Defensive tackle is one of the worst position groups of any in the 2021 NFL Draft. As is usually the case when there’s a dearth of talent in one area, teams are mixed as to the top player at the position. Which top names am I hearing at the defensive tackle position in 2021, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills potential landing spots?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills could be landing spots for first-round defensive tackles
To the surprise of no one, Levi Onwuzurike and Christian Barmore are the defensive tackles that teams tell me sit atop their position boards, though it’s a mixed bag as to who resides in the No. 1 spot. The Buccaneers and Bills are teams who have been mentioned as potential landing spots for either Onwuzurike or Barmore late in Round 1.
Both Tampa Bay and Buffalo need edge rushers more than pass-rushing defensive tackles, but a look at their depth charts (see: Buffalo depth chart) shows that each squad has an aging starter in the final year of his contract at defensive tackle. The Buccaneers are in a spot where some feel they could draft the best player available, and in my opinion, Onwuzurike would be a great fit for their defense.
Which other defensive tackles could be a first-round pick?
While both Barmore and Onwuzurike are getting late first-round grades from teams, so is fast-rising Milton Williams. But just because teams believe a player is a late first-round prospect does not mean they will end up in Round 1. Talking with those in the league, the range for all three players right now is between picks 25 and 45.
What is the latest on Milton Williams?
While several teams have Williams as a potential late first-round pick, I haven’t spoken with anyone who believes he’ll actually end up in the first frame. There’s a bit of concern over Williams’ pedestrian production in college, although he was not asked to make plays for Louisiana Tech; he was mainly asked to occupy gaps and blockers. There’s also a belief that he’s more athlete than football player to this point, an opinion I completely agree with.
The first dozen picks in Round 2 is the earliest I believe Williams will be selected, either by the Cincinnati Bengals or Dallas Cowboys.
Want more 2021 NFL Draft prospect news?
Dive into PFN’s Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator and test your own drafting acumen. Continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things college football and the NFL Draft landscape.