JagNation Training Camp Preview: DT
Rob Meier (Jake Roth / JagNation.com)
JagNation.com
Posted Jul 24, 2007


The Jaguars have the best pair of starting defensive tackles in the entire NFL, in John Henderson and Marcus Stroud, and their backups can probably start on at least half of the teams in the league. Read about training camp for all the DT's HERE:

The Jaguars interior defensive line boasts size, skill, depth, and play-making ability. This is probably the teams' strongest position, and there are absolutely no question marks.


John Henderson
John Henderson is probably the best defensive tackle in the NFL. He may be the game's first three-gap defensive tackle, as he can play three gaps in front of him. Henderson has played in two Pro Bowls, and if he played in a larger market, he would have likely been to more.

Strengths:
Size, strength, quickness. Henderson is a dominant defensive tackle that does everything well. He is an absolute nightmare for offensive linemen to face.

Weaknesses:
At this point in his career, he has no weaknesses involving the game of football.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Henderson's best case scenario is that he leads the defense again to another high ranking (2nd overall in '06), and he makes another Pro Bowl. He can be a legitimate Hall of Famer when his career is over. Worst case scenario would involve some type of major injury, although Henderson has not missed a game in his five-year career.


Marcus Stroud
Marcus Stroud is a player that helps make John Henderson as great as he is, although Stroud usually gets more attention nationally. If Henderson is the number one defensive tackle in football, Stroud is 1a. Stroud is nearly as big, and just about as dominant as Henderson. When the two are in the game together, it's nearly impossible for teams to run inside against the Jaguars.

Strengths:
Size, strength, quickness. Stroud is a play-maker at a non-playmaking position, and he causes havoc to offenses.

Weaknesses:
Stroud has a bad ankle that he had surgery on in the off-season. That caused him to miss significant time in six games in '06.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Stroud's best case scenario is that he makes his fourth trip to the Pro Bowl in '07 after another outstanding year. Worst case scenario would be that the ankle isn't fully healed and he re-injures it early on.


Rob Meier
Rob Meier is an impressive defensive tackle, who would likely start on most NFL teams. Meier can play either defensive tackle or defensive end, and is a very solid pass rusher.

Strengths:
Speed, play-making ability. Rob Meier finds his way to the quarterback, as he's collected 11 sacks in the last two seasons, while only starting nine games.

Weaknesses:
Meier is a little bit tall and lanky, and he can get chopped down, or bull-rushed by offensive lineman.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Meier continues to fill in admirably in the defensive tackle rotation, and continues to pressure quarterbacks and collect sacks. Worst case scenario is that Meier gets outplayed by the younger and possibly more athletic defensive tackles on the roster, and the Jaguars decide to go in that younger/cheaper route.


Tony McDaniel
Tony McDaniel earned a roster spot on the Jaguars in '06 as an undrafted free agent rookie. McDaniel has been a nice surprise, as he played in 11 games as a rookie, and the team suffered very little drop-off with him on the field.

Strengths:
Strength, size.

Weaknesses:
McDaniel had some off the field issues in college which made him go undrafted, but nothing negative has happened to him yet in his pro career.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
McDaniel's best case scenario is that he continues to work hard and impress the Jaguars coaching staff, which will lead to more opportunities for playing time. Worst case scenario is that McDaniel gets out-played by fifth-round draft pick Derek Landri, and the team lets him go.


Derek Landri
Derek Landri is the one of the Jaguars fifth-round draft picks from the University of Notre Dame. Landri was actually high school teammates with the Jaguars star rookie from '06, Maurice Jones-Drew.

Strengths:
Upper body strength, toughness, hard-worker, great initial burst

Weaknesses:
Undersized, injury concerns, not likely to ever be a full-time starter at defensive tackle.

Best case/Worst case scenario:
Landri continues his reputation as a hard-worker and makes the final 53-man roster, and sees good playing time in the defensive tackle rotation. Worst case scenario is that Landri isn't up to the challenge and he finds himself on the practice squad.


Walter Curry
Walter Curry has been around the Jaguars organization since 2005, when he was on the practice squad for 10 weeks. Curry has spent two seasons honing his skills over in NFL Europa.

Strengths:
Versatile, Curry can play both defensive tackle and defensive end.

Weaknesses:
He doesn't do any one thing great, and isn't as quick or as strong as many.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Perhaps this is the year Curry puts it all together and makes the 53-man roster for the Jaguars. Worst case scenario is that Curry has a difficult time making the practice squad, due in part to missing the off-season mini-camps while participating in NFL Europa.

The Jaguars defensive tackle rotation is as good as it gets, and it's possible that up to five players mentioned could make the final 53-man roster.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to various national news outlets. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association.



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