Behind the Big Board: DT central

Behind the Big Board accompanies the release of every Mel Kiper Jr. Big Board leading up to the 2010 NFL draft, explaining why players moved up and down the rankings and other hot topics associated with the Board.

There's a significant number of people in NFL war rooms that will say that when it comes to building a good football team, you draft from the line on out.

There's a consensus that if you can build an awesome defensive front, things fall into place for the defense: The linebackers don't have to deal with blockers getting downfield. The cornerbacks are able to make plays because distressed quarterbacks, hampered by a great pass rush, are forcing throws. The great safeties can both disrupt the passing game deep, or get into the backfield on blitzes because offensive lineman and backs are dealing with the base pass rush.

In sum, everything becomes easier.

Based on that consensus, you can imagine why teams in need of defensive trench help should be salivating about the depth in this coming draft class, with the assumption being that a lot of juniors -- in which there's a ton of talent -- will be in the mix.

Here's a deeper look: