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2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Tiering the Best College Defensive Linemen

Tiering the Best College Defensive Linemen

The conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft means that teams and fans alike can start looking forward to next year’s crop of players. While it is far too early to have conclusive opinions on where each player will rank due to a full season of games and the player development ahead of us, this tier ranking previews how these players go into the season ranked against their position group. These tiers are subject to change but give a quick outlook on the expectations of these players.

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Running Back Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Tight End Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Offensive Line Tier List Here

​​Tier 1: The Top Talents

Jalen Carter, Georgia

Jaquelin Roy, LSU

Fabian Lovett, FSU

Myles Murphy, Clemson

Derick Hall, Auburn

Members of Tier 1 stand out above the rest because of their combination of explosiveness, athleticism and dominating play style thus far. Players of this caliber have the potential to be every down starting linemen and some show position versatility on the inside and outside. They have dominated as underclassmen and juniors but will need to continue this trend in order to be considered towards the top of this upcoming draft class.

Tier 2: Elite Traits or Play Style

PJ Mustipher, Penn State

Tyler Davis, Clemson

Robert Cooper, FSU

Siaki Ika l Baylor

BJ Ojulari, LSU

Will McDonald IV, Iowa State

Zach Harrison, Ohio State

Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Tier 2 of this group are all very good players in their own regard but may be missing consistent play or high-end traits. The potential of this tier has starter-level ability with the traits to develop into top players in next year’s draft. The 2022 season will be the time for them to show the strides they have made as defensive linemen and athletes in preparation for next spring.

Tier 3: Potential Draft Picks

Taron Vincent, Ohio State

Nathan Pickering, Mississippi State

Keeanu Berton, Wisconsin

Brandon Dorlus, Oregon

Jayson Jones, Oregon

Ali Gaye, LSU

KJ Henry, Clemson

Jordan Burch, South Carolina

Tier 3 is a collection of players that show the ability to succeed primarily against one phase of the offense. These players have shown they have the traits to be effective pass rushers or run defenders in the right system. Some may be lacking the size or athleticism to be considered top talents for the draft. This group shows the potential to develop into role players or possibly even starters at the professional level.

Tier 4: Next Year’s Sleepers

Jerrod Clark, Coastal Carolina

Jaden Crumedy, Mississippi State

Darnell Jefferies, Clemson

Khari Coleman, TCU

Ochan Mathis, TCU

Adisa Isaac, Penn State

Tier 4 is a list of players who have more to prove as far as play quality and development are concerned. These players are missing some combination of size, speed, or length that would put them further up team’s boards at the moment. Certain players will be stepping into bigger roles this year which will answer some questions regarding their abilities. The 2022 season will be the time for these players to show off their development and boost their stock for the upcoming draft.