Raekwon Davis*, NT, Alabama
Height: 6-6. Weight: 316. Projected 40 Time: 5.17. Projected Round (2019): 1. 6/15/18: Davis could make it three years in a row that an interior defensive lineman from Alabama goes as a top-20 pick. Like Da'Ron Payne, Davis has a freaky combination of size, quickness and athleticism. As a sophomore, Davis showed interior pass-rush skills with a fast first-step, active hands with functional strength to fight off blocks, and a burst to close. Davis can use powerful bull rushes to power through blockers as well.
Davis broke out in 2017 for the eventual National Champions, racking up 69 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and one interception. It was his first season of extended playing time, and he was very impressive. Davis definitely has early-round potential for his draft class.
Derrick Brown*, NT, Auburn
Height: 6-4. Weight: 322. Projected 40 Time: 4.95. Projected Round (2019): 1. 6/15/18: In many years, Brown would be the consensus-No. 1 interior defensive lineman; however, in this loaded draft class, Brown might go behind some other elite defensive line talents. Still, team sources love Brown with his quickness to push the pocket and the strength that he plays with. They see him as a three-technique in a 4-3, and he could play as a one-technique as well. Sources say they see Brown as a future first-round talent.
In 2017, Brown was a really solid interior lineman for Auburn. He was a tough run defender and contributed some in the pass rush. He totaled 56 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles for the year. Brown has the upside to get better as he gains experience.
Christian Wilkins, NT, Clemson
Height: 6-3. Weight: 312. Projected 40 Time: 4.90. Projected Round (2019): 1-2. 6/15/18: In 2017, Wilkins totaled 60 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He played well all year, using his speed and athleticism to cause disruption at the point of attack. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, they see Wilkins as a future first-rounder. He is a fast interior pass-rusher who can collapse the pocket and provide an inside pass rush. Wilkins dominated Miami in the ACC Championship.
Wilkins played well for Clemson in 2016 as part of a tough defensive line that controlled the point of attack. The sophomore recorded 48 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 10 passes batted. Wilkins made 33 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2015. He has a nice skill set with upside.
Wilkins had to play a lot of defensive end in 2016 because of injury. He displayed a nice ability to play there, but his NFL home is on the inside. As a pass-rusher, Wilkins was able to get after the quarterback with pressure coming around the corner. He looked the most dangerous when lining up over guards and firing past them to cause disruption in the backfield. While he played a lot of end, at his weight, Wilkins really doesn't have edge rusher speed for the NFL. He will have to rush from the inside as a pro, but that is his natural position anyway. Wilkins was a solid run defender, too. He has a strong, thick lower body to hold his ground at the point of attack.
Jeffery Simmons*, NT, Mississippi State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 301. Projected 40 Time: 4.95. Projected Round (2019): 1-2. 6/15/18: Simmons is extremely talented athletically and possesses a ton of upside. In 2017, he totaled 60 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted. As a freshman, he had 40 tackles with two forced fumbles. While Simmons is a great athlete with a superb skill set, he has off-the-field concerns, including a video of him striking a woman with multiple punches in a street fight. Similar to Joe Mixon, that video could cause Simmons to slide in his draft class.
Jerry Tillery, NT, Notre Dame
Height: 6-6. Weight: 310. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2019): 2-3. 6/15/18: Over the past few years, Tillery has played well for Notre Dame and has been active at the point of attack. For 2017, he totaled 47 tackles with nine for a loss, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Tillery had 37 tackles with three tackles for a loss in 2016. The sophomore played better than the numbers illustrate and caused some havoc in the backfield. Tillery has a good skill set to develop and is capable of compiling more production.
Isaiah Buggs*, NT, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 294. Projected 40 Time: 4.99. Projected Round (2019): 2-3. 6/15/18: Alabama is not a program that hits the junior-college ranks hard, but Buggs was an exception, and he surprisingly won a starting spot right away at Alabama. In 2017, Buggs had 51 tackles with four tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. He could be even better now that he has a year of experience in the SEC. Buggs should see a lot of good blocking looks with Raekwon Davis and Terrell Lewis rushing around him.
Demarcus Christmas, NT, Florida State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 311. Projected 40 Time: 5.05. Projected Round (2019): 2-4. 6/15/18: Christmas formed a tough interior to the Seminoles' defensive line with nose tackle Derrick Nnadi. Christmas has some length and quickness at the point of attack. In 2017, he notched 36 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and four passes batted.
Greg Gaines, NT, Washington
Height: 6-1. Weight: 315. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2019): 2-4. 6/15/18: While Vita Vea got all the attention, Gaines also had a good season for the Huskies in 2017. On the year, he totaled 30 tackles with five tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three passes batted. Gaines chipped in 35 tackles with 3.5 sacks in his sophomore season. It will be interesting to see how the loss of Vea impacts Gaines play, but entering the fall, he is projected to have first- through fourth-round potential from NFL sources.
Ricky Walker, NT, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-1. Weight: 310. Projected 40 Time: 4.95. Projected Round (2019): 2-4. 6/15/18: Virginia Tech lost a lot of NFL talent from its defense to the 2018 NFL Draft, but Walker is one of the future pros returning to the Hokies. As a junior, he totaled 41 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and one pass batted. With his speed and athleticism, Walker has some interior pass-rush potential.
Dontavius Russell, NT, Auburn
Height: 6-3. Weight: 310. Projected 40 Time: 5.25. Projected Round (2019): 3-5. 6/15/18: Russell had 46 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and two passes batted in 2017. He was decent, but unimpressive. Russell was wise to return to Auburn for 2018.
Russell formed a tough interior defensive line in 2016 with Montravius Adams. Scouts who did advanced work for the 2018 class say that Russell has an early-round skill set. It will be interesting to see if Russell finally plays up to his ability, because Adams had a first-round skill set but ended up being a third-round pick. Russell had 42 tackles with 4.5 for a loss, and 1.5 sacks in 2015. In 2016, he totaled 29 tackles with two passes batted.
Raequan Williams*, NT, Michigan State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 300. Projected 40 Time: 5.11. Projected Round (2019): 4-6. 6/15/18: Williams has flashed some talent for the Spartans over the past two seasons. In 2017, he collected 31 tackles with 2.5 sacks after recording two sacks and 28 tackles during his freshman campaign. Williams has the upside to produce more as an upperclassman.
Daylon Mack, NT, Texas A&M
Height: 6-1. Weight: 335. Projected 40 Time: 5.40. Projected Round (2019): 5-7. 6/15/18: In 2017, Mack had 19 tackles with five tackles for a loss, one sack and a forced fumble. He would be a good fit as a zero-technique nose tackle in a 3-4 defense at the next level. Mack was a rotational player for the Aggies, but scouts have noticed that he has some physical talent.
Mack notched just 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2016, but he played better than the numbers illustrate. Mack was a disruptive force on the interior of the defensive line as a freshman in 2015. He totaled 32 tackles with 9.5 for a loss on the season, but also was a bigger presence than the numbers indicate.
Khairi Clark, NT, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 315. Projected 40 Time: 5.17. Projected Round (2019): 7-FA. 6/15/18: Clark is a nose tackle candidate to eat up blocks at the point of attack. In 2017, he totaled 13 tackles with one sack. Clark needs to produce more as a senior.
Olive Sagapolu, NT, Wisconsin
Height: 6-2. Weight: 346. Projected 40 Time: 5.35. Projected Round (2019): 7-FA. 6/15/18: Sagapolu is a nose tackle candidate for the NFL. As a junior, he had three sacks with 17 tackles. Sagapolu needs to produce more as a senior.