Top 25 Defensive Tackles for the 2012 NFL Draft

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13. Mike Daniels, Iowa, 6’2″ 280 (Senior)

Mike Daniels came out of nowhere last season to lead a star-studded Iowa defensive line (three NFL draft picks) in tackles for loss. Perhaps it was the company he was in that helped him along the way, or perhaps he has some skill of his own. My bet is on the latter, and Daniels could really break out in 2011 as a playmaker on the Iowa defensive line. He is a quick twitch lineman who plays with a low center of gravity and has a nose for the ball carrier. His performance will be huge this season for the Hawkeyes.

14. Mike Martin, Michigan, 6’2″ 300 (Senior)

Martin will likely be the first Michigan player selected in the draft next season.  He has been one of the few bright spots on woeful Wolverine defenses over the past few years.  Martin has consistently been around the ball, and is best suited for the 4-3 defense.  Kiper has him as the third best defensive tackle on his board next season, which will likely translate into a 2nd round pick. (Nick Hlebichuk, Big Ten Nation)

(Ace Anbender)

In my (admittedly amateur) opinion, Martin is far-and-away the best pro prospect among all of Michigan’s upperclassmen, 2012 draft-eligible or not. He has often been the lone bright spot on what has been a terrible Wolverine defense for the past two seasons despite playing out of position at nose tackle while battling injuries (at one point last season, he was playing on two high ankle sprains) and constant double-teams, and I think he’s criminally underrated both by draft gurus and college experts alike. Martin is a former high school state wrestling champion and record-setter in the discus and shot put, and he has only added strength at Michigan, earning comparisons to the Hulk in the process. While his sheer power – especially for his size – is likely his best attribute, Martin is also very nimble for a defensive tackle and his low center of gravity gives him the dual threat of bull-rushing or simply using his quickness to split through the line. Martin’s production has been lacking – just 37 tackles (six TFLs) in 12 games last year following a 51-tackle, 8.5 TFL season in 2009 – he’s been stuck with incompetent coaching and ever-altering schemes (seemingly all of which wasted his talent and versatility) for the last two seasons. This year, former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison takes over the same position in Ann Arbor, and he’s already shown a willingness to move Martin around (even lining him up at linebacker during the spring game) to take advantage of his combination of power and athleticism. I think Martin will have a breakout senior year, and with him already on the radar of some NFL draft experts (Kiper has him as 2012’s No. 2 DT), I could see him earning his way into the first round. If he drops any lower, some team will be coming away with a steal.

15. Josh Chapman, Alabama, 6’1″ 310 (Senior)

When the 2012 NFL Scouting combine rolls around, you can expect Chapman to be one of the guys who leads the group of defensive linemen in the bench press. According to Alabama trainers, Chapman bench presses 580 pounds and squats 630. This man is a gap clogger and ideal fit for the nose guard in any defense. He might draw comparisons to Stephen Paea, and could play a similar role at the NFL level. He likely won’t put up huge numbers, because he will be the one opening up lanes for the top tier talent behind him at linebacker. He might not be as good a player as Terrence Cody was for the Tide, but he will play the same role. Very hard worker off the field, and had the large task or replacing the All-American Cody at NT. Shared the Lee Roy Jordan Headhunter award at the ‘Bama Spring game with LB Dont’a Hightower.

16. Devon Still, Penn State, 6’5″ 312 (Senior)

Still is a huge defensive tackle, and with his 6’5″ 311 pound frame, has the potential to become a force on the defensive line.  He had 8 TFL his junior season, so if he can improve on those numbers his senior season, he should be a late round pick in the next draft. (Nick Hlebichuk)

17. Dontario Poe, Memphis, 6’5″ 350 (Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

18. Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati, 6’5″ 300 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

19. Brandon Thompson, Clemson, 6’2″ 310 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

20. Renard Williams, Eastern Washington, 6’2″ 300 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

21. Travian Robertson, South Carolina, 6’5″ 298 (Senior)

Robertson has had problems staying healthy at South Carolina, but he is a leader of the defensive line and an anchor for one of the best units in the SEC, possibly the nation. Last year, he had 42 tackles, 10 for loss to go along with four sacks, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Robertson will be 24 years old during his rookie season, but he has good experience and is well-coached. Also named to the SEC academic honor roll. Not an overly flashy player but he is productive and consistent.

22. Jamarkus McFarland, Oklahoma, 6’2″ 295 (Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

23. Armond Armestad, USC, 6’5″ 295 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

24. Dave Kruger, Utah, 6’5″ 290 (Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

25. Logan Harrell, Fresno State, 6’2″ 280 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**