The next prospect I want to talk about is one of the biggest in the draft and I don’t mean biggest in a hyped up sort of way. I mean biggest in terms of sheer size. Josiah Coatney is a 6’4” 325 pound defensive tackle out of Ole Miss who has the potential to be a steal for the Packers in the fifth or sixth round.
In 2017, Coatney broke out as one of the best nose tackle prospects in all of college football. That season, he had 65 tackles (8 for a loss), 3.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. If college players were able to go into the draft after just one season, Coatney very well could have been a first or second rounder. In 2018, Coatney took a step back as a major force in the SEC. 2018 saw him register 63 tackles, only 4 for a loss, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. Last season, Coatney still couldn’t get back to the level he was at in 2017. He had 46 tackles (3.5 for a loss) and 2 sacks.
Even though his college career ended up being more disappointing than it once promised to be, Coatney could still hit another level . At his best, Coatney is a run stopping, high energy, tackling machine. He has relentless pursuit and the full attention of at least one blocker at all times. His size and strength allows him to push anybody back and he can hold his own against even the best O-linemen in the nation.
When it comes to his weaknesses, Coatney has his fair share. Being such a big body, Coatney struggles with quickness and speed and far too often relies only on his bull rush capabilities. The offensive linemen he usually goes up against are faster off the ball than him which means he’s getting hit first and has to respond. Finally, Coatney needs to work on his play recognition. He finds himself chasing plays more often than blowing them up.
No matter what Packer fans opinions are on Josiah Coatney in the NFL, Green Bay still needs an interior defensive lineman. At the very least, even if Coatney doesn’t improve at all, he’s still a huge body who would take some of the attention off Kenny Clark considering he takes up one blocker on every play. If the Packers pick Coatney late during April’s draft, they will be getting a run stopping defensive tackle who could appear consistently throughout the season and make positive plays every so often. A team could definitely do worse than Coatney in the late rounds of the draft.