This is the year of the Defensive linemen, especially the interior DL.
There is a chance that over 8 IDL go in the 1st round, with this in mind teams realise that due to the depth of this class you can get great value in the later rounds, so here we go, below is a summary of the the DL at the combine.
Joey Bosa DE Ohio state
Arguably the best DL in the draft, measuring in at 6’5 and 269lbs, Bosa ran an impressive 40, clocking a 4.89u, he also looked good in the lateral drills, smooth in the back pedal showing that he doesn’t have to play 4-3DE, he was fluids in LB drills aswell.His interviews went very well and showed a great sense of humour when questioned about his unborn children.
Bosa is going in the top 5 and didn’t do anything to damage this at the combine.
Kamalei Correa DE/OLB Boise State
Correa is flying up draft boards at the moment and didn’t do anything to really hurt himself here, running a 4.70u 40, he cheated himself in the lateral bag drill and was called on it and had to start again.
He showed everyone that he should be able to play 3-4 OLB in the position drills, this is his eventual home in the NFL so he helped his cause here.
Shilique Calhoun DE/OLB Michigan State
Calhoun impressed all day doing very well in every drill he ran including the LB drills showing his versatility. To me there wasn’t really a negative for Calhoun and he has cemented himself in the top 40 picks after this showing.
Noah Spence DE/OLB Eastern Kentucky
Spence didn’t have the best day in the drills with a disappointing 40, clocking 4.80u and average vertical and broad jump which was surprising to a lot of people including Mike Mayock. With his former off field issues and slightly disappointing combine I don’t think he goes in the top 15 where he is getting mocked, for me he is a late 1st rounder but could fall further.
Dadi Nicholas DE/OLB Virginia Tech
The scales weren’t kind to Nicholas who weighed in at a mere 235lbs, teams will have written him off straight away due to his size, but he has a home in the NFL as a DPR, he knows how to get after the QB and is very explosive and this showed in his vertical jump which measured 41”. I doubt he gets drafted before the 4th round.
Charles Tapper DE Oklahoma
Tapper ran the fastest 40 of any DL clocking a 4.59u, this was surprising from a guy that weighs 270 especially s the smaller guy didn’t run nearly as fast. He doesn’t possess any great skills but give him a few years to learn the nuances of playing in the NFL and he could become a productive rotational DL.
Shaq Lawson DE Clemson
Lawson has the better day of the Clemon bookends, looking fluid in LB drills and running an impressive 40, clocking 4.70u, Lawson shows vast array of pass rush moves and should get drafted in the first round especially as he showed that he can stand up and drop into coverage. His size is simile to Joey Bosa and he actually tested slightly better than Bosa did, he will till go 1st round and probably in the top 20.
Kenny Clark DT UCLA
Clark had himself a day looking smooth and explosive in all drills and cemented himself as one of the top DT in the draft, I believe he could go in the top 20, but think he will go more towards the end of the first.
He ran an impressive 5.06u 40 at 314lbs, he is a NT for a 4-3 ideally and is one heck of a run stuffer, the only knock on him is that he isn’t the best pass rusher.
Robert Nkemdiche DT Ole Miss
The interview process was not kind to Nkemdiche as he was called out on the hotel incident and actually threw Laremy Tunsil under the bus saying he was present when it happened. Also Nkemdiche stated he was drunk and not high when at the hotel. However Nkemdiche showed why he is a 1st rounder impressing in all drills, other than the off the field issue his consistency has been questioned and he will disappear at times. If he can sort these things out he could become one of the best DL in the NFL.
There were many good performances from the DL class this year, if you want any more information about any particular prospect don’t be afraid to contact us on twitter @draftsterpod or if you want to contact me directly @ljmillar21.