Now that we've started with the guys coming off the edge, it's time to look at the guys on the inside. This group includes everything from true 0-technique nose tackles to 3-tech upfield defensive tackles.
We just had a loaded draft class with interior D-linemen and once again, there is a lot of talent among that unit. While there is no Quinnen Williams or Ed Oliver out there, I definitely could see defensive tackles go in the first round in 2020. However, as I always see with these rankings, I am eventually ranking college players as of where they will be this season.
#1 Derrick Brown, Auburn
At 6’5” and almost 320 pounds, Brown is the type of monstrous defensive tackles who can give opponents nightmares every week. Last season he put up 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, but according to PFF he also forced 28 QB pressures and an elite run-defense grade. Brown has a tremendous amount of natural strength and puts a bunch of offensive linemen on their backsides. With his long arms and power he can grab an offensive lineman’s side of the shoulder pad and just yank him out of his way.
The Auburn phenom barely was primarily lined up in the A-gaps and received a lot of attention by offensive lines, but barely gave up ground to double-teams and was a big reason the Tigers gave up less than 50 rushing yards despite being such a dominant running team.
He is really good at getting push up the middle on the quarterback, but I need to see him finish his rushes better. With meetings of five teams in the top 12 of the preseason rankings on the schedule, Brown will have plenty of opportunities to receive draft hype and we will follow him closely to see if he can become a truly dominant interior D-lineman in 2019.