6-Pack Thursday: The 2020 Defensive Tackle Class Is Taking Form

Photo: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Our staff members each released updated 2020 NFL Draft Big Boards and Positional Rankings this week, our first update since the college football season kicked off. After summer scouting, I was left wanting more from the potential defensive tackle class and so far that’s exactly what we’re getting. 

The 2019 NFL Draft produced a whopping six first-round defensive tackles, providing evidence to the clear desire for teams to beef up their interior defensive lines. Good news, there will be plenty of desirable options to stock up again in 2020. The more I watch this rising class, the better I feel about what could be available in April. This week’s 6-Pack details some of my favorites

I hope that this column has become a staple for you each week, but just in case you are new, 6-Pack Thursday is my weekly brain dump on six football-related things that involve the NFL, College Football or NFL Draft.

Let’s crack this thing open. 

Derrick Brown, Auburn, Senior

My top-rated defensive tackle prospect, many were surprised to see Brown return to Auburn for his senior season but he has a chance to be the first defensive tackle off the board in April. A five-star recruit, Brown offers a rare blend power, burst, size and technique. He plays with exceptional urgency and he frequently overwhelms SEC offensive linemen. 

Brown is a scheme-diverse talent that can win from multiple alignments as both a pass rusher and run defender. He’s still learning to play with a bit more control, but he’s on pace for a new career-high in sacks and another season of double-digit tackles for loss. 

Marvin Wilson, Florida State, Junior

I recently tweeted that Wilson has been the best defensive tackle in college football so far this season and I meant it. I studied Wilson over the summer and was left wanting more from the former all-everything recruit out of high school. While the traits were obvious, the application of his physical gifts on the field to make plays was inconsistent. 

Fast forward to 2019 and the switch has flipped for Wilson who already has more tackles for loss in the first five games and a half sack less than he did in all of 2018. Wilson’s arrow is pointing up as he’s emerging as one of the top defensive playmakers in the ACC while performing at the dominant level expected from the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle recruit. He’s helped his draft stock as much as any defensive player in the country so far in 2019. 

Raekwon Davis, Alabama, Senior

I’ve been keeping close tabs on Davis for over two years now because I think he has DeForest Buckner-like ability. They are similarly built and win in comparable ways. With that said, Davis didn’t quite put together the dominant season he was hoping for in 2018 which led to a return to school for his senior campaign. 

While I don’t believe he’s fully discovered consistency, his peaks are impossible to ignore and his ceiling is very high. Alabama’s remaining games will be a defining stretch for Davis in determining how high of a pick he will ultimately be in April but he has a much physical upside as any interior defensive linemen in the class. 

Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina, Senior

Have you seen this guy? Oh my does he have the physique of a man built for trench play in the NFL. A JUCO transfer in 2017, Kinlaw is emerging as one of the most dynamic interior defensive linemen in college football. 

Built like Tarzan, Kinlaw is a tank with rare power and explosiveness for a man of his size. He might have the best first step of any defensive tackle in the 2020 class and I love how active his hands are. He’s still developing consistency but Kinlaw has the makeup of a coveted prospect next spring and his arrow is pointing up.

Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma, RS Senior

Bruce Feldman writes a column each year where he details the “freaks” in college football and Gallimore was ranked in each of the past two years. Feldman’s objective with the column is to “showcase guys who generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the type of rare physical abilities that wow even those folks who are used to observing gifted athletes every day.”

Coming in at No. 2 this year, Feldman says Gallimore bench presses 500, squats 800, cleans 405 and runs a 4.76 40-yard dash at 305 pounds. 

It’s obvious that Gallimore is a rare physical specimen, and it leads to production on the football field. Gallimore is disruptive, urgent and physical in an overall improved Oklahoma defense in 2019. He has a chance to climb this list if his play continues to rise. 

Other Guys I Like

Ross Blacklock, TCU - Don’t sleep on Blacklock - he can play! An achilles injury forced him to miss 2018 but he was outstanding as a freshman in 2017 and he’s re-captured his form. He has juice, power, length, size and a hot motor. 

Like Fotu, Utah - What a tank this man is. He is arguably the most stout defensive tackle in the class and don’t sleep on his pass rush ability. He’s powerful.

Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M  - If you are looking for a penetration-style player, Madubuike has the goods. He logged 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2018 and he’s pacing even better in 2019. 

Larrell Murchinson, NC State - Murch is one of my favorite sleeper prospects in the country. Projecting as a wrecking-ball three-technique, Murchison has been a disruptive penetrator that would fit well for an even front NFL defense. Get him on your radar - he’s explosive. 

Written By:

Joe Marino

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Joe Marino is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst at TDN. Marino comes to TDN after serving as a draft analyst for NDT Scouting, FanRag Sports and Draft Breakdown dating back to 2014. In 2017, Marino became a Huddle Report Mock Draft Champion when he produced the most accurate mock draft in the world.