I’ve been thinking about the defensive tackles in the draft for a long time. I don’t think that it’s one of the eagles top couple needs, but I miss the days when our DTs would push the pocket in the passing game. I read recently that Reid specifically doesn’t want them to get a push and that they are just supposed to play contain. I think that is a big mistake. When DTs can push the pocket, or collapse the pocket, it makes it easier for the DEs or outside blitzing players to get to the QB because he then can’t step up in the pocket. I think that most good defenses have a great DT who can collapse pocket.
Corey Simon was one such DT who managed to penetrate the pocket. I don’t remember how much he could collapse it, but he was a disruptive player(for a short time). I believe that it’s time we have another disruptive play making DT. Bunkley and Patterson are both pretty good, but not great. Trevor Laws hasn’t contributed much. We also have Antonio Dixon, who played a little and seems to have passed Laws on the depth chart. So who’s available in the draft?
1. Ndamukong Suh DT – He looks awesome on tape and has great stats. He not only is disruptive but makes the tackle/play as well. I would take him in a second if we were close to the top of the draft. Unfortunately he will not fall to anywhere near our pick.
2. Tyson Alualu DT – I think that he is the second best DT in the draft. He is the most athletic and probably the second most productive (I would have to double check that). He had three productive years. Makes many tackles and is only beat out by Suh consistently. From the tape I watched, he was a play maker and a very good tackler. He pushed the pocket in the pass and run game and can get off blocks. I look at him like a slightly smaller Suh. Based on his combine numbers and the tape of him he is as athletic as DEs that weigh 20 or 30 lbs less than him. I would even consider playing him on the end. Many people say that he is a second round prospect but I would take him in the first.
3. Gerald McCoy DT – He doesn’t have great production like Suh, but has pretty much the same athleticism. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that he could be better than Suh, including Mike Mayock, but I disagree. He is quite possibly from the tape that I’ve watched, a little more disruptive than Suh, but he doesn’t make the play. Unless you have a linebacker or another DE ready to make the tackle after McCoy’s disruption, I don’t think he is on the same level as Suh. I want a disruptive DT that makes tackles, not one who just disrupts. He doesn’t seem to play as fast with his change of direction as Suh, even though he posted extreamly similar numbers to Suh. Either way. I’m putting it on the line. Unless someone can teach McCoy to close on his plays, I don’t think that he will be as good as Suh in the NFL. I honestly think that he is the third best DT in the draft.
4. Dan williams DT – he looks pretty good at times, but often seemed to get pushed back or blocked out of plays in the run game. I wouldn’t spend a first round pick on him. His production is pretty good, but he isn’t tremendously athletic. If you need a big DT I guess he is the only reasonable answer in the draft at 327.
5. Brian Price DT – I think that he looks pretty good on tape. He can get off blocks and makes some plays, but he is definitely a slow.
6. Jared Odrick DT – He is athletic, but seems to get pushed around and can’t get off blocks. I’m not interested in him and would never take him in the first round.
7. Terrence Cody DT – He is another nose tackle. I don’t like him at all though. He looks terribly slow and can not change direction. he does way 50 lbs more than most of the DTs so I’ll give him that, but it really shows. He doesn’t seem particularly strong to me either. I guess that teams just want him to stand there and not be pushed back. I want more out of my DTs though.
To sum things up. While DT isn’t our biggest need, I would love to draft Tyson Alualu out of California and think that he would help bring our D line back to dominance.