Hi guys, so I just finished my assessment of the big guys on defense. I didn’t need it on Day 1 because there was no one who I was targeting and quite simply because my D Line is stacked.
However, with Clowney and Bennett still not signed there is a bit of uncertainty and I would like to be in the position to draft someone if a talent I am high on falls. The main way to be able to do that is to analyse them and be able to make an informed decision.
So here we go, a look at the D Linemen from this year’s draft who I like.
This is probably the spot where I need the least. I have 4 guys who can contribute as starters. The top two prospects were drafted yesterday in Brown and Kinlaw, rightly so because they are beasts and freaks of nature. Of the rest of the guys there are only really two who would interest me, however only if they seriously start to fall and I have a pick with none of my other prospects available.
Ross Blacklock – 2nd – 3rd Round
So he has fallen into the 2nd Round when he had been given a 1st round grade by a lot of analysts. I don’t see that, he is talented but still raw in his technique and don’t dominate consistently. You add to that the injury history and that makes him a 2nd round, if not 3rd round talent in my eyes. You can see that he puts in a lot of effort though and his length and heavy hands are positives to build on. I would consider him in the 3rd round, then he would really be a value pick.
Neville Gallimore – 3rd – 4th Round
Big inside player who can rush the passer. Brings high energy and the ability to rush the passer on the inside. What he also does quite effectively (as could be seen in the LSU game) is rush from the middle to the outside and then loop back in. On my team with players like Clark and Jefferson who can switch rushing lanes from the outside in, that could be an interesting combo. Big negative is his tackle radius. His value is if he falls to the 3rd or 4th round.
You can never have too many good passrushers. As I have mentioned above, the Clowney and Bennett deals are not in yet, only Irvin has been signed, so as it stands I still need passrush help. Hope for the best and plan for the worst is what they say, so I will be evaluating the rest of these guys like I could go empty on Bennett and Clowney.
AJ Epenesa –2nd – 3rd Round
Epenesa is a man, not a boy coming out of college, and plays like a pro. He is the kind of low floor prospect who could have a decent ceiling if he develops right. He directs runners inside with power rather than being able to flash around the outside and is just very different from your typical high end DEs. He is not the DE you get super excited about, but he is the guy who does a really nice job. I think that he would fit nicely with the Patriots at the top of the 2nd round, but if he drops into the 40s I might have a hard decision to make.
Yetur Gross-Matos – 2nd – 3rd Round
Now here is a guy you can get excited about. Tall with very long arms is always a good start for a DE, even better if you know how to leverage it, which he does. He also has the athleticism you would like for a guy who could develop into a premier rusher. The difference to Epenesa is the processing and pro-readiness. Gross-Matos is going to take a couple of years before he reaches his ceiling and that could see him drop to the middle/late second round. If that is the case he is another prospect I would consider taking.
Bradlee Anae – 3rd – 5th Round
Let’s start with the fun stuff and talk about his hobbies: cliff diving, surfing, hiking and swimming with sharks! Well he played like a shark at the Senior Bowl and that is where I first got excited about him. He is going to give you speed and production off the edge simply because of his high work rate. He is a technician with his hands and will be an exciting prospect to take if he lands in the 3rd round, but his hands are also at the end of his problems: his short arms. They are going to make it difficult in the pros if a Tackle gets locked on. He is going to keep going though and use his high motor to make the play. I see value in drafting him in the 3rd or 4th round.
Derrek Tuszka – 5th – 7th Round
Fantastic testing at the combine, especially in the 3 cone drill. High production in college, however not at the highest level. His problem is also going to be arm length, which is really bad for a DE. I do, however, see a really good comp here to Cassius Marsh who has carved a role for himself in the NFL and I think that someone might really like what they see with Tuszka. Maybe even the Seahawks.
Chauncey Rivers – 6th – 7th Round
Lots of problems in Uni: kicked out of Georgia, Last Chance U before going to Mississippi and finding stability and success. Could end up being a redemption story because I like what I saw from him working out at the Combine and also when you watch tape on him. He is explosive and could be really exciting as a late round talent.