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2012 NFL Draft: Nose Tackle Rankings

The top 2012 nose tackle prospects available for the 2012 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted. * - denotes 2013 prospect.

This page was last updated March 13, 2012.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | DE | DT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | NT | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | 3-4 DE | NT | 3-4 OLB | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K

  1. Dontari Poe*, DT/NT, Memphis
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 346.
    40 Time: 4.87. 10-Yd Split: 1.68.
    Bench: 44.
    Vertical: 29.5. Broad: 9-9.
    Arm: 32.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 25.

    3/13/12: Over the last month, Poe has been on the short list of players who has improved their stock the most. He had a dominant Combine, with an astounding 40 time for such a heavy tackle. Poe also led the Combine in the bench press along with showing movement skills in the field drills. It truly was a unique performance that caused big headlines.

    Poe moved his stock into the top 20 and possibly the top 10 with his Combine performance. Some teams may prefer other first-round tackles because of scheme fits, but he shouldn't get out of the top-25 picks.

    The biggest issue for Poe and his draft stock is a lack of production. With his power and athleticism, one would think he would have posted more numbers with a bigger impact, especially at his level of competition. In 2011, Poe totaled 33 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, one sack and one forced fumble. He did not play very well against Mississippi State in the first game of the season and closed out the year without a tackle for a loss in the last four games. Poe's best game came against SMU when he registered a sack-fumble and three tackles.

    Poe is a space eater who takes on multiple blocks. Even when his pad level is off, he is hard to move at the line of scrimmage. Poe pursues plays extremely well.

    8/28/11: Dontari Poe is a massive defensive lineman who could be a 3-4 nose tackle at the next level. He is a powerful force at the line of scrimmage that offensive linemen struggle to move. Poe recorded 41 tackles and with 6.5 tackles for a loss last season. He got a good amount of playing time as a freshman. If Poe has a strong season, he could enter the draft as their is usually a limited amount of true nose tackles in each draft class.

  2. Alameda Ta'amu, DT/NT, Washington
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 348.
    40 Time: 5.34. 10-Yd Split: 1.78.
    Bench: 35.
    Vertical: 26. Broad: 8-7.
    Arm: 32. Hand: 9 7/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    3/13/12: Ta'amu was solid but didn't stand out at the Combine. He followed his 2011 trend with an inconsistent showing at the Senior Bowl. All year, Ta'amu waffled between times when he was a real force and stretches when he was very quiet.

    At times as a senior, Ta'amu was a load at the line of scrimmage, but he was inconsistent. Ta'amu ate up double teams and had success plugging his gap in run defense. He also had some quality plays collapsing the pocket with a bull rush. Against Stanford, Ta'amu was neutralized by the Cardinal's strong offensive line. After that game, he was quiet for some time but finished the regular season on a high note with two sacks, 2.5 tackles for a loss and four tackles against Washington State.

    However, Ta'amu was a non-factor in a high-scoring Alamo Bowl against Baylor. In 2011, he had 30 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks.

    8/28/11: Alameda Ta'amu was a tough run stuffer as a junior. He recorded 39 tackles with five tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. In his second year as a starter, Ta'amu was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention. In 2009, he recorded 19 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Ta'amu started 11 of 12 games as a sophomore. He is a powerful force at the point of attack. Ta'amu enters the season as the top 3-4 nose tackle in the nation and a potential second-round pick.

  3. Josh Chapman, DT/NT, Alabama
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 316.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
    Arm: 32.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-4.

    3/13/12: Chapman couldn't work out at the Combine since he is still recovering from knee surgery. Chapman recorded 23 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and two passes batted down in 2011. For most of the season, he played with a torn knee ligament.

    Chapman is a quality run defender but limited as a pass rusher. He looks like a strong nose tackle candidate for a 3-4 defense in the NFL. Chapman has good technique with natural pad level. His injury could impact the beginning of his rookie season.

    8/28/11: Josh Chapman was a backup to Terrence Cody in 2009 and 2008. Last year, Chapman broke into the starting lineup at nose guard and recorded 31 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. He is a strong run defender at the point of attack. Chapman could potentially add more weight. In the NFL, he looks like a potential fit as a nose tackle, or possibly as a five technique in a 3-4 defense.

  4. Nick Jean-Baptiste, DT/NT, Baylor
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 335.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.40.
    Arm: 33. Hand: 9 3/4.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-5.

    3/13/12: Even though Jean-Baptiste was dominant at the East-West Shrine, he did not work out at the Combine. Throughout the week in Orlando, Jean-Baptiste showed major potential to be a nose tackle in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He was like a bowling ball, rolling through offensive linemen to cause disruption in the backfield. Every linemen who went against him had problems with his bull rush.

    Jean-Baptiste has natural pad level and consistently gets underneath the pads of offensive linemen to push them straight back. As a senior, he totaled 36 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and three passes broken up.

  5. Hebron Fangupo, DT/NT, BYU
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 323.
    40 Time: 5.16.
    Bench: 36.
    Vertical: 31.5. Broad: 8-3.
    Arm: 32 3/4.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    3/13/12: Fangupo featured his athletic ability with some good numbers at the Combine. He showed speed and athleticism on the field drills with some power in the weight room. In his one year at BYU, the USC transfer Fangupo had a decent season. He recorded 26 tackles with six tackles for a loss.

    Fangupo got a late start in football, so he may need to be developed for a year or two on the back-end of the roster before he can be a contributor.

  6. Akiem Hicks, DT/NT, Regina University (Canada)
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 318.
    40 Time: 5.21.
    Bench: 26.
    Vertical: 31.5. Broad: 9-0.
    Arm: 35 1/8. Hand: 10 1/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    3/13/12: Hicks was decent at the Combine, but doing well in his team interviews were probably more critical than having a big field performance. The Canada product Hicks caught scouts attention by flashing at the East-West Shrine practices. He is a large man who has some quickness and athleticism.

    Hicks was at LSU before leaving the program in January of 2010. He was signed out of the community college ranks prior to that. Hicks has physical tools, but teams will need to do research into his background.

  7. Kaniela Tuipulotu, DT/NT, Hawaii
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 310.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
    Arm: 32 1/4. Hand: 9 7/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    3/13/12: Tuipulotu had 32 tackles with four tackles for a loss and a sack in 2011. He did not particularly stand out at the East-West Shrine or the Combine.

    8/21/11: Kaniela Tuipulotu decided to transfer back to his native Hawaii after playing at Arizona. He recorded 34 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss and one sack last season. Tuipulotu would be best as a 3-4 defensive end.

  8. Delvin Johnson, DT/NT, Marshall
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 312.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-7.

    3/13/12: After a quiet junior season, Johnson made a big improvement this year as a senior, making 42 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. He took advantage of offenses being focused on teammate Vinny Curry. Johnson barely played in 2008 and 2009 before making a modest contribution in 2010. He did not work out at the Combine, or play in a major All-Star game.

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2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | DE | DT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | NT | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | 3-4 DE | NT | 3-4 OLB | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K

Leave a comment

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Jenni 04-21-2013 11:23 pm (total posts: 1)
8     27

Are you serious? Jessie Williams @ #4?? Has to be top 2. Great speed for his size and stronger than all before him!
Dum dum diddy 03-02-2013 09:33 am (total posts: 1)
10     8

Short is not a 34 NT dunce!
Musker 11-14-2012 10:47 pm (total posts: 1)
24     14

Boilermaker- Kawann Short is on the DT rankings. He's a speed tackle for the Tampa 2 and not a nose tackle. Charlie's been mocking him in the first round and has him on his big board of the top 25 prospects so I don't think he's disrespected Short.
Boilermaker 09-29-2012 09:39 pm (total posts: 1)
13     35

You serious??? No Kawann Short??? He is the best defensive player in the whole Big Ten
*Correction 09-17-2012 09:14 am (total posts: 2)
17     14

Daniel McCullers*, DT, Tennessee
Height: 6-8. Weight: 360.
Projected 40 Time: 5.58.
Daniel McCullers 09-17-2012 09:11 am (total posts: 2)
21     17

Daniel McCullers*, DT, Tennessee
Height: 6-6. Weight: 377.
Projected 40 Time: 5.58.
Mahalingam 07-31-2012 10:36 am (total posts: 1)
15     17

Please note that the deadline has been chaegnd for comments to be submitted is now June 30th an extension from June 10th so that The CEDAW can receive comments on the draft concept paper
PJ 03-30-2012 07:29 am (total posts: 1)
21     21

Why exactly is Poe so high? I read the prospect profile, but no place to comment there. Where exactly has he shown to command double teams, because it isn't on any game tape. He was named in the powerhouse C-USA as a 2nd team guy, not even 1st team. How does this not raise questions to his capability? He does not play to his size or strength at all. Good luck to the team that selects him in the top 10 based on combine numbers!
Anderson 03-22-2012 10:56 pm (total posts: 1)
22     19

Very attractive eethir way, and I almost always will side with a good #1 RB over a QB, but Manning is durable and reliable and Gore sometimes has bad games. Last season, Gore finished a game with less than 50 yds rushing 5 times, and only had 5 games with over 100 yds rushing, and he missed 2 games. Manning had 4,500 yds and 33 TD's last season, and had 9 games of more than 300 passing yds. out of the 14 games he played (he played in all 16 but was pulled in weeks 16 and 17 to rest him for the playoffs). Manning has higher value here and is much more reliable and consistent. Keep Peyton.
WisPackFan 02-02-2012 12:34 am (total posts: 1)
23     19

I'm thinking if the Colts are making the switch to a 3-4, they'll take a Nose fairly early.

Remember when the Packers made the switch and took Raji and Matthews?

I could see they Colts either spending the 34th pick on this Poe guy or even trading up for Ta'amu.

It'll be interesting to see how hardcore the horseshoes are about rebuilding. They may end up with more picks before/during the draft.
DanielNieto 01-19-2012 07:32 pm (total posts: 1)
38     27

Poe is soppose to be a first round pick..
Cowboys Fan here 01-10-2012 06:14 pm (total posts: 1)
24     31

Cowboys Mock
1.Dre KirkPatrick
2.Brandon Jennings
3.Mister Cobble
; 12-17-2011 07:19 pm (total posts: 1)
21     25

Where is Star Lotulelei?
Wow 12-17-2011 02:15 pm (total posts: 1)
25     25

What kind of parent names their kid "Mister Cobble"
Christian Cole 10-11-2011 03:43 pm (total posts: 1)
32     28

Hebron Fangupo of BYU and Delvin Johnson of Marshall are interesting NT prospects.

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