6’3” – 291 lbs. – 4.85
Five-star recruit who appeared in a reserve capacity as a true freshman before stepping into the starting lineup the following season, giving him three years of first-team experience. Team captain. Something of a ‘tweener size-wise; has added some additional bulk for his senior season and could conceivably play at a variety of weights depending on his pro role. Typically plays right end on Alabama’s line, whether the team is operating with three or four down linemen; will also slide inside on some passing downs and take the occasional snap from the left end spot. Very tough and physical style of play; good motor to work through the whistle. Draws lots of attention from opposing offenses, whether double-teams on the offensive line or chips from other players retained to pass-protect; ability to engage multiple defenders creates opportunities for his teammates to make plays. Does a good job of chipping backs and disrupting or preventing their release. Difficult to handle when playing downhill; can occupy two blockers and threaten to split double-teams. Primarily a bull-rusher who can collapse the pocket with his power and leg drive. Despite his size and bulk, flashes the speed to challenge the edge and bend back to the passer. Will also mix in a swim or spin move on occasion. Gets good arm extension when two-gapping against the run; has a strong anchor and the discipline to hold the edge and maintain his run fits against opposing tackles. Strong enough to reestablish the line of scrimmage in the backfield. Has a lot of power in his hands, using effective technique to prevent opposing linemen from placing their initial punch and locking onto him; capable of tossing aside even interior linemen to make plays on the ball. Rarely caught out of position; quality instincts/play recognition ability. Gives good effort in pursuit but isn’t really the type of player who will chase down opponents on the sidelines. Would have been a possible first-round pick had he declared last year, but played even better as a senior and looks likely to be one of the first players off the board this year. Very polished from a mental and technical standpoint, with outstanding play strength and impressive athleticism for a player of his size. A chess piece who can handle a variety of different responsibilities and roles, something which should be especially valuable given the multiple defenses which predominate in the pro game today.
Games watched: Arkansas (’16), Tennessee (’16), Texas A&M (’16)
6’3” – 260 lbs. – 4.75e
Redshirted in 2013, then appeared in a rotational capacity the following season before finishing his collegiate career with two productive seasons in the starting lineup. Has a solid combination of height, bulk, and length; weighed just 235 pounds in 2014 but has added twenty-five pounds since then. Lines up at right end, rushing out of a two-point stance on occasion; operates out of a few different alignments. Exhibits a good level of intensity and aggression on the field. Polished pass-rusher who varies his approaches, with a pretty diverse repertoire of moves. Explosive off the line of scrimmage, with enough speed and flexibility to win the edge and bend back to the passer; uses an underarm rip move with effectiveness. Uses his hands to swat at the ball while bending back to the passer. Capable of converting speed to power and walking tackles back into the pocket. Also has a good inside move to knife into the backfield and disrupt plays as they’re developing. Uses a violent spin on occasion to win the inside. Closes well and can generate some pop on contact when given a lane to the quarterback. Has some trouble protecting his legs from cut blocks. Probably a bit stouter than he is instinctive versus the run at this point, more of a one-gap penetrator than an edge-setter. Initiator who anchors pretty well against the run. Flashes the ability to get extension and stack/shed blockers at the appropriate time with quick hand use; shouldn’t be excluded from consideration by teams which use two-gap principles, especially those with odd defensive fronts. Needs to work on maintaining outside contain. Can get in trouble by attempting to shoot inside gaps and having his outside shoulder sealed on rushing attempts off-tackle, or run himself out of the play where more patience would have been appropriate. Didn’t make many drops into coverage during the games reviewed, so it will be important to showcase his abilities in that regard during the pre-draft process. Disruptive edge rusher with an impressive combination of explosiveness, intensity, and polish in the passing game; has the strength and quickness to defend the run but has some work to do in terms of play recognition and outside contain. Talented enough to develop into an effective starter in either a three or four-man defensive front and should get first-round consideration.
Games watched: Florida (’15), Vanderbilt (’16), West Virginia (’16)
6’2” – 265 lbs. – 4.75e
Originally committed to Cal but ended up spending his first year at Contra Costa College before transferring to UCLA. Worked his way into the starting lineup as a junior, then enjoyed an outstanding senior season. Possesses adequate height and length, with solid bulk; has added over thirty pounds since arriving at school. Rushes out of both two and three-point stances and from both sides of the line, most typically as a stand-up rusher off the left tackle. Aggressive, high-motor player who consistently works through the whistle. Has enough speed to challenge the edge in the passing game, often using a rip move to get free; able to bend back to the quarterback effectively. Explosive both off the line of scrimmage and when closing. Can successfully convert speed to power and walk tackles back into the pocket, creating congestion. Mixes in inside moves to keep opposing tackles off-balance; has a pretty diverse array of approaches when rushing. Good awareness to go for the strip when in position to do so. Gets his hands up to contest screens. Spin move looks a little bit sluggish when the quarterback climbs the pocket. Has violent, active hands and can shed blocks pretty well in the run game. More of an attacking player but appears strong enough to hold the edge; has the leg drive to create some push. Could probably play in either a one or two-gap defense. Can scrape down the line when the play direction is to the opposite side of the field. Doesn’t have a particularly wide tackling radius but looks reliable when he’s in position to bring down ballcarriers, with some pop on contact. Makes an effort to tackle while engaged. Seems to do a pretty good job when working as the free defender on read-options. Will pursue plays to the sidelines and down the field. Had some trouble protecting his legs on cut blocks. Wasn’t really asked to make many drops into coverage, so his technique and fluidity when asked to do so will probably be an important part of his pre-draft process; does appear to have the raw speed for that type of role. Breakout senior season will earn him first-round consideration, which he may be able to solidify with good measurements and testing. Probably makes the most sense as a rush linebacker in an aggressive 3-4 defensive front, both because that’s been his primary role thus far and because it’s more commensurate with his physical profile.
Games watched: Colorado (’16), Stanford (’16), Utah (’16)
6’3” – 255 lbs. – 4.75e
Came off the bench as a freshman, then worked into the rotation as a sophomore before taking over a starting role the following year. Team captain. Plays left end almost exclusively; only took a few snaps from the other side of the field. Looks a bit lanky relative to his listed size/bulk, with long limbs; has been listed at declining weights over the past three years. Explosive off the line of scrimmage, with above-average flexibility; more of a speed rusher who gets upfield and tries to bend back to the passer. Doesn’t always convert speed to power successfully, but flashes the ability to create some push because of his leg drive. Possesses very quick hands to prevent blockers from placing their hands on him; however, struggles to free himself when he’s successfully engaged. Looked very disruptive as a junior, but didn’t seem quite as dynamic in his senior year. Would probably benefit from varying his pass-rushing approach and working moves into his game more frequently. Has the athleticism and motor to pursue plays to the sidelines in pursuit. Instincts versus the run are raw; needs to improve his overall play recognition and contain the corner much more consistently, getting sucked in too frequently by misdirection or because he committed too quickly. Too focused on rushing the passer, providing some big holes for opposing ballcarriers to rush through. More effective as a one-gap, attacking defender; probably lacks the patience and anchor to play in a two-gap role. In short yardage situations, can be driven off the line of scrimmage by more powerful offensive tackles. Capable of creating congestion inside, but it isn’t one of the focal points of his game. More likely to create an obstruction with his body than to maintain awareness of the ball and bring down runners while engaged. Will probably also get some looks as a rush linebacker prospect given his movement skills and his adequate frame for that type of role. Has a lot of the tools teams look for in a pass rusher (explosiveness, suddenness, quick hands, flexibility), but wasn’t able to generate consistent pressure at the college level and will not be able to coast on his natural quickness and explosiveness as easily at the next level. Limitations as a run defender might limit him to more of a situational pass-rushing role, whether as an end or outside linebacker. Might be best if given a wide alignment and allowed to get upfield.
Games watched: Iowa (’15), Nebraska (’15), Michigan (’16)
6’6” – 272 lbs. – 4.75e
Worked as a reserve/special-teams player as a freshman, then worked into the defensive line rotation over the next two years before assuming a more regular starting role as a senior. Lines up at defensive end on both sides of the line, with different alignments; takes the occasional snap from the inside on obvious passing downs and has a little bit of experience rushing from a two-point stance. Tall, long-limbed defensive end who may need some further upper-body development but otherwise looks the part of a pro edge rusher. Might be a little bit thinner than his listed weight. Plays with a strong motor. Usually exhibits a slight delay when reacting to the ball being snapped, but accelerates smoothly off the line of scrimmage, with natural athleticism; good closing speed when he’s secured a lane to the passer. Primarily a speed-to-power player in the passing game; most frequently attempts to win the outside but looks most dangerous when he’s schemed open on inside rushes. Will keep his legs churning after contact and can occasionally generate push against offensive tackles. Fairly straightforward rusher who relies on his natural athleticism; has been rewarded when he’s worked spins and other moves into his repertoire but doesn’t do so on a consistent basis. Capable of dipping the shoulder and bending the edge. Overall hand use is pretty active. Could stand to improve his balance somewhat; usually okay but gets overextended from time to time or looks like he’s playing on skates. Might be best in a two-gap defense. More physical than powerful; doesn’t shy away from contact. Generally able to anchor versus blockers but doesn’t walk opposing tackles back very often. At his best, is able to scrape down the line and obstruct runners in the run game. Flashes the ability to make tackles while engaged; length gives him a wide radius. However, struggles to disengage quickly when an opponent gets inside his pads, allowing runners to get to the outside. Tends to get sucked inside on running plays and needs to do a better job of protecting the corner. Looks tentative and doesn’t always make successful reads when presented with read-options. Still a pretty raw player at this point, but has a lot of the physical and athletic tools teams look for in an edge player at the next level and was pretty productive in his first season with the first-team. Could eventually be an every-down starter, but isn’t a plug-and-play prospect; at this point, is probably more capable as a run defender than a pass rusher.
Games watched: Northwestern (’15), Penn St. (’16), Rutgers (’16)
6’4” – 280 lbs. – 4.80e
Was a rotational player in his first year with the Seminoles, but has been starting since basically his sophomore year (eleven of fourteen games.) Team captain who plays both defensive end spots for the Seminoles, sliding inside to tackle on some obvious passing downs. Has very good overall size and decent musculature, with a somewhat top-heavy build; carries his weight well. Tough and physical player, if not an overpowering one. As a pass-rusher, is more intense than explosive off the line of scrimmage. Not really the type of player to dip his shoulder and bend the edge; often steered wide of the quarterback. Creativity also leaves something to be desired; has some suddenness in his hands and will work swim and rip moves into his repertoire with some effectiveness. Gets a lot of his pressures as an inside rusher or when rushing inside on a stunt or twist from the end position. Closing burst is more impressive than his burst off the snap. Heads-up player who will go for the ball when he has a chance. Overall instincts in the run game are adequate. Plays with enough patience to make sense in a two-gap scheme, which may better use his skillset. Will stay at home and sniff out the occasional late-developing screen or misdirection play. Struggles to defend the read option. Has some ability to anchor and scrape down the line but might be better at using his hands to shed blockers, with some strength and quickness in his hands. Can be sealed inside from time to time, and was driven back by tight ends on a few plays. Occasionally gets a bit too upright and overextends himself. Good closing burst to tackle in pursuit, with a wide tackling radius and a strong grip to finish. Motor is pretty good but will get caught watching when the play is on the other side of the field. Might not be a great fit for a 3-4 defensive front; best position may be elephant linebacker in that sort of scheme. Not quite as stout as other players of his size, but might offer a little bit more as a pass-rusher, using his hands with quickness and power to compensate for his lack of elite burst off the line of scrimmage. Looks like he might be able to start at left end in a four-man defensive line which uses two-gap principles.
Games watched: Miami (’15), Louisville (’16), Mississippi (’16)
6’6” – 302 lbs.
Finally broke into the starting lineup midway through his redshirt sophomore year, where he has remained ever since. Versatile player who lines up on both ends of the defensive line and also slides inside to function as an interior rusher on a regular basis. Although he has more in common with a five-technique end from a physical standpoint, he often functioned as more of a traditional base end on a four-man line. Well-developed body whose frame might be nearly maxed out; carries his weight well. Pretty straightforward pass-rusher who almost exclusively relies on a speed-to-power combination on the outside. Offers a good level of intensity on the field. Gets off the line pretty quickly and can extend his arms and drive his legs to walk opposing linemen back. Capable of slapping down an opposing blocker’s arms but could stand to use his hands more frequently and develop a more nuanced approach to rushing the passer; doesn’t have a particularly diverse repertoire of rush moves and rarely attempts inside moves when he’s rushing from the edge. Does incorporate an effective spin move into his game when he’s being moved inside to rush on obvious passing downs. Can sometimes be driven wide of the rusher because of his tendency to get too far upfield. Instinctually, however, is a pretty disciplined run defender who does a good job of maintaining backside contain and avoids committing too quickly on read-options and other plays of that nature. Has the type of functional strength and build that teams may like in a two-gap run defender on the edge, but generally is more of an aggressive upfield player who wasn’t often asked to really hold the point of attack in a read-and-react system. Scrapes down the line and will pursue through the whistle but, because he lacks elite top-end speed, isn’t much of a threat to actually make plays near the sidelines. Sometimes has trouble working through trash; ended up on the ground a handful of times during the games reviewed and could be susceptible to cut blocks. Too a few snaps as an end on three-man lines in college but might be primarily considered as a five-technique end given his combination of height and bulk; in that role, could provide a pass-rushing presence for a team which lines their defensive ends to be able to generate pressure. Best fit, however, may be as a five-technique end on a four-man line in a scheme such as Seattle’s. Projects as a future starter.
Games watched: Illinois (’15), Penn St. (’16), Rutgers (’16)
6’4” – 309 lbs.
Was worked into the rotation as a true freshman, then stepped into the starting lineup as a sophomore and has been there ever since. Tall, very thick defensive lineman with good musculature and weight distribution; has added weight and really looks the part. Usually lines up on the left side of the defensive line, whether the team is in its base even front or presenting an odd look. More often asked to penetrate into the backfield with a one-gap technique. Pretty explosive off the line of scrimmage and can gain the upper hand and put opposing offensive linemen on their heels early. Comes out of his stance with a low pad level and can be a handful for opposing offensive linemen to deal with due to his overall bulk and strong leg drive. Capable of generating some push against single blockers but will look like he’s playing on skates when double-teamed. Overall balance can be a problem at times, ending up on the ground too often because he comes out low and keeps his head down. Tendency to lower his head can cause him to lose track of the ball, barreling into the backfield only to miss a chance to make a tackle. Consequently, is more likely to disrupt the overall play than to square up and bring down the ballcarrier. Plays with a high motor and some violence to his game; gives good effort in pursuit and will chase through the whistle. Won’t be the first player to reach the sidelines but does cover some ground and can pick up tackles when runners are forced back inside. As a pass rusher, functions as a one-gap penetrator and is also asked to operate on stunts. Could use rush moves more often, but what repertoire he’s shown thus far is encouraging; possesses a violent spin move and will also use rip and swim moves with success. Can also walk opposing linemen back with his bull rush. Impressive closing speed for a man of his size and can generate plenty of pop on contact. However, will probably end up being more of a pressure-generator than a player who racks up gaudy sack totals. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes on a consistent basis. Also had some success blocking kicks. Has the frame, strength, athleticism, and violence to become a pro starter, but will need to become more disciplined and clean up his technique in order to get the most out of his gifts. Could potentially play either tackle spot on a four-man line or slide outside in an odd front.
Games watched; Louisiana St. (’15), Georgia (’16), Mississippi (’16)
6’3” – 305 lbs. – N/A
Was worked into the defense in a reserve/rotational capacity in 2012 and 2014, missing all but three games of the 2013 season after being a passenger in a fatal car accident. Worked his way into the starting role as a junior. Barrel-chested defensive lineman with a thick upper body and reasonably developed lower body. Plays some different techniques and shifts around from the left to the right side. Fairly powerful at the point of attack, can’t always reestablish the line of scrimmage but is rarely driven off the line himself; very solid anchor in one-on-one matchups, although he could stand to improve his leg drive when engaged and struggles to consistently hold the point when double-teamed. Generally executes two-gap assignments rather than being asked to penetrate into the backfield; will probably be a two-gap player at the pro level as well. Has some ability to shed blocks but isn’t an especially violent player. Overall instincts are adequate; generally tends to flow in the direction of the play but can be sealed inside at times. Gives a good effort when defending against the run, scraping down the line effectively and demonstrating a willingness to pursue backs to the sidelines. More mobile than his frame would indicate, although he’s faster in pursuit than he is explosive off the line of scrimmage. Plays a little bit high; will come out of his stance with a relatively low level at times, but rise as the play progresses. Isn’t much of a factor on passing downs and might be more of a wave or rotational player at the pro level as a result. Doesn’t really beat people off the line of scrimmage and knife into the backfield very often, relying instead on his power to attempt to collapse the pocket. However, has shown the ability to split blockers on occasion. Will work in a swim or rip move from time to time but isn’t a very dynamic or creative rusher; more of the type to seek or be schemed open lanes to the passer on stunts. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes on an intermittent basis. Generally played on four-man lines, but would occasionally take a snap as a nose tackle or defensive end in an odd defensive front, although he was generally still lined up inside with a rusher in a two-point stance further down the line. Looked reasonably polished even as a first-year starter and offers a high motor, above-average strength, and a solid frame, characteristics which could allow him to work his way into a defensive-line rotation, even though he’ll probably never be a particularly dynamic pass-rusher.
Games watched: Notre Dame (’15), Oklahoma (’15), South Carolina (’15)
FINAL 2016 MOCK DRAFT
Traded picks are in bold.
1. Los Angeles Rams – QB Jared Goff, California*
2. Philadelphia Eagles – QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota St.
3. San Diego Chargers – OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
4. Dallas Cowboys – DB Jalen Ramsey, Florida St.*
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia*
6. Baltimore Ravens – OT Laremy Tunsil, Mississippi*
7. San Francisco 49ers – DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
8. Baltimore Ravens – DE Joey Bosa, Ohio St.*
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida*
10. New York Giants – WR Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi*
11. Chicago Bears – DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson*
12. New Orleans Saints – DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville*
13. Miami Dolphins – RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio St.*
14. Oakland Raiders – LB Myles Jack, UCLA*
15. Tennessee Titans – OT Jack Conklin, Michigan St.*
16. Detroit Lions – OT Taylor Decker, Ohio St.
17. Atlanta Falcons – LB Darron Lee, Ohio St.**
18. Indianapolis Colts – OC Ryan Kelly, Alabama
19. Buffalo Bills – DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
20. New York Jets – QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis*
21. Washington Redskins – DB Karl Joseph, West Virginia
22. Houston Texans – WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame*
23. Minnesota Vikings – WR Josh Doctson, Texas Christian
24. Cincinnati Bengals – WR Corey Coleman, Baylor*
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB William Jackson III, Houston
26. Seattle Seahawks – OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
27. Green Bay Packers – DT Andrew Billings, Baylor*
28. Kansas City Chiefs – CB Eli Apple, Ohio St.**
29. Washington Redskins – LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
30. Carolina Panthers – DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson*
31. Denver Broncos – DT Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi*