Rob Rang of CBS Sports wrote today that the 2011 NFL Draft is not only very talented at the top of the defensive tackle class, but it is deep with first round talent as well. We have talked a lot about Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley, who will both go in the top 10, but there are 2 or 3 other guys that could go in the first round according to Rang:
I've spoken to representatives of teams operating out of the 4-3 and 3-4 that see the next three defensive tackles -- Illinois' Corey Liuget , Baylor's Phil Taylor and Temple's Muhammad Wilkerson -- as all potential Top 20 picks.
To put that in perspective, the last time there were five defensive tackles drafted within the Top 20 was ten years. Teams can only hope this year's crop winds up as good as 2001, when Richard Seymour (No. 6, Marcus Stroud (No. 13) and Casey Hampton (No. 19) began their standout careers. Unfortunately, the first defensive tackle in 2001 -- Gerard Warren -- was the most disappointing of the group, especially considering his high draft selection. Damione Lewis (No. 12) never panned out for the Rams, either.
(And Rang doesn't even metion Marvin Austin, who probably would have been a first round pick if not for his troubles with the NCAA)