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2017 DT Rankings

April 27, 2017

Thomas

  1. Solomon Thomas Stanford 6’2 ⅝ 273 Soph Redshirted on season. He ran a 4.69 40, ‘33 arms, ‘35 vertical, 10’6 broad, 4.28 shuttle and 6.95 3 cone with all of his numbers being above average to elite. In 2014 he redshirted after being a blue chip prospect out of HS, in 2015 he was okay (39 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10.5 TFL) and in 2016 he was very good (62 tackles, 8 sacks, 15 TFL, 1 FF). His 11.5 sacks for his career is pretty ordinary for a person assumed to be a Top 10 pick. He has some Aaron Donald comparisons which are valid as he has a similar body build and has elite hands and an elite motor. The question is where do you play him as Donald played 3-4 DE at Pitt and easily made the transition to 4-3 3 technique. Thomas could do the same or could stay at 4-3 DE and be a behemoth in the run game as he’ll either be ridiculously strong as a DE or ridiculously athletic for a DT. His bowl game vs. North Carolina was incredible as he was all over the field and had many wow plays. On one play he was at DT, held up the interior lineman so he couldn’t release to block downfield, then threw him away like a ragdoll and tackled the WR for a 1 yard gain. It was just a tackle on the stat sheet but it was arguably the most impressive defense of a WR screen I’ve ever seen a DT make. He singlehandedly ruined the play and his strength he showed by just throwing around an interior OL at his whim was stunning. To me he could be a good 4-3 DE or a great DT so I have him at DT. At that spot he’s ridiculously athletic with a sub 4.7 40 and he’ll stay at that elite athleticism level even when he adds a little weight to his frame. Donald plays at 285 lbs which will likely will be his target weight. Thomas’ only red flag is he’s a bit of a tweener. At either spot a team will have a leader, a guy that has one of the best motors in the NFL and a guy with a great combination of strength and athleticism. He didn’t have Donald’s elite production and I think Donald is a slightly better player than Thomas but that’s saying something about how good Thomas is as a prospect considering Donald is one of the 4 best defensive players in the NFL right now (Watt, Miller, Mack). Top 5 as my #1 DT who has perennial Pro Bowler written all over him 4/21/17.
  2. Jonathan Allen Alabama 6’2 ⅝ 286 Jr. He ran a 5.00 40, ‘30 vertical, 9’0 broad, 4.50 shuttle and 7.49 3 cone all of which were average to below average for his weight but above average for a DT. Some think he can play 4-3 DE if a team preferred, with these measurables I question whether 3-4 DE would be a good fit for him. In 2013 he was a bit player (15 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 3 TFL), in 2014 he was good (32 tackles, 5 sacks, 11 TFL) and then was great in 2015 (36 tackles, 12 sacks, 14.5 TFL, 2 FF) and 2016 (69 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 16 TFL). His 22.5 sacks and 30.5 TFL the past two seasons is elite production. Alabama moved him all around the DL so some think he has versatility but to me he’s clearly a 3 technique DT as he doesn’t have the speed to play 4-3 DE and doesn’t have the length to play 3-4 DE, though he could in some attacking schemes. As a DT he has good quickness, elite hands and impressive strength despite his smaller size. There is a lot of tape of him being almost unblockable by one man due to his strength and makes me think he’ll be good against the pass but surprisingly good against the run as well. He is good at the POA and can fight through double teams to still be in on the play. His 2016 Washington game (BCS Semi-finals) was elite as he was rarely blocked successfully and basically owned the two running lanes on either side of him. His hands are strong and he uses them about as well as any prospect I’ve ever graded, Joey Bosa level. He looks like a very safe pick as he had elite production the past two years in the best program in country, has good athleticism for a DT, has elite hand usage, has a good motor and seems to be a very smart football player. In most drafts he’d easily be the #1 DT but he lacks the pure athleticism of Solomon Thomas, and Thomas’ tape is just better, so he settles in as a Top 10 pick as my #2 DT who is the rare Alabama prospect that isn’t overrated as he has the potential to be a star DT 4/21/17.
  3. DeMarcus Walker Florida State 6’3 ⅝ 280 Sr. He didn’t work out at the Combine. He was a mediocre player in 2013 (18 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL) and 2014 (38 tackles, 1 sack, 6 TFL, 1 FF) but had a great season in 2015 (58 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 15.5 TFL, 1 INT, 4 FF) and was arguably the most productive pass rusher in the nation in 2016 (68 tackles, 16 sacks, 21.5 TFL, 3 FF). His 16 sacks were second to Harold Landry of Boston College (16.5 sacks) for the national lead. Walker is an interesting guy as he’s got more of a DT frame than a DE yet shows surprising quickness and could stay at 4-3 DE if a team preferred. He’d also fit as a 3-4 DE in an attacking scheme but would struggle in a read and react scheme due to his mediocre arm length (‘33 arms). Many teams will want him to be a SDE in a 4-3 and then have him move to DT on passing downs. His hand fighting is elite and is arguably the best in this draft. He is a very polished pass rusher with a quality swim move and rip move. He has a lot of tape as a disruptive DT and I could see some teams just put him there permanently in a 3 technique. The Cowboys likely are very high on him as he could play anywhere on their DL but he’d fit their 3 technique, Tampa system. He’s a bull and really shows great power with one sack vs. Florida him blowing through the interior OL and then the RB to just engulf the QB. The more I watched him the more I realized his best fit was at DT so I’m moving him there. Some teams might leave him at DE and then move him to DT on certain downs, which again shows why I think he’s more of a DT as they want him there on the “money downs.” His speed is that of a 4.9 type guy which again makes me think DT is his spot. As a DT he’s quick, strong and has elite hands. He has a plan on how to beat his man and executes it well. He is pass rush first at all times so he’ll need to be used in an attacking scheme but he has Pro Bowl potential if used correctly. He’s agile and has good bend to his body which is why many teams feel he can stay at DE despite his weight. I love Walker and think he’s a sleeper as the kid is a good athlete for his size, had elite production the past two seasons in a Top 5 conference, is a very polished pass rusher and shows the ability to be a dominant interior pass rusher. The only question is do you use him full time at DT or only on passing downs and leave him at DE the rest of the time. I say you move him to DT permanently where he can be a star. Top 20 as my #3 DT 4/21/17.
  4. Chris Wormley Michigan 6’5 298 Sr. Redshirted one season. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He didn’t work out at the Combine. He played extensively for four years at Michigan with 19-43 tackles, 2.5-6.5 sacks, 4.5-14.5 TFL each season. His best year was in 2015 (43 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 14.5 TFL, 1 FF all being career highs. He has a great frame at 6’5 with ‘34 ⅛ arms. He played DE at Michigan and moves incredibly fluidly for a 300 lb guy. His best fit likely is as a 3-4 DE as he isn’t that explosive so he wouldn’t wow as a 4-3 DT or as a 4-3 DE. He could play any of the three spots though and would be a solid starter with the versatility to move around a DL. I like him but am not wowed by him. He isn’t explosive and didn’t dominate against the run like I expected yet his frame is elite and he’s very agile for such a big guy. He has NFL talent just unsure where he fits best or how someone will use him. Either way he projects as an average to above average starter who I think fits best as a 3-4 DE. Mid 2nd round as my #4 DT 4/23/17.
  5. Malik McDowell Michigan State 6’6 ¼ 295 Jr. He ran a 4.85 40, ‘34 ¾ arms, ‘28 ½ vertical, 9’4 broad, 4.53 shuttle and 7.69 3 cone. He barely played in 2014 (15 tackles, 1.5 sack, 4.5 TFL), had his best season in 2015 (41 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 13 TFL, 2 FF) and then had a down year due to injuries (34 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 7 TFL). He’s built more like a DE than a DT with no fat on his 300 lb frame due to his elite height. I love his ‘34 ¾ arms and 4.85 40 speed for 300 lbs and really could see him be a playmaker in the NFL if used correctly. He needs to be in a 4-3 one gap scheme where he plays the under tackle spot which constantly attacks. He has some bust potential though as his “looks like a DE” cuts both ways and he’s too skinny to be good at the POA with him always side stepping or battling the edges of blockers instead of stacking them like most teams want a DT to do. Some teams might even play him at 4-3 SDE ala William Gholston but I like him at DT. He will just need to be in the right scheme where his tall, skinny frame with a good burst and great length are assets instead of detriments. He doesn’t fit every scheme and his 7.5 career sacks in 3 years is hardly impressive but he projects as an above average to very good starter if put in the right system. Mid 2nd round as my #5 DT 4/23/17.
  6. Montravius Adams Auburn 6’3 ⅝ 304 Sr. He ran a 4.87 40, ‘32 ¾ arms, ‘29 vertical, 9’0 broad and 7.62 3 cone. All were above average yet his 40 was elite for a DT and shows on film as he’s a disruptive, impact player with impressive athleticism. In 2013 as a true freshman he was solid (20 tackles, 1 sack, 1.5 TFL), he improved in 2014 (43 tackles, 3 sacks, 8 TFL, 1 INT), had similarly good but not great production in 2015 (44 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 TFL, 2 FF) and peaked in 2016 (44 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 8.5 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FF). He is such a good athlete that Auburn at times played him at DE. Obviously that won’t be in the cards for him in the NFL but it shows the athleticism he has and makes him a great fit as a one gap DT. He’s an easy evaluation as he’s not that big, has short arms and great speed so he is clearly a one gap DT with little versatility to play two gap schemes and especially not as a 3-4 DE. He isn’t weak but isn’t extremely strong and will at best be an average run stopper at the POA. In exchange for that weakness in his game a team will get great athleticism, both as a disruptor inside and as a trailer of plays. Guys like him worry me as one gap teams want a star at the “under tackle” position and he won’t be a star. Other teams will only want that disruptor type on passing downs and will prefer a bigger, less athletic DT that holds up better in run support on other downs. He could be stuck being a team’s pass rush specialist DT, getting fewer snaps than less talented but more traditional DTs. Or he could find himself in a scheme that just rotates one gap disruptive types in and out and lets him seek TFL non-stop. A lot of how successful he is in the NFL will depend on where he goes. Late 2nd round as my #6 DT who is scheme specific but could be an above average starter in the right system 4/24/17.
  7. Jarron Jones Notre Dame 6’5 ¾ 316 Sr. Redshirted one season. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 5.33 40, ‘35 ½ arms and ‘20 ½ vertical (worst among 59 DL). He had a solid 2013 as a true freshman (20 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF), good 2014 (40 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 7.5 TFL, 1 FF), missed all of 2015 with MCL tear and then had a good 2016 season (45 tackles, 2 sacks, 11 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FF). He’s a very long player, so long in fact that he can carry 316 lbs without looking fat. His ‘35 ½ arms are elite and he really uses them well as he can stack and shed, with him having the strength to throw people around a bit. He probably would have had even better stats in 2016 if not for his MCL tear as he came on strong late in the season with 3 games of 7 or more tackles in his final 5 (1 in his first 7). His Miami tape against Danny Isidora (early 4th round grade by me) is elite as he dominated him and was really disruptive against the run and the pass. He sometimes plays too high and isn’t a great trail player but at the POA he’s a beast and has a combination of size, quickness and length that makes me think he could become dominant. He’s a big time sleeper to me as he likely wasn’t 100% healthy and in rhythm when the 2016 season started otherwise he probably would have had a monster season stat wise as he was a beast late in the season (8.5 of his 11 TFL in final 5 games, both his sacks in 2nd half of season). His best three games in 2016 came against 3 of their 4 best opponents and makes me wonder if he’s fully motivated. Studying him a little more I found that the staff wasn’t terribly sad to see him leave as he wasn’t the hardest worker and often was out of shape heading into the season. As a talent he’s late 1st/early 2nd round as he flashes dominance but I dropped him to early 3rd round due to his motor and work ethic concerns. Nonetheless the kid has Pro Bowl potential and is worth a roll of the dice. Early 3rd round as my #7 DT 4/23/17.
  8. Vincent Taylor Oklahoma State 6’2 ⅝ 304 Jr. Redshirted one season. He ran a 5.07 40, ‘34 ⅜ arms, ‘28 ½ vertical, 9’0 broad, 4.72 shuttle and 7.58 3 cone with the vertical and shuttle being terrible but the 40, broad and 3 cone being average. He barely played in 2014 (13 tackles, 1 TFL) but had a very good season in 2015 (48 tackles, 5 sacks, 8.5 TFL) and 2016 (51 tackles, 7 sacks, 13 TFL, 2 FF). I like his frame as he’s 300 lbs with ‘34 ⅜ arms and plays strong. He’s a complete player as he can stack and shed, he has the quickness and motor to trail and has some pass rush ability. 12 sacks the past two seasons, as an underclassmen, is very good for a DT. He excelled at blocking field goals with 4 in 2016. He is a natural athlete but appears to not be the most in shape kid and could maybe take his game to the next level if he becomes more motivated. He’s not lazy but subs a lot. He also gets pressure regularly but ends a lot of plays on the ground and some DL coaches will hate him for that. I like Vincent’s tape and am surprised he isn’t getting more draft buzz. He looks like a 3 down DT that can contribute in all areas and should be an above average starter. Early 3rd round as my #8 DT who is very underrated 4/23/17.
  9. Carlos Watkins Clemson 6’3 309 Sr. Redshirted one season. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He didn’t work out at the Combine. From 2012-2014 he only had 26 tackles as he rarely played yet in 2015 (34 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 7.5 TFL, 1 INT) he was solid and then had a huge year in 2016 (50 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 13.5 TFL). He has an odd body shape for a DT as he is a bit top heavy and isn’t thick in the butt which worries me that he’ll get run over at the next level. He’s more athlete than run stopper and has some good tape as an interior pass rusher. He also has a good motor and has a lot of his sacks where he just keeps plugging away at a double team or against a player who initially blocked him and then his opening is created. He has a noticeable burst which makes me think he will transition well to the NFL as a pass rusher. As a run stopper though he could really struggle as he is top heavy, doesn’t appear overly strong on tape and never had great numbers against the run. His non-sack TFLs were 4 in 2015 and 3 in 2016 showing again he’s a pass rush specialist DT. I like his game but he looks like he’ll be a rotational DT as he will excel as a pass rusher and struggle as a run stopper. Considering pass rushers get paid better than run stoppers it’s not the worst set of traits to have come draft day. Early 3rd round as my #9 DT who is a roll of the dice boom/bust pick with some Pro Bowl potential but a lof of bust potential due to his possible struggles in the run game 4/23/17.
  10. Nazair Jones North Carolina 6’5 ⅛ 304 Jr. Redshirted one season. He ran a 5.18 40, ‘34 ⅝ arms, ‘24 ½ vertical (2nd worst among 59 DL), 8’5 broad (worst), 4.63 shuttle and 7.93 3 cone (worst). It’s not hard to make the argument that he had one of the worst Combines at any position. He played well as a true freshman in 2014 (35 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 7.5 TFL, 1 FF), had a similar and arguably better year in 2015 (40 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FF) and then a great year in 2016 (70 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 9.5 TFL, 1 FF). His 70 tackles as a junior is elite for a DT. He’s a tall, skinny and very long player who immediately makes me think 3-4 DE. His Combine was atrocious but he doesn’t look unathletic on film. He has good strength, long arms and good movement skills. He projects as a solid run stuffing 4-3 DT or a very good 3-4 DE. 3-4 is a perfect fit for his frame but he’d be solid at 4-3 DT too, he just isn’t much of a pass rusher. 3rd round as my #10 DT 4/24/17.
  11. Deatrich Wise Jr. Arkansas 6’5 ¼ 274 Sr. Redshirted on season. Five years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 4.92 40, ‘35 ⅝ arms, ‘33 vertical, 10’5 broad, 4.36 shuttle and 7.07 3 cone with his 40 being terrible but everything else being average to above average. He barely played from 2012-2014 (32 tackles, 6 sacks combined) and then had a good season in 2015 (31 tackles, 8 sacks, 10.5 TFL, 3 FF) and an okay but clearly down season in 2016 (49 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 5.5 TFL, 1 FF). He’s a really big bodied DE with long legs who is built very tightly. Much of that I don’t like so I’m not a big fan of his but he’s a decent combination of size/strength and has a great frame which makes me think he maybe could bulk up and be a good 3-4 DE. He plays like a 4.9 athlete as he rarely threatens the edge as a rusher and doesn’t seem like a good fit as a 4-3 DE. If he was used in that role it’d be as a SDE who is put there mainly to stop the run as he is big enough that he can battle against OTs. His frame is impressive at 6’5 with ‘35 ⅝ arms and the more I watch him the more I love the idea of him as a 3-4 DE. He flashes on film at times and looks really impressive and then goes invisible for long stretches. In two years he had 11.5 sacks but when you delve into the numbers it’s even worse as he had 2.5 sacks in 2015 vs. LSU when he faced a LT that had a bad ankle injury. Take away those sacks and he only had 8 sacks the past two seasons. As a 4-3 DE I’m not interested as he just can’t get pressure but as a 3-4 DE with his frame and his size/speed combination he should be good as he can battle through the mess and get some pressure at times. Late 3rd round as my #11 DT
  12. Tanoh Kpassagnon Villanova 6’6 ¾ 289 Sr. He ran a 4.83 40, ‘35 ⅝ arms, ‘30 vertical, 10’8 broad, 4.62 shuttle and 7.46 3 cone with everything but the quickness drills being elite for his size. He has the perfect frame for a 3-4 DE. He played at a small school level but dominated as he was the 2016 DPOY for the CAA. His frame is elite and is like Obi Melifonwu’s in that it can’t help but somewhat affect his overall grade as they both just intimidate (first man off the bus type guy). He’s a little long legged and could struggle to stay low due to his height. He played WDE in a 4-3 which is obviously where he won’t be playing at the next level so he’ll be playing a different position but he has some film of him battling double teams. He just engulfs players with his ridiculous frame and is pretty terrorizing as he shows a noticeable burst on film. Despite his size he has a great closing burst and knows how to finish plays. He has elite intelligence with an accounting/finance double major and son of a chemical scientist. He missed most of his Soph season in 2014 with a torn MCL, had a solid year in 2015 (6.5 sacks, 9.5 TFL) and dominated in 2016 (11 sacks, 21.5 TFL). He’s an elite athlete but plays too high, had very good but not amazing production for his lower level of competition (not even very good production until his senior year) and seems to be more athlete than player. Guys like him worry me as his job at the next level will be to handle the dirty work on most downs and occasionally provide a pass rush as a 3-4 DE and I wonder if he’ll be interested in that role. I like the comparisons to Margus Hunt of SMU a few years ago as the size/speed is almost off the charts but it doesn’t totally translate and I wonder how invested he is in becoming a big time football player. He’s a boom bust player that I wouldn’t touch until the early 4th round as I get the feeling he won’t be working out. Early 4th round as my #12 DT (really a 3-4 DE) 4/23/17.
  13. Eddie Vanderdoes UCLA 6’3 ⅛ 305 Jr. Redshirted one season. He has an odd career arc as he had two very solid seasons in 2013 (37 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 4.5 TFL, 1 FF) and 2014 (50 tackles, 2 sacks, 5 TFL, 1 FF), then missed almost all of 2015 (8 tackles, 2 TFL in 1 game) due to an ACL injury in the opener and then had a down 2016 (27 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1.5 TFL). I’m surprised he came out as he wasn’t back to his old self in 2016 and the former 5 star recruit out of HS left on a down note. He played 2016 at 325 instead of 305 where he was before the injury and it affected him so it’s good to see him at 305 at the Combine. He ran a 4.99 40, ‘28 ½ vertical, 9’3 broad, 4.39 shuttle and 7.69 3 cone. He’s a very strong guy that will excel in run support as he is difficult to move at the POA. He also has surprising quickness and can make some TFL when down at his 305 weight. Vanderdoes is a tough evaluation as you either don’t like him at all or you project what he would have been if not for his injury and see him as a sleeper with some starting potential. I went back and watched his 2015 Virginia game, his last game fully healthy and in shape, and he impressed me. He powered through double teams, looked quick and agile and seemed like a starting caliber DT. Despite his quickness though he doesn’t look like a pass rusher so he could be just a 2 down DT and there is still the big worry that he’ll never get back to his 2015 form and his ACL injury permanently robbed him of some athleticism. I don’t think that’s the case, I think he just didn’t have time to get healthy enough to get in shape and played in 2016 as a shell of his full potential. As such I like Vanderdoes as a sleeper with some upside surprise. 4th round as my #13 DT who has starting potential if you view his 2016 season as an aberration due to his 2015 ACL injury 4/23/17.
  14. Ryan Glasgow Michigan 6’2 ⅞ 302 Sr. Redshirted one season. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 5.13 40, ‘33 ⅜ arms, ‘27 ½ vertical, 8’9 broad, 4.50 shuttle and 7.55 3 cone with his quickness drills being very good for his size. He barely played in 2013 (2 tackles), was mediocre in 2014-2015 (22-25 tackles, 4-5 TFL, 0-1 sacks each year) and then had a good year in 2016 (43 tackles, 4 sacks, 9.5 TFL, 1 FF). I’m surprised his tackle numbers aren’t better as he’s very quick and has a great motor, both of which make him a great trailing player. He is very active and uses his hands well. I like his tape a lot as he’s always battling an OL or racing towards the action. He’d make a great rotation tackle as he gives his all and has very good quickness and agility. He isn’t a huge guy so he’s a better fit for a one gap scheme or a scheme that emphasizes the entire team closing on the ball and won’t be a fit for a team seeking a star athlete or a mammoth run stopper. Glasgow is a low ceiling, high polish DT who should make a roster and be an impact #3 DT with a starting job being possible down the road, especially if he can gain strength and weight while keeping his speed and quickness. 4th round as my #14 DT 4/24/17.
  15. Davon Godchaux LSU 6’3 ⅜ 310 Jr. He ran a 5.27 40. He had three straight productive years as a tackler (41-62 tackles each year) and steadily improved his splash plays from 0 sacks and 1.5 TFL in 2014 to 6.0-6.5 sacks and 8.5-9.0 TFL each of his final two seasons. He has a good frame and decent strength and quickness but doesn’t have a good motor, doesn’t have long arms (‘32 ⅜) and is slow which will keep him from ever being a pass rusher. I watched his Wisconsin game and he was invisible most of the game, only looking solid as a run stuffer at the POA. He won’t be a disruptor and his ceiling is that of an average starter with core backup, #3 DT in a rotation being more likely. He is young though and was very productive as a true freshman in the SEC so there is the argument that he has some growth left in him. Early 5th round as my #15 DT 4/24/17.
  16. Jaleel Johnson Iowa 6’2 ⅝ 316 Sr. Redshirted one season. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 5.38 40, ‘33 ¼ arms, ‘28 vertical, 8’4 broad, 4.62 shuttle and 7.64 3 cone. Barely played in 2013-2014 (12 tackles), had a good year in 2015 (45 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 5.5 TFL) and a very good year in 2016 (55 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 10 TFL). His 11 sacks the past two years is impressive for a DT, his 13 TFL the past two seasons isn’t. He’s a shorter, thickly built DT who doesn’t have good athleticism but has a high sack total which is rare. The reason appears to be that he’s very strong, has a good motor and finishes plays well so when he gets opportunities at the QB he comes through. He isn’t good at trailing plays. He has very good strength but his closing speed is poor and I question whether he’ll have much of an impact as a pass rusher at the next level. His best attribute is his strength and I think he’ll be an above average run stopper as he anchors well with his thick body and uses his arms better than you would expect for just ‘33 ¼ arms. He’ll be a good run stopper but likely non existent as a pass rusher. He looks like a good backup DT who might develop into an average starter but probably will top out as a #3 DT in a rotation. 5th round as my #16 DT 4/24/17.
  17. Tanzel Smart Tulane 6’0 ⅝ 296 Sr. He ran a 5.24 40, ‘32 ⅞ arms, ‘27 vertical, 8’9 broad, 4.57 shuttle and 7.53 3 cone with everything average to bad (vertical). He had three straight seasons with +40 tackles, two straight with +60 tackles, and ended his career with a career best 5.5 sacks and 18.5 TFL. His 33.5 TFL the past two seasons is elite. He’s a very quick player who plays more athletically and explosively than his Combine measurables would suggest. He is more athletic than you’d expect from someone his size but he’s also weaker than you’d expect and I worry he’ll be a bust because of his poor strength. His best attributes are on display when the play is away from him and he can trail or when the play breaks down and he can get free due to the chaos in the pocket. Run at him and he struggles. Smart has some interesting traits that could make him an NFL rotation DT but he could easily be a bust because of his poor strength. I’d take a late round flier on his athleticism and production but he has an uphill climb as a lot of teams don’t want weak DTs since that is supposed to be the backbone of your defense. 5th round as my #17 DT 4/23/17.
  18. Jeremiah Ledbetter Arkansas 6’3 ⅛ 280 Sr. He ran a 4.84 40, ‘34 ¼ arms, ‘32 ½ vertical, 9’5 broad, 4.56 shuttle and 7.55 3 cone. JUCO kid who played well for Arkansas both years (49-55 tackles, 2.0-5.5 sacks and 7.5 TFL each year). He’s a good fit as a 3-4 DE with his ‘34 arms and good agility. He also could add weight and stay at 4-3 DT or stay at 280 lbs and be a 4-3 SDE on run downs and a 4-3 DT on passing downs. He’s clearly a tweener and I worry it will make him a bust as his Texas A&M film is not good with him getting pushed around all day in the run game by their NFL OL prospects. At DE he shows good speed but is too tightly built and can’t bend around the corner so I wonder if he’s a bad fit in any spot. He’s a good guy to bring in later in the draft and just give to a DL coach and tell him to figure out where he fits best because I honestly am unsure right now. I’d probably bulk him up and make him play more physically as a DT but there might not be a right answer. He has a lot of bust to his game but the talent is there too so he’s worth a late round flier. I have a bad feeling though he won’t be anything in the NFL. Late 5th round as my #18 DT 4/23/17.
  19. Dalvin Tomlinson Alabama 6’2 ⅞ 310 Sr. Redshirted one season. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 5.19 40, ‘33 ½ arms, ‘27 vertical, 9’2 broad, 4.59 shuttle and 7.68 3 cone. He barely played in 2013 (4 tackles), wasn’t an impact player in 2014-2015 (22-34 tackles each year but with 1 sack and 5 TFL combined) and had a solid but hardly great 2016 season (62 tackles, 3 sacks, 5.5 TFL, 1 FF). He’s a mediocre athlete, with mediocre arm length who had mediocre production. If he wasn’t from Alabama I wonder what this kid’s grade would be. To me he has decent movement skills for a 310 lb guy and at 6’3 with ‘33 ½ arms he has an NFL frame but he doesn’t project as anything other than a backup. I didn’t see anything special in his tape at all and he makes it look like he’s another in a long line of overrated Alabama prospects. 7th round as my #19 DT 4/23/17.
  20. Larry Ogunjobi Charlotte 6’2 ⅝ 305 Sr. Redshirted one season. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 4.97 40, ‘32 ⅝ arms, ‘32 vertical, 9’8 broad, 4.75 shuttle and 7.55 3 cone. Never heard of Charlotte the college until now. Luckily they played Louisville in 2016 so he has legit tape to scout off of, albeit one game. In that game he looked like he belonged but by no means stood out. He ran a great sub 5.0 40 but he doesn’t play with that speed. He is a mediocre athlete and looks to be more pass rusher than run stuffer so I’m not too interested. He showed good agility and was a svelte 300 lbs so he’d be worth a late round flier or camp invite but I expect this Charlotte product to be a bust. 7th round as my #20 DT 4/23/17.
  21. Caleb Brantley Florida 6’2 ⅝ 307 Jr. Redshirted one season. Got into a bar fight and hit a woman, knocking her unconscious and her losing two teeth. It likely will keep him from being drafted. He ran a 5.14 40, ‘27 vertical, 8’9 broad, 4.62 shuttle and 7.66 3 cone with all but his 40 time being below average to bad. In 2014 as a true freshman he was okay (21 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 FF) and slowly improved as a player, especially as a pass rusher in 2015 (29 tackles, 3 sacks, 6.5 TFL) and 2016 (31 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 9.5 TFL, 1 FF). I’m a little surprised he left early as his numbers were never exceptional (never had more than 3 sacks, never had a double digit TFL season) and he had to have known he’d test poorly at the Combine. He isn’t a great athlete but he has good strength, really battles people and makes plays with his combination of motor, strength and solid quickness. He has a low ceiling but he has some polish to his game with a good push pull move and great activity as a battler. He could join a 3-4 man DT rotation tomorrow and not embarrass himself. He lacks the athleticism or length to be anything more than an average starter but should be an okay player for someone immediately…if teams are willing to overlook his off the field incident. I wonder if they will as again he is a low upside player so I bet he’ll be off a lot of draft boards and probably won’t be drafted. Without the incident he’s a 4th rounder, with the incident he’s a free agent as my #21 DT 4/23/17.
  22. Grover Stewart Albany State 6’4 ¼ 347 Sr. Redshirted one season. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. Not invited to the Combine but had a 5.14 40, ‘26 vertical and 8’10 broad. He’s a mammoth guy who fits well as a 3-4 NT. He played at a ridiculously weak level of competition and will need some time to adjust. The good thing is bigger players tend to adjust better than smaller players as he really just needs to have the strength to battle other big men and hold blocks since a guy his size is meant almost solely for stopping the run. He’s a big guy but he plays high and didn’t dominate as much as I wanted when I scouted him. Honestly he’s a tough evaluation as his film is almost like watching another sport, he was playing against OL that looked to be under 270 lbs, and the level of competition just made the process difficult. I’m not a big fan of the non Division 1 schools and didn’t see great strength to him, the sole reason you’d want a guy like him, so I’m not interested. He’d make a good camp invite to see what he had. Free Agent as my #22 DT 4/23/17.
  23. Elijah Qualls Washington 6’0 ⅝ 313 Jr. Redshirted one season. He ran a 5.13 40, ‘30 ⅝ arms, ‘31 ½ vertical, 8’9 broad, 4.66 shuttle, 7.65 3 cone. He barely played in 2014 (13 tackles) and then had two mediocre seasons in 2015-2016 (26-38 tackles, 3-4.5 sacks each year). I question why he left school early with numbers so average. Also his sub ‘31 arms are T-Rex like and make him unable to stack and shed which forces him to be a 4-3 DT in a one gap, aggressive scheme. That is very scheme specific, especially for a guy who only had an average Combine and mediocre production. He’s a guy that has to win early or it’s over because of his short arms and his mediocre strength. I didn’t like his tape, didn’t like his production, didn’t like his Combine numbers and didn’t like his short arms. Not interested. Free Agent as my #23 DT 4/23/17.
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