Having covered the offensive side of the ball in the previous Draft Primers (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL), we now turn our attention to the defensive players. Three of the 7 defensive tackles that we will be looking at today played in the CFP National Championship game on January 10th. The other 4 ... didn’t.
Whether or not the Seattle Seahawks will “need” a Defensive Tackle by the time the 2022 NFL Draft rolls around is a different topic. Especially with a new Defensive Coordinator who is intimately familiar with Seattle’s defensive line and a new Assistant Head Coach for Defense as well. (Congrats to Clint Hurtt, and “Welcome” to Sean Desai!)
As before, I am using version 2 of PFF’s 2022 NFL Draft Guide as the basis for this Draft Primer. That doesn’t mean that these are the only DTs the Seahawks can select, just that they’re the ones PFF chose to evaluate first.
The 7 defensive tackles featured in the current version of PFF’s Draft Guide, listed in alphabetical order, are:
- Jordan Davis (Georgia)
- Neil Farrell Jr. (LSU)
- Logan Hall (Houston)
- Travis Jones (Connecticut)
- Phidarian Mathis (Alabama)
- Perrion Winfrey (Oklahoma)
- Devonte Wyatt (Georgia)
Which, if any, of these players make sense for the Seahawks? Let’s take a look.
Position Ranking: 1 | Overall Ranking: 36 | Projection: Second Round | Comp: John Henderson
2021 Stat Line: 3 sacks + 10 tackles for loss
“Plop Davis down in the A-gap on first and second down and watch your run defense improve. He’s a pure nose tackle who hold the point and also make plays”
FTR’s take: Davis is 6-6, 340 and moves incredibly well for a man that size. But his conditioning leaves a lot to be desired. For as dominant as he is in the run game, he only played about 25 snaps a game for the Georgia Bulldogs. Personally, I’d much rather see the Seahawks draft his teammate, Devonte Wyatt.
Neil Farrell Jr.
Position Ranking: 9 | Overall Ranking: 124 | Projection: Fourth Round | Comp: Johnathan Hankins
2021 Stat Line: 1 sack + 10 tackles for loss
“Farrell wins with above-average first-step quickness for a nose tackle, combined with a violent and consistent punch. He’s a playmaker at nose because of that ability to win consistently early in the snap.”
FTR’s take: If the Seahawks could get Farrell in the 4th round - and if they had a role for him 2022 - then I’d be pleased to see them pick him up. He doesn’t strike me as being worth a Day Two pick though, in part because he’s inconsistent - great one play, wild the next - and in part because he will be 24 when the 2022 season starts.
Position Ranking: 8 | Overall Ranking: 41 | Projection: Second Round | Comp: Malik McDowell
2021 Stat Line: 7 sacks + 10 tackles for loss
“Hall wins by being a guard’s worst nightmare. Guards, even at the NFL level, don’t often see his combination of length and explosiveness. That causes a lot of problems when he can consistently get into their pads.”
“Hall has so many ways to win as a pass-rusher. It’s not if he’ll be an impact player in that regard, but when.”
FTR’s take: Without question, Logan Hall is my favorite defensive tackle in this year’s draft ... largely because he plays more like a defensive end. I am, however, a bit put off by the comparison to Malik McDowell. But, knowing Seattle’s front office, that probably makes it more likely that the Seahawks will draft him so ... lean into it ... Logan Hall is Malik McDowell 2.0. Go Hawks!
Position Ranking: 5 | Overall Ranking: 68 | Projection: Third Round | Comp: Grover Stewart
2021 Stat Line: 4 sacks + 5 tackles for loss
“Strong hands. Ragdolled linemen left and right.” ... “Long arms and quick to lock out. Very adept with his hand usage” ... “Ideal anchor for a nose. Carries strength throughout frame.”
“Don’t expect much in the way of position versatility. Jones is a pure nose tackle who is not going to be seeing the field in obvious passing situations.”
FTR’s take: If Seattle goes O-line (or EDGE) in the 2nd round then Jones might make sense in the 3rd round - especially if Seattle doesn’t re-sign Al Woods. That said, I’m not all that high on him and am not convinced that he would improve our defense. Maybe that changes after the NFL Combine (3/1 to 3/7), but I’m not holding my breath.
Position Ranking: 6 | Overall Ranking: 86 | Projection: Fourth Round | Comp: Lawrence Guy
2021 Stat Line: 7 sacks + 10 tackles for loss
“Mathis would be best in a two-gapping role, and the alignment honestly won’t make much of a difference. His skill set allows him to play over tackles, guards or centers.”
FTR’s take: It’s hard to argue against taking an Alabama lineman - on either side of the ball - because you know that they have been battle-tested by some of the best competition in the nation. That said, he’s a 5th-year player who is probably only an “average” athlete and benefited (greatly) by being on a dominant team. While I have no doubt he’ll transition to the NFL just fine, I have some concerns about his ability to make an impact in a parity-driven league.
Position Ranking: 7 | Overall Ranking: 110 | Projection: Fifth Round | Comp: Trysten Hill
2021 Stat Line: 6 sacks + 7 tackles for loss
“Winfrey’s splits versus Group of Five (11 pressures in two games) and Power Five (18 pressures in 10 games) offensive lines are indicative of where he wins: pure athleticism.”
“Winfrey’s grade was done no favors by him lining up at pure nose tackle more than he should have. He’s a 3-4- 5 technique at the NFL level, preferably in a scheme that covets penetrators/havoc creators.”
FTR’s take: While I question Winfrey’s motor / “want-to”, there’s no denying that he has the ability to be a difference-maker on the defensive line. In theory, he’s worth using a Day Three pick on, but I’m not sure he’d see the field in 2022 (or survive final cuts).
Position Ranking: 2 | Overall Ranking: 37 | Projection: Second Round | Comp: Larry Ogunjobi
2021 Stat Line: 4 sacks + 6 tackles for loss
“Wyatt wins with elite quickness. He not only possesses linear explosion, but he also has enough agility to make guards whiff. He does it all well over 300 pounds, which is rare to see.”
“Wyatt’s a versatile defensive tackle capable of lining up anywhere between the tackles. He’s at his best when he can put that first step to good use, but his game can still fit into any scheme.”
FTR’s take: Georgia schemed a lot of plays to give their linebackers a straight path to the opposing quarterback and Wyatt was the reason that worked. I would take Wyatt over his teammate, Jordan Davis, 100 times out of 100. Wyatt understands the game of football and is willing to sacrifice personal statistics for team success. And he’s a beast!
Size and (approximate) age:
Rankings and projections:
PFF Grades, 2019-2021:
Neil Farrell Jr.
2-minute vide from Senior Bowl 1v1