Army Spring Depth Chart Review: Right DT

Army was the first in the FBS to complete spring drills. ArmySports.com's Jim Lawler will review each Black Knight position to project a starter, a backup and a player to watch. Today he'll discuss the right defensive tackle position.

RIGHT DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Starter: Joe Drummond #54 Jr.
Back up: Ryan Alexander #50 So.
Third String: Kyle Maxwell #83 Sr.


Junior Joe Drummond made big strides this spring from a physical standpoint to win the starting job. He played in ten games last year and made 11 tackles including assisting on a sack. He missed time when he hurt his shoulder during 2012 and saw limited playing time in the second half of the year. Drummond has recovered and seemed like he had his full range of motion again this spring. Joe is a 6-3, 228 pound athletic lineman who can move and pursue. He is versatile enough to play on both the right and left sides of the defensive line. The right tackle in the double-eagle flex plays a 3-technique. Drummond has the athleticism the position needs to shoot the gap immediately and get himself into the offensive backfield to disrupt plays. He was a direct admit in 2011 and is still maturing. Drummond's tackling needs to become more consistent and he needs to stay healthy. He must do a better job of coming off blocks than he did last year.

A new addition to the two deep depth chart at right defensive tackle is sophomore Ryan Alexander. He was ranked by some high school scouting services as a three-star recruit in 2011 coming out of high school. He attended the United States Military Academy Prep School that fall but broke his foot in a non-contract drill during the first USMAPS practice. The injury forced him to miss his entire prep season. Alexander saw time during his plebe year on the JV team. Alexander (6-1, 232) recorded 35 sacks during his high school varsity career. Alexander is quick, has good acceleration off the ball and 4.8 speed in the forty yard dash to pursue. Like Drummond he has the athleticism to play 3-technique tackle but he needs to mature and become more consistent. Ryan is still learning the position. He had played almost exclusively on the edge as a defensive end until he was moved to defensive tackle last fall on the JV team.

Senior Kyle Maxwell earned the third string spot on the depth chart. Last year Maxwell appeared in eleven games and made four tackles. The staff tried Maxwell at defensive end the last few years but has settled on using him at right defensive tackle. At 6-5, Kyle has long arms and moves pretty well. He offers some experience and senior leadership. He has showed some ability to react off blocks. Maxwell isn't as quick off the ball as the two underclassmen in front of him. The move to 3-technique defensive tackle from defensive end seems to be a better fit for his skill set.

Behind the top tier are bigger sophomores Wyatt Wilkerson (6-2, 265) and Evan Finnane (6-1, 250). Wilkerson was a backup at offensive tackle and defensive tackle for USMAPS in 2011. He was moved to full time duty at defensive tackle last fall as a plebe. Wyatt has good strength but needs to get quicker and play with his pads lower. He has to keep on developing athletically and play faster if he hopes to move up the depth chart. Evan Finnane is the younger brother of Army nose tackle Shane. Finnane played well in practice last year but missed spring practice with an injury. He missed much needed practice reps this spring. Evan is a lot bigger than his brother and has the frame to add more muscle the next few years. It doesn't appear he will be a factor this fall but he does have the ability to potentially contribute down the road.

The player to watch this fall will probably be the defensive tackle who competed last fall at the United States Military Academy Prep school. He is very talented and offers the athleticism the position needs plus 260 pounds of heft against the run. We'll discuss him and the entire class of Incoming new recruits in the ArmySports.com scouting reports after R-day.

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