2013 NFL Draft: Defensive Linemen Will Rule Draft

By Ben Grimaldi
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Every draft has its strengths and weaknesses and in the 2013 NFL Draft its clear the strength of the draft is on the defensive line. Usually at this time of year we’re talking about how many great quarterback prospects will be taken in the first round, not how many players will be taken that wreak havoc on the quarterbacks.

It might be that a trend is setting and teams are figuring out the only way to stop a great quarterback is to pressure him, or it just might be a coincidence that there are many more elite defensive linemen prospects than quarterbacks? Actually, it’s probably a combination of both but there is no doubt the defensive line group will dominate the 2013 NFL Draft.

Looking at the prospects and where they will be drafted, there could be as many as five defensive tackles and five defensive ends being drafted in the first round. Shariff Floyd, Star Lotulelei, Sheldon Richardson, Sylvester Williams and Johnathan Hankins could all be first round picks at defensive tackle, while the defensive end group chosen in the first round includes Ezekiel Ansah, Bjoern Werner, Damontre Moore, Datone Jones and Sam Montgomery.

That’s a total of 10 defensive linemen being taken in the first round and there are still others to consider being taken in the first, or at the very least, second round of the draft. In fact, defensive end Tank Carradine might have been one of the top overall players in the draft if he didn’t tear his ACL in November. Even those who don’t get picked in round one will be a great addition to any team in the next few rounds where as many as 10 more defensive linemen could get drafted fairly high. Alex Okafor, Margus Hunt, Jesse Williams, Kawann Short and John Jenkins should all hear their names be announced before Saturday arrives in the draft.

The depth at defensive line could be the best it’s been in years since there are also plenty of late round prospects that could play as well as some of the early round picks. Bennie Logan, Josh Boyd, William Gholston and Devin Taylor all fall into this group that makes the 2013 NFL Draft very deep along the defensive line.

If you’re favorite team needs some defensive line help, this is the perfect year for you. The group of prospects is high on elite talent and is also stacked with depth. There is no question that in the 2013 NFL Draft, the defensive linemen will rule.

Ben is a Cowboys writer for Rantsports.com and you can chat with or follow him on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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