A break down of our top 10 defensive tackles for the 2018 season.
Everybody has rankings, and most rankings are just the same list of players in slightly different positions based on the bias of the author. In an effort to help you, the reader, get an idea where we we’re coming from and our thought process on why these players are listed and in what order they are listed in I figured let’s go over some of the more “hot” takes on our preseason rankings. We’ll move through each position and by the end hopefully you’ll have a better idea why some players are where they are and some players are missing entirely.
Defensive Tackle Rankings
|1||DeForest Buckner||San Francisco 49ers|
|2||Denico Autry||Indianapolis Colts|
|3||Fletcher Cox||Philadelphia Eagles|
|4||Kenny Clark||Green Bay Packers|
|5||Jarran Reed||Seattle Seahawks|
|6||Damon Harrison Sr.||Detroit Lions|
|7||Cameron Heyward||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|8||Jonathan Allen||Washington Redskins|
|9||Jurrell Casey||Tennessee Titans|
|10||Grady Jarrett||Atlanta Falcons|
|11||Vita Vea||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|12||Maurice Hurst||Oakland Raiders|
|13||David Irving||Dallas Cowboys|
|14||Ndamukong Suh||Los Angeles Rams|
|15||Da'Ron Payne||Washington Redskins|
|16||Larry Ogunjobi||Cleveland Browns|
|17||Javon Hargrave||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|18||B.J. Hill||New York Giants|
|19||Sheldon Rankins||New Orleans Saints|
|20||Kawann Short||Carolina Panthers|
Otherwise known as “Snacks” Harrison, eats IDP points. With Aaron Donald moving over to defensive end Harrison is now the consensus #1 defensive tackle in most IDP DT rankings. There is a chance with the Giants most likely moving over to a 3-4 that Harrison may end up as the nose tackle and this could hurt his overall production this upcoming season, but regardless he will be a solid producer. Harrison finished last season with 76 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks. However his most important stat was his 7 tackles for loss, an important stat recently being tracked in some IDP leagues. Harrison has averaged 81 combined tackles over the last two seasons as a DT and should put up some great numbers again this season.
Put up 68 combined tackles and 3.5 sacks last season at defensive tackle for the Vikings and has averaged 67 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks per season the last three years. With the depth of talent on the Vikings defensive line Joseph will be able to focus on run stopping and getting into the backfield for tackles for loss, without opposing offenses being able to focus on him much. My only concern is the Vikings offense looks to take a step forward with the acquisition of Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook returning from injury and this could decrease defensive snaps overall for 2018.
Finished up last season with 61 combined tackles and 3 sacks for the 49ers. The previous year, his rookie campaign, Buckner delivered 73 combined tackles and 6 sacks. All signs point to another great year for Buckner and although the 49ers offense will improve overall I don’t think the defensive snap count will decrease enough to seriously hurt Buckner’s production this season.
Entering his 4th season with the Falcons, coming off a career best 55 combined tackles and 4 sacks in 2017. He has made steady gains each year since his rookie season and has a chance to be a dominant defensive tackle in IDP terms this coming year. The Falcons offense should improve with the addition of Calvin Ridley from the draft and another year of experience in their new post-Kyle Shanahan offensive system. So while overall defensive snap count may be down somewhat Jarrett should still be a great DT for IDP purposes this upcoming season.
Comes off a career best 53 combined tackles last season, and while only recording half a sack he has a chance to thrive in the Lions new Patricia led defense this year. He should have plenty of opportunity to improve on last years stats, and while the Lions have re-committed to the run game by drafting Keryon Johnson and offensive line help, there still should be plenty of defensive snaps for Robinson to get his IDP points this year.
Will most likely end up as the nose tackle on his new team, the LA Rams, and this will most likely impact his production. Traditionally nose tackles score far fewer IDP points than regular defensive tackles. He also has quite a few seasons under his belt but he’s been impressive in all of them. He comes off a 2017 season where he recorded 48 combined tackles and 4.5 sacks for the Miami Dolphins. How things will shake out on the Rams is anyone’s guess but he will most likely match and exceed his bare minimum of production (39 combined tackles and 4 sacks for Detroit in 2011).
Among those excited for his team, the Tampa Bay Bucs, welcoming in Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre Paul in the offseason. This addition to the Tampa defensive line will mean opposing offenses will have to lessen their focus on McCoy, freeing him up somewhat to stuff the run and get after the quarterback. Coming off of a 2017 season where he had 47 combined tackles and 6 sacks McCoy looks to match and improve on those stats in 2018.
Goes into his 9th season as a defensive tackle on the Bengals looking to improve on his 2017 campaign where he had 48 combined tackles and 9 sacks. Atkins has had at least 30 combined tackles and 9 sacks each of the last three seasons. The Bengals were in the bottom of the league offensively last season and haven’t done much to improve that in the offseason so defensive snap count should continue to be high. Atkins should be a reliable source of IDP points this upcoming season.
Flew under the IDP radar last season as a defensive tackle for the Patriots, quietly putting up 49 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks. Brown has put up at least 45 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks in his first 3 seasons in the league. Entering his 4th year on the Patriots he will be part of a defense in flux due to the departure of Matt Patricia. However Brown has been reliable since he entered the league and I feel comfortable saying you’ll get a floor of 45 combined tackles and a couple sacks this year.
Goeing into his 6th year as the Panthers defensive tackle coming off a season where he recorded 49 combined tackles and 7.5 sacks. Short has averaged 53 combined tackles and at least 6 sacks in the last 3 seasons and looks like a good bet to continue that pace in 2018.
***Offseason depth charts were taken from Ourlads.com and may not be up to date or accurate as of this date of reading. Until close to the end of preseason some of these positions on their teams depth charts are up in the air. These rankings will be re-visited and revised for the beginning of the regular season.