With three defensive tackles projected to come off the board in the first 15 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft, it's safe to say the position is one of the strengths of the class.
But beyond Star Lotulelei, Sheldon Richardson and Sharrif Floyd, the class has some gems. The first few days should be littered with defensive tackles, but day three is when some of the best value could be had at the positon.
Here are the most underrated defensive tackles in this class.
First team: Montori Hughes, Tennessee-Martin
The second Tennessee-Martin player to crack this list, Montori Hughes is somewhat of an underachiever. Academic issues postponed his college football career, and he never stuck at Tennessee due to a variety of academic and disciplinary issues. Off-the-field problems aside, Hughes can play. Possessing the size to play nose tackle in the NFL, Hughes shows a quick burst of the line of scrimmage and the strength to drive blockers into the backfield. Against Northern Illinois, the game I studied closely, Martin consistently held his ground and flashed the ability to get into the backfield. He's rough around the edges. Questions will arise about his attitude and work ethic, but Hughes has legitimate potential as a nose tackle prospect. He needs to learn the finer points of the game and play with a more consistent motor, but based on upside along, Hughes is worth a shot on day three.
Second team: Josh Boyd, Mississippi State
Overshadowed by 2012 first round pick Fletcher Cox, Josh Boyd is quite the defensive tackle prospect in his own right. While more of a run stopper than a pass rusher, Boyd has the size and ability to develop into a balanced defensive tackle. If his timed speed starts to translate on the field, Boyd could play 3-technique at the next level. Otherwise, he will need to continue to add weight and strength to be a plugger inside at nose tackle. His pass rush moves aren't fully developed, but he plays the game with a high motor and is a tough run defender. He won't fit every scheme, but he should have some value
Honorable mention: Omar Hunter, Florida
Omar Hunter was maddeningly inconsistent this past season at Florida, but I felt the need to include him based on his potential alone. At times, he flashed the strength and get off to be a starting caliber nose tackle in the NFL. He occasionally gets upright and doesn't consistently play with enough leverage, but he has the ability to take up double teams when he's on his game. He's going to slide on draft weekend, but if properly molded, Hunter could develop into a solid player.