Apr 122022
 
Share Button
Jordan Davis, Georgia Bulldogs (January 10, 2022)

Jordan Davis – © USA TODAY Sports

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

90+ All Pro Projection

85+: Pro Bowl Projection

81-84: 1st rounder – Should be able to play right away

79-80: 2nd rounder – Should be able to rotate right away – Year 2 starter

77-78: 3rd rounder – Should be able to rotate by end of rookie year – Year 2/3 starter

74-76: Early Day 3 – Special Teams – Future backup/possible starter

71-73: Mid Day 3 – Special Teams – Future backup / gamble starter

68-70: Late Day 3 – Back end of roster / Practice Squad / Development guy

65-67: Preferred UDFA

60-64: Undrafted FA

1: Jordan Davis – Georgia – 6’6/341

Grade: 82

Summary: Senior entry from Charlotte, North Carolina. Four-year starter that has been a part of a steady rotation of several current and future pro defensive linemen. 2021 1st Team All SEC and All American. Winner of both the Outland Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award. Of all the imposing line-talent the SEC has and will send to the NFL, Davis is the most imposing figure of them all. His rare size and speed combination shows up in powerful ways against both the run and pass. When moving straight ahead, Davis is nearly impossible to knock off track. His arm length and grizzly bear-paws do enough damage alone to jolt blockers up and back. When he brings his lower body with him and has a fresh battery, the match ups almost seem unfair. The issue is a lack of conditioning and repeatability. Davis spent a lot of time on the sidelines with his hands on his hips. With this elite size and power presence comes a lack of play-to-play functionality. He won’t offer much against the pass and there are stretches where he just can’t seem to play the lateral game. He can fit in to multiple fronts, but he should not be counted on as an every down player or contributor as a pass rusher.

*You can’t talk about Davis without lauding what he did at the combine. That may be truly once in a lifetime right there and because of that and his glimpses of dominance on tape, I think there is a shot we see him go top 10 and even top 5. Would I? No. But I will tell you what. If you are a contender with a good defense but you lack a piece along the interior of your D-Line – Davis is worth the shot. He is the closest thing we have seen to the dominant version of Albert Haynesworth (what he did in 2007-2008 was downright scary). Anyway – I don’t endorse him to NYG in the top 10. His battery life is too short and I’m not confident he will impact the pass rush enough. It would be one thing if this defensive front had Aaron Donald or a group of rushers that are all 10+ sack candidates. But they don’t. Do we really want to see a top 10 guy spend half the game on the sidelines with his hands on his hips? Defensive lines are all about rotations and I get that. But the best ones stay on the field on 3rd down. Donald? 90% of snaps. Jeffery Simmons? 85%. Cam Heyward? 82%. Chris Jones? 68%. Davis never exceeded 45% over the course of a season. Just something to keep in mind. A first-round talent, for sure. But he can’t be a focal point of a front.

2: Devonte Wyatt – Georgia – 6’3/304

Grade: 82

Fifth year senior from Decatur, GA. Spent one season at Hutchinson Community College before transferring to Georgia where he started for two years. Finished his career first team All-SEC in 2021. Wyatt has been, for years, the most active run defender along an impressive Bulldogs’ front. His athleticism is top grade, and he plays with a pair of active, angry, and powerful hands. He can wear multiple hats along the defensive line and could credibly fit into any scheme. Wyatt saw his production waver but that could have been a product of such a star-studded defense. Simply put, he can beat one on one blockers with an array of post-snap strategies and skills. He can play as fast as any defensive tackle in the league right now and could end up being a feature player in time. There is an off-field incident that occurred in 2020 that should be investigated.

*Wyatt was one of the top three tackles on my board toward the end of the 2020 season with a round 2 outlook. When he opted to go back to school, I was surprised. I didn’t think he could do much more to improve his grade. I was wrong. Wyatt on tape in 2021 was even better and I can easily make the case he should be DT1 in the class. Based on what a team wants to do with their defensive front – Wyatt is probably a better fit than Davis for half of the teams. NYG could use a guy like Wyatt if he gets to them in round 2. Remember, we have no idea if Lawrence is a long-term guy and there isn’t much else on this front beyond Williams that gives long term hope.

3: Logan Hall – Houston – 6’6/283

Grade: 82

Senior entry from Belton, TX. Two-year full-time starter that saw a few starts in the previous two seasons as well. Earned first team All AAC honors in 2021. Hall is one of the more unique players in the class. His frame suggests defensive end, but he mostly lined up inside the tackles in Houston’s hybrid front that normally had four down linemen. He excels in there because he can get off the ball quicker than interior blockers and also maintains a low pad level with long, strong arms. He wins initially with powerful hands and shows another gear when he is near the ball. Hall’s unique skill set and body make him an intriguing player that can create mismatches for opposing offensive lines. He can evolve into a top tier inside pass rusher but will also provide quality run defense as well if shifted outside a gap or two. A true every down threat here that is best suited for a hybrid scheme.

*One of the most interesting players in the class. Hall stood out to me every time I watched him. The more I saw, the more I found myself thinking about the possibilities he brings to the table. You don’t see guys with this kind of height that can play with elite knee bend often. Throw in the fact that his hand techniques are far beyond what you see out of college kids and there is something to work with that other guys do not have. Crazy high ceiling here and I think he fits in exactly with what NYG wants to do along the front.

4: Travis Jones – Connecticut – 6’4/325

Grade: 80

Fourth year junior entry from New Haven, CT. Three-year starter that opted out of the 2020 season because of Covid-19. Jones has the ideal body and build for teams looking to beef up their interior presence along the defensive line. He carries 325+ pounds with ease while also showing excellent first step quickness up the field. The most attractive trait in his game comes immediately post-snap where his cinderblock-hands strike the blocker and immediately gets the action moving into the backfield. He creates a new line of scrimmage on a consistent basis when he has his pad level low enough. Jones does not show a lot of variety as a pass rusher, nor does he adjust well if initially beat. He needs to gain a better feel for the game and match his skill set with his impressive set of tools when it comes to lateral movement and adjustments. If that does happen, he can be one of the top forces at the position in the league. His basement will still be a very solid run defender and bull rusher. Safe player with enormous upside.

*Jones sitting out 2020 took away valuable playing experience that may have very well impeded his progress as a player. I think he is still pretty early on the progression curve compared to a lot of these guys. Jones has Pro-Bowl potential if that is the case because this dude can be a player right now. Week 1 he can get on the field and be a factor as a run defender. If he builds off what he did at the Senior Bowl, there may be some solid pass rush here as well. I think Jones is the ideal fit for nose tackle in Martindale’s scheme. I bet he is pounding the table for him, but the debate is whether or not he should be the second rounder considering what else will be on the board and what NYG already has at DT.

5: Perrion Winfrey – Oklahoma – 6’4/290

Grade: 78

Senior entry from Maywood, IL. Spent two seasons at Iowa Western Junior College prior to transferring to Oklahoma in 2020 where he started for two years. Two-time second team All-Big 12. Winfrey has a naturally powerful body that plays even stronger on gameday. He is an adrenaline-spike for the defense, as his engine runs hot every time he steps foot on the field. His elite-level length and explosive upper body can create significant issues for blockers off the ball. He strikes his man early and violently. Couple that with his aggressive, twitchy lower half and he can consistently penetrate a gap and cause disruption. There are still some issues with his overall body control and stability, but his growth has been tremendous over the course of his two seasons with the Sooners. If he continues on this path, he will be an effective three-technique, but should be kept out of serious run defending duties.

*Like a couple guys above him, Winfrey is going to start off as a specialty guy. Except one can make the argument that this is the one you want because of how well he can rush the passer. Winfrey has tremendous get off and tenacity. He is an energy stick for a defense. The one potential issue I see here is the fact that he be beat up on a lot of college linemen that just weren’t very stout or powerful. I’m not sure he will get the push that he did in college at his size. He won’t be able to two-gap, but there is pass rush potential.

6: DeMarvin Leal – Texas A& M – 6’4/283

Grade: 78

Summary: Junior entry from San Antonio, Texas. Three-year starter that capped his career off with a 1st Team All SEC and 1st Team All American season. Leal is a pass rush specialist that was moved all over the defensive front. He primarily lined up at end and as a stand up outside linebacker, but his body tape and size will likely keep him inside the tackle in most schemes. Leal has the kind of get-off and rush moves that will cause headaches for heavy footed blockers. He can whip by them in a blink and his reaction to the ball is noteworthy. He knows how to finish behind the line of scrimmage, as seen with his 24.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks over his career. The question with him is whether or not he can be an every down player. He doesn’t exactly fit into a pure edge role, and he may not be stout enough to play inside every down. He bets fits into a situation where guys are rotated and moved around often, but he may not be the difference maker he was in college.

*I normally don’t love using a day 2 grade on a guy without a true position but there are exceptions for players that can rush the passer. Leal can do that from multiple angles. Because of what Texas A& M had on their roster (and didn’t have), Leal mostly played on the edge. Some guys may have him graded out there (one of our guys wanted me to put him outside). He is a well-below average athlete if he is strictly an edge. But he won’t be stout enough for the inside. Truly a hard guy to project but with the number of teams playing a hybrid front, Leal is going to find a spot somewhere.

7: Phidarian Mathis – Alabama – 6’4/310

Grade: 77

Summary: Fifth year senior from Wisner, LA. One year starter that was a heavy part of the defensive line rotation all four seasons. Second-team All-SEC in 2021 after finishing third in the conference in sacks. Mathis exploded on to the scene in his final year and sent a sharp upward jolt to his draft stock. The oversized interior pass rusher plays with tremendous hustle and grit which maximizes his natural gifts of long and heavy arms. His explosive hands and ability to win the lockout battle puts him in a position to succeed. He then shows understanding of angles and creases post-engagement with the blocker. His body type may cause some issues that stem from an unstable lower half, but he will at least be a solid pass rush presence from the inside, but maybe not an every down player.

*When trying to enhance this team’s pass rush deficiencies, one needs to look deeper than a pure edge presence. Leonard Williams is a stud between the tackles but the lack of another option along the line (or blitzing LB) makes life easier for the opponent to deal with him. Mathis is a really solid penetrator that finished second on Alabama with 9 sacks while adding 12 TFL. The size and body scream 2-gap run defender though. He does both, he plays hard, and I think he still has a lot to learn. Really solid guy to have as an option on the line to rotate in and out. He will make others better.

8: Otito Ogbonnia – UCLA – 6’4/324

Grade: 76

Summary: Senior entry from Houston, TX. Spent one year as a full-time starter but did start games all four seasons at UCLA. Ogbonnia was a nationally ranked shot-put thrower in high school and also spent time on the UCLA Track and Field team. He won the 2019 PanAm U20 Championships. That, along with the absolute ideal body type for the position gives him a sense of upside and potential that could eventually mold into a quality presence inside. He won’t ever be a big-time pass rusher, which does need to be kept in mind, but his size and power can help a defense out in a big way. Ogbonnia is not elusive, nor does he adjust very well laterally, but he creates a new line of scrimmage or can maintain gap control against double teams repeatedly. He is the alpha-male in a group full of guys that think they’re the alpha.

*For teams looking to add a 3-4 nose tackle to their front, but strike out on guys like Davis and Jones, could very well have Ogbonnia next on their board. He does not have the same upside, but I do see a guy that, when it comes to strictly playing over center and controlling the point of attack, Ogobonnia is on a similar level. Scouts love defensive tackles with an accomplished shot-put background. There was a time where Ogbonnia was heading toward a potential Olympic-path. He has some untapped upside that interests me. Nice fit with NYG, too.

9: Kalia Davis – Central Florida – 6’1/302

Grade: 74

Summary: Fifth year senior from Pensacola, FL. Two-year starter that sat out the 2020 season because of Covid-19. Davis came back strong in 2021 but tore his ACL week five, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Thus, he played just five games since the end of 2019, the year he started to break out and show how good of a penetrating force he could be. The former linebacker has seen action all over the front seven. He played Mike, Will, and Sam before transitioning to playing with his hand in the dirt. Once there, he began at defensive end and found his home as a three-technique. That will be his home at the next level, where his penetrating and forceful impact will be a handful for blockers to handle. Davis’ low center of gravity and long arms will create multiple options for him post-snap. If the knee checks out and the skill set continues the current trajectory, Davis can be a starting interior lineman or at least a sub-package interior rusher early in his career.

*Sleeper alert. I won’t move Davis much higher than this because his grade is almost completely projection based, as he’s barely played since the end of 2019, and he’s seen such a small amount of snaps at tackle. But this is an incredibly unique background, and the physical profile is something I always look for. Low to the ground, plus arm length, and a twitchy lower half. It can be incredibly hard to block for offensive linemen, especially ones that have a hard time bending. Davis needs time to be coached up to refine the skill set, but he has some physical advantages that nobody else does. His 5 games prior to the ACL were money, too.

10: Eyioma Uwazurike – Iowa State – 6’6/316

Grade: 73

Summary: Sixth year senior from Detroit, MI. Four-year starter that earned first team All-Big 12 honors in 2021, honorable mention in 2019 and 2020. Uwazurike has an incredibly unique body and skill set that has earned him a high versatility grade. He split his time between nose tackle and five -technique in 2021 and thrived at both. He plays a solid lockout game and will fight with anger through the whistle play after play. There are multiple issues with his movement, as he plays tight and tall at times and won’t beat many blockers one on one right away. He will fit best in a 3-4 scheme as an oversized five technique. While his upside is limited, he will be a reliable presence that can offer a little extra against the pass.

*Look for potential NYG interest in here. Uwazurike can rightfully project to multiple positions within a 3-4 front. I’m not sure I see a potential starter because the initial movement off the ball and stiffness can be exposed. However, if there is a plan to bring him on the field in specific situations, he can be a matchup problem. I also love the fire and passion he plays with. He made a lot of eye-opening plays in pursuit. Rare body, plus-versatility, and good effort can make things happen with the right coaching.

11: Matthew Butler – Tennessee – 6’4/297

Grade: 73

Fifth year senior from Raleigh, NC. Three-year starter that was the ringleader to a deep, talented defensive line. Butler led that line in tackles three straight seasons and was the second leading sack artist in 2021. He was moved throughout the defensive line, everywhere from nose tackle to defensive end. He projects best to a three-technique role where his explosive first step and powerful hands can do a lot of damage post-snap. He can be a situational pass rusher that is no slouch in the run game if he isn’t put in a spot where he needs to handle double teams or man two gaps.

*He may not be an ideal fit for the NYG scheme, but he does bring powerful hand fighting and versatility to the table. He is more penetrator than 2-gapper. He was so active on tape, just a pure hustler and when I use a day three pick on a defensive lineman that lacks some of the ideal traits, that energy stick means something extra.

12: Neil Farrell Jr – LSU – 6’4/330

Grade: 72

Fifth year senior from Mobile, AL. Started games over three seasons, was a full-time starter in one of them. Farrell is a big-time power presence inside that can hold the point of attack, controlling two gaps with his use of leverage and ability to attach himself to the ground he stands on. His craftiness and surprisingly nimble feet in traffic get him to the action often against the run. The pure athleticism in space and as a pass rusher will need to be hidden, but the impact can be there as a two-gap run defender. His best fit will reside in a 3-4 scheme over the center.

*The next 3-4 nose tackle that will be able to handle that kind of role right away. He could get a little over-drafted based on the amount of teams I am projecting to need that kind of player and the supply in this class. Farrell’s stamina is less than the guys above. He really didn’t do well when he had to be on the field often. He won’t offer anything as a pass rusher, either. I would be worried about a team going hurry up with him on the field. But for the traditional run defending role, he will get the job done.

13: Eric Johnson – Missouri State – 6’2/299

Grade: 71

Summary: Sixth year senior from Plainfield, IL. Five-year starter that played the extra year because of the eligibility given out as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Finished his career earning second team All-MVFC honors. After a lackluster career that did not fully highlight his tool set, Johnson started to open eyes in the spring of 2021. He saved his best ball for the fall season just a few months later and continued to rise throughout the pre-draft process. Johnson excelled at the East-West Shrine Game and was a late add to the Senior Bowl roster a week later. He is a versatile inside-out threat with a pro caliber combination of heavy hands and quick feet. His frame suggests the likely potential to add more functional mass to his frame with a year of a pro strength program. Once there, he has the athletic ability to wreck havoc as an interior penetrator that ideally finds a home as a 3 or 5 technique.

*Johnson got my attention late in the process. His practice tape at both Shrine and Senior week was impressive. And to think this kid still has plenty of room to add to his wide and long frame gives a really solid long-term projection. He confirmed the projection at his dominant Pro Day performance. Johnson is going to be a day three pick that coaches are really excited about.

14: John Ridgeway – Arkansas – 6’5/321

Grade: 71

Summary: Fifth year senior from Bloomington, IL. Had a five-year career at Illinois State (including the 2021 spring season) where started for four years. Following that 2021 spring season (just 4 games), Ridgeway transferred to Arkansas and started at nose tackle. The sizeable frame and powerful hands make him a potential two-gap force inside that can make a real difference in the running game. He won’t bring much to the table as a pass rusher, as he simply doesn’t have the juice to shoot a gap and he is a step behind when it comes to rush moves. He projects as a rotational interior defender with a bias toward run defense.

*Ridgeway is the kind of guy that the league likes more than what is out there. He plays big and wide, controls his gap(s), and says square. Just a reliable player inside with the tools that line coaches want to work with. He won’t be a pass rusher, but the 3-4 fronts will see him as a guy worth trying to develop.

15: Haskell Garrett – Ohio State – 6’2/300

Grade: 70

Summary: Fifth year senior from Las Vegas, NV. Two-year starter that earned first team All-Big 10 honors in 2021. Garrett falls below the prototypical triangle numbers for the position. He measures in less than ideal when it comes to height, length, and weight. With that said, there aren’t many players that maximize the tools they do have like Garrett does. He is an energy stick for a defensive line that can disrupt the passing game. He gets off the ball in a hurry with active hands and low center of gravity. He can wear down a blocker over time and take advantage of a small crease. He will fit into a rotation as a penetrating three technique for a solid dozen snaps per game.

*Garrett probably won’t be very high on NYG’s board, he may not even be on it. I think he is 3-tech only. I appreciate how hard this guy plays and how consistent that effort is. But it is hard to find that standout trait in his game that truly puts guys on their heels. He can find a spot as a backup somewhere and you know he will bring the effort. Upside is limited across the board. He struggled at the Senior Bowl.

BEST OF THE REST

16 – DJ Davidson – Arizona State – 6’3/327: 70
17 – Jayden Peevy – Texas A& M – 6’5/308: 70
18 – Noah Elliss – Idaho – 6’4/346: 69
19 – Thomas Booker – Stanford – 6’3/301: 69
20 – Christopher Hinton – Michigan – 6’4/305: 69
21 – LaBryan Ray – Alabama – 6’4/283: 68
22 – Marquan McCall – Kentucky – 6’3/342: 68
23 – Jonathan Ford – Miami – 6’5/331: 68
24 – Matt Henningsen – Wisconsin – 6’3/289: 68
25 – Donovan Jeter – Michigan: 6’3/310: 67
26 – Ben Stille – Nebraska – 6’4/300: 67
27 – Jordan Jackson – Air Force – 6’4/294: 67
28 – Tayland Humphrey – Louisiana – 6’5/328: 66
29 – LaRon Stokes – Oklahoma – 6’4/300: 65
30 – Dion Novil – North Texas – 6’1/300: 65

NYG APPROACH

When it comes to the Giants defensive line and examining this group of prospects, it is important to know they DO want a true two-gap nose tackle in this scheme. It does not need to be an ever down down guy, but as seen with the signing of Justin Ellis, they will always want a guy that can do that job. With that in mind, they’ll always want a backup two-gap nose tackle. I think their approach to the defensive line starts there. I’m not confident David Moa is that guy. Now, the one caveat I have with my statement is the gray cloud of the head of Dexter Lawrence. I would love to see him be the guy that is playing over center and Ellis as the backup. You then have Jihad Ward and Leonard Williams as the hybrid 3/5 techniques that play their best in an attack-based scheme. Whichever is indeed the case, NYG needs to add at least one defensive lineman in this draft class. Which type will largely depend on what they want to do with Lawrence? I always viewed him as a double A-gap guy, but he has been moved around way too much. I think NYG start looking here as early as round 3 (although watch out for Logan Hall in round 2) if they are looking for more pass rush. If they are looking for more size and run defense, I think it will be round 4-6. This team will be adding a DL talent, though.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

David Syvertsen

David Syvertsen, aka Sy'56, has worked for Ourlads Scouting LLC since 2013, starting off as a college depth chart manager and now a lead scout for one the most-sold NFL draft guides year-in, year-out. He has been scouting for over 10 years and will compile anywhere from 400-600 scouting reports per season, with that number increasing year by year. He watches and studies game films 20-25 hours per week throughout the entire year with his main focus being NFL Draft prospects.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.