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Mayock: Draft Is Deep At D-Tackle, Guard

Posted Feb 16, 2012

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock says this year's NFL Draft class is strong in defensive tackles and offensive guards. Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy is among the top prospects.


NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said this week that this year's NFL Draft is particularly strong in defensive tackles and offensive guards.

Mayock said he has handed out first-round grades on 5-7 defensive tackles, including Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy, LSU’s Michael Brockers, Memphis’s Dontari Poe, Penn State’s Devon Still, Clemson’s Brandon Thompson and Mississippi State’s Fletcher Cox.

“They’re not all going [in the first round],” Mayock said. “Probably 4-5 of them go in the first round.”

The Redskins, in their third year in a 3-4 scheme, appear to be set at nose tackle with Barry Cofield returning as the starter. Cofield is backed up by Chris Neild, a 2011 seventh-round draft pick who impressed at times last season.

Keep in mind, though, that elite defensive tackles are not always easy to come by. If one of the top prospects falls into the Redskins’ lap in the first or second round, they might just nab him and make a position of strength even stronger.

(Remember, no one expected the Redskins to pick a safety in last year's draft but they still selected DeJon Gomes in the fourth round.)

The top interior offensive line prospect is Stanford guard David DeCastro. He projects as an immediate starter, Mayock said.

“DeCastro is a pretty sure pick,” he said. “You can plug him in and play him day one.”

Another top interior offensive lineman is Georgia’s Cordy Glenn, who was coached by the Redskins at the Senior Bowl.

The Redskins are expected to bring back Kory Lichtensteiger at left guard, but he is returning from a knee ligament injury. The team could solidify the position long-term should DeCastro or Glenn be available when they pick.

Mayock said that the NFL Scouting Combine, scheduled to start next Wednesday in Indianapolis, would be a showcase for the talent on the interior lines.

"It’s a great opportunity to see the dancing bears without their pads on, to see what kind of shape they’re in and especially their ability to bend and their initial quickness," Mayock said. "We’re looking at explosion and quickness with those defensive linemen. Some of those cone drills and football drills they do are exceptionally good in evaluating linemen."