Roster Analysis: Defensive Tackle

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Arrowhead Guys has decided to analyze the roster, position by position, heading into the draft in order to identify gaps in the projected roster that will need to be addressed via the draft, UDFA’s, or FA signings. In order to predict the number of players that will make the final roster per position we analyzed trends for the Kansas City Chiefs offense from 2016-2018 and the New York Giants from 2007-2008 and 2017 to determine number of offensive and defensive players kept at each position.

The predicted roster numbers will be used in reviewing the players currently under contract at their projected positions in order to identify the positions of greatest need. This series will feature one position per day for 10 consecutive days, yes that means the weekend, culminating in a road map to identifying the Chiefs areas of need.

Currently Under Contract: 7

57Chris JonesDT246′ 6″310 lbs7Mississippi State
74Justin HamiltonDT256′ 2″315 lbs4Louisiana-Lafayette
68Joey IvieDT246′ 3″295 lbs1Florida
92Henry MondeauxDT236′ 5″280 lbs1Oregon
91Derrick NnadiDT226′ 1″312 lbs2Florida State
?Cavon WalkerDT246′ 2″278 lbs1Maryland
98Xavier WilliamsDT276′ 2″309 lbs5Northern Iowa

Projected Roster Spots: 5

Defensive Tackle was one of the most consistent groups regarding roster count year to year under Steve Spagnuolo. During the years reviewed he carried 5 DT’s twice and 4 one time. Defensive line as a whole accounted for 9-10 roster spots each year.

Who makes the Cut?

Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, Xavier Williams and Justin Hamilton are all likely to make the 53 man roster short of signing Suh and drafting a DT in the first round. Ivie, Walker and Mondeaux?

Position Overview

I’ve said for a while now that DT is quietly the strongest position group on the defense. While it was The Chris Jones Show last year in Kansas City, Nnadi, Williams and Hamilton all turned in solid season despite not receiving much fanfare.

Its almost like we coordinated this series together…


I believe the Chiefs are comfortable with their DT depth right now and that it is not a position of great need. It is a position that could definitely be improved, but don’t suspect the Chiefs will invest a high draft pick at the position. Chris Jones has one starting position locked down and the Chiefs spent a 3rd round pick on Nnadi just last season, I suspect he’ll get a chance to start.

The main justification I’ve seen for drafting a DT early is that Jones is the only true 3-Technique DT on the roster. That may be true, but no team has a Chris Jones on the bench waiting to rotate in for Chris Jones when he needs a breather.

Roster Analysis

The Chiefs need to add a 3-Tech DT to the roster to develop behind Chris Jones to get to 5 DT’s on the roster. A rotational DT is a borderline luxury pick in my opinion, I would target the position in the 3rd to 5th round of the draft unless an absolute stud fell in the early rounds.

Prospects to Consider

Chris Slayton, DT, Syracuse 

Demarcus Christmas, DT, Florida State 

Trysten Hill, DT, Central Florida 

Ricky Walker, DT, Virginia Tech

Special thanks to @PFF_Chiefs for helping us with the positional grades. If you are on twitter give them a follow.

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Great work man.
So if Ed Oliver is available to us, would you take him?


With the predominance of sub packages the distinction between Edge and DT is getting more blurred. I see write ups of several players listed as DT’s in the draft who can play anywhere along the line. I want a pass rusher in the first two rounds if possible. I don’t particularly care what position he’s listed at.


I don’t know anything about the draft prospects. I remember seeing that Ogbah played a lot of both DE and DT (found the tweet).

Are any of the prospects Señor Stratton listed – or any others we might look at – players that could do similar?


So, no Christian Wilkins?

I’d love to get a developmental DT who’s seen as quick, fast, and dropped down draft boards because he struggles against the run. That would be just right for rotation into nickel/dime pass defense packages. As long as our offense is still good, a guy like that could come close to double-digit sacks as a backup.


Tanoh has decent size/shape/athleticism for a 3 tech, especially if he put on a few pounds. . No idea whether he could do it well, or play any other position well for that matter, but if the need is greater for backup 3tech than backup edge, he might be better suited to add 10 lbs and give it a go.


I suspect that this position group will not receive any attention in the draft, but we could see a camp/preseason pick-up of a decent quality veteran player that becomes a cap or re-build casualty should that quality player find himself needing a job at a reduced price…


Hope you checked your email, as Anthony’s been trying to contact you.

Tony Sommer

Outside of Jones, our DT group is decent but unexceptional.

Team Player
Team Player

Decent but not exceptional is my goal for the defense this year. Let’s get the other groups there


Yes, but if we did draft a new starter-level DT, where would he fit in? He’d have to replace Nnadi in base, and….I dunno, but replacing/upgrading Nnadi just doesn’t seem like a real high priority.

I think we need another DT, but not necessarily a starter-level DT. We need somebody who can rotate in for sub-packages. So, we can afford to draft somebody who has flaws, that push him down into the mid- late rounds.


1. Great write-up. This piece is spot on, and helps me see that we probably are set going into the season at this spot.
2. PFF Chiefs. Followed.