The top 2013 nose tackle prospects available for the 2013 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted. * - denotes 2013 prospect. ** - denotes 2014 prospect.
This page was last updated April 24, 2013
Johnathan Hankins*, DT, Ohio State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 320. Arm: 33.08
40 Time: 5.31.
Projected Round (2013): 1-2.
4/24/13: Hankins was solid, but unspectacular, at the Combine. He started out the year extremely strongly for Ohio State. He was a monster in the middle of the line as a run-stuffer with some pressure as a pass-rusher.
Hankins was a dominant force against California, among others. He totaled 10 tackles and a sack while making plays all over the field. Hankins made tackles outside of his gap. One was on a wide receiver screen on the perimeter. He was beating double-team blocks from a guard and center to stuff runs at the line of scrimmage.
Hankins' play cooled off some after a dominant September, but he still caused problems at the line of scrimmage and finished his collegiate career strong with a good performance against Michigan. Hankins totaled 55 tackles, four tackles for a loss and a sack in 2012.
8/25/12: Hankins is a massive tackle who takes up a lot of space and blockers at the point of attack. The sophomore had a strong 2011 season. He was a fabulous run-defender at that point of attack and totaled 67 tackles. Hankins also had 11 tackles for a loss and three sacks. He notched 16 tackles and a sack as a freshman.
Even though Hankins only had three sacks last year, he was a better pass-rusher than the numbers indicate. Hankins got good penetration into the pocket to hurry quarterbacks and take away space for them to step up in the pocket. He has serious quickness that he uses to fire into his gap and disrupt plays.
NFL coaches are going to love Hankins' versatility. He has played all over the defensive line. Hankins has lined up as a three-technique, on the outside shoulder of the guard; a two-gap defensive tackle technique; a defensive end; and the zero-technique - as a nose tackle above the center. Thus, he could fit as in a 4-3 as a defensive tackle, or in a 3-4 defense as a nose tackle or defensive end.
If Hankins becomes a more consistent pass-rusher and is able to produce a quality sack total, he could contend to be the top tackle selected. With Ohio State's new attacking defense, it wouldn't be surprising if the junior increases his sack production in 2012.
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 323. Arm: 32.08.
Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
Projected Round (2013): 1-3.
4/24/13: Scouts told WalterFootball.com they don't view Williams as a first-rounder because he won't be on the field in pass-rushing situations. However, some project him to go on Thursday night.
Williams had a rough start to his senior season. He was limited against Michigan in Week 1 and sat out the next game, against Western Kentucky, with a concussion. Williams played better later in the year with good performances versus Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia and Notre Dame. He had 37 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack in 2012.
Williams is a good run-stuffer, but doesn't offer much of anything as a pass-rusher. He looks like a two-down player at most for the NFL, and with the amount of nickel formations teams run, may only end up playing 40 percent of his defense's snaps.
Williams was unable to run in the field workouts at the Combine.
8/25/12: The "tattooed monster from down under" has some shear power and quickness. The Australian didn't start playing football until he was 15 years old. He played a couple seasons of community college before breaking into the lineup as a junior for Alabama.
Williams had 24 tackles with four tackles for a loss and half a sack in 2011. He was a starting five-technique defensive end but moved inside to tackle as part of a four-man front in pass-rushing situations. Williams should take on a prominent role in the Alabama defense since the Crimson Tide lost a number of players to the 2012 NFL Draft.
Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern
Height: 6-1. Weight: 341. Arm: 32 3/4. Hand: 9 5/8.
40 Time: 5.37.
Projected Round (2012): 2-4.
4/24/13: Williams was a consistent pass-rusher over the last three seasons. He totaled 25.5 sacks over that time. Williams had 68 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and five forced fumbles this year. He totaled eight sacks and 35 tackles in 2011. Williams recorded nine sacks and 17 tackles for a loss as a sophomore. He helped himself by performing well at the Senior Bowl.
Montori Hughes, DT, Tennessee-Martin
Height: 6-4. Weight: 329. Arm: 33.68.
40 Time: 5.23.
Projected Round (2012): 3-4.
4/24/13: If it weren't for off-the-field problems, Hughes could be a high second-day pick. He has talent, size and speed. Hughes picked up 42 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and a pass broken up in 2012. He had a strong Senior Bowl performance and really helped himself. Hughes also put together a solid performance at the Combine.
8/25/12: Hughes was kicked off of Tennessee's team, so he ended up transfering to Tennessee-Martin, an FCS school. The junior had a mixed season for the Volunteers in 2011 with 28 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, and one forced fumble, which he recovered. He recorded most of his stats (10 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, his sack and his fumble) against Eastern Illinois, a team that went 2-9 in 2011.
Hughes recorded 17 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble in 2010. The sophomore had some academic violations that caused him to be suspended for the season finale against Kentucky.
Hughes combines athletic ability and good size, but his off-the-field problems have killed his draft stock.
Kwame Geathers*, DT, Georgia
Height: 6-5. Weight: 342. Arm: 35.28.
40 Time: 5.44.
Projected Round (2013): 3-5.
4/24/13: Geathers played well as part of a rotation on Georgia's defensive line. He had 40 tackles, five tackles for a loss, a sack and a blocked kick in 2012. Geathers would have been an every-down player on the majority of teams.
The junior struggled in the second half of the SEC Championship Game against Alabama. Barrett Jones wore him down and dominated him. Even though Geathers could have taken over as the starting nose tackle next season, he decided to enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
Geathers didn't impress at the Combine. The decision to come out early looks like a mistake as he is a mid-round pick at best.
8/25/12: Geathers is a mountain of man who is difficult to move at the line of scrimmage. He looks like a good fit for a 3-4 defense, especially at nose tackle.
Geathers should receive more playing time as a junior as he was team's defensive MVP for spring practice in 2012. He was mostly a backup in 2011 with 14 tackles. The sophomore also missed a few games. Nose tackles with Geathers' size are hard to find.
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