It was enough to make you almost wish the Cowboys were still going to use Rod Marinelli’s system on defense. Marinelli’s emphasis on quick-twitch defensive tackles who can get up field and disrupt the backfield would be a natural fit for this year’s draft. It turns out there are some very fast defensive tackles at this combine.
One night after some of the biggest offensive lineman wowed scouts with their speed, it was the defensive linemen’s turn Saturday at the NFL scouting combine, as Nebraska’s Khalil Davis and Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore carved out a little history.
Davis, at 6-foot-1, 308 pounds, ran an official clocking of 4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash Saturday night, and Gallimore, at 6-2, 304 pounds, clocked an official time of 4.79 seconds.
According to research by ESPN’s Stats & Information, those times made the pair the only defensive linemen who weighed more than 300 pounds to clock sub-4.8 40s since 2006. Davis’ twin brother, Carlos (6-2, 313 pounds), had an official 40 time of 4.82.
The good news for the Cowboys is that these guys are not exactly small as far as defensive tackles go. It’s been noted that new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan prefers a little more size in the middle of his defensive line, and these three guys all top 300 pounds and could likely add weight once they hit the NFL.
Obviously 40-yard dash time is not a defining characteristic for defensive tackles. There are plenty of other abilities you would look at first before coming to a scouting decision on an interior defensive lineman. Still, it’s always nice to know that there are some available that are big and have incredible athleticism.
The Cowboys are in desperate need of defensive tackles this offseason, so it’s very likely they pick at least one in the upcoming draft.