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2017 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida

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The Giants have defensive tackles entering free agency this year and next. Will they look to the draft to re-stock the position?

NCAA Football: Georgia vs Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants find themselves in a squeeze at defensive tackle. They might be forced to allow starter John Hankins to leave via free agency this year. Behind him, 2014 third round pick Jay Bromley is a free agent after the 2017 season and has yet to show himself capable of stepping in to Hankins’ shoes.

So even though the Giants have another young defensive tackle behind Hankins, they might still have a hole in the middle of their formidable front, and still have to add another defensive tackle after the 2017 season. If history holds true, the Giants will likely address the position at some point in the 2017 draft.

Florida’s Caleb Brantley is one of the top defensive tackles in the draft, with the ability to stand up in run defense and be disruptive behind the line of scrimmage.

Measurables

Height - 6 feet, 2 inches (listed)

Weight - 314 pounds (listed)

40 Time - 4.98 (projected)

Pros

  • Good frame for the position. Has enough length and girth.
  • Quick off the snap to make first contact with blockers.
  • Disruptive interior rusher who still has the strength to stand his ground in run defense
  • Plays with good leverage.
  • Quick and heavy hands are an asset in the hand-battles inside

Cons

  • Relies a bit too much on his swim move. Leaves his body open to blockers and cut blocks.
  • Rush stalls if his initial move fails or he loses leverage.
  • Occasionally looks as if he throttles down on plays that go the other way.
  • Not scheme diverse, could be limited to the 3-technique at the next level.

Does He Fit With The Giants?

If the Giants find themselves in need of a defensive tackle, Brantley would certainly be an attractive option.

As a gap-shooting 3-technique with the power to hold up in the run game, he fits their scheme and how their defensive front is built. With three good offensive lines -- including the best run blocking offensive line in the game -- in the division, the Giants need to take run defense into account when it comes to their defensive front, and Brantley is a capable run defender. However, they also need to get more disruption from the interior as well, which fits the Florida product’s game perfectly.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 20th overall

Mocking The Draft - N/A

CBS Sports - 50th overall

Draft Countdown - 45th overall

Draft Tek - 42nd overall

Final Thoughts

The 2017 NFL Draft is a fantastic one for edge rushers, both as outside linebackers and defensive ends. The defensive tackle class lags behind, but that has more to do with the incredible depth of talent on the edge than a lack of one in the middle.

While run stuffing tackles are important and have their place in the league -- just as Damon Harriosn -- the NFL will value disruptive pass rushers more. Florida’s Caleb Brantley is one of those rare tackles who can do both, and could wind up being the top defensive tackle taken when it all shakes out on draft weekend.