Tracking the Draft Prospects: Defensive Tackle

mascho

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Time to look forward.
 
Solicited suggestions in the Draft Thread about having dedicated threads to a few positions that the Patriots might need to address in the draft.  So far we have TE/OL/DL.  Open to more.  
 
Here is a list of the DTs in the draft:  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhBLKebN_b8
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMHSDtZeNZU
 

mascho

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Since he was mentioned in another thread:  Will Sutton
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kud3NWwe5Sc
 
The footage of him making an athletic open field tackle on a punt return is pretty impressive.  
 

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Sorry guys that was my bad. I am on the mobile and didn't see it. Hambone. Paging Hambone. Dopes feel free to move the Sutton post here.
 

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As was mentioned in the other thread Sutton didn't put up the same stats that he did his junior season, which has some draft analysts saying he lost some speed while adding on weight. Here's the exact quote -
 
 
"There are serious questions about his character, fitness and athletic ability. He was out of shape this fall and wasn't nearly the same player that he was the year before."
 
That's a bunch of crap - Sutton was playing near his current weight toward the end of last season. ASU was pretty vulnerable to the run and gave up some big plays on the ground a year ago, so ASU adjusted their strategy and asked Sutton to maintain the line more vs getting in the backfield and leaving that area open.
 
Related to character and off-field issues - outside of one minor argument with the coach I don't remember anything. He was a team captain and vocal leader of the team. The comments got a lot of buzz on ASU message boards with speculation that the NFL exec that made them may have been hoping he'd slip in the draft.
 
At 6'1 322, I could see him helping clog the middle next to Wilfork or lining up outside some plays to get to the passer. He has great athleticism for a guy his size and has shown willingness to sacrifice personal stats for the good of the team.
 

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Hambone said:
As was mentioned in the other thread Sutton didn't put up the same stats that he did his junior season, which has some draft analysts saying he lost some speed while adding on weight. Here's the exact quote -
 
 
That's a bunch of crap - Sutton was playing near his current weight toward the end of last season. ASU was pretty vulnerable to the run and gave up some big plays on the ground a year ago, so ASU adjusted their strategy and asked Sutton to maintain the line more vs getting in the backfield and leaving that area open.
 
Related to character and off-field issues - outside of one minor argument with the coach I don't remember anything. He was a team captain and vocal leader of the team. The comments got a lot of buzz on ASU message boards with speculation that the NFL exec that made them may have been hoping he'd slip in the draft.
 
At 6'1 322, I could see him helping clog the middle next to Wilfork or lining up outside some plays to get to the passer. He has great athleticism for a guy his size and has shown willingness to sacrifice personal stats for the good of the team.
 
Who are you?
 
Er, um, good post.
 

Hambone

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He's got pretty good instincts and quick reaction time as well. The first video is last season when they just wanted him to get downfield. Just the first 30 seconds or so, should give some insight. I'm not going to embed the video as the first 10 seconds have some colorful language, but the link below should start past that. Also the highlight video is to Ball So Hard, so yeah don't click on this at work without headphones. 
 
www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZurygE1QsE#t=10
 
Then I don't know how to embed the ESPN portion, but you can see that he isn't trying to get down field the same way. Plus I get excited anytime I remember this INT.
 
http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9953282
 
 
And Rev, I considered much more detail on Sutton, but I remembered the source it would come from so decided that I'd be brief and just point out that the people that get paid to follow and report on ASU football were baffled by scout's comments.
 

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Aaron Donald is getting rave reviews at the North South practices. He's high on my list as an interior guy who could rush the passer. He was the best player on that Pitt defense and often got double or triple teamed. One more good DT pass rusher isn't a bad thing to have. 
 

DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh: Without question, Donald was the most dominant player on the North defense today. Showing a mix of strong hands, a technically sound base and quick first step, Donald improved with each repetition. He was unblockable during 9-on-7 and team drills, including a stretch where he made Baylor’s Cyril Richardson look like a stationary heavy bag. Penetration is Donald’s game and today was a great start for the 288-pound defensive tackle. During team drills, Donald would have had at least three sacks had he been allowed to finish plays at the quarterback.
 
 

lambeau

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Passing up Amaro for Aaron Donald leaves Niklas and Fiedorowicz as the back-up plan; probably preferable to the tackles after Donald, with Easely's knees and DaQuan Jones not a rusher.
ASJ is probably gone by the end of the second round. Donald is only 288, but I think Atkins was 290 as a senior, before bulking up for the Combine.
 

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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMhd__Dkoh0[/media]
 
I think if we target Aaron Donald in Rd 1 and can't get him, an awfully good option might be Dominique Easely in Rd 2--he should be there, due to rehabbing from his second ACL.
I think he is worth the risk, because he's just what we need to push up the middle. He looks pretty unstoppable against Tennesee in September. Only 6' 2" 285 lbs--very like Donald.
 

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I don't know, I guess different minds will see different things, but I didn't find Easely terribly impressive.  I thought the tackles swallowed him up when he rushed from the edge.  There were a few plays where he showed good burst and pushed back or past the interior guys, but he also ran himself out of some plays.  Saw a lot of late, ineffective spin moves after a guard got their hands on him.  At 285, I'd  about him getting swallowed up in the NFL.
 

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Any thoughts on what kind of DT / DL the Pats should be targeting? Donald, Easley, and Sutton seem like pure 3-technique guys. Nix is probably the truest NT. Guys like Hageman and Tuitt seem like good fits as guys who can play 3-4 DE and move inside on passing downs (where Donald, for instance, lacks the length to play 3-4 DE).
 
There are a lot of young guys currently at the position, but I don't know how they feel about any of them. Siliga seemed to do a pretty good job at nose, but is he the heir apparent to Wilfork? Vellano and Jones are both built like 3-techniques, but they ended up playing a lot of NT and 3-4 DE respectively. Armstead's size would seem to make him a great fit for the 3-4 DE / 4-3 DT swing role, but who knows what we can expect from him?
 

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I think this discussion centers around Nix.  The more videos I watch and scouting reports I read the more I come away impressed (and the more and more I doubt he will be available at #29 regardless of where he is being mocked now).  Nix is a different players then Donald, Easley, Sutton, and this may be over simplifying it too much but Nix is better at whatt he does then those other guys are at what they do. 
 
I see Nix as a potential franchise cornerstone type player, similar to what Wilfork has given over his time with the Pats.  Those other players may turn out to be good NFL players, but I think their cieling is lower.  I'm of the opinion that they should take the highest cieling first, even if that player doesn't match with the greatest need.
 

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Super Nomario said:
Any thoughts on what kind of DT / DL the Pats should be targeting? Donald, Easley, and Sutton seem like pure 3-technique guys. Nix is probably the truest NT. Guys like Hageman and Tuitt seem like good fits as guys who can play 3-4 DE and move inside on passing downs (where Donald, for instance, lacks the length to play 3-4 DE).
 
There are a lot of young guys currently at the position, but I don't know how they feel about any of them. Siliga seemed to do a pretty good job at nose, but is he the heir apparent to Wilfork? Vellano and Jones are both built like 3-techniques, but they ended up playing a lot of NT and 3-4 DE respectively. Armstead's size would seem to make him a great fit for the 3-4 DE / 4-3 DT swing role, but who knows what we can expect from him?
Nix plays one gap right now, like Vince was at Miami.
 
Velano and Jones are JAGs. Maybe you keep one of them for depth. Siliga showed some promise of being a good rotational guy. Armstead is a ghost. He doesn't cost anything to cut and barely anything to keep, if they believe he exists.
 
I love Vince but I believe they have to cut him. Too old and suffered a bad injury for a fat man. Kelly and Sapoaga need to go as well. One of them sucks and one got a bad injury. 
 
I think they need to double down on DTs and draft two of the following: Hageman, McCullers, Will Sutton or Caraun Reid. McCullers look like the best of a weak bunch of pure NTs and looks like the reincarnation of John Henderson, which is an easy comp given their size and school. Hageman looks like a versatile, freak of nature. Sutton looks like he can bring pressure from inside. Reid is a shot in the dark. He's extremely violent, practiced and played well at the Senior Bowl, but his competition at Princeton won't tell us much. 
 
If I had my druthers, I'd pick Hageman and McCullers, keep Siliga, Jones and two practice squad guys. It would give them two guys who started games late in the season with two guys with extremely high upsides to work into the rotation. If he isn't an ethereal spirit, keep Armstead for the option of throwing out a goal line/short yardage front four of Hageman/McCullers/Siliga/Armstead. That would be some old school Patriots shit, right there. 
 

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SpacemanzGerbil said:
If I had my druthers, I'd pick Hageman and McCullers, keep Siliga, Jones and two practice squad guys. It would give them two guys who started games late in the season with two guys with extremely high upsides to work into the rotation. If he isn't an ethereal spirit, keep Armstead for the option of throwing out a goal line/short yardage front four of Hageman/McCullers/Siliga/Armstead. That would be some old school Patriots shit, right there. 
I think the composition of types there makes sense (though I'm not sure about McCullers' fit at NT at 6'6"-6'7") but I'd like a vet in there somewhere, either a restructured Wilfork or maybe someone like Arthur Jones. Siliga and Jones plus two rookies is super young.
 

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Super Nomario said:
I think the composition of types there makes sense (though I'm not sure about McCullers' fit at NT at 6'6"-6'7") but I'd like a vet in there somewhere, either a restructured Wilfork or maybe someone like Arthur Jones. Siliga and Jones plus two rookies is super young.
 
Or Kelly if he's healthy or a guy like Kelly.  30-32 year old DTs are pretty cheap and I think some experience would be nice for an otherwise young group.  I think High Draft Pick/Siliga/Jones/Veteran guy/survior of the Vellano/Armstead/Grissom/UDFA slugfest would be a decent start.

I'd like to rebuild the line some but I'm more inclined to get a DT and a DE than two DTs.  Ninkovich is getting older, I'm not optimistic enough to believe in Bequette or Buchanan, so maybe something like Tuitt or Hageman in round one and a Trent Murphy/Aaron Lynch/Marcus Smith in round three or four?
 

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Super Nomario said:
I think the composition of types there makes sense (though I'm not sure about McCullers' fit at NT at 6'6"-6'7") but I'd like a vet in there somewhere, either a restructured Wilfork or maybe someone like Arthur Jones. Siliga and Jones plus two rookies is super young.
Getting one more vet would be ideal, actually. I'm not too worried about McCullers size, as there have been a few guys that size who have played nose at an All-Pro level. The question with McCullers is if he can play or not.
 
 
Shelterdog said:
 
Or Kelly if he's healthy or a guy like Kelly.  30-32 year old DTs are pretty cheap and I think some experience would be nice for an otherwise young group.  I think High Draft Pick/Siliga/Jones/Veteran guy/survior of the Vellano/Armstead/Grissom/UDFA slugfest would be a decent start.
I'd like to rebuild the line some but I'm more inclined to get a DT and a DE than two DTs.  Ninkovich is getting older, I'm not optimistic enough to believe in Bequette or Buchanan, so maybe something like Tuitt or Hageman in round one and a Trent Murphy/Aaron Lynch/Marcus Smith in round three or four?
I'm not too high on bringing Kelly back. He makes a fair bit of change and the whole injury issue makes it less likely he would be effective. 
 
An upgrade for Ninkovich would have been ideal before they signed him to his deal. Now, I'm just not sure how much value you get drafting a sub or signing someone to spell him. Using round 4+ is fine but I'm not sure how good a player you'll find there. 
 

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SpacemanzGerbil said:
An upgrade for Ninkovich would have been ideal before they signed him to his deal. Now, I'm just not sure how much value you get drafting a sub or signing someone to spell him. Using round 4+ is fine but I'm not sure how good a player you'll find there.
Since Ninkovich can play LB, a quality backup DE effectively provides depth at four positions, five if you count kicking Chandler Jones inside to get another edge rusher. They brought Andre Carter out of retirement to get something there, and neither Buchanan nor Bequette is a lock to make the 2014 roster.
 

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Super Nomario said:
Since Ninkovich can play LB, a quality backup DE effectively provides depth at four positions, five if you count kicking Chandler Jones inside to get another edge rusher. They brought Andre Carter out of retirement to get something there, and neither Buchanan nor Bequette is a lock to make the 2014 roster.
 
Plus Ninkovich is 30 so you've got to start thinking about replacing him.  You're not likely to draft/sign someone who pushes Ninkovich out of the 2014 starting lineup--a rookie first round pick probably won't do that and I'm not sure that even the best free agent DEs would either-but maybe a second or third round guy provides some quality depth this year and grows into a starting role as Ninkovich ages. 
 
DEs can take a long time to develop--guys like Chris Clemons and Michael Bennet on Seattle didn't become full time starters until their 6th and 3rd years respectively.  I suppose this means there is some hope still for Bequette and Buchannan but it also means that if those two aren't answers then you need to start looking for your Ninkovich replacement sooner rather than later.
 

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lambeau said:
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMhd__Dkoh0[/media]
 
I think if we target Aaron Donald in Rd 1 and can't get him, an awfully good option might be Dominique Easely in Rd 2--he should be there, due to rehabbing from his second ACL.
I think he is worth the risk, because he's just what we need to push up the middle. He looks pretty unstoppable against Tennesee in September. Only 6' 2" 285 lbs--very like Donald.
 
I really like Easely when he's on the field. I brought him up back in September. The obvious issue is health.
 
The combine is 5 months after his injury, pro-days are 6, and the draft is 7 and a half.
 
Super Nomario said:
Any thoughts on what kind of DT / DL the Pats should be targeting?
 
It depends on what do for cuts, restructures, and free agent additions.
 

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McCullers, like a lot of other massive DT's, lacks explosion. I think he could be a rotational against the run DT, but I wonder if he will have the ability to collapse the pocket enough in the passing D to be of use. He's a bit redundant with Wilfork but could be a Wilfork replacement. I want to see someone his size almost always win against a guard in the run game. He doesn't. I would think he should play stronger... Have you guys seen his play against Bama in 2012? Inconsistent. Made some stops but also got pushed around a bit. I don't think his height helps him there.
 

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The mock consensus seems to have Jernigan, Nix, and Hageman going to the Bears, Steelers, and Packers in the first round, , with Donald possibly still available to the Pats.
So my question is, would BB ever go for someone that small (6' 288), since he's explosive--or wait for someone bigger,  but less explosive like DaQuan Jones (6'3 323) in the 2nd Rd?
 

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I think the guys like Tuitt and Hageman who have the length (both 6'6") to play on the edge and girth (310+ pounds) to play in the middle probably fit best into the DL as presently constructed. It would let the line be multiple, shifting between 3-man and 4-man fronts without changing personnel, provide more interior rush, and let the edge guys get more one-on-one matchups in passing situations. Who else falls into this group? Jernigan, Easley, Donald, the LSU guys, Reid, Quarles, and the Alabama guys are probably short for an ideal 3-4 end. Is McCullers too heavy to play outside? What about DaQuan Jones? Someone mentioned Brent Urban as an option that might be available later. Just looking at sizes of some of the guys listed, maybe Shamar Stephens (Uconn) or Deandre Coleman (Cal) would be other late-round options?
 
I think Nix, Donald, and Ford would be tough to pass on at 29 even though they're one-trick ponies. But I think the ideal fit is a Tuitt / Hageman type hybrid.
 
EDIT: I should point out that the Pats do have a couple internal options: Armstead is 6'4" 295 and Kelly is 6'6" 295. Not sure you can count on either of them for 2014 though.
 

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NE Pats Draft with a pretty balanced overview on Hageman.
http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2014/02/2014-nfl-draft-close-up-minnesota-defensive-tackle-rashede-hageman.html#more-29271
 
From reading that scouting report I would be absolutely please if the Pats were able to grab Hageman at the end of the first round.  He is certainly not without his flaws, but the size and athleticism is there and there seems to be more flaws that fall into the "correctable" bucket then the "non-correctable" bucket.
 
and not to be overly morbid, but Hageman has had some challenges in his early life.  Specifically he lost both of his parents at a young age.  The Pats have had a (possibly distrubring?) trend of picking players with similar tragic background stories in recent years.  It is likely just coicidence, but it has happened.
 

Super Nomario

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Just to put Donald's ridiculous combine in perspective -
at 6'1", 285 lbs, he ran a 4.68 40 and had a 7.11 3-cone drill
Two years ago, Lavonte David ran a 4.65 40 and had a 7.28 3-cone. At 233 lbs.
 
Basically, Donald is an undersized DT with the speed and agility of a fast LB.
 

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Here's a great write-up on Donald. With video. His hand moves are incredible
http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/3/4/5456006/the-notebook-aaron-donald-master-of-technique
 
 
 
The more I think about it, the more I believe that Donald should not drop that far. Even with the intermittent effort issues, this guy plays at a level, technique-wise, that I haven't seen from a college defensive lineman in the last decade. Yes, I'm including Atkins,Gerald McCoyNdamukong SuhMarcell DareusNick Fairley and anybody else you can name. None of them had what this kid has at that point in their football lives.
 
I might have been wrong about his scheme versatility. He's super strong. If he's one of those guys who, despite being 6'-6'1", has wingspan in the 6'4"-6'6" range, he might work out well for the 3-4. That length helps with taking up two blockers, which frees up LBs to pursue tackles. Pats play a lot of four front in sub packages anyway so he'd be very useful there too. 
 
The hand move stuff is very impressive. I remember back when Aaron Carter was drafted that his hand moves (which he developed studying martial arts) really separated him from his class. Many rushers use few moves,  so guys like Carter and Donald, who use their hands effectively, with chops, lifts, locks, and over-unders, can really confuse linemen used to seeing swim move after swim move. 
 

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I was coming here today to ask what peopel thought about Timmy Jernigan today and low and behold Ne Pats Draft does a Jernigan write up
http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2014/03/2014-nfl-draft-close-up-florida-state-defensive-tackle-timmy-jernigan.html#more-29567
 
Quick summary: He lacks length at only 6'1 and size 199 lbs, but Florida State mostly lined him up over the center.  Though they did apparently move him around some playing A more polished run defender then pass rusher.
 
He is a an odd prospect.  He mostly lined up as a 1 technique but FSU moved him around some and he has experience playing a 3 technique.  He has short arms and lacks length so he likely isn't as versatile as a prospect like Tuitt that can move inside or play some end.  What I can't figure out is that I see a lot of mock drafts that have Jernigan coming off the board before Hageman, Nix, Tuitt.  I'm not sure that I see the appeal.  Hageman looks like a decisively better prospect to me.  Just compare their combine measurables:  Hageman ran a 5.02 vs. Jernigan 5.06, but Hageman put up five more reps on the bench and out jumped Jernigan in both the broad and vertical by fairly wide margins.  Throw in Hageman's size advantage and seemingly his better athleticism and strength and I don't see how Jernigan is on the same level.  But what I'm finding odd is that I am seeing a lot of mock drafts that have Jernigan coming off the board in the 10-20 pick range and often as the first or second DT taken. 
 
Is there something I am not seeing with Jernigan that makes him a prospect on par or superior  with Donald and Hageman.
 

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Tuitt vs. Hageman what are peoples thoughts?
 
 
There [SIZE=12.222222328186035px]measurables[/SIZE] are almost identical but Tuitt has a slimmer more athletic looking physique.  He's dropped his weight to 299. He's faster than Hageman but Hageman also has 20 pounds on him. 
 
 
Review of highlights
 
Tuitt
 
Strengths - Shedding Blockers, Controlled movements
 
Weakness - Every highlight sack was unblocked - what happens when he is engaged 
 
 
Hageman
 
Strengths - Leaping ability (my god), Vicious, Explodes into Blockers
 
Weakness - Speed - can he chase down quarterbacks and running backs effectively?  Gets tired easily and we do not have a solid rotation here. 
 
 
Of the two I want Hageman.  Will he be available at 29?  Hageman engages blockers and his ability to knockdown passes are almost Watt like.
 
What are your thoughts?
 

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Tuitt >>> Hageman
 
I think this is where I'm at too. When you watch tape of the two players, Tuitt just looks like a Pats lineman. Every film I watched, he was very responsible containing the edge vs the run, staying home on option runs and not over pursuing, while getting a bit of pressure on the QB. One thing that worries me is his explosiveness. I just didn't see what I was hoping for on tape from this year, but if he's indeed dropped some weight, he may be able to get some of that back. Being able to kick him inside on passing downs is another plus. 
 
Hageman is pure projection at this point because he's just really raw. If he had the technique that Tuitt has, he'd be a lock to go in the top half of the first round. When he plays with the right pad level, he's almost unblockable. But that's the thing, he plays too high most of the time. On the tape I watched, I saw someone who wasn't as responsible defensively as Tuitt, often times selling out for the pass rush only to watch a HB run right by him. He either looks really good or really bad, depending on which game you're watching. You really have to believe you can teach and he can learn the finer points of the position if he's going to maximize his talents. 
 
But it comes down to what the Pats are looking for. If they want a guy who they can plug and play, Tuitt is the guy. If they want to go with upside and more pass rush skills, thinking they can spend the first half of the season breaking him in, Hageman is your guy. If the defense needs more pass rush, I think Hageman could have a bigger impact, but you're also risking taking a guy who might not give you much his first season whereas Tuitt should be able to play right away. Tuitt may not have the same upside as a pass rusher, but I think he's got a higher floor and looks to me to be more of a Pats-type player.
 

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Because of the debate here I did quite a bit of digging on Hageman's background. The guy has a problem with authority, doesn't coach up particularly well, and most of his issues are deemed coachable but if a guy doesn't have amazing instincts, is relatively new to his position, and has developmental and psychological issues.... I dunno. Adds up to more of a chance to bust. Tuitt meanwhile has a fantastic 2012 tape and was injured impacting his explosiveness in 2013 and is younger. I think I might stay away from Hageman. I'm not an armchair psychiatrist but reading about him just unsettled me. I know a lot of nflers who come from troubling backgrounds and have similar problems to Hageman. But when you add those problems to his tape, being raw at the position, and his age, well it makes me think Tuitt is the better option. This is the 3rd time I've flipped on this. But I think it will be the final time.

edit: I want Hageman to be a star. Why? Look at what he went through. Being rescued from a cracked house at 4? Parents dead. Issues not fitting in anywhere. Damn if there is a dry eye after reading what this poor kid suffered through. But he has bust potential much greater than tuitts.
 

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ElcaballitoMVP said:
I think this is where I'm at too. When you watch tape of the two players, Tuitt just looks like a Pats lineman. Every film I watched, he was very responsible containing the edge vs the run, staying home on option runs and not over pursuing, while getting a bit of pressure on the QB.
It'd not just on runs but also picking up RBs leaking out on pass plays. Both he an Nix have great play recognition.
 
ElcaballitoMVP said:
One thing that worries me is his explosiveness. I just didn't see what I was hoping for on tape from this year, but if he's indeed dropped some weight, he may be able to get some of that back.
Did you see it on his tape from 2012?
 
ElcaballitoMVP said:
Being able to kick him inside on passing downs is another plus.
You think he's a DE?
 
ElcaballitoMVP said:
Hageman is pure projection at this point because he's just really raw.
My problem is that everyone wants him to be the next Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox, Cameron Jordan, Muhammad Wilkerson, but he's already as old as those guys. He's older than Fletcher Cox, Sheldon Richardson, and Michael Brockers, but he's so, so far behind. Old and raw is a terrible combination.
 

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phragle said:
It'd not just on runs but also picking up RBs leaking out on pass plays. Both he an Nix have great play recognition. I noticed this as well. Very quick to recognize screens. 

Did you see it on his tape from 2012? Much more so than his '13 tape, although admittedly I didn't watch as much '12 tape as this past season. He isn't a pure pass rusher, so you're not going to see Bruce Smith out there, but he's more of a Seymour type that can play different positions and have different responsibilities depending on the looks they want to run. I'm encouraged to hear he's lost a little weight, hopefully that will help get that explosiveness back. 

You think he's a DE?  It depends on the fronts they want to use. He's versatile enough to play end (in a 3-4 or 4-3) or tackle (in a 4-3), IMO. If they want to be stout vs the run, I could see a 4 man front of Jones, Wilfork, Kelly and Tuitt. Or a 3-4 look with Jones, Wilfork and Tuitt. And then on passing downs, he could kick inside for a Jones, Kelly, Tuitt, Nink look, or something along those lines. 

My problem is that everyone wants him to be the next Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox, Cameron Jordan, Muhammad Wilkerson, but he's already as old as those guys. He's older than Fletcher Cox, Sheldon Richardson, and Michael Brockers, but he's so, so far behind. Old and raw is a terrible combination. Yup, the age issue is a significant one for someone who has so much work to do. The raw talent is there, but I think he'd be better in a defense that allowed him more freedom to get after the QB. He sells out too much for him to "just do your job", and I think that would drive BB nuts.  Tuitt is younger, more polished, and likely ready to play from day 1. I have no idea what to expect from a guy like Hageman, even if the physical traits are impressive. 
 

Super Nomario

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Russ Lande on Tuitt and Nix: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/71316676/notre-dame-defensive-linemen-louis-nix-and-stephon-tuitt-nfl-draft-chances
 
Not a Tuitt fan:
  • Good against the run in college, but worries his reaction off the snap will hurt him there in the NFL.
  • Not a productive pass rusher.
  • "Tuitt can, frustratingly, lack aggressiveness and competitiveness on every snap."
He likes Nix though:
  • "Nix displays rare foot quickness for a 350-plus pounder."
  • Rare strength, but can play high at times
  • Can be inconsistent, but rare size/talent points to a top-20 pick
 

mascho

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Eck'sSneakyCheese said:
I've been doing some research on Caraun Reid from Princeton. I found this article extremely informative: 
  2014 NFL Draft: Full Breakdown of Caraun Reid's Game | Bleac
 
I think he could be a steal as a 4th round option and could play well in this defense, especially with his ability to play inside and outside. He's agressive, strong and has great techniques. 
 
Yeah, I have him in our draft prediction thread. I think he is a BB type guy, for the reasons you noted.
 

kanga12

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Super Nomario said:
I think the guys like Tuitt and Hageman who have the length (both 6'6") to play on the edge and girth (310+ pounds) to play in the middle probably fit best into the DL as presently constructed. It would let the line be multiple, shifting between 3-man and 4-man fronts without changing personnel, provide more interior rush, and let the edge guys get more one-on-one matchups in passing situations. Who else falls into this group? Jernigan, Easley, Donald, the LSU guys, Reid, Quarles, and the Alabama guys are probably short for an ideal 3-4 end. Is McCullers too heavy to play outside? What about DaQuan Jones? Someone mentioned Brent Urban as an option that might be available later. Just looking at sizes of some of the guys listed, maybe Shamar Stephens (Uconn) or Deandre Coleman (Cal) would be other late-round options?
 
I think Nix, Donald, and Ford would be tough to pass on at 29 even though they're one-trick ponies. But I think the ideal fit is a Tuitt / Hageman type hybrid.
 
EDIT: I should point out that the Pats do have a couple internal options: Armstead is 6'4" 295 and Kelly is 6'6" 295. Not sure you can count on either of them for 2014 though.
 
Coleman played in a 3-4 defense under Tedford and had to switch to a 4-3 this past season under new head coach Sonny Dykes. He's definitely versatile -  played nose tackle last year and end/tackle his previous years. Here's his little blurb on nfl.com and some game tape against USC in 2012 and against Oregon in 2012.
 

koufax32

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Easley fits the NEP mold in the sense of versatility. He was moved all over the d line the past two years. He was the only force on weak lines and still managed to make a difference on opposing qb's. My memory tells me he didn't have an enormous number of sacks but disrupted the timing of alot of plays due to his presence in the backfield.
 

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Long Hageman breakdown: http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/4/22/5613396/rashede-hageman-scouting-report-2014-nfl-draft-defensive-end
 
TL;DR: Hageman is really athletic but was extremely inconsistent, to the point it seemed like effort was a problem. Sounds like he's a project, and the writer likes him better at DE than at DT.

This is what I struggle with when it comes to the first-rounder. If a guy like Hageman or Tuitt pans out, that's a bigger impact than anything else they can do at 29, but the chances of a bust there are considerably higher than if they go with a guy like Su'a-Filo or Bitonio.
 

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( . ) ( . ) and (_!_) said:
 
He had a workout recently and the buzz was that his knees passed the medical checks with flying colors.  Hard to know if that report is BS or not.
Easley is one of the most interesting prospects in the draft. I've seen more than one draftnik (Josh Norris and Doug Farrar, for two) call him a top-5 prospect based on tape, but he's had ACL surgery on both knees. He was used everywhere in college, but is Belichick going to use a high pick on a 6'2" 288 DT? He doesn't check the size boxes like Tuitt and Hageman.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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If Easley's the guy for the Pats, I sure hope it involves a trade back into the 2nd round to grab an extra pick or two. 29 just seems high for a smaller DT with a concerning injury history. 
 

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Some DT advanced metrics:
 
TL;DR: Donald's awesome. Hageman shows up pretty well for a guy who has a rep as an underperforming producer. He's pretty versatile and did pretty well against the run and the pass. Sutton is a pure 3-tech who struggled against the run. Jernigan is a run-stuffing nose that's built like a 3-tech. I've read that he might be a draft "slider" and that makes sense to me; he seems like the prototypical guy who was great in college but will be less effective in the NFL.