Posts Tagged ‘Defensive Tackles’

2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Leonard Williams, DL, Southern California

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

Versatility is the name of the game in the NFL. Most players are now asked to do more than one job, and the ability to contribute in multiple capacities sets great players away from good players. This is especially true for defensive linemen, where the best players need to be able to rush the passer and stuff the run, play in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes and adjust their talents to multiple roles. Leonard Williams, a 2013 third-team AP All-American from USC, has no shortage of versatility.

As a freshman in 2012, Williams played 3-technique defensive tackle on a defense coached by Monte Kiffin, who is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff. The Pac-12 defensive freshman of the year, he totaled 64 tackles, including 13.5 for loss (8 sacks), while he also had four deflections, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Last season, Williams occupied the 5-technique defensive end position under new USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. He started 13 games and had 74 tackles, including 13.5 for loss (6 sacks), with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He suffered a shoulder injury against Oregon State on Nov. 1, and struggled with the recovery the rest of the year.

USC’s defensive scheme is changing yet again this year and Williams is set to play defensive end in the Trojans’ 3-4 alignment. He has two years of remaining eligiblity for USC, but should be a top prospect for the 2015 draft if he declares.

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What Should the Buffalo Bills Do with Marcell Dareus?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Has Marcell Dareus become more trouble than he is worth? (Photo: Kim Klement — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Fourteen games into the 2013 NFL season, the story of Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was that the 2011 No. 3 overall draft pick had emerged as one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles. The massive, powerful yet athletic presence had proven to be a great fit for the middle of Mike Pettine’s defense, and Bills fans started to clamor for the team to sign Dareus to a long-term contract extension.

Since then, Dareus’ success story has become blemished with embarrassing, disappointing incidents that have cast not only his long-term future, but perhaps his immediate future, into question.

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2014 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Notre Dame DT Louis Nix III

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix is one of the 2014 NFL draft’s top defensive line prospects. (Photo: Matt Cashore — USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

Standing right in the middle of Notre Dame’s top-10 defense last season was defensive tackle Louis Nix III, who is primed to be one of the stars of the Fighting Irish in 2013. Nix didn’t see the field as a freshman so he technically has another year of eligibility after the 2013 season. That said, he will be finished with his degree in the spring of 2014 and will likely enter the 2014 draft.

In his first playing season in 2011, Nix jumped right in and started 11 games, compiling 45 tackles (4.5 for loss) and .5 sacks. Last season, he started 11 games again and led the team’s defensive lineman in tackles with 50. He also had 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks and led the team in pass breakups with five.

Listed at 6’3’’ and 326 pounds by Notre Dame’s official athletics website, Nix has great size for an NFL defensive lineman. He appears to be one of the top defensive line prospects in the 2014 draft.

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2014 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Arizona State DT Will Sutton

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton has the interior pass-rushing ability of a first-round pick, but he may not have the measurables. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton emerged last season as one of the nation’s top defensive linemen, and if he can follow up his junior year with a strong senior season, he could be one of the top defensive linemen off the board in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Sutton burst onto the scene during the 2012 season. He was named the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and was a first-team All-American. He had 63 tackles, 23.5 for a loss (second-most in FBS) and 13 sacks (third-most in FBS). He also forced three fumbles and deflected five passes.

Sutton, the son of former NFL defensive back and punt returner Mickey Sutton, first saw action as a true freshman in 2009. He started two games and saw action in 12. He accumulated 17 tackles with three for loss and one sack.

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