Calvin Avery, DT, Illinois | NFL Draft Scouting Report

As he looks to get selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, what is Calvin Avery's scouting report as we explore what he could bring to an NFL team?

The tried and true belief in the NFL is that games are won and lost in the trenches. Finding quality players for your defensive line is a priority for every team, every year. The fastest way to the quarterback is a straight line, and teams who can generate consistent interior pressure fare quite well in the biggest moments.

Calvin Avery is a draft prospect hoping some team feels he can be a piece that comes in and provides the ability to disrupt the opponents’ rhythm. If all goes well, the defensive tackle may hear his name called during the NFL Draft. Below is everything you need to know in Avery’s curated scouting report.

Calvin Avery NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • School: Illinois
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’1 1/2″, 345 pounds
  • Length: 32 1/2″
  • Wingspan: 81 7/8″
  • Hand: 10″

Notable Pro Day Numbers

  • 5.38 40-yard dash
  • 31 bench reps
  • 30.5″ vertical jump
  • 8’5″ broad jump

In high school, Avery was rated as a four-star recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN, and Rivals. Avery was ranked as the 156th recruit in the nation by Rivals, 232nd by ESPN, and 299th by 247 Sports. Positionally, Avery was ranked as the ninth defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals, 16th by ESPN, and 23rd by 247.

As a true freshman in 2018, Avery played in all 12 games. He recorded 18 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and one blocked kick on the season. The following year as a sophomore was much of the same. Avery played in 12 games, recording eight tackles, one TFL, and one blocked kick.

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As a junior in 2020, Avery played in seven games and made his first two career starts. He recorded 14 tackles and a sack. With an extra junior year in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Avery played in 11 games with two starts, finishing with 11 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, and 0.5 sacks on the season.

After four years of being a productive reserve player, Avery’s final college season in 2022 was his breakout season. As a senior, he played in all 13 games with 12 starts at nose tackle. He recorded career highs in tackles (24) and tackles for loss (2), had one pass breakup, two quarterback hurries, and one forced fumble.

Calvin Avery Scouting Report


  • Tremendous combination of natural leverage and length at 6’1 1/2″, with 32 1/2″ arms.
  • Has a massive 345-pound frame, with the density to absorb double-teams.
  • Flashes surprising explosiveness off the snap and can generate momentum quickly.
  • Has the lateral burst to flow with zone runs and envelop gaps with his reach.
  • Strong as an ox in close quarters, with the strength to diffuse opposing force easily.
  • True nose tackle who, at times, appears immovable against double-teams.
  • Can prevent displacement with his strong base and wrench past blocks with his length.
  • Can slab linemen upright with explosive raw power and take away space for runners.
  • Has the athleticism and power to win 1-on-1 as a pass rusher with forklift-swims.
  • Can generate overwhelming torque on the rush with his length and frame density.

Areas for Improvement

  • Can be lumbering as a mover and sometimes stalls out quickly after making contact.
  • Naturally doesn’t have elite recovery athleticism with his wider frame.
  • Doesn’t have elite foot speed or leg churn and can be heavy-footed when driving ahead.
  • Sometimes struggles to control his weight on the rush, working himself off-balance.
  • Has room to be more consistent with his pass-rush counters beyond initial power.
  • Can be over-zealous surging into gaps and doesn’t have the flexibility to recover.
  • Can improve his hand precision fighting anchors, as faulty placement can cause delays.
  • Occasionally is late to process runs flowing outside and leaves gaps adjacent to him.

Illinois DT Calvin Avery Current Draft Projection

Avery might ultimately fall into the PFA pool, but he has a draftable grade on my board and is in my top 200 of prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. Especially at a specialized position like nose tackle, Avery has exciting raw traits and is quietly one of the better nose tackles in the class when it comes to handling double-teams.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

Avery is well-leveraged, massive, and stout. On top of that, he brings legitimate explosiveness off the snap. He has the lateral burst to track outside runs, and the vertical burst to invade gaps as a pass rusher and channel power and torque with his length. He’s a true nose at 0 and 1-tech, who’d be a very wise high-upside investment for odd-front teams.

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