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NFL draft: Certain measurables are vital for the defensive tackle position

Browns will be paying close attention at the combine and pro days

NCAA Football: Albany at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft is not the next step in the offseason but it is the most discussed and, generally, most interesting part. Free agency and trades tend to have the biggest impact on the upcoming NFL season but for almost every team, their future is decided by what happens in the draft.

For the Cleveland Browns, free agency and the draft will play off of one another. Unlike in years past, GM Andrew Berry doesn’t have almost unlimited cap resources nor does he have a first-round selection. The Browns do have the ability to create a lot of cap space, if they want, and eight draft picks to impact their team.

While there is some concern about a defensive tackle being able to come in right away and make an impact, Berry could still be looking to fill the whole in the middle of their defensive line by the time the draft rolls around.

What are the physical traits that are known to be successful on the interior of the line? It is important to first note that there are generally two different roles played by two different players:

First, there is a nose tackle type that is the anchor to the line. They make sure to take on at least two blocks and not be moved backward. A 0/1-technique (as they are called), rarely moves forward much but rarely moves backward.

The second type is the more exciting type. The 3-technique defensive tackle is the opposite of the nose tackle in that their goal is to shed tackles, get penetration and make plays behind the line of scrimmage.

With the NFL combine and college pro days coming up, we have athletic reference points that can help understand what a good nose tackle and good 3-tehcnique defensive tackle looks like:

Nose Tackle

As Kent notes, simply looking at three scores for a run-plugging nose tackle: weight, broad jump and ten-yard split. A heavy player who can explode with their feet and do so quickly is what we are looking for in this role.

For the more explosive defensive tackle, it looks a little different:

Size is still important but the ability to be explosive, agile and speed to keep going is much more important as you are trying to shed blockers and get into the backfield.

As we get more information at the combine and pro days, use these reference points to help know which role a player can fill and how well they do compared to average.