Recent history shows that if you want to win in the NFL, you need to have a solid-if-not-elite defensive line to do so. Recent history also shows that if you are looking for elite defensive linemen in the college ranks, the Southeastern Conference is a great place to start.
Auburn's Montravius Adams is among the best the SEC has to offer.
In terms of physical makeup, Adams is not your typical defensive tackle. At 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, he's a svelter specimen than your Vince Wilforks of the defensive linemen world. That frame translates into making Adams a more athletic player at the position than most of his peers.
In 2016, Adams seemed to have finally lived up to his potential as a dominant force in the trenches. He logged 4.5 sacks on the season and recorded a tackle in all but one game. And in that contest, he had an interception. He also used his height to his advantage, knocking down two passes. To his credit, some of his best work came against some of the better opponents on Auburn's schedule. He had five or more tackles in games against Clemson, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma.
As of right now, most scouts and mock drafts project him to be selected in the late second or early third round. Look for those projections to improve after the Scouting Combine. He has run an unofficial five-second flat 40-yard dash in the past. If he can pull that off again, he'll create some significant buzz. Additionally, look for him to be near the top of his position group in the vertical and broad jumps.
As long as he puts on a solid showing at the Combine, he has a realistic chance of boosting his stock and potentially become a late first-round selection. Once defensive tackles start to come off the board, they go fast. Adams' ability to play both inside positions in a 4-3 and inside and outside in a 3-4 also will boost his value in the eyes of NFL executives of teams with creative defensive coordinators. Those same execs can also rest assured that he'll be able to keep up in the film room, as Adams made the SEC's Academic Honor Roll in 2016.
Between that and his current projections, there is a fairly decent chance he ends up on a team already built to be a contender. That's a scary thought – unless he ends up on your favorite team.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.