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2022 NFL Draft - Defensive Line (43 DT & 34 DE) - Ranking & Analysis

Updated: Apr 28

Disclaimer - defensive lineman are split between 3-4 vs 4-3 schemes, but for purposes of a 4-3 front fall into 2 categories (3 tech which is more speed & NT which is more run stuffing/clog the middle). I put ( * ) next to players that are likely Saints targets & scheme fits. I put (+) next to players that are scheme fits, but not necessarily players I'd target.


*Jordan Davis Georgia

6'6 340

One of the biggest defensive prospects I've seen. He is a monster man who displays strength immediately. I watched the LBs in this class before DTs and even while watching Quay & Dean (Georgia's 2 LB prospects), Davis popped off the screen on the 1st few plays where he collapsed the pocket by steamrolling double teams. His sheer size and power are evident quickly. His movement skills for his size are surprisingly quick too. He does a good job using his length and extending his arms early in the down to gain an advantage. Likely ideal player for nose tackle in a 3-4 however he is scheme diverse enough to play in a 4-3 alignment too. As far as player style, he's an enhanced version of Malcolm Brown (a 1st round versatile run stopping DT who was successful in both schemes). To put Davis' measurables in perspective, he's 4 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier than Malcolm Brown. He's also got better twitch and speed attributes. So this is a massive human who moves much better than you might think is possible for his size. He's not going to load up the stat sheet but he will eat double teams and bolster your run defense while not being a liability by having to leave the field on 3rd down. 0 techs that can provide any type of pass rush are rare and highly coveted. The facts are: he is scheme diverse; the best college defense was built around him; he dominates the best college competition by wide margin (for example watching him vs. Clemson, he outclasses their interior offensive line like they're D3 players - both with power and with explosion off the ball). He's projected top 20 pick, but could go top 10. Davis has Vince Wolfork or Justin Smith type upside: a nose tackle who may be the strongest player in the league, yet is agile enough to pass rush. Very rare, very unique player who will be in obvious high demand. What surprised me most is his motor. He plays hungry throughout the game. It's not cranked to 11 on every single play like some guys, but he is generally very high effort. He has room to improve as a pass rusher. There are times where he rushes too high. I know he's 6'6 but regardless the downs he loses are usually due to lack of leverage. The other improvement area is consistency in explosion off the snap/timing the count. He flashes the ability to explode off the snap better than most, however it's not consistent. You'd like to see him capture those best moments and do it down after down. He has that potential though. There's just not many people who are this strong, and there won't be many offensive lineman capable of handling this level of brute power. Play after play after play he just looks like the strongest man on the field...by a wide margin. Davis' nickname should be "headache."

Scout Grade - Top 10 Pick



*Devonte Wyatt Georgia

6'3 300

It's easy to get overshadowed on such a good defense. Wyatt plays next to Jordan Davis which in some ways may make his job easier, yet in other ways can make it harder to gain attention. Because Davis is such a top tier prospect, it's easy to overlook just how talented other members of this defense are especially the DT (playing the same position) next to him. Wyatt is very reliable. He's surprisingly twitchy for his size, and flashes moments that make me think he could be a top tier NFL 3 technique in a 4-3 defense. UGA lined him up in a 3 man front so he has the tools to play either 34 DE too. He has requisite athleticism you look for on passing downs, and enough size and strength to be formidable against the run on early downs. He's very high effort and despite being surrounded by talent, he really does find the ball a lot. Outstanding nose for the football. Tackles picture perfect form. Always wraps up, aims low. You don't see many missed tackles or bad angles. His motor is just sensational. If it's a bubble screen on the far side the field, you can almost count on the fact that Devonte Wyatt is pursuing the ball and will enter the frame. His pursuit is really off the charts for a DT. Wyatt is athletic, plays with really good strength for a speed type DT, and is good in both phases of the game. I'm not sure where teams have him projected but if a team falls in love with him and drafts him late 1st/early 2nd, I wouldn't be surprised and frankly he is that level of prospect. He just checks so many boxes that it's hard not to like his game. Even though he's not an Aaron Donald type pass rusher or a Jordan Davis type run stopper, Wyatt is one of the more well rounded DT prospects you'll see. I think he's ready to contribute early and may have a higher ceiling than people realize. Most outlets grade him mid 2nd, but I'm extremely close to grading him as a late 1st. He's right on the fringe. The only note I'll add on what could affect his draft stock is his weight. UGA has him listed at 6'3 315, but he looks leaner than that. Wouldn't surprise me if he's really playing closer to 295. Regardless, weight and body composition are not a problem. If he is light, I'd keep him at his comfortable playing weight.

Scout Grade - Late 1st/Early 2nd Round



Perrion Winfrey (+) Oklahoma

6'4 291

Athletic DT who needs to be a bit more aware and less reliant on athleticism alone. Not the best consistency with angle IQ on potential tackles. Could work on explosion off the snap because on most snaps, he's the last player off the ball. Wow though, when you see him run unimpeded in a straight line towards the ball carrier, this may be the fastest DT I've ever seen at this size. I didn't notice the speed at first because Oklahoma stupidly played him out of position at NT, but he had a play versus Nebraska where he's chasing a ball carrier to the flats, and it might be the cleanest/fastest I've seen a big DT move. My guess is Winfrey will have a shockingly fast 40 yard dash and move up draft boards come draft time. I could really see the Cowboys or Saints targeting Winfrey as early as the 2nd round this draft. Picturing his athletic profile with Micah Parsons on the 2nd level seems like a good fit. He's kind of similar to Bobby Brown from last year's class. Size, speed, sort of an athletic space eater. I do think there's potential for him to be overdrafted because his measurables are slightly better than his tape. He was out of position though so his upside is high. His play isn't bad by any means, but it's not quite as alluring as the speed/size combination. He's somewhat of a developmental prospect. There's a good bit to cleanup with timing, angles, consistency. Kind of hard to grade because you see the ceiling, but it feels like he's a bit far from that potential at the moment. He might be best in a 3-4 as a DE, but he's versatile enough to play in a 4-3 too as a 3 tech DT. Sooners played him less than I expected. On a lot of plays he was removed from the field. I'd want to know if that's a scheme issue or a stamina issue. Teams will have to take that into account when assessing his production. 23 tackles with 5.5 sacks on the season. His tackle numbers would've been higher with a higher snap count. Overall there are definitely things to like, but there isn't enough consistency. I like his length and size/speed combination, however I wouldn't target him until 3rd round. At that point, I'd also only target him knowing that he may be a project requiring 2 or 3 years of continued development and that he's a high risk/high reward type player being picked on potential more than production. Players this big who run like he does are alluring but the awareness issues make me worry about being overdrafted. Still, he's a freak who plays with some passion.

Scout Grade - 2nd/3rd Round



*DeMarvin Leal Texas A&M

6'4 290

58 tackles & 8.5 sacks as a Jr. Highly productive for SEC. Very consistent with production in almost every game. You have to like that his 4 best games were against the 4 best teams he played so he stepped up when it counted most. That's what his stats and pedigree say. What's odd is his tape tells a different, more nuanced story, and I have a couple concerns. First, what he does well is effort and explosion. He's a high motor player, which you love to see from your interior because so many of those guys will take plays off or lack stamina to 'go ham' on every down. Motor alone can take you a long way as a game wears on. He's also a freakish athlete with almost LB type range and balance. My issue with Leal is related to awareness. He's good when tasked with his assignment and can be trusted to win vs. his man, but there are a lot of glimpses that show he doesn't have a naturally high angle IQ. When I watch Tyler Davis from Clemson for example, he takes the shortest path to the ball. There's no wasted movement or missteps; he naturally anticipates the oppositions' movement & arrives early on time. Really great defenders have field awareness where they're always in tune with the entire field. They not only can beat their man and win their assignment, but great defenders will also read the field and win secondary assignments like contributing towards their teammates' assignment. I don't see that upside with Leal. He's average to even below average when it comes to anticipation. So in essence, there are just too many plays where he's just "late." I'm not sure you can coach up instincts either. That being said, motor makes up for a lot and his runs hot. Athleticism matters too and his is outstanding. He's held to a higher standard though because he's regarded as a consensus top 10 pick. With that kind of draft capital you want an overall 3 down difference maker and more than just a guy who can win HIS assignment. Angle IQ aside, Leal is more of a speed DT than strength DT. He does not get much push when it comes to people moving so you don't want to ask him to maul/collapse the pocket consistently. In that sense he might do best as a 3 technique in a 4-3 or a DE in a 3-4. He played inside and out for A&M. No matter where he lines up, he wins with agility. That's his m.o. Maybe it's a stylistic preference, but if I'm picking a DT in the 1st round I really want him to have power. It's hard for me to rationalize drafting a player so high for the interior of my d-line if he only has half of the speed/power dimension(s). Albeit that speed dimension can be elite. In this case, people believe Leal's agility is elite enough to warrant top 10 consideration. Philosophically, I don't buy in that high. Specifically, this tape, although it has a lot of good qualities, looks more like a 2nd round player than a top 10 guy. We're still talking about a good player here who may be a quality pro, but the price paid may not justify the outcome. Certainly upside to be a quality pass rusher but round 1 feels a bit high for me.

Scout Grade - 2nd/3rd Round



Phidarian Mathis (+) Alabama

6'4 312

Part of a rotation, primarily a 1st and 2nd down run stopping NT but had statistical pass rush production too. He's a pretty intelligent player. Not overly fast or explosive, although he is athletic overall once you consider his large frame. He makes up for lack of top tier explosion through high IQ and reading the field well. He finds ways to be in position. He makes some run stops that will actually surprise you. It's like this, if you do your work correctly right from the snap, you might not necessarily have to chase a guy down. The best way I can describe it, if you had to summarize Phidarian Mathis' game in one word: containment. Although AL rotated him and moved him along the line, I think his role will be more defined as a pro and that he'll be able to commit to that 1 role: stop the run on 1st and 2nd down from the middle while not having to leave the field on obvious 3rd down passing situations. There were times they'd line him outside, but I don't expect as much of that as a pro. This is one of those rare cases where you've got a player who will potentially be a better pro than he was a collegiate. The overall feeling you get from watching him play is that you can trust him. Don't ask him to be something he's not or expect a world beater, stat-stuffing, pass rusher. That's not him. He's more jack of all trades, master of none. That said, he seems reliable at containing the run without being a liability in other phases. Given his athletic profile (which is above average strength with average size adjusted agility and movement skills) there could be some value here later in the draft. Seems like the type of player who might get drafted between rounds 3/4, but years later when people look back they'll realize "he's pretty good" and could've been picked higher. There will be more athletic players who go ahead of him, but not all of those guys' tape are as reliable. As far as improvement areas, he gets solid push into the pocket on bull rush, but I wonder if losing just a slight amount of bad weight might allow him to play more explosively. He seems naturally strong so I think trying to lean him out in order to maximize his movement skills might be worth a gamble. I can't see that resulting in losing too much strength. There's also the potential to develop into a 3 down player if he could get just a hair more explosive. One aspect that helps his grade is ball aggression. He goes for forced fumbles, and is aware enough to find the ball on the turf for recovery. Mathis doesn't jump off the tape by any means, but the more you watch the more you like. It's possible he climbs into early round 2 discussions if 34 teams think he has a shot to be a 34 DE. Scheme diverse enough to play either 43 DT role too (run stuffing NT or run stuffing 3 tech).

Scout Grade - 2nd/3rd Round



Logan Hall Houston 6'6 283

After 3 rotational type seasons, Hall produced well as a SR with 47 TKL, 13 TFL, & 6 SK. He's a unique prospect because his size isn't an indicator of his role. Despite being listed between 260 and 275, he's more of an interior DT prospect and most likely a 34 DE. Relentless attitude and holds ground well despite his lack of size. On bull rush he's somewhat of a handful and usually gets push into the pocket. It doesn't always result in sacks or "on the stat sheet" but you notice his presence. Hall is also a pretty heady player. There were some bubble screens to the outside where he was the 1st DL to diagnose the play and react. Overall Hall seems like an overachiever of sorts who wins with pursuit. His ceiling may be starter, not necessarily pro bowler but I could see him filling a lot of different roles and being moved between DT on passing downs and DE on rushing downs. The lack of production early in his career is slightly concerning, but it's possible he developed late. His unconventional size makes him more of a chess piece defender than traditional position but he could become an every down starter, albeit he may move up and down the line depending on down and distance. I don't think he makes your defense worse. He adds a unique dynamic and high effort run defender at worst. He's a higher floor, lower ceiling type option that will be best going to a team that just can't afford to have a "bust." Most likely will be targeted by a 3-4 team in need of a run stopping DE.

Scout Grade - 3rd Round



*Thomas Booker Stanford

6'4 310

There wasn't a ton of tape on Booker available, but from the little bit I could find, he looks really intriguing. Next to Josh Pascal from Kentucky & Devonte Wyatt from UGA, Booker has one of the best motors in this DL class. He's pro level athletic, twitchy, and very rangy. He works sideline to sideline as well as any DT in the class and is really good in space. He's not even listed by PFF or PFN as a top 300 or "draftable" prospect, yet I expect him to climb by draft day. If I didn't know any better, I'd expect 43 teams in need of a 3 tech to grade Booker as a potential 4th round guy. He has 3rd round speed traits but lacks anchor type power. He played all 4 years and performed well. Had 59 tackles as a SR, sprinkled 10 SK throughout his career along with quite a few PDs with 8. Booker is physical and willing to sacrifice his body. There's a reckless nature to how he tackles and a willingness to fly into the mix almost akin to how soccer goalies dives for stops. It's possible he falls in the draft because he's not an overtly powerful presence or body mover. In fact there were some examples of him getting moved off of his spot a little too easily vs power. Still, there's enough speed and explosion and effort to become a starting 3 tech at best and rotational inside/out defender at worst. Seems like one of the better value DTs and potential sleepers in this DT class. Hard to believe he'd fall past round 5, but it happens. 34 teams may not have him on their boards, and 43 teams may not view him as powerful enough so that's what he's trying to overcome. Lots of good DTs fall too, and it's usually speed oriented 3 techs like this. Jaylen Twyman & Daviyon Nixon from last year's class are good examples of this: all highly productive collegiates that went a lot later than initially projected. Booker is similar to both, stylistically. Still for a potential day 3 pick, there's rotational value early and possibly starting upside long term. He's someone that could really develop if a strength and conditioning coach can help him add power. He's hard to grade because overall I consider him a 4th/5th rd type prospect for some teams, but I might consider him the 3rd DT target for my Saints (after Jordan Davis & Devonte Wyatt). That doesn't mean their board should rank him over Leal or Mathis, rather, in a value adjusted sense he'd be a better target in round 4 than most other guys would be in round 2 or 3 (i.e., he "fits"). He's a good example of why draft boards/"grades" are not static, all encompassing; grades really range depending on team & scheme.

Scout Grade - 4th Round



*Haskell Garrett Ohio State

6'2 300

5th year senior who finally developed in his last season with the Buckeye's. Had 22 tackles with 5.5 sacks from the middle of a talented Ohio State defense. He's a fat boy, but man he moves well. Very twitchy with outstanding size adjusted agility. Swim moves past blockers before they're out of their stance on some plays. It's not just short area quickness either. He will chase runners to the boundary and can close 10 yards of distance in the pocket quickly. I see some real pass rush upside here considering he's a potential late pick. He's somewhat strong as an anchor but not the type of strength that is going to be moving the pile or collapsing the pocket. He's so twitchy for his size that it makes me wonder why he's carrying the extra weight. They list him at 6'2 300 but that doesn't sound right. He may be slightly shorter than that, slightly heavier. Might consider dropping 20 pounds, playing him as a pass rushing 3 technique in a 4-3 and leaning into his quickness. Even if he were 6'1 285, I'd be ok sacrificing some size if it meant he was even more agile because I think his best role in the pros would be as a pass rush specialist on passing downs. If that were in fact his role, it may not make sense to carry 1st and 2nd down weight on a player you're mainly looking to on 3rd downs for pass rush. Garrett's explosion is real. He's generally projected to be a 5th round pick but I could see him climbing as high as 3rd/4th round.

Scout Grade - 4th Round



Matthew Butler (+)

Tennessee

6'4 295

3 year starter in the SEC. Outstanding flashes of closing speed/acceleration. Best attribute is he closes 5 yards of space with a 2nd gear/explosive range that definitely catches my eye. Production & durability was good too with at least 43 TKL in each of his last 3 years. Had 5 SK & 1 FF as a SR. Butler has a leaner, more athletic build, especially for an interior lineman. There's some scheme versatility. 34 teams may look at him as a DE, but I lean towards him being a 3 tech in a 43. His arm length is a plus that he uses well. There are some good moments in space where he brings guys down unexpectedly. He's not super powerful, but he is physical. His strength is more upper body than lower body. Best moments are when he times his tackles perfectly and arrives to the ballcarrier with authority. He's not shy about trying to lay out the QB. Most outlets project Butler as a 4th round type prospect, which seems appropriate. I could see him going 4th/5th round. I'm not sure he has any elite traits that make him a clear starter, but he plays with adequate pursuit and could be a valuable rotational DL that can play inside and even out (in a pinch). Butler has pro level agility and acceleration, however he could benefit from adding more lower body power. There were moments where I wanted to see him bull rush and overpower blockers, yet he most often tries to win with speed even when bull rush appeared more appropriate. Being able to win with both would increase his ceiling quite a bit. Because of that lack of brute force, he could also fall in the draft. Much like Marvin Wilson from last year's class, Butler could go as high as round 4 and as low as undrafted. Athletically, I expect him to measure well and go towards the higher end. Still, all things considered, there's more tools than tape. Because of that I'd be most comfortable targeting him on day 3.

Scout Grade - 4th Round



*Otito Ogbonnia UCLA

6'4 320

As far as composure amidst chaos, Ogbonnia really looks his best in the noise. He navigates the middle of the field really well through heaps of bodies. Possible that's due to experience since he's one of the few 4 year starters in this class at his position. He's well rounded DT who plays with good motor, high IQ, and consistent pursuit. He does a great job of finding the ball. There are some physical limitations in the sense that he's not a brute power guy nor is he a super twitchy athlete. However, he is an above average blend of both. For a late round prospect, there's actually some upside here. I could see Ogbonnia becoming a good rotational player. He flashes power from time to time when it comes to push into the pocket, however it's inconsistent. He's slightly more oriented towards quickness/agility but more natural using those attributes in run defense as opposed to pass rush like you might expect from a "speed tackle." Absolutely warrants a draft pick. Upside to become an every down player with floor being rotational depth who wouldn't be out of place on any particular down or distance. Has a little more upside than draft projections or stats might indicate. Film is good with a lot to like. If I had to sum up his game in one phrase: efficient pursuit. He's generally projected between 4th & 6th rounds which seems about right. Scheme versatility for 34 or 43. Built like a NT but lacks 34 NT power. May end up in 43 as a traditional type of run stuffing DT. Seems ready to contribute early. Not super high ceiling, but relatively high floor considering projected draft range.

Scout Grade - 4th/5th Round



*Neil Farrell Jr

LSU

6'4 325

4 year SEC starter who's athletic for his size. Most NTs don't put up nearly 50 tackles in a collegiate season, especially in the SEC, so there's pedigree production-wise that really catches my eye. I'll admit, as a casual LSU fan, he's someone that I didn't really "notice" as a potential pro at LSU (for better & worse - meaning he never stuck out as a liability). Farrell is very fluid for his size. His upper body strength has some wowing moments, like moments where he'll control a blocker with 1 arm. Combine his best speed flashes like his efficient swim move, and there's a really nice blend of size/speed/strength. That baseline of traits immediately means he could contend for round 4/5 consideration. Beyond that would be good value and upside. He's a developmental player with run stuffing rotational value early in his career, but could develop into a 3 down starter long term. The main thing he'll have to improve is leverage. Even on his best plays, he plays too high. For 325 he's pretty rangy. His best glimpses remind me a little bit of Norman Hand. So, athletically there's a lot to like. At this point he's more tools than tape though. If he falls it could be due to lack of people pushing power. There are glimpses of power, but on a down by down basis, he doesn't get the pocket collapsing movement you might expect or hope for. I think learning to play lower may help that potential for power so he could develop into a better pro than collegiate. Kind of a hard player to grade. Based on flashes & traits I could see teams grading him as high as late 3rd/early 4th round, but based on game by game tape, I could also see teams grading him as low as 7th round. Has one of the wider potential range of outcomes in this DT class. Has a lot to like and work with but just as much to improve. Offers more value in run support than pass rush. May be limited to early downs as a pro. Likely a 43 DT target for teams that need size/rotational run support with upside/traits to develop as a pass rusher.

Scout Grade - 5th Round



*Marquan McCall

Kentucky

6'3 379

McCall's listed weight almost made me do a double take. He's big on film, but moves so fluidly and explosively for his size, that I didn't expect him to weigh above 340 much less 379 pounds. He plays more like a 43 speed DT, but is built like a 34 NT. On size adjusted athleticism alone, I could see teams liking him as a high upside day 3 pick. McCall is really explosive. Size aside, he bursts off the snap. I like that he lines up as close to the ball as possible too, meaning he has the least amount of distance to close. It sounds silly, but he's always lined up closest to the ball. He's nearly as explosive as guys like Haskell Garrett who are listed nearly 70 pounds lower. Once you factor his weight, I think there's starter level upside here. Obviously pro teams will want to eliminate any unneeded weight & inefficiency, but if a pro strength and conditioning program could get him down to an optimal playing weight (which is probably 320), than I can't even imagine how well he'd move. So much of his grade depends on his actual playing weight. If he really is near 380, than he might go undrafted because success rates once you go above 360 get really low. If he shows up to combine/pro day under 360 than I'd immediately consider him a round 5 - 7 type prospect. Even at 380, I might still draft him, but just work on his body for a year or two. There's not much production (two 20 tackle seasons), but on traits alone, his size adjusted explosion is enough to nearly make your jaw drop. Hard to believe a player this big, explosive could go undrafted. As a program, KY plays a very physical competitive brand of football on both sides of their trenches. McCall has some moments battling double teams where you really see a ferocious type of attitude towards the game. He's not a power player. You'd expect that by his size, but he doesn't push bodies into the backfield. He's more speed off the snap, and his strength is oriented more towards anchor than bull rush. The potential of getting his body to an optimal level is intriguing. He almost reminds me of Terrence Cody (former Alabama DT who played for the Ravens) in size/speed. There's just not many prospects at this size who move well. Rare traits. Very intriguing. This is the exact type of prospect that bad teams should look for late on day 3. The reward outweighs the risk, albeit his measurables are encroaching on "unprecedented" because very few players that heavy make it. What that means for McCall is teams will be biased against him because nobody 379 has really succeeded at the pro level. That being said, in my opinion, nobody this size moves this explosively either. Plus, weight can be lost. Burst & toughness on the other hand can't be taught. He'd be a really good fit for teams like the Lions or Jaguars that need an injection of attitude into their DL plus have the long term outlook to be patient enough with his development. McCall may not have much fanfare heading into this draft, but I have a feeling at least 1 team will see what I'm seeing here. He's one of the more unique prospects, almost to the point where you wonder if the listed weight is a 'typo.' Compared to other NTs in this class, I'd much rather take a chance on McCall in rounds 5-7 than I would on a guy like Travis Jones in round 3. His best bet is a long term outlook, lose weight, and lean into his strength which is size adjusted agility/explosion. Despite being built more like a NT, his game is more pass rush oriented and he may be best suited to become a 3 tech in a 43.

Scout Grade - 5th Round



John Ridgeway

Arkansas

6'6 320

1 year rotational starter who had 39 TKL & 2 SK as a SR. He's not fast but he does convert his speed to power, plus for his size he moves well enough. Very capable of arriving to the ball carrier with authority & his best plays were made in space (like bringing down runners in the 2nd level). Most likely will be targeted by teams in need of a developmental 34 DE to contribute in run support. Not much pass rush at this point in his development. He has some traits to offer long term potential though. Lack of production throughout college may hurt his draft grade, but Ridgeway did show flashes during his lone SR year to offer some intrigue. His best moments definitely flash starter upside. There's just not as many of those moments as you'd like. Arkansas used him rotationally so his production was actually done part time. He also lined up as their NT but as a pro I expect he'll move to DE. So it's possible in the pros, he'll have a role more suited to his game. There's nothing that jumps off the screen as "must have" however he did some things well off the stat sheet like eating double teams and anchoring against the run. Most likely a rotational run defender in a 34 which would normally mean UDFA, however Ridgeway flashed enough athleticism to warrant a day 3 pick. My expectation isn't that he develops into a starter, however it wouldn't surprise me if he did. Has tools.

Scout Grade - 5th Round



Jyden Peevy Texas A&M 6'6 315

Lined up as NT in a 3-4 front for a strong A&M defense and in between 2 other prospects in this class (DeMarvin Leal & Michael Clemons). He's kind of a lain athlete, middle of the road. He holds ground well and doesn't get moved off of his spot, but he also doesn't move bodies consistently like you might want. Still, he flashes some pro level power to become a potential rotational run stopping DE in a 3-4. I'm not sure he's girthy, powerful enough to stay at NT at the pro level. He moves fluidly for his size. Could improve leverage, or consistency with playing low. Uses his length well, which may be his most enticing attribute. Hard player to grade because there are some quality flashes, but it's mostly flashes. Most of what he does well doesn't hit the stat sheet. There were multiple plays where he ate 2 blockers, sometimes even 3. The attention he commanded in the middle absolutely allowed DeMarvin Leal to excel. Peevy is the type of DL that you put in your lineup because he makes people around him better. It's possible he'll go through entire games without hearing his name called too. Rotational early, but some long term upside. Pretty scheme specific to a 3-4. That's likely his best bet for potential success at least. Because this DT class lacks brute power, a player like Peevy might go higher than projected. He was off of my radar early in the process so this is one of only 2 player profiles that I added after the combine, however he flashed enough motor, effort and strength to go as high as late 4th/early 5th round. By round 5, he'd start to present good value. Seems high floor like you know what you're getting, and what you see is what you get. Will be picked on floor not ceiling.

Scout Grade - 5th Round



Eyioma Uwazurike

Iowa State

6'6 320

Size and production really jump off the screen for 34 Ds looking for a developmental DE late. Contributed & averaged about 25 TKL & 1.5 SK for 4 seasons than exploded as a 5th year SR with 43 TKL & 9 SK. He's not explosive, but he's fluid for his size. He's not overtly strong as a bull rusher, but he's strong enough to anchor and hold ground. Uwazurike is the type of player who's not listed on many outlets, and who's ranked as a UDFA by the few that mention him (like PFN), however because this class doesn't have many pure 34 DEs, I could see him climbing as high as rounds 4/5. I definitely think he gets drafted day 3 and would be surprised if he made it to the UDFA pool. Simply on length/movement & production. High IQ, pretty good nose for the football. Projects most likely as a rotational 34 DE but there's possibility of becoming a starter if he improves his counter moves and lower body strength. Despite the UDFA grades, its hard to imagine him falling past 5th/6th round. Most guys are "tools over tape" when it comes to draft time because teams always look for upside. However, this is one of the few guys who may lack athletic tools, but his production is so much better than his tools, that you wonder if he can continue "overachieving." Essentially nothing he does athletically jumps off the screen, but when you're 6'6 320 and get 9 sacks, it's hard to ignore, especially when you do it in spite of not having those top tier traits. Athletically, he's not bad; he's just rotational looking. Unique player as far as this class is concerned.

Scout Grade - 7th Round



*Noah Elliss Idaho 6'4 367 Large early entrant NT with pro strength. Possibly the 2nd strongest DT in this class next to Jordan Davis. Only played 4 games as a rsSO due to injury. Didn't play in 2020 due to covid. Only played 6 games as a rsJR due to "covid shortened season." No tape available on Elliss & only a 1:34 second highlight reel with a few plays, so this assessment is based on extremely little information. He looks like a target for a 3-4 D in need of a run stuffing NT on early downs. May not offer value on passing downs, but has strength to eat bodies in the middle. In the few flashes that are available, he appears to showcase people moving power which this class doesn't have many examples of. In that sense, he could be picked because of how that trait stacks up relative to the rest of this particular class. Statistical profile is limited: 18 TKL in 6 games as a JR. His brother Kaden plays LB for the Saints and his younger brother plays LB for Idaho, so he comes from a pro football bloodline. Really need more information to assess. It's hard to imagine a player with only 10 games under his belt being drafted, but the league is moving more towards traits and less towards production so it's not unthinkable. Most outlets showed Elliss undrafted, however after the combine PFF upped their grade on him to 4th rd-ish. This is one of the only profiles I added after the combine because he was was one of the few players that wasn't listed anywhere early in the process. Even so, I can't grade a player on the combine and a 5 play highlight reel. If he gets picked its on one trait: power. It's also worth mentioning that players who weigh over 360 pounds rarely make it. It's unlikely that's his actual weight (because all of the college programs inflate height/weight/pro day numbers to boost their player's stock), but if it is, he'll want to make sure he gets to an optimum, efficient playing weight.

Scout Grade - 7th Round



Travis Jones (+) UConn

6'4 333

Space eating 4-3 DT & possible 3-4 NT. He's just big, and some of the weight appears borderline sloppy that I think it's slowing him down. On a lot of plays where he has a chance to make a play, he looks like he lacks the explosion you'd need to be a starting pro. I think there's potential to be part of a run stopping rotation but I do not see much upside or 3 down potential. Big also doesn't mean strong. Against teams like Middle Tennessee State, I want to see him consistently exerting his strength to collapse the pocket because the level of competition is so much less than the pros, yet he barely gets any push on obvious passing downs. Jones really doesn't have any aspect of his game that would make me want to target him (maybe late like 7th round if you just needed NT depth). I think he's too slow, carries bad weight, and lacks power. Normally with a prospect this size you'd expect to see power, but there are very few examples of him using power to move bodies or collapse the pocket. "Eating space" just isn't enough of a benefit to warrant a draft pick in my eyes. It surprises me that some outlets view him as a top 100 pick. I keep trying to "see it" but I just don't. Reports were that he had a good senior bowl, but on tape there's nothing that's jumps off especially considering the lesser levels of competition. Based on measurables you'd expect 34 teams to consider him as a nose tackle. He's someone that I might avoid. Too much value is being placed on what he could be instead of what he is and has done (or hasn't).

Scout Grade - 7th Round



Chris Hinton (+)

Michigan

6'4 310

Early entrant JR who only started 1 year where he had 32 TKL, 1 SK, 2 FR. Hinton is the type of player who really would've benefited from returning for his SR season. There's some potential value because his short track record will cause him to fall in the draft, yet there's also inherent risk because you only have 1 season to grade, and he's being graded as a younger, more raw prospect. There's very little information on Hinton. Only about a 50 second highlight reel and not many games available. Most outlets project Hinton to be a 4th/5th round pick, but I think those grades are more based on traits than actual performance. In the few games I could find, Hinton plays way too high, doesn't get enough push on bullrush, and doesn't have much allure in explosive attributes. I know he played next to Hutchinson and Ojabo, but on most snaps Hinton is the last guy off the ball. I'd like to see him time his snaps better and explode off of the snap with more authority. He uses his arm length well in the run game to keep from being out of the play, and he also flashes good size adjusted agility, but at no point does his production jump off of the screen. Frankly, there's no attribute that sticks out as "must have." I could see 34 teams liking him as a long term developmental option, and maybe even some 43 teams that see him as a versatile interior DT that could play multiple roles, but overall I don't see dominance. With so much talent around him, I really would've wanted to see more dominant flashes in college. Without that, it's hard for me to justify targeting him before day 3. He has enough youth, athleticism and size to offer some intrigue late, but he's a project that really should've returned to Michigan for a SR season. It's hard to picture him as a pro starter if he couldn't do it in college. Rotated off of the field more than I'd like. If it weren't for the pedigree of Michigan's program, I would've thought Hinton was a consensus UDFA.

Scout Grade - 7th Round/UDFA



*Jordan Jackson

Air Force

6'5 285

Jackson is a highly productive 3 year starter who's sort of a tweener between potential 3 tech 43 DT and 5 tech 34 DE. He had 54 TKL & 4.5 SK as a SO. 38 TKL & 3.5 SK as a JR. 41 TKL & 7.5 SK as a SR. There's very little tape available, but on production alone, I had to type a profile for him. For a productive pass rusher and 3 year starter, it's shocking that so little information is available. He's one of the only players in this class that doesn't have any game film available or highlights. Most guys at least have a highlight reel. So this grade is based on very little information, mainly production. However on statistical proile alone, he may be considered late on day 3. If more tape becomes available, I will add to his profile. Based on build & stats, one might assume he'll be a target for 43 defenses as an undersized pass rushing 3 tech DT. He's nearly sloppy in his build without much muscle mass. At 285, I was expecting more of a refined, muscular build but instead he appears to carry some bad weight in his mid section and doesn't have much definition or mass in his arms. There are strongmen who win national strength competitions that don't have muscle definition, so it's not always an indicator of strength, however looking more like the part might not hurt.

Scout Grade - 7th Round/UDFA



DJ Davidson

Arizona State

6'5 325

Started as a SO with 51 TKL & 1.5 SK. As a SR had 57 TKL. Coached by former pro coach Herm Edwards and plays next to a really good DT in Jermayne Lole who most expected to enter early in this draft but unexpectedly returned for his SR year. Very little tape available, and only a few highlights. Not enough information to really grade. Size and production are intriguing enough to take note and at least account for him with a profile. 57 TKL is really active for an interior DL. Based on size, one might expect Davidson to be a 34 DE target. I'll add more to his profile if more film becomes available and if his performance warrants follow up. Based on few plays I could find, he may lack range to play pro. He has size to possibly develop into a rotational player, but might be best utilized in a purely downhill role on early downs.

Scout Grade - UDFA



Jordan Williams (+)

Virginia Tech/Clemson

6'1 290

Played initially at Clemson where as a SO he had 22 TKL & 2.5 SK. He transferred to V Tech where he had 33 TKL & 2.5 SK as a SR. Built like a 3 tech & 43 DT. He's an athletic player who's built well; not much sloppy weight and looks like a weight room warrior. He's more of a speed player than power player, yet as far as prospects go, he's sort of average in speed traits. Because of that, at 290 pounds, he'll likely go undrafted. There might be some rotational/developmental intrigue since he performed well at 2 different programs, 2 good programs, but that's picking based more on pedigree than the actual player. Granted, there's not much information or tape available on Williams, so I'm assessing based on limited information, however 1st impressions appear to be a UDFA type prospect who'll be fighting for a rotational role in a 43. Nothing jumps off the screen, but he appears adequate enough athletically to at least account for him with a profile. I'll add more to his profile if more film becomes available and if his performance warrants follow up. His best moments look a little bit like Shy Tuttle. Tuttle went undrafted but developed into a rotational player. That's likely Williams ceiling.

Scout Grade - UDFA



Julius Turner (+)

Rutgers

6'0 275

4 year starter who averaged about 35 TKL & 1.5 SK per season. Despite the production, there is very little information or tape available on Turner. No game film available and only about 1 minute worth of highlights. Listed height/weight seem too undersized, and from the little bit of film available he appears just average athletically. Because of that he'll likely be undrafted. Still, he has pro level agility and his frame looks bigger than his listed size. Really need more information to accurately assess. Based on few flashes available, likely a 3 tech in a 43. Looks rotational. I'll add more to his profile if more film becomes available and if his performance warrants follow up. 1st impressions seem average to below average as far as DT prospects go.

Scout Grade - UDFA



DIDN'T DECLARE EARLY (next year's class)

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Tyler Davis Clemson

Great angle IQ, great natural power, great production. Utilizes leverage on bull rush and gets great push. Converts speed to power too with outstanding acceleration. This is a top tier talent who dominated the ACC as a true Freshman. He flashes some fantastic stuff. Not sure why he isn't ranked higher. Not much film available so I'll need to follow up as more tape becomes available and we get closer to draft time, but initial instinct is Tyler Davis is a 1st round talent. I don't recall many true freshman defensive tackles looking this dominant. I'm reaching back in my memory through the past 15 years of draft study, and I just can not recall many examples of 18 year old true freshman showcasing this type of dominance at the position. It's not just collegiate production either. We've seen guys like Harrison Phillips for example who were ultra productive collegiate players. In Davis' case, he is an elite athlete for a DT too. There's scheme versatility. He's got enough power to hold up against the run in a 4-3 front, and enough juice to push the pocket as a 3-4 D. So many lineman are either power players or speed players. Davis appears to legitimately be both. That's rare. So if his age adjusted production is rare and his athletic profile is rare...that's what you look for in your 1st round pick. 1st round grade is what my eyes are telling me. There must be more to his story though because he is currently ranked by most outlets to be a 4th round pick.


Jermayne Lole Arizona State

There's not much tape available on Lole yet, but my 1st impressions from the little bit I could find is that he looks a lot like Tyeler Davison from Fresno State a few years back. Davison also lined up at both DT and DE, and was a twitchy strength combo DT. Davison went 5th round but became a quality rotational big who is still an impact player. Lole might be slightly more explosive and slightly less powerful, but he looks like a quality late round target for DT depth. He'll be either a 3 technique in a 4-3 or there may be interest from 3-4 defenses that want to try him at DE because he flashes some size adjusted explosion. If you had to sum up his game in one word: active. Last year as a junior Lole had a whopping 71 tackles with 6.5 sacks. That is a ton of production from the middle of a line. He's coached by former head coach and commentator Herm Edwards and was primed to be the leader of the Sun Devil defense before getting hurt early in the year and having to sit out due to tricep surgery. As long as his medicals check out, this is a high upside late round target. I'll update once I have more film available, however initial instinct is that he checks both boxes for production and for athleticism. He's not huge or physically imposing, nor is he top tier explosive. But he is an athlete and he produced more tackles than anyone else in his position group so you can't overlook the production. Injuries matter, but the fact it's tricep injury and not lower body makes me more tolerant of the injury risk and likelihood of recovery. If anything, it's just better value because had he come back for his senior season and duplicated his Junior year, we'd be talking about a potential 3rd round pick. The fact you might be able to get him in the 5th or 6th round is good value.

Scout Grade - 4th Round



Keeanu Benton Wisconsin

Early entrant Nose Tackle who may shift to run stopper in a 4-3. Very little game tape to assess so will have to come back to the prospect once more film becomes available. Production was limited with 23 tackles on the year but did have a 6 tackle and 2 sack game vs Minnesota who's known for having a quality offensive line.

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