Now that the NFL Draft is over, we are in for about three months of pure speculation and debate. In a good way to add fuel to the fire, we will go through every position and rank the top ten players at each position. Before making the rankings, first it should be clarified how these players are ranked. These aren’t players with the best statistics from last year, or with the best teams around them. It isn’t the best play per contract, or the young but unestablished vs. old and experienced debate. It is more so a projection of talent and determining that if a game was in two weeks, and I had to pick a player to be on my team, who would I take over the other. It comes down to a gut opinion, but having watched nearly every snap of the NFL in the past two years via NFL Game Pass I do have confidence in my opinions. At the end of the day it is another discussion of debate so check it out and let me know what you think. Defense is tough because there are so many different and versatile schemes in today’s NFL. I tried to break down position groups into specific schemes to better equate each player’s skills to their role. Therefore we took what was considered the base defense that they fit best in to use, and obviously only ranked each player in one position. This edition we look at the 3-4 Nose Tackles
1. Brandon Williams
Williams seems to be head and shoulders above the rest of this group. With so many multiple defensive looks, the nose tackle in the 3-4 is starting to be phased out, but Williams is as pure of an A gap player as you will find in the NFL. He is a load, he can defend the run, and he is underrated in his ability to rush the passer
Poe spent some time on the sideline due to injury last year, and saw Jaye Howard really step up. Still, in terms of an A gap defende there is no other person you want than the size, speed and athletic upside that comes with Poe.
3. Eddie Goldman
Golman seemed to make an immediate impact in the Bears new 3-4 defense. With the Bears transitioning from a 4-3 and not having the capable personell around him, and for him only being a rookie the momentum is really high around this kid.
Harrison is going to give the Giants an underrated kick start. He will line up beside Jonathan Hankins as the two interior beasts in a 4-3 next season, but last year as a strict 3-4 nose he was a punisher. He is the pure space eater and is just a large man with low leverage making it hard to move his positioning.
5. Ian Williams
Last year was the first for Williams as a starter and he proved that he probably could have had the job for a while. Injuries have always been the problem for the young and emerging Williams and it is a surgery this off-season that has him questionable to start the season. Still, when healthy there is not a better mold of a player that you want.
6. Jaye Howard
As mentioned, Howard took major advantage of his time on the field. Howard is good for the Chiefs because, while he can go head to head with centers, he can also lineup beside Poe. These two do a great job of clearling paths for the Chief linebackers to make plays.
7. Steve McClendon
McClendon is most underrated as a run defender. In the Pittsburgh 3-4 his job mainly saw little pass rush and mostly trying to take on as many blocks as possible. He did a commendable job at it and now transitioning to the Jets, it will be interesting to see how the defense looks with McClendon compared to last year with Harriosn.
8. Brandon Mebane
Mebane is another guy that is purely in to stop the run. He hardly will ever see the field on third down and doesn’t have much of a pass rush at all. However, it is tough to find a better run defender and space eater in this league. In the Chargers new defense,and sandwiched between Corey Liuget and Joey Bosa he should be able to have a dominant year.
Shelton is the guy most likely to rise throughout the year. He is only in his second year, and dealt with the turmoil of being drafted by the Browns. However, he shockingly does not look like a bust yet, and may eventually be a true dominant player and a building block for this franchise
10. Vince Wilfork
Honestly, this is probably too much praise for Wilfork after his 2015 season. Still, this is a thinner position, and Wilfork has the lifetime acheivement award that gets him a spot for one more year.