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Old 05-22-2009, 01:49 PM   #1
Bronco Rob
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Default Sporting News Top 20 DTs

Scheme dictates so much of the success of NFL defensive tackles. Some are dominant players who can excel in any system. Others are versatile athletes who can fill different roles in different situations. But the ability to shut down the run game on some level is key to the performance of any interior lineman.

RealScouts, Sporting News' team of former NFL scouts, rank their top 20 defensive tackles for 2009:


1. Albert Haynesworth, Redskins. The biggest prize of the free-agent season, Haynesworth will be a dominant run defender on a defense that already did a very good job against the run. What will help his new team is his quickness and pass-rush ability from the interior.


2. Kevin Williams, Vikings. Williams uses quickness and a good initial burst off the ball to create penetration and disrupt plays in the backfield. Already a Pro Bowler, he thrived last season with the addition of RE Jared Allen to the Vikings' defensive front.


3. Vince Wilfork, Patriots. Wilfork is a big, physical nose tackle who excels at holding his ground against multiple blockers. He also has the first-step quickness to collapse the pocket from the interior. That versatility makes him the key to New England's defense.


4. Haloti Ngata, Ravens. He's officially listed as an end, and he has the athleticism to play that spot in the Ravens' 3-4 alignment. But he is a wide-bodied run-stuffer who is tough to budge and has the raw power to push blockers into the pocket.


5. Chris Canty, Giants. Canty was an end in the Cowboys' 3-4 scheme, but he will play inside and out in the Giants' four-man fronts. He is equal parts run-stuffer and pass rusher and will be moved around the line depending on the situation. His versatility will give him many opportunities to shine.

6. Shaun Rogers, Browns. Rogers had a big comeback season in 2008 (76 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks), though he didn't get much help from the rest of the Browns' defense. If his issues with Eric Mangini are smoothed over -- it looks like they have been for now -- and Rogers' head is right, he can be a dominating force inside.


7. Casey Hampton, Steelers. Hampton is a hard-nosed player who doesn't put up a big stat line in the Steelers' 3-4, but he is physical and strong and a dominating presence in the middle. The linebackers owe him for their success.


8. Marcus Stroud, Bills. Stroud is coming off a solid season, his best since 2004. As expected, he was a force inside for the Bills and immediately upgraded their run defense. Though he's not the quick penetrating pass rusher he once was, he's still able to get a push and collapse the pocket.


9. Luis Castillo, Chargers. Like Ngata, he is listed as an end but really has the responsibilities of a tackle. Stopping the run is Castillo's first job. He has the size and strength to crash the interior gaps and enough quickness to get to the quarterback on occasion.


10. Tommie Harris, Bears. Chicago's troubles on defense in 2008 started with ineffective line play, and Harris was part of that decline. Look for new line coach Rod Marinelli, who once worked with Warren Sapp, to get Harris back on track. Harris isn't Sapp, but when he is on•and Marinelli will make sure he is•he can be something close.


11. Darnell Dockett, Cardinals. Dockett is a smaller, athletic lineman who uses his quickness and agility to create havoc inside. He's the most disruptive force on the Cardinals' line and has matured into a top-flight player.


12. Jamal Williams, Chargers. At 350 pounds, Williams is an immovable object in the middle of the Chargers' 3-4. Though age and injuries have begun to take their toll, he still has great lower-body strength and is a hard-working run-stuffer who makes the San Diego defense go.


13. John Henderson, Jaguars. He was not the same player last year without Stroud lined up next to him. Henderson is a powerful bull rusher, but at this point in his career, he needs an inside sidekick to alleviate some of the protection attention on him.


14. Pat Williams, Vikings. Williams is an elite run-stuffer who has surprising quickness and power for a man his age (36) and size. As long as he stays healthy and has Kevin Williams and Allen lined up with him, he will continue to be an effective force.


15. Jay Ratliff, Cowboys. Ratliff had a breakout year in 2008, earning Pro Bowl honors for the first time. He was a disruptive pass rusher inside, and despite being relatively light (300 pounds), he has enough strength and lateral mobility to be an effective run-stopper. He's a player on the rise.


16. Amobi Okoye, Texans. Okoye took a slight step back in 2008 after a strong rookie campaign, but he is quick and athletic, and more important, extremely bright. With some added weight and strength, he can be a disruptive interior defender.


17. Rocky Bernard, Giants. Bernard had a career-high 55 tackles for Seattle in 2008, but he has lost the quickness that made him an effective interior pass rusher earlier in his career. However, look for him to thrive in the Giants' impressive rotation. He'll be fresher playing fewer snaps and should benefit from receiving less attention from protection schemes.


18. Brodrick Bunkley, Eagles. Bunkley is extremely quick off the ball and moves well laterally. Equally disruptive against the run and the pass, he is an improving player who excels in the Eagles' system.


19. Jovan Haye, Titans. Haye is a true one-gap player. He's undersized but uses his athleticism to get free on stunts and twists. He is coming off a down season in Tampa Bay, but look for a nice comeback in the Titans' active front under line coach Jim Washburn.

20. Brandon Mebane, Seahawks. Mebane is a very good pass rusher for a tackle. This year, he's moving to a 3 technique role in Seattle's attacking scheme, which means he'll be shooting gaps and getting after the quarterback. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Mebane approach double-digit sack numbers.


http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn...c.php?t=551297
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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East coast bias the Broncos get over looked again
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dortoh View Post
East coast bias the Broncos get over looked again

I hate to say it

BUT

I don't think we've had a "top twenty" DT since Trevor Price and he switched to DE....





grimmmm
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:36 PM   #5
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Pryce


DOH!
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
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Man, what I wouldn't give to see a Bronco even as an honorable mention in a list like this. Is there a team in the league that can match the broncos' futility in attaining adequate D linemen? Seriously, I can only think of a handful I'd even venture to call adequate. It hurts so much Why Jarvis? Why?
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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Man, what I wouldn't give to see a Bronco even as an honorable mention in a list like this. Is there a team in the league that can match the broncos' futility in attaining adequate D linemen? Seriously, I can only think of a handful I'd even venture to call adequate. It hurts so much Why Jarvis? Why?

I know...

I wanted Shanhan to draft Tommie Harris sooo bad back in 2004...
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:26 PM   #8
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5. Chris Canty, Giants.
17. Rocky Bernard, Giants.
So the Giants signed in FA two top twenty DT's? And how is Canty the 5th best DT in the NFL?
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:30 PM   #9
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I know...

I wanted Shanhan to draft Tommie Harris sooo bad back in 2004...
And according to Shanahan he tried to trade up to get him, but he couldn't get any other team to deal.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco Rob View Post
I know...

I wanted Shanhan to draft Tommie Harris sooo bad back in 2004...
Harris sat out Mini camp yesterday with bad knee. He doesn't help the team on the bench.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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I want to know what drugs they were on to view Canty as the 5th best DT in the league.
I think I'd rather have every single DT after him than him on that list.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:37 PM   #12
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interesting that SD has 2 DTs in the top twenty.....yet ranks 25th in the league (to Denver's 29) in yards given up by defense. Chicago is 21st.
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