NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Interior defensive linemen

2T38CMA Illinois defensive lineman Jer'Zhan Newton rushes the quarterback during an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The 2024 NFL Draft presents an exciting quarterback class full of notable names. It is led by USC's Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner and dynamic dual-threat quarterback.

At the top of the class, Williams is followed by Ohio State wide receiver  Marvin Harrison Jr., who would have been the best pass-catcher in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now as a draft-eligible junior, he's the crown jewel for any team in need of help at the position.

Here are the top five interior defensive linemen in the class as things stand.

1. DI JER'ZHAN NEWTON, ILLINOIS

BIG BOARD RANK: 10

Newton, an all-around interior defensive lineman, is productive as both a run defender and a pass-rusher. His overall size is on the smaller side, but his first step and elite hand speed allow him to live in backfields.

Click here to see PFF's full top 275 big board


2. DI LEONARD TAYLOR III, MIAMI (FLA.)

BIG BOARD RANK: 33

Big men don't often get the athlete label as a prospect, but at 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds, that's what Taylor is. His pass-rush win rate is one of the highest at his position, making him one of the best — perhaps the best — pass-rushing defensive tackles in the class.

Click here to see PFF's full top 275 big board


3. DI Byron Murphy II, TEXAS

BIG BOARD RANK: 44

T’Vondre Sweat gets most of the notoriety among Texas’ defensive linemen, but Murphy is also a future pro and showed that this season. He’s not a size monster like Sweat — Murphy is listed at 6-foot-1, 305 pounds — but his quickness and strength at the three-technique position yielded a 91.8 pass-rush grade in 2023. He also made Bruce Feldman’s “College Football Freaks List” for his strength, front squatting 455 pounds and power cleaning 375.

Click here to see PFF's full top 275 big board


4. DI KRIS JENKINS, MICHIGAN

BIG BOARD RANK: 48

Jenkins is a powerful player in the middle of a defense. His run-defense abilities give him a very high floor as a projected pro. While his pass-rush production won't pop out at you, it is improving.

Click here to see PFF's full top 275 big board


5. DI Brandon Dorlus, OREGON

BIG BOARD RANK: 52

Dorlus is a versatile defensive lineman. He has the size and strength to play on the interior, yet a surprisingly quick first step and hands to be a plus pass-rusher. He would be a great fit for defenses that stay multiple in their fronts.

Click here to see PFF's full top 275 big board

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