FanPost

DT's That Might Fill Panthers Needs

DT has been a problem area for the Panthers this season. Part of the problem can be attributed to injuries (Ron Edwards, Terrelle McClain, and NT Sione Fue), and the rest to inexperience. We would all probably like to see the Panthers add a young, big (325+), veteran, free agent NT (maybe the Bengals Pat Sims), but if they can't afford one, then they will probably need to fill the need through the draft. An equal DT need is for a pass rushing DT, to help open things up for the DE's.

To show what DT's are available in the 2012 draft, here is a list (with their measurements and stats) of the top 14 rated DT's from walterfootball.com (they only project the top 118 players on their "Draft Big Board"), along with their ranking from nfldraftscout.com. Along with each players stats, I will include their measurements from profootballweekly.com., most of which come from the players Junior Pro Day (last spring). These players rankings can move up and down alot between now and the draft, and of course teams needs can change due to free agent gains and losses.

WF DT Ranking - WF Draft Projection - NFLDS Draft Projection - Players (Measurements and Stats)

1. - #23 - #14 - DT/4-3 NT/3-DE Devon Still (WF 6-5, 311, 5.03-40), (DS 6-4, 310, 5.06-40), (PFW 6-5 1/4, 307, 5.10-40e), of Penn St., 55 tackles, 17 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, and 1 pass batted down.

2. - #42 - #16 - DT Brandon Thompson (WF 6-2, 310, 5.15-40) (DS 6-2, 310, 5.04-40) (PFW 6-2 1/8, 305, 4.95-40e), of Clemson, 45 tackles, 6.5 TFL's, 2.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.

3. - #26 - #59 - NT Alameda Ta'amu (WF 6-3, 330, 5.42-40), (DS 6-3, 337, 5.22-40), (PFW 6-2 1/2, 338, 5.20-40e), of Washington, 28 tackles, 7 TFL's, and 3.5 sacks.

4. - #51 - #41 - DT Fletcher Cox (WF 6-4, 295, 4.93-40), (DS 6-4, 295, 4.95-40), a Mississippi St. Junior, 49 tackles, 12.5 TFL's, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumbles, He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week 4 times in 2011.

5. - #47 - #29 - DT Jerel Worthy (WF 6-3, 305, 4.99-40), (DS 6-3, 310, 5.04-40), a Michigan St. Junior, 25 tackles, 8.5 TFL's, and 3.5 sacks.

6. - #55 - #197 - DT Derek Wolfe (WF 6-5, 302, 4.92-40), (DS 6-5, 300, 5.19-40), (PFW 6-5, 295, 5.20-40e), of Cincinnati, 64 tackles, 19.5 TFL's, 9.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

7. - NR - #34 - NT Dontari Poe (WF 6-5, 350, 5.50-40), (DS 6-5, 350, 5.36-40), a Memphis Junior, 33 tackles, 8 TFL's, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble.

8. - #57 - #79 - NT Josh Chapman (WF 6-1, 310, 5.20-40), (DS 6-1, 310, 5.02-40), (PFW 6-0 7/8, 316, 5.04-40), of Alabama, 22 tackles, 3.5 TFL's, 1 sack, and 2 passes batted down.

9. - NR - #81 - DT Kawann Short (WF 6-3, 305, 5.18-40), (DS 6-3, 310, 5.22-40), a Purdue Junior, 53 tackles, 17 TFL's, 6.5 sacks (3 against Ohio St.), 1 forced fumble, and 2 blocked kicks.

10. - #93 - #39 - DT/DE Jared Crick (WF 6-6, 285, 4.88-40), (DS 6-4, 285, 4.82-40), (PFW 6-4 1/8, 286, 4.80-40e), of Nebraska, he missed most of 2011 with a torn pectoral, 2010 - 70 tackles, 14.5 TFL's, and 9.5 sacks, 2009 - 73 tackles, 12.5 TFL's, and 9.5 sacks.

11. - #88 - #107 - DT/DE Kendall Reyes (WF 6-4, 295, 4.90-40), (DS 6-4, 296, 4.99-40), (PWF 6-4 3/4, 297e, 5.10-40e), of U Conn, 46 tackles, 13.5 TFL's, and 4.5 sacks.

12. - #113 - #300 - DT Logan Harrell (WF 6-2, 278, 4.81-40), (DS 6-2, 276, 4.89-40), (PFW 6-2, 274, 4.90-40), of Fresno St., 71 tackles, 17 TFL's, 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 4 passes batted down.

13. - NR - #180 - DT Brett Roy (WF 6-4, 280, 4.84-40), (DS 6-3, 280, 4.88-40), (PFW 6-2 7/8, 268, 4.89-40), of Nevada, 63 tackles, 17.5 TFL's, and 9 sacks, 2010 - 50 tackles, 14.5 TFL's, and 8 sacks.

14. - NR - #149 - Mike Daniels (WF 6-1, 280, 4.83-40), (DS 6-0, 280, 4.84-40), (PFW 6-0 1/4, 279, 4.86-40), of Iowa, 62 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, and 7 sacks, 2010 - 40 tackles, 11 TFL's, and 4 sacks.

Alameda Ta'amu seems like clearly the best of the draft's NT's, because of his better pass rush, size, and he's played against a higher level of college competition (except for Alabama's Chapman), with several NFL type offenses.

Selecting a pass rushing DT is a little more complicated. Jared Crick is clearly the best pass rusher, with 2 9.5 sack seasons, on a top team (Nebraska) in one of the strongest conferences (Big 12), and has the advantage of being able to also play DE. However, he needs to add about 10 pounds (like Bengals DT Geno Atkins did), and have a good medical check on his injured arm, then he could even go in the late 1st round. Cincinnati's Derek Wolfe is a very close 2nd, with good size, strength, and production, but questions about his speed, and a lower level of competition in the Big East. The rest of the pass rushing DT's (DT's with 4 sacks or more) will likely go in the 4th round or later, Short may stay for his senior year, and half his sacks came in 1 game. The other 3 pass rushing DT's (Harrell, Roy, and Daniels) are too small at around 280 pounds, and except for Iowa's Daniels faced a low level of competition in the WAC.

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