Our countdown of the top 10 Hokies from the 2017 season as voted by The Tech Lunch Pail staff continues at #6 with Tim Settle.
After being a primary backup at defensive tackle in 2016, Tim Settle took over a starting job at defensive tackle after the departures of Woody Baron and Nigel Williams. Settle was very good as a backup during the 2016 season, but took his game to the next level as a starter this past season.
Tim Settle had an impressive season with 36 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 2 QB hurries, and a blocked kick. Settle was dominant as a run defender while also giving the Hokies some quality pass rushing up the middle. Settle formed one of the best defensive tackle pairings in the country this year with Ricky Walker, who will be one of the best defensive tackles returning in all of college football in 2018.
Settle’s impressive season led him to earning All-ACC Second Team honors while receiving the third most points among defensive tackles. Days after the Camping World Bowl, Settle announced that he has decided to leave Virginia Tech early for the 2018 NFL Draft.
While the Hokies do have a very good replacement ready with Vinny Mihota being able to move inside, the loss of Settle is still significant. Settle was a playmaker who emerged as one of the ACC’s best DTs this season. Settle was a force on the interior as a dominant run defender and above-average pass rusher for a DT.
Looking ahead to his NFL future, Settle appears likely to be a fourth to fifth round pick at this point as a young defensive tackle who has had a pair of impressive seasons, but still has some development to do.
However, Settle will be a quality pick for any team as someone who’s best fit may be as a 3-4 nose tackle where he can be a great run stuffer that provides some pass rush upside. Settle reminds me some of former Alabama/Baltimore Ravens NT Terrance Cody who was a very good run stuffer while also providing some upside on special teams especially with blocking kicks.
Whether he’s in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense, Settle should be able to come in and immediately play as a backup while having the potential to be a starter within a couple of years.
Stay up with our top 10 Hokies countdown and our TLP Awards here.