It’s What’s Inside That Counts
The Intel With Greg Cosell: Draft Offers Attractive DT Stock
Following the loss of Javon Hargrave, the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves needing a defensive tackle to join the current rotation headlined by second-year pro Jordan Davis and the aging Fletcher Cox.
The answer to one of the team’s biggest roster holes could be found in the 2023 NFL Draft, where several capable prospects await.
On the latest episode “Intel with Greg Cosell” podcast on Inside The Birds, Greg Cosell broke down the top interior defensive linemen in the draft.
Greg Cosell: “He’s a high-level prospect. He has every trait you would look for. I remember this time last year, every time you put on Georgia tape on defense, the player that stood out was Jalen Carter and he wasn’t even coming out for the draft. Carter has athleticism, quickness, explosiveness, strength, power. He can line up in multiple positions along on the defensive front. He’s a disruptor, but also a playmaker. He has plays every year that are just special, where he just physically manhandles offensive linemen. He can play in one- and two-gap fronts. There is really not a lot missing from his game from a tape study perspective.”
Cosell: “The one thing you see immediately when you put the tape on is he basically looks like a running back. He’s 280 pounds, so you know that his game must be built off of quickness and explosiveness or we would not be discussing him. He has outstanding first-step acceleration and explosion, great contact balance. Another term that everyone likes to use which he has is reactive athleticism, meaning that if it doesn’t happen right away, he can change directions, react to what happens and still be explosively quick. He plays stronger than his size.”
Cosell: “He’s pretty explosive off of the ball, has great balance, really good body control, can bend, is flexible. You have to understand when you draft him what can be taught. His hand usage is very erratic, but he hasn’t been taught a lot of that. He just lacks significant game experience and, therefore, reps.”
Cosell: “He is a really good athlete, has light feet, great quickness off of the ball. He also showed strength in a confined space to control and displace interior o-linemen. That combination of traits allowed him to be successful, both as a one-gap penetrator and a two-gap player where you have to hold on and control an offensive lineman initially to see what the play is. He’s at his best right now as a run defender because he has great short-area quickness and strong heavy hands and plays with his arms really effectively, but he showed pass-rush traits. It wouldn’t surprise me if three years down the road, he’s one of the more complete three-down tackles in the league.”
Cosell: “The guy is a freak. He has a rare combination of size, mass, and athletic movement. This guy plays like an athlete. You put the tape on and see him move laterally. We don’t use this term for defensive linemen, but he’s almost twitchy. He’s quick, fluid, but big enough and stout enough to physically dominate with strength. He’s a rare prospect.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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