by Dave Syvertsen, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst
The old “overrated/underrated” arguments get old. They lack creativity and it almost seems like a bunch of analysts throwing darts at a list of rankings. I try to steer clear of this stereotypical approach to getting an opinion out there on a prospect I like or dislike. I think it is a cheap way of protecting oneself from being wrong. How about we toss out the overrated/underrated approach and just put our names next to prospects that we simply believe will do well at the next level? If you end up being different from the other analysts, who cares? At least you have an original thought rather than relying on the opinions of others to make up your mind.
I’ve graded a good chunk of this defensive tackle group. It is a strong one that offers impact players for several different schemes. While there may still be some tweaking to grades, I have a name at the top that I don’t see in anyone’s top 5. DaQuan Jones from Penn State is currently tied for the top spot among this position with Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald. What do I like so much about his game?
At 6’3/315, Jones has the picture perfect body and mindset for the position in my eyes. He has a country thick frame that carries well over 300 pounds with ease. Minimal “looseness” to his midsection while possessing strong, muscular legs. Jones is such an easy bender and is constantly playing beneath the pads of his opponent. He plays with a low butt and high hands, often showing control of the engagement. Jones can anchor his position against the double team, occupying multiple blockers or he can shoot through a gap and shake things up beyond the line of scrimmage. On the field, he has the look and approach of a defensive tackle that comes in to the league and performs at a high level for a decade. How he looks in shorts and a tee shirt while running around cones won’t impact my view of him at all. Put him in the trenches and watch the players around him improve. That’s what I look for in defensive tackles and he has it.