Giants 2016 Draft Preview: Defensive Tackles

It is no secret that the focus of this year’s draft needs to be on the defensive side of the ball for the Giants, but what remains to be seen is what gaps they will try to fill in what rounds. While many mock drafts have them selecting a pass rusher in the first round, there are a number of talented defensive tackles that may drop to the later rounds. Here are just a few of the potential DT’s the Giants may be able to swipe in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft.

Vernon Butler (Louisiana Tech)- 6-4, 323

Ended the 2015 season with 48 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and four sacks. Scouting reports from the Senior Bowl lead me to believe Butler may be just the type of player the Big Blue defense needs. Described as “unblockable,” Butler is said to play with consistent intensity and passion from the first quarter to the very end of the game, something I think this team has been severely lacking.

He has been compared to current Giant Johnathan Hankins because of his quickness and attacking power. His technique needs some work and he has been critiqued for his upright stance off the snap, but his tenacious style of play makes him a real stand-out.

Kenny Clark (UCLA)- 6-3, 314

Clark played in a 4-3 defense at UCLA, so he would fit comfortably into the Giants’ scheme. He was second on the team with 75 tackles in the 2015 season. Scouts have noted that he is a powerful athlete who was a champion wrestler in high school and knows how to leverage his body. His strength lies in run-defense, which may not necessarily help the Giants in their endeavors of improving the pass-rush, but he is extremely versatile and can play multiple positions, including defensive end and nose guard.

Sheldon Rankins (Louisville)- 6-1, 299

Rankins is viewed by many as a late-first round talent, but if he does slip to the second-round, the Giants should definitely take a look. In 2015, he had 58 tackles and six sacks, as well as four quarterback hurries. As a defensive tackle, he is able to quickly and skillfully maneuver around offensive linemen by using his hands to swat and jab his way into the pocket. He is as strong as he is quick, and can take on multiple blockers. He is also regarded as one of the best run defenders in the draft.

by: Lexi Celluro | Featured Columnist