DT Tommy Togiai, Ohio St.* (6’2”, 300)

Background:

Four-star recruit who appeared in six games as a freshman and nine games as a sophomore, totaling 10-2.0-0.0 and 16-2.0-0.0 over those seasons, respectively. Enjoyed a more productive junior year over seven games, finishing with a line of 23-4.5-3.0 before declaring for the draft.

Positives:

Carries his weight well and has at least adequate size/bulk for a pro defensive lineman. Very high-motor, aggressive player who brings a lot of energy to the defensive front. Fires out with plenty of explosiveness and a low pad level, allowing him to knife into the backfield and disrupt rushing attempts on occasion. Keeps his shoulders square and knows when to discard a block and make a tackle when engaged. Has impressive functional strength to create movement with his bull rush. Closing burst is good enough to finish. Active with his hands and shows a swim move that’s already pretty effective. Flashes the ability to maneuver into open lanes and create pressure that way. Looks fast chasing down fleeing quarterbacks. Does a pretty good job of sniffing out screens. Impressive range and speed when chasing from the backside. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes.

Negatives:

Really has just one productive year under his belt, and was more of a rotational player even then. Might be a little bit miscast in an odd defensive front, so might need to be playing in a defensive line rotation on a team which uses four down linemen. Can be a little bit too reliant on his bull rush to create pressure and can occasionally stall out around the line when that doesn’t work. Aggressiveness is sometimes used against him; hard-charger who loves to attack upfield, which can open up some possibilities for screens.

Summary:

A very likable prospect because of the intensity and effort he brings to the defense. Should be a good fit for an even front which like their defenders to play with aggression, playing with leverage, explosiveness, power, and activity, traits which gave opponents a lot of trouble this past year. Could conceivably fit in either a one-gap or two-gap defensive front.

DT Tyler Shelvin, Louisiana St.* (6’3”, 346)

Background:

Four-star recruit who was an academic redshirt for his true freshman season, then was suspended for two weeks of the following season, serving as a backup. Posted 39-3.0-0.0 as the starting nose tackle during his sophomore year, then opted out of the past season before declaring for the draft.

Positives:

Girth, girth, and girth; they don’t make nose tackles much bigger than this. Lines up as a zero technique and is a real handful to deal with. Plays with a low pad level and is able to anchor well at the line of scrimmage against opponents. Gets good extension with his arms to lock out opponents and flashes the ability to shed. Has a surprisingly quick first step for someone his size, coming out of his stance low and with some suddenness. Not a major threat to penetrate but is capable of creating some movement to collapse the pocket and attract other blockers. Flashes a rip move and a swim counter to add some variety to his approach. Gives good effort in pursuit.

Negatives:

Really only put together one productive season at the college level before declaring. As may be expected for a player of his size, was more of a rotational player than an every-down option. Can struggle to disengage in time to make tackles even when he’s in range. Some issues with balance crop up periodically. Ends too many snaps in the passing game idling near the line of scrimmage. Gives effort to pursue but is basically the phone-booth block-eater his size would indicate. Plays a position which is becoming less and less relevant in the modern game.

Summary:

Has more suddenness and a better motor than is typical for two-gap nose tackle prospects, but as may be expected, his calling card is really his sheer size and mass. From a physical standpoint, looks like an ideal rotational run-stuffing candidate for a team which runs an odd defensive front that employs a zero technique who can attack opposing blockers and dig in at the line. Draft stock will depend on how much teams value that kind of skillset in the smaller, more passing-oriented modern game.

LB Baron Browning, Ohio St. (6’3”, 240)

Background:

Five-star recruit who appeared in twelve games as a true freshman, then started a few games the following year and posted 23-3.5-1.0. Started at outside linebacker as a junior, enjoying his most productive season – 43-11.0-5.0 – then played both inside and outside in his senior year and finished with 29-3.0-1.0 over seven games.

Positives:

Comes with about two years of starting experience for a major program. Well-built for the modern game, with good height/length and a strong build. Has played both inside and outside and could conceivably play any of the three linebacker positions in an even front, or potentially the “Jack” (weak inside linebacker) in an odd front. Athletic run-and-hit linebacker who’s at his best when he’s protected by big bodies up front and allowed to flow to the ball; has sideline-to-sideline range. Was trusted to line up on the outside next to a five-technique and set the edge. Shows discipline on the backside. Shows the ability to break down and make tackles in the open field. Good thudding hitter who can help set the tone defensively. Looks impressive when making spot drops into zone, getting into position quickly and showing smooth, controlled movements. Able to bail from blitz looks into zone, flipping his hips well. Light on his feet in zone, and plants and drives well to deliver hits on throws underneath. Was a productive pass-rusher in his junior year; has the type of explosiveness and closing speed to get to the passer in a scheme which gets him open lanes. Shows the ability to dip his shoulder and bend back to the passer.

Negatives:

Production dropped off as a senior. Can be a little bit slow to diagnose in the run game, and isn’t quite fast enough to recover when he’s frozen and loses outside positioning. Was successfully targeted on read-options during the games reviewed. Would like to see him play the outside run as a first option rather than trying to take away the inside. Probably needs to play on a defense which prevents him from having to take on too many blockers; angles can be affected by the need to work around blocks instead of stacking/shedding. Wasn’t asked to play a lot of man coverage in college, so his ability to line up against running backs and tight ends is unknown, although he has the skillset for it.

Summary:

A player well-suited to the modern game, combining sideline-to-sideline range in the run game with the ability to drop into zone or rush the quarterback on passing downs. Has the potential to develop into a starter if he improves his recognition skills and positioning in the run game, but should be able to contribute on passing downs either way.

LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina (6’2”, 225)

Background:

Started his collegiate career at quarterback, spending two seasons in that role. Appeared in ten games as a passer, throwing eight touchdowns to three interceptions as a freshman, but injuring his wrist one game into the following year after throwing three interceptions on ten attempts. Subsequently converted to linebacker and immediately stepped into a starting role, posting a whopping 115-15.0-6.5 as a junior and 91-7.5-6.0 as a senior, to go along with two career interceptions.

Positives:

Has only been playing linebacker for two years and was able to produce immediately. Was asked to line up in different spots and could conceivably be viewed as either a middle linebacker or a weakside linebacker (most likely the latter.) Sideline-to-sideline athlete with impressive speed. Closes well when tracking down ballcarriers in the open field. Light on his feet, allowing him to shuffle into lanes or sidestep blockers when working between the tackles. Gets extension with his arms into blockers and shows better contact balance than his size would indicate. Closing burst also lends itself to rushing the passer, and enjoyed a lot of success finishing off opposing quarterbacks when schemed an open lane. Made a lot of drops into zone, showing above-average range and fluidity. Can shade over bunches and handle route combinations adequately.

Negatives:

On the smaller side for a linebacker, even in the modern game; may be asked to gain another five or ten pounds. Still honing his instincts and can look reactive rather than anticipatory at times. Can struggle to hold his ground when taking on blocks between the tackles, looking more comfortable flowing horizontally. Has a tendency to overpursue, taking himself out of position. Will also occasionally come in too fast, leading to missed tackles. Doesn’t have a lot of stopping power to set the tone or limit yards after contact. Still needs to clean up his balance/form a little bit when working in zone coverage. Didn’t see him working in man much although he has the type of athleticism teams would look for in a player who works against running backs.

Summary:

Basically has the type of skillset and game you’d expect from an athletic, undersized weakside linebacker who’s still growing into the position; looks athletic when flowing horizontally and pursuing the run, and is capable of closing on quarterbacks and handling zone coverage duties. Athletic profile could make him a sub-package defender and special-teams contributor early in hsi career, but will have to continue adding functional strength, improving his ability to read keys, and clean up his tackling by breaking down more consistently. Tools and trajectory will probably get him some second-day looks.

LB Dylan Moses, Alabama (6’3”, 240)

Background:

Five-star recruit who started receiving scholarship offers when he was in eighth grade. Appeared in eight games as a freshman, totaling 30-5.5-1.5 and intercepting a pass. Had his best season as a sophomore, compiling a line of 86-10.0-3.5. Tore his ACL and ended up missing his entire junior year before returning and posting 76-6.0-1.0 as a senior, reportedly playing through a torn meniscus for much of the year.

Positives:

Enjoyed two productive seasons as a full-time starter for a major program, returning from a torn ACL to put together a pretty solid senior year. Well-built “Jack” (weak inside linebacker) behind an odd defensive line, but could conceivably play pretty much any off-ball linebacker spot besides maybe the Will. Patient with his reads and does a good job of keeping his shoulders square to the line when defending the run. Gets good extension with his arms to keep blockers out of his frame; able to play off of blocks while flowing horizontally to the ball. Clean footwork to shuffle into gaps and stop runers in a phone booth. One of the biggest hitters in college football, with the type of highlight-reel sticks that can help set the tone defensively and get the fans involved. Effective wrap technique to hit and sling down ballcarriers. Shows an impressive closing burst even on his 2020 tape. Nice plant and drive to close on shallow crossers. Gets his hands on opponents when pattern-matching or carrying into the flat to feel routes.

Negatives:

Torn ACL and meniscus injury appear to have sapped some of his famous speed and explosiveness, so teams will have to gamble that with time he’ll be able to get back to where he was in 2018. Still appears to be developing his instincts/anticipation at the position; can be a little bit slow to recognize the play direction. Range was somewhat limited last year, and could sometimes be seen jogging after the play when it got toward the sidelines; could have been due to injury but would like to see more of a sense of urgency. Passing-down responsibilities were limited mostly to working as a robber underneath or spying opposing quarterbacks. Doesn’t appear the have the widest tackling radius when pursuing in space.

Summary:

A little bit of a throwback to a more physical era, combining a strong build with the ability to defend against inside runs or close in the open field and deliver big hits. A little bit of a gamble because of his injury history and the effect that seemed to have on his explosiveness and range this past season, but if he manages to recover some of the athletic traits which made him special, it’s easy to imagine him outperforming his draft position. Still looks like he has a pretty good chance of going on the second day, probably as a middle/inside linebacker.

LB Jabril Cox, Louisiana St. (6’4”, 231)

Background:

Played quarterback and a little bit of everything in high school. Originally attended North Dakota St., where he redshirted and then converted to linebacker. Posted 91-9.5-4.0 in his redshirt freshman year, then had a similar season in 2019 (92-9.5-5.5) before transferring to Louisiana St. Was immediately eligible as a graduate transfer, and put together a line of 58-6.5-1.0 with three interceptions and five breakups over ten games.

Positives:

Was productive over three seasons at the college level, although just one came for a major program. Tall linebacker with impressive length. Played both inside and outside at Louisiana St.; was often lined up as either a Mike or Sam when the team used three linebackers during the games reviewed, but would stay on the field in the sub packages as the Mike. Gets good extension with his arms to lock out blockers when defending the inside run. Shows the ability to disengage and make tackles, with an impressive radius. Smooth, flexible athlete who can flow sideline to sideline. Very effective coverage linebacker who can play in both man and zone. Has the type of physical/athletic profile teams look for in man coverage on tight ends. Diagnoses well when working in zone and is capable of sniffing out screens and working through traffic to make the stop. Long-strider who looks smooth when carrying opponents downfield from shuffle. Demonstrated very good ball skills this past season. Shows impressive closing burst when he has a lane to the passer, although sack production fell off with the Tigers.

Negatives:

Probably needs to add a little bit more bulk, especially if teams view him as a potential strongside linebacker. Would like to see him do a better job of keeping his shoulders square and holding his ground against blockers in the run game. Smoother than he is explosive in terms of overall movement skills. Can be a little bit slow to read keys in the run game; sometimes looks more reactive than anticipatory. Has some inefficiencies to his angles, working around blockers and giving himself more difficult angles. Not an overly physical player; would like to see him drive through more ballcarriers.Can struggle to maintain balance through contact. SHas some apparently minor issues with missed tackles.

Summary:

Has only been a full-time linebacker for a few years, but started producing immediately once he stepped onto the field. As a smooth athlete with excellent size and length, his value as a potential asset in the passing game, whether in zone or man, should make him an attractive candidate for teams seeking a modern linebacker to improve their coverages. Still not quite instinctive or physical enough in the run game, but with a little bit more experience and some time in a pro strength program, could develop into an every-down starter.

LB Nick Bolton, Missouri* (6’0”, 232)

Background:

Posted 22-1.0-1.0 over ten games as a freshman, then took over a major role the following year, filling the stat sheet to the tune of 103-8.5-1.0 and adding two interceptions and seven breakups, including one pick-six. Played in ten games as a junior and posted 95-8.0-2.0 with five breakups before declaring for the draft.

Positives:

Comes with two years of high-level production in a major conference. Off-ball linebacker with a very compact build. Temperamentally, a little bit of a throwback to the more physical days of pro football. Plays like his hair is on fire and seems like he’s always around the ball, reading keys well as a downhill run-stuffer. Aggressively shoots gaps and smacks ballcarriers when he has a lane into the backfield; the type of player who can help set a physical tone defensively. Does a nice job of keeping his shoulders square between the tackles. Has the short-area quickness to work his way around would-be blockers and get to the football efficiently, but also demonstrates impressive toughness to attack blockers when he needs to. Difficult to bait with misdirection. Gives good effort when pursuing and will chase to the sidelines, demonstrating adequate to above-average overall athleticism. Capable of making spot-drops into zone coverage, showing quick feet when backpedaling into place. Got his hands on a lot of throws.

Negatives:

Size is really just adequate for a pro linebacker, even now that players at the position are getting smaller. Gets to a lot of plays because of his instincts and motor, but doesn’t have quite the speed and range of some of the other top linebackers in this year’s class. Takes some circuitous angles at times to avoid blockers. Lack of length impacts his tackling radius, causing him to come up just short at times when pursuing in space. Will also lapse into hitting without wrapping. May struggle to line up in man coverage against receivers and tight ends and wasn’t really asked to work in man during the games reviewed.

Summary:

A true football player who’s fun to watch because of the sense of urgency he plays with and the big hits he can deliver when he’s able to read keys and charge through gaps to stuff running backs, but who has some physical and athletic limitations that might constrict the range of responsibilities he’ll be able to execute at a high level in the pros. Could potentially work as a weakside linebacker, but would probably be best if he was able to play to his strengths in a phone booth as a middle ‘backer, potentially in either an even or odd defensive front.

OG Deonte Brown, Alabama (6’4”, 350)

Background:

Redshirted, then appeared in a reserve capacity the following season before earning five starts at right guard midway through the 2018 season; missed one game due to injury and two games due to suspension that season. Missed the first four games of his junior year while completing the six-game suspension from the previous year before starting eight games at right guard to close out the season. Started at the left guard position last year.

Positives:

Gargantuan offensive guard who has over two years of starting experience between both guard positions for one of college football’s premier programs. Renowned not only for his size, but for his weight-room strength as well. A true mauler in the run game who engulfs and overwhelms opposing defensive linemen with his natural power. Picks up plenty of pancakes, shoving opponents to the ground to finish them; smaller defenders don’t have a chance to hold up through initial contact. Has good leg drive to move defenders off of their spots. Can win ugly by relying on his natural strength, using his body as a natural obstacle. Capable of pulling to the opposite side of the line in both the passing and running games. Can also climb to the second level and disrupt linebackers. So big it takes a cab ride to work around him. Has a good seat in pass protection, bending at the knees and playing from a wide base. Has a powerful initial punch to knock opponents off-balance. Keeps his head on a swivel and actively seeks out opponents to block.

Negatives:

Missed a total of seven games between 2018 and 2019 between injury and suspension. More flexible than his size would suggest but might be viewed as an inline-only option. Lapses into using his sheer mass to block, rather than getting his arms extended and his hands involved. More of a shover than someone who locks on. Can occasionally overextend himself and bend at the waist in pass protection; wider than he is long. Struggles to get out in front and lead the way in the screen game. Can be caught idling at times in the passing game. Weight may be considered an issue by some teams. Reportedly had a weak Senior Bowl performance.

Summary:

A behemoth with the strength to match, but who is actually more nimble and flexible than his size would suggest. Will need to be a little bit more consistent with his technique at the next level and assuage any medical/character/weight concerns that might arise as part of the pre-draft process, but if everything checks out, looks like a possible early-round pick who can come in and dominate opposing defensive linemen in a phone booth from day one, playing in an inline scheme.

LT Alaric Jackson, Iowa (6’6”, 318)

Background:

Three-star recruit who redshirted his first season with the Hawkeyes, then took over the starting left tackle position the following year and has reprised that role for each of the four seasons of his career, missing three games as a junior due to injury.

Positives:

Comes from a program which has a good reputation for producing pro offensive linemen. Was able to secure the starting blindside job even when 2020 first-round pick Tristan Wirfs was also on roster. Tall with good bulk; height and weight are basically ideal for a pro offensive lineman. Pass sets look pretty good within a limited range. Plays from a wide base with his back straight and his hands up. Fires out with his hands instead of absorbing contact from opposing defenders. Good phone-booth blocker who comes out of his stance low with natural srength. Appears to have above-average grip strength to sustain. Functional power is sufficient to drive smaller ends off the line when he gets his feet moving. Also capable of blocking on angles. On rushing downs, has enough short-area quickness to hook defenders. Capable of getting outside positioning to seal the edge. Plays within his frame against opposing defensive linemen. Shows a good work rate in the run game to climb to the second level.

Negatives:

Arm length looks shorter than desirable, and may be too tall to slide inside to guard successfully. More workmanlike than nasty in the run game. Will often content himself with engaging defenders to wall off instead of working to drive them off of their spot. Falls off of blocks because of his apparent lack of ideal length. Can get sloppy and overextend when attempting to reach linebackers in space. Struggles to maintain his pass sets when defending against speed rushers, causing him to abandon technique and get caught off-balance when opponents convert speed to power. Anchor tends to drop late and can be walked back a little bit by defensive ends players with his frame should be able to handle.

Summary:

A tall, experienced offensive tackle who works hard to sustain blocks through the whistle in the run game, an area where he is capable of executing a variety of blocking assignments, and who also shows pretty solid fundamentals in the passing game. However, his arms are on the shorter side, he could stand to play with more aggression and physicality, and he’s not quite laterally quick enough to maintain his technique and anchor when blocking against speed on the edge. Might be a candidate to move to another spot along the line as a developmental option.

OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama (6’6”, 312)

Background:

Was one of the top recruits in the country, then rotated into the offense a little bit over seven games as a true freshman. Started all fifteen games the following year after sliding to right guard, then started all thirteen games at left tackle the following year. Came back to school and reprised his role as a senior, finishing with forty-one straight starts to close out his career.

Positives:

Mammoth offensive tackle who really looks the part. Comes with two years of starting experience at left tackle at a major program, plus one year of experience at guard. Was often trusted to protect the edge by himself on passing downs. Initial form looks pretty good in pass protection; bends at the knees, gets into his seat, and maintains a solid base. Does a good job of extending his arms into opponents. Difficult to get around because of his bulk, width, and length. Anchors against power with ease and is capable of winning ugly. Physical and aggressive in the run game. Explosive out of his stance to win on first contact and put defenders on their heels. Capable of overpowering defensive ends and sealing them inside. Does a good job of maintaining leg drive after contact. Works hard to get out in front and stick with opponents in space.

Negatives:

Despite his size, can struggle to play within his frame. Gets too aggressive and ends up lunging, bending at the waist, and slipping to the ground too often. Lets too many defenders into his pads. Would like to see him keep his hands higher more consistently, and reset them more accurately. Hands find their way outside too often and could be penalty-prone at the next level. Overall athleticism is just average. Can sometimes struggle to win the edge against explosive speed rushers while maintaining his pass set. More of an obstruction to work around than someone who consistently engages successfully in space.

Summary:

Absolutely looks the part of a pro offensive tackle and offers the physicality, aggression, and natural power to attract teams, but is not the most fluid, flexible, or consistent on a snap-to-snap basis. Might need to slide over to right tackle or possibly even inside, where his physical and athletic traits may be more suited. As an experienced player coming from a major program in which he racked up over forty starts, would like to see more polish. Nonetheless, looks likely to come off the board by the end of the second round. Best suited to an inline blocking scheme.