2020 NFL Draft Interior Defensive Linemen Rankings – Top 5 Interior DL Prospects: While pass-rushers have become the headliners of defensive lines around the NFL, there is still value to having an immovable object to anchor the middle of a defensive front. A dominant defensive tackle can transform a team’s run defense, and special interior players like Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt can take over games. Looking ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft, there appears to be some solid depth at the defensive tackle spot, including a couple of prospects who could be selected inside the top 10.
2020 NFL Draft Interior Defensive Linemen Rankings: Top 5 Interior DL Prospects
1. Derrick Brown, Auburn Tigers
An absolute relentless monster on the field, Brown was able to consistently overpower offensive linemen with a combination of brute force and athleticism this past season. Whether he is controlling the point of attack by taking on multiple blockers or penetrating into the backfield, Brown should immediately add some juice to any team’s run defense. He also has the elite physical tools to add make some noise as a pass-rusher. Brown looks like a lock to be a top-10 pick and the first DT off the board, and he may even be selected in the top five.
2. Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina Gamecocks
Kinlaw is an athletic phenom, displaying surprising explosiveness for a man who stands 6-5 and weighs 320-plus. At worst, he should be a double-team absorbing run-stuffer for whatever team drafts him, and Kinlaw has upside as an interior pass-rusher, recording 10.5 sacks over the past two years at South Carolina. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him selected inside the top 10 in April.
3. Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma Sooners
Known for his prowess in the weight room, Gallimore then went out and dominated the athletic testing at the Scouting Combine, which included a 4.79 time in the 40-yard dash. His elite athleticism and short-area burst allows him to excel as a one-gap penetrator despite some inconsistencies as a tackler. His physical tools give him plenty of upside, and teams will likely start calling at the end of the first round.
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4. Ross Blacklock, TCU Horned Frogs
Blacklock has an Achilles injury on his resume, but he was a force in the middle of the TCU defense in his return to the field last season. Without a lot of playmakers around him, he was forced to absorb constant double teams, but he does more than just take up space. Blacklock has enough quickness to penetrate into the backfield and make explosive plays, making him a potential every-down DT. He should be off the board no later than the second round.
5. Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M Aggies
He is a bit undersized for a defensive tackle, but while he may not fit the mold a traditional run-stuffing nose tackle, Madubuike can make his money on pass downs. He tallied 11.0 sacks over the last two seasons at A&M, utilizing his sneaky quickness and agility for his size. Madubuike’s ability to make explosive plays in the backfield will make him a coveted option after the top all-around tackles are off the board.
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