Top Preseason Grades: Defensive Tackles

Gordon McGuinness reviews the top five defensive tackles through three games of preseason play in 2014.

| 3 years ago

Top Preseason Grades: Defensive Tackles

top-pre-grades-DTNTWe don’t know about you, but we’ve had some with preseason. It’s not the best way of seeing who will succeed when win-loss records start to matter, but it has given us a first look at some players and really gives second- and third-stringers a chance to prove their worth.

So with three weeks of action in the bag we’re going to be looking across all the positions to let you know who have earned the grades in the Top 5 at each position.

Now of course there’s a lot more than five players at each position we’ve graded. We’ve run every player to play a single snap on offense or defense through the grading process so if you want to see how they’ve fared this preseason, and get access to seven seasons worth of historical grades and access for 365 days which will include the entire 2014 season (and postseason) then you’ll need a PFF Premium Package. At only $26.99 you won’t get better value.

Defensive Tackles

1. Gerald McCoy, TB: +16.7

Breakdown: While it’s important to remember that it’s preseason, the Tampa Bay defensive lineman’s play this August has been little short of ridiculous. That grade has come on a mere 67 snaps with McCoy producing multiple highlight reel plays despite only being on the field such a limited amount of snaps.

Signature Stat: From just 21 snaps against the run, McCoy has recorded four tackles resulting in a defensive stop.

2. Landon Cohen, BUF: +7.7

Breakdown: Kicking things off with a PFF Game Ball winning performance in the Hall of Fame Game, the Bills’ defensive tackle has been outstanding against the run this preseason, grading at +8.9 in that regard.

Signature Play: NYG @ BUF, Q4, 10:27 – Cohen beats right guard John Sullen to the inside with ease to record a tackle for a five yard loss.

3. Zach Kerr, IND: +7.0

Breakdown: Grading in the green both against the run and as a pass rusher, the Colts’ interior lineman has excelled in the past two weeks, grading at +7.2 against the Giants and Saints.

Signature Stat: With five tackles resulting in a defensive stop from 40 snaps against the run, Kerr has a Run Stop Percentage of 12.5%.

4. Brandon Williams, BLT: +6.4

Breakdown: Barely used as a rookie in 2013, Williams has shown that a breakout season may very well be on the cards in 2014. A standout against the run, he has proven tough to deal with for opposing centers.

Signature Play: WAS @ BAL, Q1, 11:14 – Williams beats center Kory Lichtensteiger to force a cut from the running back, and then finishes the play off with a tackle for loss.

5. Clinton McDonald, TB: +5.0

Breakdown: The second Buccaneers defensive tackle in the top five so far this August; McDonald has started all three preseason games so far and looked lively against the run.

Signature Stat: McDonald ranks second among all defensive tackles with a Run Stop Percentage of 25.0%.


Follow Gordon on Twitter: @PFF_Gordon

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

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    Clinton McDonald will be missed in Seattle if the young players dont step up.