Editor's Note: These rankings were originally published before the combine. We will be updating our position rankings throughout draft season.
The top of this year's draft class features a pair of interior defensive linemen that have a chance to be top-10 picks.
Beyond that, however, the next four or five on the list will be coveted by teams that are looking for players that can provide interior disruption in the passing game. Each of the prospects in that range on this list have the potential to work themselves into the late-Round 1 conversation.
Here are my top interior defensive linemen prospects for the 2020 draft:
1. Derrick Brown, Auburn (SR, 6'5", 326 pounds)
Surprising many by returning to school for his senior season, Brown improved his draft stock from first-rounder last year to a potential top 5-10 pick this year. Much of his impact won't be seen in the box score as his play and presence also helps to free up second-level defenders to make plays. With his size, brute strength and consistent motor, Brown is a dominant run-stuffer. With impressive mobility for his size, he has the physical traits to continue to develop his ability to make a pass-rushing impact. Brown is a complete, three-down and schematically-diverse defensive tackle prospect.
2. Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina (SR, 6'5", 324 pounds)
Kinlaw possesses an unreal combination of size, first-step explosiveness and length—34 7/8" arms and 84" wingspan—and recorded a total of 10 sacks over the past two seasons. The South Carolina senior played his best in games against his toughest competition and put on a show during Senior Bowl one-on-ones. His pad level may be too high at times, but his upside is through the roof as he develops a more robust repertoire of pass-rush moves to combine with his freakish physical traits.
3. Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma (rSR, 6'2", 304 pounds)
Combining freakish athleticism and a non-stop motor, Gallimore explodes off the ball and has outstanding short-term agility for his size. While he spends a lot of time in the backfield, he doesn't always finish as he has a total of seven sacks over the past two seasons. Appearing on Bruce Feldman's Freaks' List in the preseason, Gallimore shed 25 pounds from 2018 to 2019, but he benches 500 pounds, squats 800 pounds and ran a 4.79, 40-yard dash in Indy at 304 pounds.
4. Marlon Davidson, Auburn (SR, 6'3", 303 pounds)
A four-year starter, Davidson primarily played on the edge and recorded a team-high 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss as a senior. While he some versatility to play both inside and out, Davidson weighed in 25 pounds heavier at combine than his listed weight at Auburn and fits best as a three-technique at the next level. He has nice first-step quickness for an interior defender and plays with a lot of power in his hands. Davidson plays with great effort, as this play illustrates.
5. Ross Blacklock, TCU (rJR, 6'3", 290 pounds)
After missing all of 2018 due to an Achilles injury, Blacklock rebounded well to record 40 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and a team-high 3.5 sacks in 2019. Often utilized in a two-gap role at TCU, Blacklock displays impressive burst and lateral agility to be a disruptive one-gap penetrator at the next level. His pass-rushing upside puts him in the mix as a potential first-rounder in April.
Here are the next 10 interior defensive linemen:
6. Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M (rJR, 6'3", 293 pounds)
7. Jordan Elliott, Missouri (rJR, 6'4", 302 pounds)
8. Leki Fotu, Utah (SR, 6'5", 330 pounds)
9. Raekwon Davis, Alabama (SR, 6'6", 311 pounds)
10. James Lynch, Baylor (JR, 6'4", 289 pounds)
11. Davon Hamilton, Ohio State (rSR, 6'4", 320 pounds)
12. Rashard Lawrence, LSU (SR, 6'2", 308 pounds)
13. Larrell Murchison, North Carolina State (rSR, 6'3", 297 pounds)
14. McTelvin Agim, Arkansas (SR, 6'3", 309 pounds)
15. Khalil Davis, Nebraska (rSR, 6'1", 308 pounds)
Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2020 NFL Draft season. His NFL Mock Drafts have graded as the most accurate over the past five years, per The Huddle Report. His 2015 NFL mock draft graded as the most accurate and his 2019 NFL mock draft was the second-most accurate out of 101 draft analysts.
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