Top 10 defensive tackles in college football entering 2022 season
Spring football has begun and will be in full swing across the country soon. This leads to a look at the top 10 players returning at each position, continuing today with the defensive tackles.
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1. Jalen Carter, Georgia
With Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis headed to the NFL, Carter is now the anchor of the Georgia defense. But he actually graded out better than Davis last season per PFF, and his talent is undeniable. He'll be a first-rounder after next season.
2. Bryan Bresee, Clemson
Bresee is unquestionably one of the strongest players in all of college football, and he uses that strength to simply toss opposing offensive linemen into the backfield. After a superb true freshman season in 2020, he may not quite have lived up to all the expectations as a sophomore last season, but he's still among the best in the country.
3. Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh
I talked about Kancey all year as the next guy in a long line of great Pitt defensive tackles, and he completely backed that up. He finished fifth among all Power Five defensive tackles in PFF's rankings, and he's someone that can truly do it all from the interior of a defense.
4. Gervon Dexter, Florida
Dexter got better and better as 2021 went along, finishing the season as arguably the Gators' best player on the defensive side of the ball. He gets great leverage from his 6-foot-6 frame as a pass rusher, but is also able to bend well enough to stay low against the run.
5. Jaxon Player, Baylor
As a junior last season at Tulsa, he was among the best defensive tackles in the nation, finishing sixth in PFF's interior defenders rankings. Now at Baylor, he'll be the top at his position in the Big 12.
6. Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma
Despite missing the first five games of the season due to injury, Redmond still was among the most impactful defenders for the Sooners in 2021. He'll have a chance to shine in Brent Venables' scheme this year.
7. Jaquelin Roy, LSU
Roy made a leap as a sophomore in 2021, as he and Neil Farrell made for a strong duo on the inside. With the addition of Missouri's Mekhi Wingo and the growth of Maason Smith, the Tigers will have one of the best lines in the country in 2022.
8. Jacob Slade, Michigan State
While most of the attention went to the offense during the Spartans' breakout 2021 season, Slade and the defense did their part in drastically improving that unit. He finished the seasons as PFF's third-highest graded defensive tackle, and he has a chance to be an All-American in 2022.
9. Brandon Dorlus, Oregon
Dorlus opted to come back for his senior season, and he's hoping that he can make a similar impact for Dan Lanning's defense that Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis did in 2021. Although a bit undersized at only 284 pounds, he fires off the line quickly and is disruptive in the run game.
10. Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin
At 6-foot-4, 340 pounds, Benton is a force on the interior of the Badgers' defense that ranked No. 1 in the country last year. He routinely occupies two and sometimes three blockers so that Wisconsin's linebackers can get to the ball carrier fast. He's got the athleticism to really rise up draft boards heading into his senior season.