The NFL Draft - The Big Uglies



With everyone fixated on the pretty boy positions lately, I decided to go further on the "real" position of football. The defensive line, and thanks to the zen master Douglas for inspiring me to write this. Now eveyone has seen the obvious top 5, so I'm going to show you the diamonds in the later rounds.

Here's my Top 5 Defensive tackles:

Devon Still

Fletcher Cox

Jerel Worthy

Brandon Thomson

Dontari Poe

Those are the obvious choices, but I found some real intriguing diamonds in the rough - DT's that could be drafted in the later rounds. Some 3-4 defensive tackles, others are 4-3; a few are rotational guys but with big upside.

Lets take a look...

JOSH CHAPMAN - Alabama...6'-1" 316...

Chapman would have been higher on everybody's list, but he had surgery on January 17 to repair a torn ACL. He was less than 100% during the 2011 season. But the book on Chapman is that he's - "a short, stout, strongman, who is especially good against the run. He plays with a powerfull base, and uses his strong arms/hands to shed off blockers." He could be had in rd #6

MARCUS FORTSON - Miami...6'-3" 300...

He was a highly touted player in high school . All-American, as a senior in high school; he recorded 92 tackles, 20 sacks,and forced 7 fumbles while being double-triple teamed. In 2011, he played and starting 3 games before suffering a knee injury. He could be drafted in the later rd's 6-7.

JAYE HOWARD - Florida...6'-3" 303...

He played in 45 games as a Florida Gator,making 25 starts. He registered 131 tackles (80 solo, 50 assisted) 25 tackles for loss,and 11 quarterback sacks. Myers been quoted as saying that he's "... a big, athletic, man, who can play DE as well". Could be had in rd 4.

JARED CRICK - Nebraska...6'-6" 285...

I actually followed Crick during the season and he reminded me alot of fellow alumni Adam Carikker. He was highly touted in the beginning of the 2011 season, and was coming along until he tore his pectoral muscle, ending his 2011 campain. He's not an elite pass rusher, no initial quickness, or signature moves, but got by with relentless aggression. We know how those Cornhuskers like to play. Crick is Suh-like. I project him at rd 4.

ALEMEDA TA'AMU - Washington...6'-3" 348...

Big, big man! A mammoth run stuffer, who is projected to play a 3-4 technique. He had some scouts worring about his weight, but he could be the hole plugger in the middle for a 3-4 run team. 3rd rounder.

MIKE MARTIN - Michigan... 6'1" 306...

Another projected 3-4 nose tackle. Like Chapman from Alabama, hes quick and explosive off the snap, has long arms, and a stout lower frame. He has a 33 1'2 inch vertical leap! I'd hate to be the one to try and block this guy. Again, another run stuffer. Could play 4-3 as well. mid 4th rd.

DEREK WOLFE - Cincinnati... 6'-5" 285...

He has good height and length. A high motor player, who never stops moving, and keeps his feet driving at the point of contact. He played all over the line in Cincinnati, playing the 3, 5, and even 7 technique. His senior year, he tallied 10 sacks, 20 tfl's, and 70 total tackles. A bit undersized. and might be used more as a DE. in a right system. Patriots maybe? 6th rd.

KHEESTON RANDALL... Texas 6'-5" 293...

For an undersized player, Kheeston has displayed some pretty impressive power playing nose tackle. He fires off the line and is able to hold multiple blockers at bay, letting the linebacker's do the dirty work. He has seen action in 34 games for the Longhorns, and has posted 64 tackles (37 solo), 3 QB sacks, and 17 QB pressures. Can play 4-3, or 3-4. I see him going in rd 4.

These are some of the big uglies that are currently lurking under the radar. They can be good rotational players, and some could contribute right away. I hope I gave you Ram brothers a little more insight on the real meat and potatoes of a football team. They don't get the fame and recognition, but they make their presence felt.

Enjoy...God bless.

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