Defensive Tackles Drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft

Which defensive tackles were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, and how well did they perform in their rookie seasons?

Which defensive tackles were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft? Which teams drafted those DTs, and how does the 2023 class compare to previous years?

Which DTs Were Drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Jalen Carter, Georgia | Philadelphia Eagles

Round 1, Pick 9

If not for an off-the-field issue, Jalen Carter might have been a top-five selection. Instead, he fell to the Eagles at No. 9.

It sure looks as though Philadelphia made out like bandits. Carter was a menace on the field, recording six sacks, 33 combined tackles, and forcing two fumbles. He finished second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Round 1, Pick 19

The Bucs obviously would have preferred Carter to continue falling, but they have to be pleased with what they saw from Calijah Kancey. The rookie produced four sacks, 26 combined tackles, and 12 QB hits. He finished 10th in DROY voting.

Mazi Smith, Michigan | Dallas Cowboys

Round 1, Pick 26

Mazi Smith is big and quick for his size, but he was also quite raw. The Cowboys are hoping he develops into a strong defensive presence, which we did not see in his rookie season.

Smith never played more than 47% of the snaps in a game and was only over 40% three times. Overall, he managed just one sack and 13 combined tackles. Smith will need to be better to earn a starting spot in his sophomore season.

Bryan Bresee, Clemson | New Orleans Saints

Round 1, Pick 29

Bryan Breese mostly played more than half the snaps in games, but not much more. He couldn’t quite become an every-down player.

Bresee registered 4.5 sacks and nine QB hits, showing proficiency in the passing game. However, he struggled to defend the run, an area he’ll need to improve on as he heads into his second NFL campaign.

Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin | Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 2, Pick 49

Two of the first three Steelers picks were on the line, with the first coming on the offensive side of the ball. In the middle of Round 2, they shifted to the defensive side.

Keeanu Benton earned 4.5 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss in his final collegiate campaign. As a rookie, he showed impressive pass-rushing ability, registering eight QB hits and one sack on limited snaps. Benton should have a shot at a starting role in his second season.

Gervon Dexter, Florida | Chicago Bears

Round 2, Pick 53

Considered a bit of a reach, Gervon Dexter wasn’t overly impactful as a rookie. He recorded 2.5 sacks, 20 combined tackles, and 12 QB hits. Those numbers aren’t bad considering Dexter never played more than 50% of the snaps in a game, but he’ll need to be better in 2024.

Round 3-7

7) Zacch Pickens, South Carolina
R3-P64 | Chicago Bears

8) Byron Young, Alabama
R3-P70 | Las Vegas Raiders

9) Kobie Turner, Wake Forest
R3-P89 | Los Angeles Rams

10) Brodric Martin, Western Kentucky
R3-P96 | Detroit Lions

11) Siaki Ika, Baylor
R3-P98 | Cleveland Browns

12) Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
R4-P110 | Indianapolis Colts

13) Colby Wooden, Auburn
R4-P116 | Green Bay Packers

14) Cameron Young, Mississippi State
R4-P123 | Seattle Seahawks

15) Jaquelin Roy, LSU
R5-P141 | Minnesota Vikings

16) Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
R6-P179 | Green Bay Packers

17) Keondre Coburn, Texas
R6-P194 | Kansas City Chiefs

18) Scott Matlock, Boise State
R6-P200 | Los Angeles Chargers

19) Dante Stills, West Virginia
R6-P213 | Arizona Cardinals

20) Raymond Vohasek, North Carolina
R7-P227 | Jacksonville Jaguars

21) Nesta Jade Silvera, Arizona State
R7-P231 | Las Vegas Raiders

22) Jordon Riley, Oregon
R7-P243 | New York Giants

23) Moro Ojomo, Texas
R7-P249 | Philadelphia Eagles

How Many DTs Were Drafted in 2023?

A total of 23 defensive tackles were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Compared to the 10 drafts from 2013 to 2022, this is slightly above average.

During those previous 10 years, the average was 20.8 DTs, with a high of 24 in 2018. Additionally, the four defensive tackles selected in the first round is the highest such total since 2019 and is tied for the second-highest since 2013.

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