Scouting the top DT prospects

As part of our series previewing the NFL draft, we examine the top prospects at every position. This installment features the defensive tackles.

Overall class strength: Among the better positions in the draft, there's a lot of depth at this position, led by Florida State's Brodrick Bunkley and Oregon's Haloti Ngata. There will be quality defensive tackles available as late as the third round.

The best: Brodrick Bunkley, Florida State; Haloti Ngata, Oregon; Claude Wroten, LSU; Gabe Watson, Michigan.

The next wave: DT Rodrique Wright, Texas; Orien Harris, Miami (Fla.); Dusty Dvoracek, Oklahoma; Jesse Mahelona, Tennessee; John McCargo, N.C. State; Babatunde Oshinowo, Stanford.

Possible sleepers: Steve Williams, NW Missouri State; Manaia Brown, Brigham Young.

First-round projections: Bunkley, Ngata, Wroten.

Quick hits: Ngata cited financial concerns and his mother's illness when he announced he was entering the draft after his junior season; his mother died a few days later at the age of 44 from an apparent heart attack while undergoing dialysis for a severe kidney ailment. ... Bunkley has been compared by some to NFL veteran Warren Sapp. ... Harris is the younger brother of former San Francisco 49ers first-round pick Kwame Harris, an offensive tackle from Stanford. ... Wroten was arrested on Jan. 4 following a traffic stop when police found marijuana in his car, but the charges later were dropped. Wroten's invitation to the Senior Bowl was rescinded because of the incident.

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