Sat, 08 May 2021

Colts 2021 NFL Draft Position Preview: Interior Defensive Line

Indianapolis Colts
22 Apr 2021, 17:39 GMT+10

Which interior linemen are available in next week's NFL Draft? JJ Stankevitz Who's available?

Twenty-one interior defensive linemen were invited to participate in the NFL's modified 2021 scouting combine, which officially took place at college pro days on various campuses:

Christian Barmore, Alabama Quinton Bohanna, Kentucky Bobby Brown III, Texas A&M Austin Faoliu, Oregon TQ Graham, Texas Naquan Jones, Michigan State Jonathan Marshall, Arkansas Alim McNeill, N.C. State Forrest Merrill, Arkansas State Daviyon Nixon, Iowa Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA Levi Onwuzurike, Washington Tyler Shelvin, LSU TJ Slaton, Florida Darius Stills, West Virginia Tommy Togiai, Ohio State Khyiris Tonga, BYU Jay Tufele, USC Marlon Tuipulotu, USC Jaylen Twyman, Pittsburgh Marvin Wilson, Florida State What do experts think?

Only two defensive tackles cracked Daniel Jeremiah's most recent top-50 rankings: Levi Onwuzurike (No. 30) and Christian Barmore (No. 42). And's Peter Schrager, in his mock draft, does not have an interior defensive lineman being drafted in the first round.

So this doesn't appear to be viewed as a particularly strong year for defensive tackles. As Pro Football Focus' Michael Renner wrote:

"This may very well be the weakest position group of the entire 2021 NFL Draft class. While we have a first-round grade on only one defensive tackle, there's a legitimate chance that not a single one of these guys is selected in the first round. If you want a pass-rusher from the interior, there's only a handful of guys with that sort of skill set in this class."

Who's on the Colts?

2021, then, seems like a good year to not have a major need at defensive tackle. The Colts have one of the NFL's best interior defensive linemen in 2020 All-Pro DeForest Buckner, and 16-game starter Grover Stewart is back, along with Kameron Cline, Taylor Stallworth, Chris Williams and Rob Windsor. The Colts claimed defensive tackle Andrew Brown off waivers in March; players like Tyquan Lewis and Isaac Rochell have the flexibility to kick inside as well.

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