When Tim Settle arrived at Virginia Tech, the hype was real for the former ESPN five-star recruit but the defensive tackle depth chart was also loaded, leading to Settle redshirting. Over the past two years, Settle has shown why he was so well-regarded with steady improvement and lots of tackles for loss over the past two years.
Now, Settle has decided to take his talents to the next level.
Tim Settle announced today that he will be declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft, forgoing his final two years of eligibility at Virginia Tech.
As a redshirt freshman, Settle was fourth on the depth chart at defensive tackle yet still made a big difference with 17 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and a blocked kick. Settle became a star in his only year as a starter this past season with 36 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and a blocked kick on his way to earning All-ACC Second Team honors.
Settle's best fit at the next level likely will come as a run-stuffing nose tackle though he has shown that he can be a DT in a 4-3 defense. However, Settle's massive size and his high-end run-stuffing ability makes him an ideal fit as a nose tackle while he also gives whoever drafts him some pass rushing upside.
For the Hokies, Settle's loss is a tough one given how VT had the potential to return their whole starting defensive line. However, the Hokies have the pieces to adjust and still have one of the best defensive lines in the country while their depth should be improved next season.
Going forward, don't be surprised to see Vinny Mihota to move inside to defensive tackle with Houshun Gaines taking over at Mihota's defensive end spot. Mihota has the versatility to play either spot and with Gaines's strong play filling in for Mihota down the stretch, this seems like the easy move for Bud Foster. Mihota also played a fair amount at defensive tackle this season and wouldn't need long to adjust to the position even though he'll be coming off a major knee injury.
In terms of depth at defensive tackle, Jarrod Hewitt showed he can be a solid backup and would benefit from another year as a backup while Robert Porcher IV and J'Bril Glaze should push for the fourth spot on the depth chart at DT after both redshirted this past season.
We wish Tim Settle the best of luck in his future endeavors in the NFL.
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