2019 NFL Draft Prospects: Nose Tackles



By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: draftcampbell@gmail.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

The top 2019 nose tackle prospects available for the 2019 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2020 prospect. ** - denotes 2021 prospect.

This page was last updated Sept. 22, 2018. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.
2018 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 | P

2019 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 | P

2020 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 | P

  1. Derrick Brown*, NT, Auburn
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 322.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
    Projected Round (2019): 1.

    9/22/18: Against LSU, Brown played well while taking on a bunch of double teams. He is up to 15 tackles with one sack so far in 2018. In the season opener, Washington sent consistent double teams Brown's direction, but he made three tackles and did a good job of stuffing runs to limit Myles Gaskin. Brown also had some pressures.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Brown checks in at 6-foot-4, 322-pounds with 34.25 inch arms, 8.5 inch hands, and 82.75 wing span. They him down at 4.95 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

    In many years, Brown would be the consensus-No. 1 interior defensive lineman; however, in this loaded draft class, Brown might go behind some other elite defensive line talents. Still, team sources love Brown with his quickness to push the pocket and the strength that he plays with. They see him as a three-technique for a 4-3, and he could play as a one-technique as well. Sources say they see Brown as a future first-round talent.

    In 2017, Brown was a really solid interior lineman for Auburn. He was a tough run defender and contributed some in the pass rush. He totaled 56 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles for the year. Brown has the upside to get better as he gains experience.






  2. Raekwon Davis*, NT, Alabama
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 316.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.17.
    Projected Round (2019): 1.

    9/22/18: Davis totaled three tackles versus Ole Miss, but he did not play much as the game was effectively over early in the second quarter. Davis has nine tackles with 1.5 for a loss on the season.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Davis checks in at 6-foot-6, 316-pounds with 35.25 inch arms, 10.88 inch hands, and a 85.25 inch wingspan. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 5.17 seconds.

    Davis could make it three years in a row that an interior defensive lineman from Alabama goes as a top-20 pick. Like Da'Ron Payne, Davis has a freaky combination of size, quickness and athleticism. As a sophomore, Davis showed interior pass-rush skills with a fast first-step, active hands with functional strength to fight off blocks, and a burst to close. Davis can use powerful bull rushes to power through blockers as well.

    Davis broke out in 2017 for the eventual National Champions, racking up 69 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and one interception. It was his first season of extended playing time, and he was very impressive. Davis definitely has early-round potential for his draft class.


  3. Dexter Lawrence*, NT, Clemson
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 350.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
    Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

    9/22/18: Lawrence made four tackles versus Georgia Southern. He notched three tackles against Texas A&M the week before. In the pass rush, he had a few pressures and caused some disruption. Lawrence has nine tackles with one for a loss on the year.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Lawrence checks in at 6-foot-4, 350-pounds with 35.13 inch arms, 10.25 inch hands, and a wingspan of 85 inches. They him running the 40-yard dash at 5.00 seconds.

    Lawrence totaled 34 tackles with 2.5 sacks in 2017. While he wasn't as good as he was in 2016, and his production reflected that, he helped create a lot of sacks for those around him. Some team sources wonder if Lawrence was playing injured as a sophomore.

    Lawrence was a tremendous freshman to help Clemson win the National Championship. NFL sources raved about Lawrence in the 2017 season, because he was impossible to ignore in 2016. Lawrence was an All-Freshman selection all over the nation while being the ACC Rookie of the Year for that season. He totaled 63 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and a pass batted as a freshman. One national scout for a NFC team told me that they thought Lawrence was among the two most disruptive defensive linemen in 2016, along with Alabama's Jonathan Allen.

    With other good talent around Lawrence and his experience, he could dominate as a junior.


  4. Christian Wilkins, NT, Clemson
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 312.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
    Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

    9/22/18: Taking on Georgia Southern, Wilkins had two tackles. He played well against Texas A&M, stuffing runs and causing disruption. On the year, Wilkins has 12 tackles with two for a loss and one sack.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Wilkins checks in at 6-foot-3, 312-pounds with 32.38 inch arms, 9.5 inch hands, and 80.5 inch hands. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 4.90 seconds.

    In 2017, Wilkins totaled 60 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He played well all year, using his speed and athleticism to cause disruption at the point of attack. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, they see Wilkins as a future first-rounder. He is a fast interior pass-rusher who can collapse the pocket and provide an inside pass rush. Wilkins dominated Miami in the ACC Championship.

    Wilkins played well for Clemson in 2016 as part of a tough defensive line that controlled the point of attack. The sophomore recorded 48 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 10 passes batted. Wilkins made 33 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2015. He has a nice skill set with upside.

    Wilkins had to play a lot of defensive end in 2016 because of injury. He displayed a nice ability to play there, but his NFL home is on the inside. As a pass-rusher, Wilkins is able to get after the quarterback with pressure coming around the corner. He looked the most dangerous when lining up over guards and firing past them to cause disruption in the backfield. While he played a lot of end, at his weight, Wilkins really doesn't have edge-rusher speed for the NFL. He will have to rush from the inside as a pro, but that is his natural position anyway. Wilkins is a solid run defender, too. He has a strong, thick lower body to hold his ground at the point of attack.




  5. Jerry Tillery, NT, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 304.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

    9/22/18: To open the season, Tillery was phenomenal and dominated Michigan to help Notre Dame to a seven-point win. In 2018, Tillery has seven tackles with three sacks and two forced fumbles. He is playing like a first- or second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Tillery checks in at 6-foot-6, 304-pounds with 33.63 inch arms, 10.63 inch hands, and a wingspan of 82 inches. They have him running a fast 40-yard dash at 4.80 seconds.

    Over the past few years, Tillery has played well for Notre Dame and has been active at the point of attack. For 2017, he totaled 47 tackles with nine for a loss, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Tillery had 37 tackles with three tackles for a loss in 2016. The sophomore played better than the numbers illustrate and caused some havoc in the backfield. Tillery has a good skill set to develop and is capable of compiling more production.


  6. Isaiah Buggs*, NT, Alabama
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 294.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.99.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

    9/22/18: Buggs has played well for Alabama in 2018. He has nine tackles with two tackles for a loss, two sacks and a pass batted so far this season.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Buggs checks in at 6-foot-2, 294-pounds with 30.63 inch arms, nine inch hands, and a 75.13 inch wingspan. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 4.99 seconds.

    Alabama is not a program that hits the junior-college ranks hard, but Buggs was an exception, and he surprisingly won a starting spot right away at Alabama. In 2017, Buggs had 51 tackles with four tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. He could be even better now that he has a year of experience in the SEC. Buggs should see a lot of good blocking looks with Raekwon Davis drawing attention.






  7. Demarcus Christmas, NT, Florida State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 311.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.05.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

    9/22/18: Christmas has five tackles thus far in 2018. He turned in a solid game against Virginia Tech.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Christmas checks in at 6-foot-3, 311-pounds with 32.38 inch arms, nine inch hands, and 78.13 inch wingspan. They have Christmas running the 40-yard dash in 5.05 seconds.

    Christmas formed a tough interior to the Seminoles' defensive line with nose tackle Derrick Nnadi. Christmas has some length and quickness at the point of attack. In 2017, he notched 36 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and four passes batted.


  8. Greg Gaines, NT, Washington
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 315.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

    9/22/18: In 2018, Gaines has 11 tackles with two sacks.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Gaines checks in at 6-foot-1, 315-inch pounds with 31 inch arms, 9.75 inch hands, 75.38 inch wingspan. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 5.20 seconds.

    While Vita Vea got all the attention in 2017, Gaines also had a good season for the Huskies. Gaines totaled 30 tackles with five tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three passes batted on the year. He chipped in 35 tackles with 3.5 sacks in his sophomore season. It will be interesting to see how the loss of Vea impacts Gaines' play, but entering the fall, he is projected to have first- through fourth-round potential from NFL sources for the 2019 NFL Draft.


  9. Ricky Walker, NT, Virginia Tech
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 310.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

    9/22/18: Walker has two tackles with one for a loss so far this season.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams' preseason data provided by team sources, Walker checks in at 6-foot-1, 310-pounds with 30.38 inch arms, nine inch hands, and a wingspan of 72.13 inches. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 4.95 seconds.

    Virginia Tech lost a lot of NFL talent from its defense to the 2018 NFL Draft, but Walker is one of the future pros returning to the Hokies. As a junior, he totaled 41 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and one pass batted. With his speed and athleticism, Walker has some interior pass-rush potential.




  10. Dontavius Russell, NT, Auburn
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 310.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
    Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

    9/22/18: Russell has been solid for Auburn. He has seven tackles with 3.5 for a loss and one sack on the year. Because of all the attention paid to Derrick Brown, Russell sees a lot of favorable one-on-ones.

    8/29/18: Russell had 46 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and two passes batted in 2017. He was decent, but unimpressive. Russell was wise to return to Auburn for 2018.

    Russell formed a tough interior defensive line in 2016 with Montravius Adams. Scouts who did advanced work for the 2018 class say that Russell has an early-round skill set. It will be interesting to see if Russell finally plays up to his ability, because Adams had a first-round skill set, yet ended up being a third-round pick. Russell recorded 42 tackles with 4.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks in 2015. In 2016, he totaled 29 tackles with two passes batted.


  11. Raequan Williams*, NT, Michigan State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 300.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.11.
    Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

    9/22/18: Williams has 10 tackles with two for a loss so far this season.

    8/29/18: Williams has flashed some talent for the Spartans over the past two seasons. In 2017, he collected 31 tackles with 2.5 sacks after recording two sacks and 28 tackles during his freshman campaign. Williams has the upside to produce more as an upperclassman.


  12. Daylon Mack, NT, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 335.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.40.
    Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

    9/22/18: In 2018, Mack has four tackles.

    8/29/18: In 2017, Mack had 19 tackles with five tackles for a loss, one sack and a forced fumble. He would be a good fit as a zero-technique nose tackle in a 3-4 defense at the next level. Mack has been a rotational player for the Aggies, but scouts have noticed that he has some physical talent.

    Mack notched just 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2016, but he played better than the numbers illustrate. Mack was a disruptive force on the interior of the defensive line as a freshman in 2015. He totaled 32 tackles with 9.5 for a loss on the season, but also was a bigger presence than the numbers indicate.




  13. Khairi Clark, NT, Florida
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 315.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.17.
    Projected Round (2019): 7-FA.

    9/22/18: On the year, Clark has eight tackles with .5 for a loss.

    8/29/18: Clark is a nose tackle candidate to eat up blocks at the point of attack. In 2017, he totaled 13 tackles with one sack. Clark needs to produce more as a senior.


  14. Olive Sagapolu, NT, Wisconsin
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 346.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
    Projected Round (2019): 7-FA.

    9/22/18: So far in 2018, Sagapolu has eight tackles and a sack.

    8/29/18: Sagapolu is a nose tackle candidate for the NFL. As a junior, he had three sacks with 17 tackles. Sagapolu needs to produce more as a senior.


2018 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 | P

2019 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 | P

2020 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 | P




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