Top Defensive Tackles In 2016 NFL Draft – Ole Miss Robert Nkemdiche Has J.J. Watt Skills


Every draft evaluation is predicated on prediction accumulated by past practice and eyeing the future potential of each prospect. Obviously, everyone knows that know matter how good or bad a prospect is judged, no one really knows the ultimate value until they hit the field in the NFL.

This particular class has a view top level prospects that will fill the roster of college all-star games with several top senior prospects available next year.

Below are some of the defensive tackle prospects available in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

Class – Junior

Last Five Drafted Ole Miss Defensive Tackles

2011 – Jerrell Powe, Round 6

2009 – Peria Jerry, Round 1

2000 – Kendrick Clancy, Round 3

1995 – Norman Hand, Round 5

1994 – Tim Bowens, Round 1 

Defensive Scheme – 4-3

Height – 6-3

Weight – 296


Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa receives lots of accolades and often is projected as the No. 1 overall pick in next years 2016 NFL Draft. Nkemdiche a former five-star recruit who was also ranked the consensus No. player overall leaving high school, poses a series threat to be the top selection.

He possesses so many jaw-dropping traits on the field and his athleticism will enhance his value even more once he performs next February at the NFL Scouting Combine. He was named one of the four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the player considered the most versatile in FBS football.

Nkemdiche makes his mark on the defensive side of the football with 22 tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 quarterback sacks. His versatility shines in his offensive production with three touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving). Let’s call him the college version of Houston Texans J.J. Watt.


Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State

Class – Senior 

Last Five Previous Ohio State Defensive Tackles Drafted

2015 – Michael Bennett, Round 6

2013 – Jonathan Hankins, Round 2

2007 – Quinn Pitcock, Round 3

2004 – Tim Anderson, Round 3

1994 – Dan Wilkerson, Round 1

Defensive Scheme – 4-3

Height – 6-4

Weight – 290


Washington ranks seventh on the Buckeyes defense with 47 tackles, three more than defensive end Joey Bosa. He is tied for second on the team with four sacks and fourth with seven tackles-for-loss. He is a tremendous force off the ball and I’m most impressed with his quick feet and good use of his hands. He has three pass deflections, reinforcing his ability to use his hands wisely.

During the Western Michigan game in which I was scouting, he made a fantastic play displaying the gifts of the game he possesses. Facing a double team he deflected a pass, then caught the deflection, and of course rumbled 20 yards for the score.

He is exceptionally strong at the point of attack and possesses a high-motor that runs hard every play.


A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

Class – Junior 

Last Five Previous Alabama Defensive Tackles Drafted

2013 – Jessie Williams, Round 5

2012 – Josh Chapman, Round 5

2011 – Marcell Dareus, Round 1

2010 – Terrence Cody, Round 2

2005 – Anthony Bryant, Round 6

Defensive Scheme – 3-4

Height – 6-3

Weight – 312

Pick your poison, because Robinson is a force to be reckoned with against the run or the pass. He uses his strength to drive his thick powerful frame to collapse the pocket and provides a run stuffing defensive tackle for the Crimson Tide.

Robinson has great football IQ that has enabled him to rank second of the team with seven tackles-for-loss and third on the defense with three sacks.

Alabama is a powerhouse filled with potential NFL Draft prospects. It would be unfair not to mention his teammate Jarren Reed as an equal. Reed has a quicker burst of the line and duplicates Robinson on the field in many positive traits.


Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA

Class – Junior 

Last Five Previous UCLA Defensive Tackles Drafted

2011 – David Carter, Round 6

2010 – Brian Price, Round 2

2004 – Rodney Leisle, Round 5

1994 – Bruce Walker, Round 2

1990 – Mike Lodish, Round 10

Defensive Scheme – 3-4

Height – 6-2

Weight – 310


UCLA lost Myles Jack earlier this season to injury. Jack was the driving force behind the Bruins defense and left school to focus on his rehab as he aims to be a Top-15 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

His absence has allowed Clark to showcase his skills. Through 11 games, the junior defensive end has 4.5 sacks and seven tackles-for-loss. He ranked third on the Bruins defense with 55 tackles. Fantastic production, especially for the role plays along the UCLA defensive front.

He is producing like another PAC-12 defensive tackle from last season in Cleveland Browns rookie Danny Shelton.  Shelton was a force at Washington, where he displayed production and ability not often seen at the position.

Clark is a blue-collar type defensive tackle, blessed with strength and the knack and know how to simply make plays.


Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State

Class – Junior

Last Five Previous Mississippi State Defensive Tackles Drafted

2012 – Fletcher Cox, Round 1

2007 – Antonio Johnson, Round 5

2005 – Ronald Fields, Round 5

2002 – Dorsett Davis, Round 3

2001 – Willie Blade, Round 3

Defensive Scheme – 4-3

Height – 6-5

Weight – 308


Mississippi State stands at 8-3 and Chris Jones has emerged as one of the key defenders of the Bulldogs defense. A former basketball star, he was late to take football into full consideration as a launching pad to play professionally.

Jones is one of the more gifted and athletic defensive tackles in college football. He reveals layers of his potential each and every week for the Bulldogs.

He should be another player who will arrive at the NFL Scouting Combine and really wow NFL Scouts with his measurable and combine numbers. Matching and piecing together his game film and overall athleticism places Jones near the top of 2016 NFL Draft prospects the defensive tackle position.

About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.