McTelvin Agim may have an uphill climb if last year’s defensive tackle rookie class is any indication.
The 6-foot-3, 309-pound Arkansas senior recently made Pro Football Focus’ list of the 10 biggest sleepers in the 2020 NFL draft, checking in at No. 7.
“Productive and athletic, Agim has flown surprisingly under the radar in this defensive tackle class. He earned the ninth-highest pass-rushing grade of any Power-5 defensive tackle this past season (81.5), was the highest-graded defensive tackle in the one-on-ones at the Shrine Game practices and was the third-highest graded defensive tackle at the Senior Bowl one-on-ones the very next week. Oh, and then he went to the Combine where he put up a sub-5.0 40 at 309 pounds. That’s a solid all-around profile.”
Players like Agim, Broderick Washington of Texas Tech and Benito Jones of Mississippi hope to prove 2019 was an outlier for defensive tackles, as few drafted after the first round contributed as rookies.
The Falcons have been showing lots of interest in McTelvin Agim. They worked with him at the East/West game also. I’m willing to bet they’re likely looking at him around rounds 3-4.
— Ev Glaze (@Everett_G07) March 26, 2020
How did the 2019 DT class fare? First, the good:
Next, the bad:
And the ugly:
To be fair, any of the DTs from last year could turn into significant contributors or even Pro Bowlers. Furthermore, DTs rarely pick up a lot of tackles or sacks, as their main jobs are to eat up space and command double teams.
In other words, you’re not going to find defensive tackles atop any team’s most-tackles list.
That’s why it’s hard to truly quantify the 2019 DT class, other than to say few teams found rookie starters outside the first round.
The tier-two DTs include Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore, Auburn’s Marlon Davis, Missouri’s Jordan Elliott, Texas A&M’s Justin Madubuike, TCU’s Ross Blacklock and Alabama’s Raekwon Davis. All are likely Day 2 prospects, although a few could sneak into the first.
Will any of those tier-2 or tier-3 players appear in all 16 games? Will more than one of them start every game? Not all of those aforementioned DTs will be drafted by Day 2 – will any of the Day 3 defensive tackles contribute?
Players like Agim hopes that answer is a resounding “yes.”
Jake Rigdon (firstname.lastname@example.org) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.