Top 5 Fantasy Rookie Defensive Tackles

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Defensive line has some very strong candidates for fantasy relevance from the 2019 draft. Here I will cover who I believe will be the top 5 fantasy Rookies at the position.


There were some top of the line prospects at the defensive tackle position in this year’s draft. In fact there were six that were selected in the first round and two in the top 10. Landing spot is key for this position to have any fantasy relevance. There were many teams with needs at the position and there should be many rookies with day one starter snaps. Lets see who had the best landing spots.

1) Quinnen Williams- New York Jets

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College Stats: 24 Games, 91 tackles (56 solo), 26 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks and one pass defended.

The Jets lucked out when the Cardinals decided to go Kyler Murray with the first overall pick. Had they decided to make a run with Josh Rosen then Williams probably would have gone first. Williams is coming off a huge Sophomore season with Alabama. He totaled 71 tackles with 19.5 of those going for a loss and eight sacks. Williams is virtually impossible to block inside and reminds me a lot of DeForest Buckner with a vicious demeanor. Watch here how his bull rush and violent hands and strength dominate offensive lineman:

The weakest spot on the Jets defense was most likely the interior of the defensive line. Quinnen Williams now slots inside of Henry Anderson and Leonard Williams and should provide great push up the middle. Anderson and Leonard Williams are solid off the edge and adding Quinnen Williams to the group should make the line more of a strength than weakness.

2) Ed Oliver- Buffalo Bills

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College Stats: 32 Games, 192 tackles (122 solo), 53 tackles for a loss, 13.5 sacks, 11 passes defended, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery.

Ed Oliver is a wrecking-ball of a defensive tackle. He is incredibly disruptive at and behind the line of scrimmage. For his career he almost averaged two tackles for a loss per game. Oliver is a beast in the running game with a lightning quick first step that he uses to blast gaps as seen here:

Not only is Oliver’s burst top-notch but his strength is elite as well. There has been more than one occasion that Oliver fought against double teams and won those battles. Kyle Williams was the long-time defensive tackle for the Bills. He chose to retire after the 2018 season leaving a big hole in the middle of the Bills defense. Oliver was drafted 9th overall to fill that void and should do it at a high level.

3) Jerry Tillery- Los Angeles Chargers

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College Stats: 42 Games, 134 tackles (71 solo), 24 tackles for a loss, 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

Jerry Tillery is exactly what the Chargers needed. He is a pass rushing force in the middle of the defense and has great length. Tillery comes in at 6’7 and 305 Lbs. with a very long reach that he uses to keep separation between him and offensive lineman. Here is a great example of Tillery using his length, gets his hands on the lineman first and forces his way to the quarterback:

If there was a spot that the Chargers were thin at, it was at defensive tackle. Darius Philon was probably the best defensive tackle the Chargers had and he left for Arizona in free agency. Brandon Mebane is still the big man in the middle to clog up running lanes and soak up tackles but the Chargers have had a need at a rushing tackle for some time now. Tillery can be that driving force in the middle.

4) Christian Wilkins- Miami Dolphins

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College Stats: 55 Games, 192 tackles (94 solo), 40.5 tackles for a loss, 16 sacks, 15 passes defended, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Christian Wilkins is a proven winner having been on two National Championship teams. Not many players in their collegiate career are able to play 55 games in four years. Wilkins did so and did it very effectively. Wilkins is incredibly quick off the line and his first step is excellent. He then uses his power to complete his gap shooting and rarely has an issue breaking through the line. His lower body is his driving force as he can just run through cut blocks as you see here:

The Dolphins have Davon Godchaux in the middle and he is a great run defender. Wilkins will be that rush presence and physical force to compliment Godchaux. Hopefully for the Dolphins, Wilkins winning ways can be infectious.

5) Dre’Mont Jones- Denver Broncos

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College Stats: 37 Games, 114 tackles (58 solo), 22 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, four passes defended, one interception, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and two touchdowns.

Dre’mont Jones always had great potential but he finally put it together for his Senior season. During that season he posted 43 total tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, two passes defended, one interception, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and two touchdowns. He has hands like a boxer and jabs lineman off their blocks with the best of them. Jones has very good short area quickness and his hands and feet work harmoniously together. Jones has great snap awareness as you can see in this clip:

The Broncos have Shelby Harris who looked really good last year as a part-time player but that may be all he is. Jones has more pass rushing moves and is overall a more talented player than Harris and also owns three down capability. Jones can move all over the defensive front and was a great selection for the Broncos in the third round.

To see my complete list of Rookie IDP Rankings check us out at IDPGuys.org. Be sure to listen to the @IDPGuys and the @F3Pod podcasts to get all information regarding fantasy football. Remember…the Tooth has the taste for IDP.

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I have played IDP 6 YRS, fantasy for 10. Writing for the greater good of IDP, if it's not IDP it's not fantasy football.