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2019 NFL Draft Preview: Defensive Tackles

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In my mind scouting never stops, and with the 2018 NFL Draft well behind us, I am starting to turn my attention to the up coming college football season. As I did last summer, I am going to try to get previews of all positions on draft eligible prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s not an easy task and these lists are sure going to look a lot different next April but it’s a fun exercise and a good way to get a first look at the potential 2019 NFL Draft classes. So, please enjoy and let me know who I need to watch more of!

Ed Oliver, Houston (Jr)

Oliver who apparently has already declared for the 2019 NFL Draft is certainly going to be a popular topic this college football season. He’s an athletic guy that is quick and strong. I think he’s got good hands and is a defensive playmaker. I do think he’s a bit undersized, and struggles against double teams but with another strong season he could end up being a high draft pick.

NCAA Football: Navy at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Wilkins, Clemson (Sr)

Christian Wilkins surprised many by staying at Clemson this past April. I had a top 15 grade on him for the 2018 NFL Draft however, he opted to finish his senior year at Clemson. I’ve wrote about him quite a bit last year so I’ll keep this short; Wilkins is an athletic, strong and pro ready DT that I believe will be a first round pick. With all the talent along Clemson’s D-line this season, Wilkins could have a phenomenal year.

NCAA Football: Clemson Spring Game Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Dexter Lawrence, Clemson (Jr)

Lawrence is another part of the highly talented Clemson D-line; however, his tape is inconsistent to me. I’ll tell you what though, when he wants to, his bull rush is second to none. He’s very stout too, but he does struggle to disengage, and outside of his bull rush he doesn’t use too many moves. He’s not super athletic and as I said, he’s inconsistent. He’s got NFL talent though and with a strong season, he may consider to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Rashan Gary, Michigan (Jr)

Gary is well-known name and a potential high draft pick for the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s a very athletic guy, especially for his size. He moves extremely well for such a big person and is extremely impressive overall. He’s got all the tools you need to be a highly production player in the NFL. I think he’s stout, can play multiple positions along the D-line, good hand use, can rush the passer, and can be violent at times. I do think his awareness needs to improve, needs to do better against double teams and overall needs to be more consistent; but Gary is a really good player and with another strong year, could be a potential hot name in the 2019 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Michigan vs South Carolina Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Marquise Copeland, Cincinnati (Sr)

Copeland is a guy that I have watched very little on but from what I saw, he’s a good tackler, able to be stout at times, plays with good technique but obviously needs to get stronger, and be way more consistent (I feel like I keep saying that). He can make violent tackles at times but struggles to do this on a regular basis. I like Copeland, I think he’s flying under the radar a bit, and I think with a strong year, he could rise up draft boards.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at East Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Brown, Auburn (Jr)

Derrick Brown is a guy that I am really excited about. He’s got insane potential and could have a big year this season. I think he’s very athletic, has great strength, good awareness and a decent motor. I have high expectations for Brown this season and if he matches them I’d expect him to declare early.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Raekwon Davis, Alabama (Jr)

I need to do more film study on Davis; but he’s a big, strong and athletic DT that I think plays with a great motor and a violent-ness to his game. He is a junior so he may not even be in this draft, but with Payne gone, he’s got a chance to really make a name form himself.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Beckner, Missouri (Sr)

Beckner is a guy with good size and strength. I think he’s a pretty good tackler that has the ability to be disruptive. He’s stout and actually has some good moves to disengage himself from blockers. I think he needs to improve his speed off the ball and (like a lot of these guys) his consistency.

Idaho v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Other Potential DT prospects

Demarcus Christmas, Florida St. (Sr)
Jeffery Simmons, Miss. St. (Jr)
Daylon Mack, Texas A&M (Sr)
Jerry Tiller, Notre Dame (Sr)
Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio St. (Jr)
Daniel Wise, Kansas (Sr)
Olive Sagapolu, Wisconsin