Top 5 Defensive Line Prospects of the 2018 NFL Draft

Here are the top defensive lineman in this year’s NFL draft.

1. Vita Vea, University of Washington

Vita Vea is the top defensive tackle in most expert’s opinions. He played the nose tackle position at Washington. He has great size, strength and quickness. He is especially good against the run and opponents usually needed to double team him. His power also is used to collapse the pocket for quarterbacks. He finished the 2017 season with 44 tackles and 3.5 sacks. (Walterfootball) He has all the physical tools to become a force for any team.

2. Da’Ron Payne, University of Alabama

Da’Ron Payne was a key part of the Alabama defense during their national championship run. He is a very talented run stopper in the middle of the defensive line. He uses his size and athleticism to his advantage. For a defensive lineman, he has very good speed as well. He was able to produce 47 tackles with 2 sacks last year. (Walterfootball) He is going to be tough to handle one-on-one which will lead to double teams. This is big as it will create holes for linebackers to come through and stop the run. He is going to be a problem for offensive lineman.

3. Taven Bryan, University of Florida

Another defensive tackle with great size and athleticism, Taven Bryan is another first round talent. He had 40 tackles and 4 sacks last year for Florida. (Walterfootball) He has the ability to shed blocks and create pressure on the quarterback. His athleticism makes him a top prospect, but he still has to improve in order to be a long time starter in the NFL. If he goes to the right situation and develops his skills, he will be an excellent addition to a defense.

4. Tim Settle, Virginia Tech

Tim Settle really showed what he could do last year as he improved immensely from 2016. He also helped to improve Virginia Tech’s defense with his play. Settle ended the season with 36 tackles, and 12.5 tackles for loss. (Walterfootball) Settle has great upside, especially after showing how much he improved in the past year. He will most likely be a second day pick but can end up being a steal if he continues to improve.

5. Maurice Hurst, University of Michigan

Maurice Hurst had a great season for Michigan in 2017. He had 56 tackles, 5 sacks and forced a fumble. (Walterfootball) These are some of the best stats among defensive tackles coming out of college this year. The main worry from NFL teams is his health. In the 2018 combine, Hurst was sent home with a heart concern. Without this, Hurst would be drafted earlier and ranked higher, but teams are hesitant to draft him. If he ends up staying healthy, Hurst is going to be a dominant player on the defensive line.

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