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Scouting Notebook: Defensive Tackle Edition

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Which defensive tackles should the Colts be looking at in the 2020 NFL Draft?

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting Notebook is back for 2019 as we take a weekly look at college prospects who could fit the Colts. If you are unfamiliar with this series, the Scouting Notebook highlights four prospects each week that Colts fans should have their eye on for the upcoming NFL Draft. Now that Chris Ballard has three Colts’ drafts under his belt, it is much easier to identify his types at most positions and really target guys that he may like.

Today’s Scouting Notebook will focus on one of the Colts’ biggest needs going into the 2020 offseason, defensive tackle. With Margus Hunt playing poorly this season and Grover Stewart having very little impact, the Colts would be wise to spend a draft pick on a defensive tackle early in this upcoming draft to pair with Denico Autry. Here are five prospects who could be perfect fits on the Colts’ defensive line.

**Disclaimer: Javon Kinlaw and Derrick Brown were both mentioned in a previous Scouting Notebook which is why they are not in this piece**


Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

NCAA Football: Florida State at Boise State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

The former top defensive tackle recruit in the country is making some noise for Florida State as a Junior. Wilson has put together a pretty solid all around career for the Seminoles as he has improved each and every year on campus. After only having 3.5 sacks his first two years, he already has 5 sacks through 9 games as a Junior. For the year, he has tallied 44 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble to go along with those sacks. He is also a big locker room guy as he won the Bobby Bowden Leadership Award in 2018.


Analysis:

Wilson is a very developed defensive line prospect with a great move set on the interior. He is strong at the point of attack and a load to handle in one on one pass blocking situations. He excels at using the push-pull move and the arm-over move to work around interior lineman. In run defense, he uses his strength to quickly diagnose rushing lanes and discard weaker blockers. He also boasts excellent quickness and burst in short areas for a man of his size. He has to work on his pad level and overall speed but he is a good prospect that can provide some legit interior pass rush at the next level.


Film Review:


Fit with the Colts:

Wilson’s best fit with the Colts is likely as the nose tackle alongside Denico Autry. He may not be the best run defender in this class to place there but he is good enough to fill space and run lanes. As a pass rusher, those two on the interior would create havoc and provide enough of a push inside to help the edge rushers get home more frequently. Wilson may not be a flashy player but he is a good pass rusher, a sturdy run defender, and a leader in the locker room. Those three aspects are exactly what the Colts need on their defensive line.


Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

This Canadian freak defensive lineman has been flying up draft boards all season and for good reason. Nose tackle Neville Gallimore has had quite a journey to this point as he is one of the highest Canadian born recruits in college football history. He has made a name for himself throughout his career at Oklahoma where his elite athleticism and size has created tons of splash plays. This elite athleticism also landed him on the coveted Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List” where he reportedly can bench press 500 pounds and squat 800 while running a 4.76 40 yard dash. His career college stats up to this point are 137 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, and 7.5 sacks in 41 games played.


Analysis:

Gallimore looks every bit of the freak label on film. He has elite strength and leverage as he is an excellent run defender. He understands how to get low and fire out of his stance to disrupt running plays. He showcases great awareness and effort as he relentlessly pursues runners. As a pass rusher, he wins with his initial burst and power. He has shown development over the years but needs to find one or two go-to moves to be really dominant. Right now though, he is an absurd athlete who is a great run defender with all the potential to be a dominant pass rusher as well.


Film Review:


Fit with the Colts:

Gallimore would be an excellent fit for the Colts in every which way. His strength and run stuffing abilities would be a major asset from day one as he would pair perfectly with Autry on the interior. While he provides a great baseline as a run stuffer, he also fits the Colts’ scheme as a gap shooter due to his top notch athleticism. Finally, he has good enough strength and motor to be a solid pass rusher for this team while he develops a bit more in that area. Overall he would be an absolute perfect fit on the Colts’ defensive line in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.


Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

With great size and athleticism, Davis could be a big time riser in the 2020 NFL Draft. A rare Senior along Alabama’s defense, he has been a mainstay on a Championship team for many years. He exploded in 2017 as he tallied 10 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks on the year. While he has seemingly regressed since that dominant season, he still has the traits to be a star in the league.


Analysis:

Excellent blend of size and strength. Standing at 6’7”, he has the length and height to be a pain on the interior. He has string hands on the interior where he can manipulate and maneuver around linemen with ease. Showcases great skills as a pass rusher with his push-pull move and ability to rag doll weaker guards. He needs to develop more consistency and regain his 2017 form but he has all the traits you look for in a dominant NFL defensive lineman.


Film Review:


Fit with the Colts:

While he may not be a finished product like the last two prospects we named, Davis could be a viable project for the Colts to take on. He may need to be more of a sub player early on as he learns to lower his pad level in run defense but eventually he could become a player for this team. His height and athleticism could make him a better version of Margus Hunt in 2018 in the long term, it would just take patience from the team before unleashing him. Luckily, the team has shown the willingness to develop players in the past, which would make Davis an intriguing option for this team in the next draft.


Leki Fotu, DT, Utah

NCAA Football: Utah at Southern California Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

One of the more known defensive tackles in college football, Fotu could be a good mid round option for the Colts. The former First Team All-PAC 12 defensive tackle has been a consistent force for Utah throughout his college career. He has tallied 72 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles in 26 career games played.


Analysis:

A stellar run defender, Fotu will have an immediate impact in the NFL. He plays with great power and leverage on the inside. He is sturdy and strong with his punches and over powers interior blockers. He excels at taking on double teams and eating space on the inside. He also possesses great quickness and snap timing as he wins multiple reps with this ability. He doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher but he will be a great two down defensive tackle in the league with upside to develop as a pass rusher.


Film Review:


Fit with the Colts:

While on paper this may seem like a poor fit, the Colts could use a defensive tackle like Fotu going forward. The team has desperately missed Al Woods so far in 2019 as opposing teams are running much easier this year against the Colts. What they need is a sturdy and dependable two down defensive tackle who can lock down the inside and stuff opponent’s running game early in possessions. For that reason alone, that would make Fotu a great fit for the Colts’ defense.


Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M

NCAA Football: Auburn at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Background:

Our final defensive tackle prospect today is an excellent player both on and off the field. Off the field, Madubuike is an excellent person as he has worked in numerous community service activities and is a Captain of the Texas A&M defense. On the field, he is a very talented player as he has tallied 93 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, 9 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles in 31 career games.


Analysis:

Athletic pass rusher who offers great quickness on the interior. He explodes out of his stance and attacks lineman with quick and active hands. He works relentlessly to get to the quarterback with high level motor and effort. In terms of rushing the passer, he is one of the better interior defensive lineman in this class. He needs to build more strength and develop a bit more as a run defender, but he can be a very good sub rusher early in the league.


Film Review:


Fit with the Colts:

While he doesn’t fit the Colts’ need for a run stuffing interior lineman, he would be an intriguing mid round option for a team that loves adding speed to the defense. Where he lacks as an run stuffer, he makes up for it with his ability as a pass rusher. His active hands and quickness off the snap would make him an excellent fit as the team’s sub pass rusher on the interior while he builds up his strength and base. Overall, he seems a lot like a guy that Ballard would love in the 2020 Draft Class.