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Pardon the disruption: Young defensive tackles to watch in '10


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1. Jonathan Babineaux, Falcons. Steadily improving over his five years in the league, Babineaux broke out last season with his knack of making big plays in the backfield. He ranked first among all tackles in sacks (six) and tackles for a loss (11). He is due for a Pro Bowl nod as the linchpin of a rapidly rising young defense. If his off-field indiscretion (December arrest for marijuana possession) leads to a significant suspension, Atlanta will miss him greatly.

2. Tony Brown, Titans. Although 6-3 and 290 pounds, Brown is 3 inches shorter and 60 points lighter than Albert Haynesworth, whom he was trying to help replace in Tennessee in 2009, Brown has shown in the past three seasons that he is a powerful force against both run and pass. Brown, a late bloomer at 29, will be more effective if fellow defensive tackle Jason Jones can stay healthy.

3. B.J. Raji, Packers. Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers was wise not to overwork Raji or put too much pressure on him as a rookie in '09, breaking him in at end early as he battled injuries. Raji now has moved to the position for which he was drafted, nose tackle. Ryan Pickett did a good job in that role last season, but Raji has the talent to do what the Steelers' Casey Hampton and Patriots' Vince Wilfork do for the best 3-4 scheme teams.

4. Jason Jones, Titans. Jones (6-5, 280) is lanky for the position, but in his past 20 games he has nine sacks. The team is counting on him to come back strong from shoulder surgery, which caused him to miss the final seven games of '09. There is a durability concern with Jones, which means he could become a situational pass rusher.

5. Daniel Muir, Colts. Muir, like Brown, is proof it doesn't even take a draft pick to find consistently productive tackles. Injuries to other players opened the door for Muir last season, and he didn't disappoint. If Indianapolis can get '09 second-rounder Fili Moala to pan out next to Muir, they will be set for the long-term inside like they have been on the edge with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.

Peria Jerry will be on this list next year.

But yea.. I still dont understand how Babs didnt make the probowl and he led all DT's in the 2 most important categories... Hopefully het does not get suspended and he makes it this year.

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Peria Jerry will be on this list next year.

But yea.. I still dont understand how Babs didnt make the probowl and he led all DT's in the 2 most important categories... Hopefully het does not get suspended and he makes it this year.

Nice to see Babs getting some love from the press. One can only hope about Peria though. We haven't heard much, and when we have, its seemingly been negative. We have to cross our fingers and pray that he can get it done this season.

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He "broke out" last season?

He's been at the top of the list for TFL for like 3 straight seasons now. I don't know what more he can really do to get people to pay attention.

...other than play for NY, NE or Dallas.

Could not have said it better. I love the NFL but **** the politics

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not disagreeing with anyone onthat list, but would you consider someone who's been in the league for 5 years a "young" player still??? babs is good and all, but to put in the same catagory as second year players doesn't seem quite fair to me.

I hate the bucs with a passion but my lord the DTs you guys got will be great

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