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    Learn more from Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway and 9News' Cheryl Preheim about 2014 Drive for Life.

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2014 NFL Draft Preview: Defensive Tackles

Posted Apr 14, 2014

A closer look at some of the top defensive tackle prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the weeks leading up to the 2014 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 the top prospects along with providing independent analyst Andrew Mason's take on what the Broncos might do at the position this year.

This week: defensive linemen, which we will divide into defensive tackles and defensive ends.

Below you will find five of the top prospects at D-tackle. For a photo gallery of the position group, click here.

TOP PROSPECTS AT THE POSITION:

AARON DONALD
• POSITION: Defensive tackle
• COLLEGE: Pittsburgh
• HEIGHT: 6'1"
• WEIGHT:285
• COMBINE: 4.68 40-yd. dash; 35 bench reps; 32.0 in. vert. jump
On getting compared to Geno Atkins:
"I love the way he plays. I watched him a lot, watched him a lot my junior year in college. Explosive, fun to watch, he just makes a ton of plays. What he's doing in the NFL is amazing, it's an honor to even be compared to a guy like that."
Player
RA'SHEDE HAGEMAN
Player • POSITION: Defensive tackle
• COLLEGE: Minnesota
• HEIGHT: 6'6"
• WEIGHT: 310
• COMBINE: 5.02 40-yd. dash; 32 bench reps; 35.5 in. vert. jump
On his experience at tight end contributing to his versatility:
"I mean, it just gives me a different insight on how to be versatile. So I feel like me getting that comfortability in college has kind of helped me be able to do that at the next level.”
TIMMY JERNIGAN
• POSITION: Defensive tackle
• COLLEGE: Florida State
• HEIGHT: 6'2"
• WEIGHT: 299
• COMBINE: 5.06 40-yd. dash; 27 bench reps; 29.5 in. vert. jump

On his leadership:
“On the field I was definitely one of the leaders of our defense. I feel like we had probably the best defense in the country, and off the field I was a leader as well. Definitely in the weight room. I was a weight room warrior at Florida State. Just getting guys to follow behind me."

Player
LOUIS NIX
Player • POSITION: Defensive tackle
• COLLEGE: Notre Dame
• HEIGHT: 6'2"
• WEIGHT: 331
• COMBINE: 5.42 40-yd. dash; 25.5 in. vert. jump; 97.0 in. broad jump
On losing weight and cutting out bad food:
"My stomach doesn’t stick out as much. That’s kind of nice. I like that part. My thighs got a little smaller. I just feel sexier, man. I enjoyed my Five Guys and Cajun fries. I’m starting to like salads now. They’re starting to taste good.”
STEPHON TUITT
• POSITION: Defensive tackle
• COLLEGE: Notre Dame
• HEIGHT: 6'5"
• WEIGHT: 304
• COMBINE: 31 bench reps
On playing on the same D-line as Nix:
“It’s been a great pleasure playing next to him. He taught me many things. A great leader. A tough, nitty-gritty nose tackle as well. I expect big things from him in the NFL.”
Player

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