football Edit

Self-Scouting: Evaluating recent five-star defensive tackles

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

A'Shawn Robinson
A'Shawn Robinson (AP Images)


Last week and into this week, is taking a look at five-stars at each position from 2012 to 2015 (nearly all of whom have completed their college careers) and how they fared compared to our ranking to determine which spots we got right and which ones we got wrong. We move to defensive tackles.


Kahlil McKenzie, Trenton Thompson, Daron Payne, Christian Wilkins, Andrew Brown, Kenny Bigelow, Eddie Vanderdoes, A’Shawn Robinson, Montravius Adams, Mario Edwards, Eddie Goldman, Ondre Pipkins, Ellis McCarthy, Malcom Brown


This four-year period saw no players drafted in the first dozen picks of any NFL Draft and only three in the first round at all, two with the No. 13 pick, in Payne and Wilkins, and then Brown with the last pick in the first round of the 2015 draft.

Three players were taken in the second round in Robinson, another player from the Crimson Tide, and then two from Florida State in Edwards and Goldman. Vanderdoes, after transferring from Notre Dame to UCLA, and Adams were picked in the third round.

Brown was a fifth-round selection although he never lived up to expectations at Virginia and McKenzie did not either at Tennessee. Kansas City selected him in the sixth round and then moved him to offensive guard.

There were three big misses at defensive tackle during this stretch in Thompson, Pipkins and McCarthy. Thompson recently signed with the Washington Valor of the AFL, Pipkins bounced from the now-defunct AAF to the AFL and McCarthy is believed to be out of football.


McCarthy is the biggest surprise to me here as a bust because he was so talented and had such a high ceiling. Thompson had off-field issues and Pipkins was hindered by injury but both were excellent out of high school as well. The hit rate here is pretty good overall with first- and second-rounders, even if a couple of those guys underperformed in college.

Payne and Wilkins were no-brainers to me as potential first-rounders and Robinson was one of the best I’ve seen over the last few years as well. The position has changed in recent years when NFL teams want guys who can get after the passer and pile up sacks rather than just push the pocket. Our evaluations have changed slightly to show that.