By Charlie Campbell.
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The top 2015 nose tackle prospects available for the 2015 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2016 prospect. ** - denotes 2017 prospect.
This page was last updated April 25, 2015.
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NFL Picks - Oct. 22
Danny Shelton*, NT, Washington
Height: 6-1. Weight: 343.
40 Time: 5.64.
Projected Round (2015): Top-25 Pick.
4/25/15: Shelton is a massive lineman who has a lot of power at the point of attack. Not only can he bulldoze his way into the backfield, he is quick and athletic for a heavy nose tackle. Shelton can collapse the pocket quickly. He destroys single-blocks and commanded consistent double-teams. Shelton is an ideal nose tackle for a 3-4 defense. There are a lot of teams that love him.
In 2014, Shelton was one of the nation's leaders in sacks for a defensive tackle with nine. Not only was he getting to the quarterback, but he also stuffed the run. Besides his nine sacks, Shelton had 87 tackles with 16.5 tackles for a loss and two fumble recoveries in 2014. He battled hard against Stanford, Oregon and UCLA.
At the Senior Bowl, Shelton was phenomenal. He was a load for the offensive linemen and couldn't be single-blocked. Shelton won in the pass-rushing one-on-ones and was excellent in the run scrimmages. That week in Mobile could push Shelton into the top 10 of the 2015 NFL Draft. He also did well at the Combine as he was impressive in the bench press and field drills.
8/23/14: Shelton turned in 59 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks in 2013. He had an excellent bowl game against BYU with seven tackles and a lot of disruption at the point of attack. In 2012, Shelton recorded 45 tackles, .5 sacks and four tackles for a loss. He was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention that season.
Shelton is a nice fit as a nose tackle who has a burst to get a push on the pocket. He would be a fit as a nose in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Shelton is a good run-defender who needs to develop his ability to pressure the quarterback
Malcom Brown*, NT, Texas
Height: 6-2. Weight: 319.
40 Time: 5.05.
Projected Round (2015): 1.
4/25/15: Brown is an interesting prospect as he has the speed quickness to serve as a three-technique with enough size and strength to also play nose tackle in a 4-3 defense. Brown is at his best when he is firing a gap to cause havoc in the backfield.
Brown had a good 2014 season. He used his speed to be a dangerous pass-rusher and showed some power to shed blocks. Brown overwhelmed offensive linemen in many games. For the year, he had 6.5 sacks, 71 tackles, 13 for a loss, one pass batted and two forced fumbles. Brown was tough to block with a good motor.
Brown had stated that if he received a first- or second-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board that he would enter the 2015 NFL Draft, and he ended up declaring. While he didn't get a lot of media attention, he put together a good Combine performance as he ran rather quickly for a heavy lineman. Brown also moved well in the field drills.
8/23/14: In 2013, Brown recorded 58 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, one sack and five passes batted. He had a number of impressive games, including performances against Oklahoma State, Iowa State and TCU. Texas is expecting Brown to step up his performance as a junior, and having Charlie Strong's staff could help Brown to develop.
Brown has a good athletic skill set with some size and speed. He was rated as the second-best defensive tackle in the nation coming out of high school by ESPN. Brown served as a backup while a freshman in 2012, but he still registered 17 tackles with two tackles for a loss. Brown could easily rise up the rankings over his junior and senior year.
Eddie Goldman, NT, Florida State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 336.
Projected 40 Time: 5.34.
Projected Round (2015): 1.
4/25/15: Goldman did not participate in the Combine drills because of an injury. During the 2014 season, a source close to the Florida State program told me that the Seminoles felt that Goldman was their best defensive lineman. He is big, strong, quick and disruptive. Goldman has enough speed to get pressure as a pass-rusher while being very stout at the point of attack.
Goldman racked up 35 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, four sacks and a forced fumble in 2014. He came up with a huge forced fumble against Clemson when the Tigers were deep in Florida State territory about to kick a chip-shot field goal for the win.
8/23/14: With Timmy Jernigan leaving for the NFL, the Seminoles are counting on Goldman stepping up in 2014. Goldman broke into the starting lineup in 2013 and picked up 19 tackles with three tackles for a loss and two sacks. The sophomore was also suspended for one game. Goldman does a nice job of maintaing his gap in run defense and holding his ground. He needs to improve his pass rush, but he has a good skill set with upside to elevate his play.
Goldman saw brief time in the defensive line rotation as a true freshman in 2012. He made eight tackles with a tackle for a loss. Goldman was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, and the Seminoles believe he could develop into a special player. Goldman was buried by a veteran group, but should play more as a junior.
Jordan Phillips*, NT, Oklahoma
Height: 6-5. Weight: 329.
40 Time: 5.17.
Projected Round (2015): 1-2.
4/25/15: Sources say they have Phillips going in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Phillips was impressive in 2014. He displayed a surprising burst for such a big lineman and used his size to overwhelm offensive linemen. For the year, Phillips had 39 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, two sacks and one pass batted. The redshirt sophomore caused disruption at the point of attack and looks like an excellent candidate to play 3-4 nose tackle in the NFL. That's the same role he played for Oklahoma.
Phillips performed well at the Combine, and WalterFootball.com knows some teams picking late in the first round that are giving serious consideration to drafting Phillips.
8/23/14: Philips was off to a good start in 2013 before a back injury ended his season after only four games. He recorded seven tackles, with two for a loss and 1.5 sacks before the injury. Philips earned some playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2012. He totaled 12 tackles as a backup.
Oklahoma is expecting Philips to have a breakout season in 2014 and believe he could be the next Gerald McCoy. Philips is said to be amazingly athletic for a heavy defensive tackle with the ability to do a back flip and dunk a basketball. The Sooners need him to become a difference-maker.
Personal: Son of Willie and Irene Alford.
Carl Davis, NT, Iowa
Height: 6-4. Weight: 321.
40 Time: 5.07.
Projected Round (2015): 2-3.
4/25/15: Davis had an excellent week of practice at the Senior Bowl. His athletic skill set looked like that of a potential first-round pick. He was strong to shed blocks, stuff runs and bull rush his way into the pocket. Davis also showed the speed to fire by blockers and close on the quarterback. He had a good Combine performance, as expected.
However, those on-field performances may not be enough to make Davis a first-rounder as sources said that Davis was awful in team interviews at the Senior Bowl. He came across as lazy and arrogant. Davis said he should only play 20-30 snaps a game and was unabashed about regularly taking himself out of games as a senior. He also gave excuses for poor practice effort because he said he didn't want to risk injury while going against enthusiastic scout-team linemen. Davis had a great Senior Bowl on the field, and an equally awful one in the team interviews.
Davis recorded 34 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, two sacks, and a pass broken up in 2014. He was a strong run-defender at the point off attack and was tough to move at the line of scrimmage. Davis is reliable to fill his gap, but he isn't consistent in getting pressure the quarterback. His motor was inconsistent in college, but he would flash at times.
8/23/14: Davis is a tough run-defender who really stepped up his game in 2013. He notched 42 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one pass batted and 1.5 sacks. Davis had 14 tackles as a sophomore. The senior could improve his stock in 2014 if he is able to improve on his pass-rushing production.
Personal: Son of Ovella Davis.
Ellis McCarthy*, NT, UCLA
Height: 6-5. Weight: 338.
40 Time: 5.21.
Projected Round (2015): 3-5.
4/25/15: McCarthy picked up 21 tackles with three sacks, and 3.5 tackles for a loss in 2014. He didn't have as big of an impact as expected, but he did finish the regular season playing better and was excellent against USC. McCarthy probably should have returned for his senior year, but he entered the 2015 NFL Draft. McCarthy wasn't overly impressive at the Combine. Some think he might slide in the 2015 NFL Draft, but after the run on first-round nose tackles, there aren't many options left for teams that want a big body at the position.
8/23/14: McCarthy totaled 28 tackles with three tackles for a loss and two sacks in 2013. The sophomore was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. McCarthy did a nice job as a run-plugger a the point of attack. He has some intriguing skills as a nose tackle for a 3-4 defense.
McCarthy had a few knee surgeries that delayed him breaking into the lineup for the Bruins. As a backup during 2012, he totaled 10 tackles with a sack and a pass batted. The freshman also missed five games.
Personal: Son of Edward McCarthy and Libbie Adams.
Joey Mbu, NT, Houston
Height: 6-2. Weight: 315.
40 Time: 5.54.
Projected Round (2015): 5-7.
4/25/15: Mbu totaled 32 tackles with 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss in 2014. He has some size and quickness, but he never really produced up to his skill set. Mbu had some good reps at the Senior Bowl and also was handled on other plays. He recorded 29 tackles with .5 sacks, 3.5 for a loss, and three passes broken up in 2013.
David Parry, NT, Stanford
Height: 6-1. Weight: 308.
40 Time: 5.18.
Projected Round (2015): 4-6.
4/25/15: Parry is a sleeper prospect who could be a nice value pick. After serving as a backup, he became a starter as a senior. Parry was a tough defender for Stanford in 2014 as he totaled 34 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks. Parry is very strong at the point of attack and is reliable at controlling his gap. He had an impressive week at the East-West Shrine and was one of the best defensive linemen there.
Personal: Son of George and Elaine Parry. Majoring in political science.
Tyeler Davison, NT, Fresno State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 316.
40 Time: 5.18.
Projected Round (2015): 4-6.
4/25/15: Davison recorded 58 tackles with eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss in 2014. He picked up three sacks against Hawaii. Davison had a quality week at the East-West Shrine.
8/23/14: Davison was a Second-Team All-Mountain West pick in 2013 as he totaled 41 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. Davison was a First-Team All-Mountain West selection the year before when he recorded 43 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and three sacks. Davison is a quality run-defender and has flashed some pass-rush ability, but he needs to more consistently get after the quarterback in order to improve his stock.
Personal: Majoring in criminology. Son of Katie and Ramsey Davison.
Chucky Hunter, NT, TCU
Height: 6-1. Weight: 305.
Projected 40 Time: 5.27.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.
4/25/15: Hunter totaled 44 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and a force fumble in 2014. He didn't participate in the Combine.
8/23/14: After being a backup in 2011, Hunter had a strong debut as a starter in 2012. He was a Second-Team All-Big XII selection as he totaled 36 tackles, six tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. Hunter followed that up with another season as a Second-Team All-Conference pick in 2013. He recorded 43 tackles with six tackles for a loss and two sacks. Hunter is a solid run-defender.
Personal: Son of Charles Hunter and the late Tenia Willis.
Terry Williams, NT, East Carolina
Height: 6-1. Weight: 353.
Projected 40 Time: 5.21.
Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.
4/25/15: Williams had 29 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, one pass broken up and two forced fumbles in 2014. He is an under-the-radar prospect, but he looks like bowling ball rolling through the offensive line. Williams did not participate in the Combine.
Williams is very disruptive, and Virginia Tech couldn't block him in the Pirates' Week 3 upset. He recorded five tackles, but was a much bigger presence as he constantly blew up plays in the backfield. Williams needs to improve his conditioning, but he has a burst with size that overwhelms offensive linemen. The senior looks like a great fit as a 3-4 nose tackle.
Williams missed eight games in 2013 because of a suspension for violating team rules. The year before, he recorded 46 tackles with one sack and 5.5 tackles for a loss.
Leon Orr*, NT, Florida
Height: 6-5. Weight: 323.
40 Time: 5.16.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.
4/25/15: Orr recorded 16 tackles and two tackles for a loss with a forced fumble in 2014. He made a big move to send himself to the undrafted ranks when he quit the Florida football team. After being told he wouldn't be starting against Vanderbilt for the fifth-straight game, Orr decided to leave the team and take a bus from Nashville to Gainesville. The coaches explained to Orr that him leaving would be the end of his playing at Florida, but he still left.
8/23/14: Orr had 21 tackles with 2.5 sacks in 2013. He played better than the numbers indicate, but made the right decision to return for his senior year. Orr played well in reserve duty in 2012, totaling 15 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. He has an intriguing combination of size and quickness.
Brandon Ivory, NT, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 308.
Projected 40 Time: 4.99.
Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.
4/25/15: Ivory had 13 tackles in 2014. He's adequate at filling his gap, but he doesn't make many tackles or generate pass rush. Ivory didn't participate in the Combine.
8/23/14: Like a lot of Alabama defensive linemen, Ivory rotates into the game, but he has been unable to establish himself as an every-down player. The junior totaled 24 tackles with 1.5 tackles for a loss and zero sacks in 2013. He had 21 tackles with a fumble recovery the year before. Ivory should see the field more as a senior with Ed Stinson and Jeoffrey Pagan in the NFL. Ivory needs to show some pass-rush potential as a senior.
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