NFL Scouting Combine: Top 5 Defensive Tackles

The Giants Beat takes a look at the top prospects at the defensive tackle position who will be showcasing their skills in Indianapolis.

1. A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama


Scouting Profile: Robinson has shown his talent and produced for a very talented Alabama defensive front. Although most will see this as a strength, it can be questioned as to whether being a part of a great system with great pieces around him could have covered up any weaknesses.  He might be a bit of a risk, but the potential for stardom is there.


Scheme Fit: His skill set is very versatile, which should allow him every opportunity for success, and he would translate well into the Giants 4-3 system as a defensive tackle.

2. Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor


Scouting Profile: Over the past season fellow defensive lineman, Shawn Oakman, has received a lot of the publicity for his other-worldly physique, yet Billings seems to be the better player. Billings is an extremely powerful player, whose relative lack of height allows his pad level to stay low. He has gotten better as a pass rusher as well.


Scheme Fit: Most would project him as a nose tackle rather than a 4-3 defensive tackle, so the fit might not be the best fit for the Giants as he might struggle to be able to play in the 4-3 scheme.


3. Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama


Scouting Profile: Alongside Robinson at Alabama, Jarron Reed wrecked havoc on opposing offensive lines. He is very strong against the run, but isn’t as strong as a pass rusher. He accumulated 53 tackles in 2015, and was a menace for opposing running backs.


Scheme Fit: Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo loves to have defensive tackles that can make plays behind the line of scrimmage against the run and Reed can do so. He might not be great as a pass rusher, but hopefully other guys like JPP (if retained) and crew can pick up the slack in that regard.


4. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville


Scouting Profile: Another versatile player who is boosted by that ability, Rankins has been both disruptive and productive. Accumulating over 50 tackles in each of the last two seasons as well as totaling 14 sacks from the defensive tackle position is one of the reasons he is starting to climb draft boards.


Scheme Fit: Again, versatility seems to be the key for a lot of these guys. Some team personnel and decision makers may view him as being too small, but I think most will love his production and versatility making him a good fit for most.


5.  Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss


Scouting Profile: Nkemdiche came to college as a 5-star recruit, with all of the accolades. He joined his brother at Ole Miss, and his athleticism and ability is very easy to see. He is versatile and very athletic for his size. However, off the field he has had his struggles, leading his maturity to be a question mark. Also, his production wasn’t as off the charts as his ability would lead you to think it would be. He only accumulated 6.5 sacks over the course of his three year career. He ranks fifth for me due to the questions of production, but mostly due to immaturity and character concerns.


Scheme Fit: He is a freak athlete who can probably excel in most defenses, but seems to be a good fit for the Giants’ 4-3 front. 


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