2022 NFL Combine Scouting Grade Preview: Defensive Tackle (DTs)
Ahead of the Combine, we’re doing a preview scouting of all the prospects we haven’t previewed at the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine. We’ll grade the fresh Combine prospects and integrate them with our Senior Bowl and East-West prospects/grades into one ‘big board’, ranked with all the players invited to Indy for 2022.
After the Combine, we’ll start doing the actual numeric grades and doing the deeper dive reports on the top prospects and prospects of interest from all levels).
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia (Pre-Combine scouting grade: A/B)
Measurable Estimate = 6’5”/340
Pre-Combine Notes = Man, they don’t make human beings like this…ones that are so nimble. I looked at his college output and saw nothing of note, then saw he was 9th in the Heisman voting, and I’m like ‘What?’ ‘How?’
Then I watched the tape and was like ‘wow…that’s how’! I need to watch more but, in my preview, I see a monster up the middle that has really graceful feet. He’s a ‘freak’ for this draft. I think. A 3-4 NT or a 4-3 brick wall…more ‘mountain’.
NFL Comp? = Michael Brockers but better…PLUS 30 more pounds? I struggle to comp him because I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like this. I stood next to Daniel McCullers (6’7”/350) at the Senior Bowl down in the end zone during drill observations several years ago…and I still remember it to this day it was so jarring, so frightening…I felt like an ant. I never seen a human being like that in the wild/up close. Davis is that size, but quicker/nimble.
DL Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma (Post-SB scouting grade: B+)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: D
Estimate = 6’4”/292
SB Measurements: 6’3.6”/303, 10.3” hands, 35.5” arms
Post-SB Note: The one DT that was dominant all week, whether 1-on-1 or 11-on-11, was Winfrey. He is going to push from top 75 to top 50 and possibly into the first round with his dominant week getting by blockers. Still some concerns on his run game ability/desire, but that can be worked on – what you can’t teach is beating all the other O-Linemen all week.
Pre-SB Note: Slow, but college strong 4-3 DT. He strong armed his way to some TFLs and sacks in 2021, but little involved in run stopping/tackling, was trying to rush the backfield mostly. He’s too slow and undersized to be a big-time NFL prospect…at my first glance.
NFL Comp? = DaShawn Hand?
DT Travis Jones, UConn (Post-SB scouting grade: B-)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: B-/C+
Estimate = 6’4”/333
SB Measurements: 6’4.3”/326, 10.3” hands, 34.0” arms
Post-SB Note: Had a very good week overall, especially strong in the 1-on-1s and OK/good in the 11-on-11s. For his size, with the week he had…he’s going top 50 or so in the draft.
Pre-SB Note: Pretty nice movement skills for a big-big man up the middle. He’s got NFL body written all over him. He’s a big dude, but not the ‘blob’ type DT/NT, he’s pretty well built with good reach and decent movement skills. He may be more of a ‘B’ grade than ‘C’ grade in the end. The Senior Bowl week may really help him stand out in the one-on-one DL v. OL drills.
NFL Comp? = Maybe some Dexter Lawrence and/or Christian Wilkins ability, but a lesser version of them.
DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia (Post-SB scouting grade: B)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: B-/C+
Estimate = 6’3”/315
SB Measurements: 6’2.6”/307, 9.8” hands, 33.0” arms
Post-SB Note: One of the stars of the week. He was dominant in 1-on-1 drills early on and was good in 11-on-11s but was so good he smarty just left early (I think that’s what he did). He couldn’t do much more for himself than really be quick, un-blockable and a bit of nasty in Mobile the first two days. Very much helped himself here.
Pre-SB Note: The tape says = star. The data/output over his career says = underachiever, too erratic. 42 career games, and I would’ve guessed (from his basic tape) that he would have had at least 10-15+ career sacks as a big ol’ impressive DT, but he only had 5.0 sacks in his career? Sad. He looks better than that.
It looks like he can turn it on when he wants, so he might really flash at the Senior Bowl.
NFL Comp? = Daron Payne, when he wants to be.
DT/NT Noah Elliss, Idaho (Pre-Combine scouting grade: C)
Measurable Estimate = 6’3”/370
Pre-Combine Notes = A BIG BOY, and he can move pretty well at that size. A unique specimen to clog up the middle. He may be a bit of a surprise at the next level.
NFL Comp? Bigger Danny Shelton
DT Marquan McCall, Kentucky (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: C)
Estimate = 6'3”/365
Massive space-eating nose tackle with a surprisingly good first step. His burst is inconsistent, no surprise for a man his size, but he really moves around well despite his bulk. He also pursues well and it's not uncommon to see him chasing plays 10-20 yards down the field (a habit he should probably stop as it could contribute to him getting worn down). He's not as strong as you would assume, and his arms are a bit short which sometimes allows linemen to get under him and stonewall his rush after a good first push.
Fun player to watch but his skill set isn't in demand in today's passing league and he's not an elite run defender like a Vita Vea.
NFL Comp? = Tyler Shelvin
DL Thomas Booker, Stanford (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: C)
Estimate = 6'3”/310
Very nimble athlete for his size. Good feet off the snap. Stoutly built with a very thick lower body but surprisingly easy to push around in the run game. Definitely needs to work on his strength. Decent pass rusher but nothing special yet. Can play in a variety of fronts, likely either a quick 3T in a 4-3 or a 5T in a 3-4.
NFL Comp? = Lesser Christian Wilkins?
DT Logan Hall, Houston (Post-SB scouting grade: C/C-)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: B/B-
Estimate = 6’6”/280
SB Measurements: 6’5.7”/278, 9.6” hands, 33.4” arms
Post-SB Note: Played well all week, partly because he is in the sweet spot of being a tweener DT or DE…but that is trouble at the next level unless you put him in as a 3-4 DE, but his style is more of a DT (my gut says). He’s a good enough player but trying to figure out a spot for impact is the issue. He may just be a depth DL.
Pre-SB Note: A really good-looking 4-3 DT…he has height, he has much power (really strong, bullies blockers and pushes them backwards most of the time), has fast feet in short space. He has a lot of tools here, but he’s also listed as smaller than you’d think at anywhere from 265-275.
I don’t think he can be a great 3-4 scheme DE, and he’s definitely not a 4-3 DE. He’s a warrior for the interior…a slightly undersized one. If he can get to 285-290 pounds with his movement skills and reach, there might be something pretty nice here.
NFL Comp? = A better Jared Crick. Perhaps more of a stronger Jerry Tillery. Some (bigger) Morgan Fox potential in ability.
DT Phidarian Mathis, Alabama (Post-SB scouting grade: C-)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: B
Estimate = 6’4”/312
SB Measurements: 6’3.7”/313, 10.4” hands, 34.6” arms
Post-SB Note: Probably the single most disappointing player I watched this week – he played with little/no passion, and he was handled easily by opposing blockers. He torpedoed his draft stock.
Pre-SB Note: Good feet for a big dude. Played mostly DT but worked some off the edge as well. 9.0 sacks up the middle in 2021 is pretty stout for a DT. Nice long arms/reach too with a high motor. Enjoyed this preview tape.
NFL Comp? = Perhaps a little Fletcher Cox in him?
DT Neil Farrell, LSU (Post-SB scouting grade: C-)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: D+
Estimate = 6’3”/325
SB Measurements: 6’3.5”/328, 10.0” hands, 31.6” arms
Post-SB Note: Very solid week. Will be moving up the draft boards with his size and power – was voted top DL for his team Senior Bowl week. He’s just a big plugger, but that’s needed in the NFL.
Pre-SB Note: Big and slow plug up the middle, rotational DT for the run game…I guess. You’ve seen a million of these guys. He’s legit for the NFL on size but he’s not a game changing talent, just a useful warm (big) body.
NFL Comp? = You hope he’s like a Lawrence Guy, at best.
DL Eyioma Uwazurike, Iowa St (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: C-)
Estimate = 6'5”/310
Another big boy with some shockingly good movement skills. Uwazurike looks like a big run stopping defensive tackle, but he moves and plays more like an end. He's got some scheme versatility and could play anywhere on the interior of the line. Could stand to get stronger and work on keeping his pads low. Gets too high at times and loses leverage. Plays with good intensity and has strong hands and long arms to push blockers away. Great production for an interior player. Boom or bust prospect that could develop into a star or wash out of the league quickly.
NFL Comp? = Akiem Hicks
DL Jordan Jackson, Air Force (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: C-)
Estimate = 6'4”/285
Very interesting prospect not getting any draft attention right now. He's very long but on the thinner side for a defensive tackle. Played 3-4 end in college. Not the strongest guy ever but does a good job exploding out of his stance and getting his hands under his blocker then bench pressing him backwards with his long arms. Very good movement for a man his size. Needs to hit the weight room and sculpt his body.
He's raw and there will be some questions about his level of competition, but I see all the traits necessary to be a good pro.
NFL Comp? = Smaller Tanoh Kpassagnon
DL Esezi Otomewo, Minnesota (Post-SB scouting grade: C-)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: C
Estimate = 6’6”/285
SB Measurements: Did not attend
Post-SB Note: Did not attend
Pre-SB Note: Has a wonderful NFL body, but a bit of a tweener body…a little thin for an NFL DT prospect, a bit big/slow to get his body going as a 4-3 rush edge. NFL teams could bulk him up as a big, long, sleek 4-3 DT…or cut 10-20 pounds and see if he speeds up as a super-tall edge rusher. He’s the kind of prospect you take and hope he develops under your wing in the NFL.
NFL Comp? = Not as nimble Gregory Rosseau if you put him on the end.
DL DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M (Pre-Combine scouting grade: D+)
Measurable Estimate = 6’3”/290
Pre-Combine Notes = I said to Ross, about Leal, after watching a game tape – “Leal gets off the snap like someone stuck a pole up his ass and bolted the other end to the field.” That’s my scouting of Leal…again, for the second time in two years/previews. He’s too slow, too ineffective for the pros. He’s a small, sluggish DT or a fat, sluggish DE. I cannot believe this guy gets top 10 mock projections.
NFL Comp? Damion Square with less ability.
DT Kalia Davis, UCF (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: D+)
Estimate = 6'1”/300
Undersized, college-fast defensive tackle. He's decently quick and can get by linemen with his first initial rush if they aren't ready but is too easily washed out of most plays. He's so small he can't stand up to any kind of decent block or double team. Probably a rotational player at best.
NFL Comp? = Khalil Davis (yes, their names are similar...it's just a coincidence)
DL Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: D+)
Estimate = 6'2”/265
Played interior DT in 2020 at about 280 but dropped weight to play on the edge in 2021. He needs to put the weight back on and try to make it as an undersized 3T in a 4-3 I think. If he can carry the weight well and retain his quickness, he might be a tricky interior pass rusher. At end his frame is simply too short and he's not athletic enough to beat blockers. He does show some quickness and a little bit of power in his stocky frame, but I don't think it's best utilized on the edge.
NFL Comp? = Avery Moss
DT Haskell Garrett, Ohio State (Post-SB scouting grade: D+)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: C-/D+
Estimate = 6’2”/300
SB Measurements: 6’1.3”/298, 9.8” hands, 32.3” arms
Post-SB Note: Hardly remember anything about him being there. Didn’t do anything to attract my attention.
Pre-SB Note: Pretty good movement skills for a 300 pounder. Made a nice leap in performance/tape from 2020 to 2021. He has NFL traits/body…and going to Ohio State helps draft stock. Probably a day three 4-3 DT pickup and a guy who might contribute. Not a star, but NFL-worthy.
NFL Comp? = Reminds a little bit of Harrison Phillips at times, but not as good.
DT John Ridgeway, Arkansas (Post-SB scouting grade: D)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: F
Estimate = 6’5”/320
SB Measurements: 6’4.6”/327, 10.3” hands, 33.6” arms
Post-SB Note: Looked better here than I recalled on tape. Not as tugboat slow. He’s a big body that could take up space up the middle as needed in the pros.
Pre-SB Note: Way too slow for the NFL at my first glance. He runs like his feet are nailed to the ground. Big dude but those feet are a nightmare. There weren’t better DT prospects for the committee to consider for an invite here from the FCS or D3 level?
NFL Comp? = A guy who won’t play in the NFL.
DL Josh Paschal, Kentucky (Post-SB scouting grade: D)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: D
Estimate = 6’3”/278
SB Measurements: Withdrew from Senior Bowl prior to event, injured late regular season
Post-SB Note: Withdrew from Senior Bowl prior to event, injured late regular season
Pre-SB Note: Plays way too heavy. He’s listed 278…he’s probably 285+ and with more fat (looking) than muscle. So, he’s powerful/big off the edge in college, but lacks speed to chase things down or be a real true NFL disruptor. Just 13 sacks in a 5-year, 45 game career.
NFL Comp? = Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
DT Otito Ogbonnia, UCLA (Post-SB scouting grade: D)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: D-
Estimate = 6’3”/320
SB Measurements: 6’3.4”/326, 10.0” hands, 35.2” arms
Post-SB Note: Has the massive size to be useful in the NFL but not any type of impact player.
Pre-SB Note: Big, slow plug up the middle. No special skills observed…just a big body to throw into the middle.
NFL Comp? = Carl Davis
DL Zachary Carter, Florida (Post-SB scouting grade: D)
*Pre-Senior Bowl scouting grade: D
Estimate = 6’4”/285
SB Measurements: 6’3.4”/287, 10.4” hands, 33.4” arms
Post-SB Note: Had a couple moments this week but nothing that changed my mind on him yet.
Pre-SB Note: Played DE for Florida…that’s a big dude, for college, power rushing off the edge. Most of his activity came from pushing the LT backwards and the QB moving up towards his reach. I didn’t see a lot of natural speed/talent of Carter blowing through left tackles…he was just a big dude who was nice for college…but slow and didn’t catch my attention first pass. Maybe if he drops 20 pounds to become a legit edge…or gains 15 to go up to DT?
NFL Comp? = Slower Joe Jackson, old Miami, Fla prospect that was/is a dud in the NFL.
DT Matthew Butler, Tennessee (Pre-Combine scouting grade: D)
Measurable Estimate = 6’3”/290
Pre-Combine Notes = Garden variety ‘good’ college DT, but shaky prospect for the NFL. A little small/slow for a 4-3 DT for the NFL…and not a legit starting 3-4 DE prospect. He looks like a forgettable prospect who peaked in college.
NFL Comp? Isaiah Buggs?
DT Jonathan Ford, Miami (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: D)
Estimate = 6'4”/315
Excellent size and pretty good movement skills. Active hands and a good motor. Everything looks good when he comes off the snap, but he just doesn't seem to affect the game much. Looks the part of a pro but the stat sheet says he's a nobody. Maybe someone can mold the physical abilities into an actual player.
NFL Comp? = Raw Armon Watts (and Watts was already a little raw coming out of Arkansas)
DT Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: D)
Estimate = 6'5”/315
Prototype size and length for a 4-3 nose tackle. He shows very rare flashes of power and speed, but his play is very inconsistent and he mostly just exists in the middle. When he comes off the ball with some urgency and gets under his man and he can really jolt people backwards. It's just so rare that he actually does that. Someone will take him to try and develop.
NFL Comp? = Inconsistent Al Woods
DT Chris Hinton, Michigan (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: D-)
Estimate = 6'3”/310
Two-down run stopper with solid strength and technique but lacking the athleticism to hurt NFL defenders. Built like an offensive guard and he might be best off trying to convert to offensive line honestly. He won't hurt you on defense, but he doesn't offer any upside either.
NFL Comp? = Way less athletic Harrison Phillips
DL LaBryan Ray, Alabama (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: D)
Estimate = 6'4”/280
Decent size but could add 5 or 10 lbs. Just an average athlete. Solid run defender that controls his man 1-on-1. Doesn't offer any pass rush whatsoever. Would fit best as a 3-4 end. Very forgettable.
NFL Comp? = Isaiahh Loudermilk
DL Alex Wright, UAB (Pre-Combine scouting grade: D-)
Measurable Estimate = 6’6”/270
Pre-Combine Notes = I see nothing here but a ‘big guy’. Not that athletic, kinda awkward and slow and ineffective.
NFL Comp? = The worse version of A.J. Epenesa.
DT DJ Davidson, Arizona St (Ross J. Post-East/West Shrine Bowl scouting grade: F)
Estimate = 6'4”/325
Big bodied, slow nose tackle type. Gives good effort but doesn't affect the play very often. You'd expect a guy his size to be much stronger, but most guards don't seem to have a problem with him 1-on-1. Looks like a warm body in the NFL.
NFL Comp? = Someone not making a roster