Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Top 10 defensive linemen in the 2017 NFL draft

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are the top 10 defensive linemen prospects (with projected draft round) for the 2017 NFL draft, which is set for April 27-29 in Philadelphia:

  1. Myles Garrett, 6-feet, 4-inches and 272 pounds, DE, Texas A&M (first): Some contend that he racked up his sacks against smaller schools and that you couldn’t find him in big games. He also showed that he was a bit petty when he wouldn’t do an interview with ESPN’s Booger McFarland because he didn’t like the critique of his play. “I think Myles Garrett has the most upside of any pass-rusher in this draft,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “When healthy, he’s easy to do on tape. He’s (6-foot-5), 262 pounds. He’s got outside edge (rushing) ability.”
  2. Jonathan Allen, 6-3, 286, DT, Alabama (first): He was a force for the Crimson Tide. There is some concerns about his shoulders.
  3. Solomon Thomas, 6-3, 272, DE, Stanford (first): He made 62 tackles with 15 for a loss, eight sacks and one forced fumble.
  4. Derek Barnett, 6-3, 259, DE, Tennessee (first): He had 33 sacks over 39 game career for the Volunteers.
  5. Charles Harris, 6-3, 253, DE, Missouri (first): He made 61 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, two passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2016 for the Tigers. Harris had one of his better games against Georgia, when he had seven tackles and three sacks.
  6. Takkarist McKinley, 6-2, 250, DE, UCLA (first): Most believe that he’s best suited to be an outside linebacker for a team that runs a 3-4 defensive alignment.
  7. Hassan Reddick, 6-1, 237, DE, Temple (first-second): He was a two-year starter for the Owls and played left and right defensive end. He also played some standing up and has experience dropping into coverage. He’s a hybrid pass rusher and had a team-high 22.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks last season
  8. Caleb Brantley, 6-3, 307, DT, Florida (first-second): He was a two-year starter for the Gators. He was a menace when he played a high level. NFL teams have questioned his effort and that might lead to Brantley dropping in the draft.
  9. Carl Lawson, 6-2, 261, DE, Auburn (first-second): He’s from Alpharetta (Milton High School) and finished his career among the Tigers’ career sack leaders with 14.0 in 33 games. Lawson is the son of former Georgia Tech fullback Carl Lawson Sr., who played on the school’s 1990 national championship team. He lifted 225 pounds 35 times at the combine, which ranked tied for first with Utah’s Isaac Asiata. He was also a top performer in the vertical jump at 33 inches. When healthy last season, Lawson had nine sacks and flashed the talent that made him the No. 2-rated defensive end in the nation coming out of high school by PrepStar.
  10. Tarell Basham, 6-4, 269, DE, Ohio (second): Basham, who’s 6-foot-4 and 269 pounds, was the Mid-American Conference’s defensive player of the year. He had 11.5 sacks last season and finished his career with the Bobcats with 29.5 sacks and 38.5 tackles for losses in 50 games. Basham is the eight rated defensive end in Dane Brugler’s 2017 NFL Draft Guide. He’s slated to be drafted in the second round. “Tarell Basham from Ohio University, he’s a really good football player, and he can play for somebody this year as a rookie,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “He probably — he might not go to the third, but I’ve got a second-round grade on him.”


D. Led's top 100: Best Player Available

Kiper on Falcons: 'They don't have enough good pass rushers'

HBCU prospects for the 2017 NFL draft


Sunday, April 16 — QUARTERBACKS

Why is finding a NFL quarterback a crapshoot?

Deshaun Watson is under intense scrutiny at the NFL combine

Deshaun Watson has spectacular Pro Day

A look at the top 10 Quarterbacks in the draft

Monday, April 17 -- RUNNING BACKS

Top 10 running backs in the 2017 NFL draft

Tuesday, April 18 -- WIDE RECEIVERS

Top 10 wide receivers in the 2017 NFL draft

Wednesday, April 19 -- TIGHT ENDS

Top 10 tight ends in the 2017 NFL draft

Thursday, April 20 -- OFFENSIVE LINEMEN



Reader Comments ...

About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.