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Monday, May 20, 2013
Kiper: Top five defensive tackle prospects

By Chris Low

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has released his early top-five rankings at each position.

Here are the positions he's looked at so far:
Up next are the defensive tackle prospects for next year's draft, and leading the way in the SEC is LSU's Anthony Johnson at No. 3. Kiper has Tennessee's Daniel McCullers No. 4.

The No. 1 overall tackle prospect is Notre Dame's Louis Nix III.

Johnson, who was third on LSU's team with 10 tackles for loss last season, has just scratched the surface of how good he can be. He only started in three games a year ago, but is freakishly athletic for a 6-foot-3, 304-pound interior lineman. Hence the nickname "Freak."

What stands out about McCullers is his mammoth size. He's 6-8 and 360 pounds and is the ultimate space-eater. The Vols are moving to a 4-3 base defense next season and will be looking for more production out of McCullers, who had 5.5 tackles for loss a year ago in his first season in the SEC after coming over from junior college.

Of note, Kiper had Florida's Dominique Easley listed among the defensive ends. He's played both, but the Gators' plan is to play him inside at tackle next season.

Some of the other draft-eligible defensive tackles from the SEC to keep an eye on this fall: