NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Interior defensive line

Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) chases TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) during the third quarter of the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is nearly upon us. And with that comes the final edition of the PFF NFL Draft Guide, which comes loaded with scouting reports and advanced data on the class' top draft prospects.

Here are the top 10 interior defensive linemen in this year's draft class, per PFF's NFL Draft Guide and big board.

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1. Jalen Carter, Georgia

BIG BOARD RANK: 2

Carter is neck and neck with Quinnen Williams for the best defensive tackle prospect we’ve graded at PFF (since 2014). Williams was a touch quicker, while Carter is a bit more powerful, but it’s darn close. Carter finished 2022 with a Power Five-leading 92.3 overall grade.

2. Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh

BIG BOARD RANK: 14

Kancey may be undersized, but he knows how to get to opposing quarterbacks. The 6-foot, 280-pound defensive tackle led all interior defenders with a 92.4 pass-rushing grade this past fall. He has the first-step quicks to still make an impact in the NFL. 

3. Mazi Smith, Michigan

BIG BOARD RANK: 36

Smith is a special athlete for a 337-pound nose tackle and could very well see a Dontari Poe-esque rise up draft boards after the combine. He turned it on strong down the stretch in 2022, as well, and earned a 79.2 overall grade on the season. 

4. Bryan Bresee, Clemson

BIG BOARD RANK: 40

The former top recruit in the 2020 class, Bresee isn’t your run-of-the-mill 300-pounder. He can really move and is even capable of playing outside the tackles. He came back from an ACL tear to earn a career-high 82.0 pass-rushing grade this past fall.

5. Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin

BIG BOARD RANK: 58

Benton possesses a nice blend of quicks, power, length and strength that allows him to fill any role along the defensive interior. He earned an 83.5 pass-rushing grade last season.

6. Kobie Turner, Wake Forest

BIG BOARD RANK: 79

Turner dominated on the interior for Wake Forest last season. In his first year with the team after transferring from Richmond, Turner earned a 93.1 run-defense grade and an 88.8 pass-rushing grade. He’s just a tad thin-framed for a defensive tackle, measuring in at 288 pounds with only 32-inch arms.

7. Siaki Ika, Baylor

BIG BOARD RANK: 88

Ika is your 358-pounder who can still somehow make centers and guards miss one on one. He tallied a career-high 33 pressures in 2021 before seeing his play become a little more inconsistent this past fall.

8. Moro Ojomo, Texas

BIG BOARD RANK: 93

Ojomo took his game to another level as a redshirt senior in 2022. After earning a 74.9 overall grade in 2021, Ojomo improved it to 90.6 this past fall. He’s a long interior rusher who is a force against the run. Interestingly enough, despite being a redshirt senior, Ojomo is still only 21 years old.

9. Zacch Pickens, South Carolina

BIG BOARD RANK: 110

Pickens is far more talented than his 67.3 overall grade in 2022 suggests. He's just inconsistent at the moment. The high-end flashes are exceptional, and he tested out as one of the behest athletes at the position.

10. Gervon Dexter, Florida

BIG BOARD RANK: 117

Dexter has a unique physical skill set with uncanny explosiveness for a 310-pounder (1.70-second 10-split). He's wholly unrefined, though, and earned only a 65.7 overall grade in 2022.

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