A while back, I made a post that covered a lot of what NFL scouts look for in defensive tackles (click here to check it out), but in my opinion, that info is useless, if you’re a d-tackle, and you’re not getting better at what they look for.

By the way, there’s a part two to this Defensive Tackle Drills series as well.

Nose tackle Dontari Poe’s performance at the 2012 Scouting Combine helped him become the eleventh overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. (ICON Sports)

If you’re like most guys that have dreams of playing pro football, you might have to train yourself.

To help you out, I’ve gathered a list of drills  that will help you get better at most of the things NFL scouts look for when they’re analyzing defensive tackles.

>>Related: Bet You Didn’t Know NFL Scouts Look for Some of this Stuff…

>>Related: Why Linebackers and D Linemen Should Know Their “Production Ratio”

A lot of drills out there require equipment of some kind.  But to help those on a budget, the drills listed below require little-to-no equipment to be purchased.

Disclaimer: If you’re injured, or have health issues, please consult with a doctor before doing any of this stuff.  I, nor Get2TheLeague.com is responsible if you hurt yourself, or tear-up your mom’s house trying to do these drills.


Tackling Drills

There’s a bunch of drills in this video that you might be able to do, since they require little to no equipment.

I’d still be careful doing them, and unless you have some friends that are training for football as well, you might have a tough time finding someone that would wanna go through these drills with you.


Here are some more drills that you may want to pick and choose from.  As you can imagine, getting better at tackling can be challenging without wearing equipment.



This is a drill you can do on your own that’ll help you get used to the feeling of exploding through the ball carrier and shooting your arms properly.



This drill, courtesy of Velocity Sports Performance will help you develop your balance.

This is a simple drill you can do to work on your balance in your own living room.

Some of the exercises in this video are in the one above, but there’s a few new ones in here, too.


Knee Bend


These drills’ll help you get in the habit of being a natural knee bender, instead of bending at your waist.


Quickness off the Snap

This drill may not look like much, but getting accustomed to firing off the line the split-second the ball is snapped is crucial.

You’ll need a friend in front of you to snap the football.


Body Control

I don’t think much explaining is needed on this one, just watching the video makes it pretty apparent that this’ll help you develop better body control.

This is the same drill as the one above, except this one is done with one leg, instead of two.

This drill uses the speed latter to help you with your body control.

A speed ladder isn’t a bad investment, but if you can’t afford one, you can just use some chalk or tape instead.


The 90 degree “hip popper” drill is great for body control.


Change of Direction/Lateral Agility

This drill, helps defensive linemen improve their change of direction abilities.  It’s basically a “suicide” drill…  you know what suicides are, right?

This video below introduces the 2-3-2-3 drill, which’ll help you with your lateral agility and quickness.

They’re using speed hurdles on the video, but you might be able to find, or make, something around the house that you can use instead.

This drill is designed to help you develop the lateral speed you’ll need to excel as a defensive tackle.


This drill reminds me of my db days back in college, but it’s great for defensive tackles, too.

Man, I really like the drills in this video.  You can just watch these guys perform these drills and see how helpful they can be in helping you develop your abilities to change directions on a dime.


Do you know of any more drills that’ll help a d-tackle with their balance, knee bend, body control, and ability to get off the ball fast? Share ’em in the comments!

Click here to check out part two of this series.

Hey, follow me on Twitter!  @alvingrier

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