted this off season but I believe there’s a real shot he could declare if he has another good season. He plays with great leverage, uses his hands very well and might be the best at shedding blocks for a DT I’ve seen this year. He will occasionally struggle against the double team but he’s stout and usually holds his ground well. Another thing I really like is his ability to locate the ball carrier. He’s got good play recognition and seems to always keep tabs on where the ball is going. He’s got a violent streak too, which is a must for D-line; I don’t want any soft players in the middle of my defense. He is a high effort type player also; definitely possess a good motor. Overall, I really liked Jones’ tape, he’s got a real shot either this year or next year to be a high draft pick.
Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami - Junior and R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami - Junior
6-2 315 lbs / 6-4 280 lbs
I originally planned to scout both Norton and McIntosh together so I pulled some Miami tape I had from last year and unfortunately I didn’t have as much as I thought so this will be a real brief description of their game film I’ve watched because I really don’t have a good hold on either of them at this point. For Norton, he’s a quick player. He’s quick off the ball, athletic, has a good motor and is a solid tackler. I definitely noticed immediately when he was on the field; he stands out. I saw multiple plays where I was impressed with his anchor and really just overall strength. As for McIntosh, I’ll say this; he’s a fighter; he battles on every play. I like the drive, desire, motor; he’s got the ability to bull rush the pocket, uses good technique; he just doesn’t seem to have the impact on the play that you would want. I like both of these prospects, we will see how they do this year in expanded roles.