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2013 NFL Draft Preview: Defensive Tackles

Posted Mar 11, 2013

A look at some of the top defensive tackle prospects leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the weeks leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, DenverBroncos.com is taking a look at the draft prospects position-by-position.

We will devote a week to each group, looking back at some of the Broncos' previous picks at the position and showcasing some of the top prospects through top stories, blogs and Broncos TV videos.

This week: defensive linemen, a position we'll divide into defensive tackles and defensive ends.

Below you will find six of the top prospects at the defensive tackle position. Later in the week, we will profile two defensive linemen further -- Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short and Oregon defensive end/outside linebacker Dion Jordan.

TOP PROSPECTS AT THE POSITION:

SHARRIF FLOYD
• POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: Florida
• HEIGHT: 6'3"
• WEIGHT: 297
• CAREER STATS: 115 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 3 blocked kicks
• COMBINE: 4.92 40-yd. dash, 30 in. vert. jump, 106 in. broad jump
On not watching football until 2007:
"The first game I ever watched was the Super Bowl when the Colts won it in 2007. It wasn’t that there was no interest, I just didn’t know nothing about it, so there was no reason to watch it. Even when I started playing there was no interest in watching it because I liked to play it instead of sitting down and being still."
Player
JOHNATHAN HANKINS
Player • POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: Ohio State
• HEIGHT: 6'3"
• WEIGHT: 320
• CAREER STATS: 138 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks
• COMBINE: 5.31 40-yd. dash; 26 in. vert. jump; 104 in. broad jump
On what he likes about Haloti Ngata's game:
"I like how he just plays from sideline to sideline. He just makes plays. I don’t think he’s a big guy, but he’s decent size. Just the way he uses his feet and uses his hands. I feel like I do the same, and I can potentially probably do it better."
STAR LOTULELEI
• POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: Utah
• HEIGHT: 6'2"
• WEIGHT: 311
• CAREER STATS: 22.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 4 forced fumbles
• COMBINE: Did not participate
On what sets him apart:
"Mostly my size. I feel like I can move around real good, I think my combination of strength and size and my ability to move around. … At my Pro Day I'm going to be doing everything. I'm excited and I'm ready to go." (via NFL.com)
Player
SHELDON RICHARDSON
Player • POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: Missouri
• HEIGHT: 6'2"
• WEIGHT: 294
• CAREER STATS: 112 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks
• COMBINE: 5.02 40-yd. dash, 30 bench reps, 32 in. vert. jump
On his best attributes:
"Play recognition. Hustle. I think I'm one of the D-tackles that's fighting 40 yards down the field and guarding receivers and running backs, too, on routes. It didn't happen often, but I do a little extra."
KAWANN SHORT
• POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: Purdue
• HEIGHT: 6'3"
• WEIGHT: 299
• CAREER STATS: 49 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, 8 blocked kicks
• COMBINE: Did not participate
On whether he can be more versatile weighing in under 300 pounds:
“Yeah, I feel more versatile now. My conditioning is way better than it used to be. I can play a lot more, I can run a lot more, and I can hustle. So that was the main thing I was trying to do, just find a weight I was comfortable at, and keep going at that. So who knows? I might be between 300 and 305.”
Player
SYLVESTER WILLIAMS
Player • POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: North Carolina
• HEIGHT: 6'3"
• WEIGHT: 313
• CAREER STATS: 20.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 11 quarterback hurries
• COMBINE: 5.03 40-yd. dash, 27 bench reps, 26.5 in. vert. jump
On what he will bring to the NFL:
"When I was kicked out of high school my sophomore year, that's probably the lowest I've been to this point in my life. So to be able to go back and graduate with my class -- eventually I worked at a factory for about six months before I went back to junior college. It's one of the best decisions I've made in my life because it ultimately led me to have an opportunity to be here today."