Myles Garrett*, 3-4OLB, Texas A&M
Height: 6-4. Weight: 272. Arm: 35.25. 40 Time: 4.64. Projected Round (2017): No.1-Overall Pick. 4/26/17: There are some rumblings that the Browns might go with quarterback to the 2017 NFL Draft, but most still believe that Garrett will be their selection with the No. 1-overall pick. Garrett was phenomenal at the combine, displaying his great skill set with a fast 40 and a great showing in the field drills. There is no doubt that Garrett is a freak athlete. He has ridiculous speed and a developed body with natural strength.
Garrett has a tremendous first-step out of his stance. After his get-off, Garrett quickly accelerates to turn the corner. He has the ability to sink his hips and bend around the tackles to get pointed to the quarterback. Garrett has good balance and natural strength to fight off blockers, too. There were times where he also flashed speed to power and would push offensive tackles into the pocket after getting upfield.
Aside from his blinding speed and strength, Garrett has instincts to go for forced fumbles and batted passes. He isn't just a great athlete; he's a football player who happens to be a great athlete. Garrett can redirect extremely well with superb pursuit skills. He has active hands to fight off blockers, and a motor that doesn't underwhelm. Garrett isn't a finished product, so there are things he can improve on like run defense and holding his ground at the point of attack. He did show progress there as a junior.
For the season, Garrett had 33 tackles, 15 for a loss, 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He dealt with an ankle injury after a cheap shot by Arkansas' Dan Skipper. In Week 1, Garrett notched three tackles, 1.5 for a loss and one sack against UCLA. He had his way with Bruins left tackle Conor McDermott and got his sack by bull rushing through McDermott. He has blinding speed off the edge and is a natural pass-rusher. Garrett could be the best prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft.
9/3/16: Immediately after arriving at Texas A&M in 2014, Garrett began dominating college football. In 2015, he recorded 59 tackles with 12.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, two passes batted and an interception.
Garrett has blinding speed off the edge and is a natural pass-rusher. He could be the best prospect in college football and could have been in the running for the No. 1-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft if he had been able to declare.
There is no doubt that Garrett is a freak athlete. He has ridiculous speed and a developed body with natural strength. The junior has a tremendous first-step out of his stance. After his get-off, Garrett quickly accelerates to turn the corner. He has the ability to sink his hips and bend around the tackles to get pointed to the quarterback. Garrett has good balance and natural strength to fight off blockers. There are times where he also flashes speed to power and can push offensive tackles into the pocket after getting upfield.
Aside from his blinding speed and strength, Garrett has instincts to go for forced fumbles and batted passes. He isn't just a great athlete; he's a football player who happens to be a great athlete. Garrett can redirect extremely well with superb pursuit skills. He has active hands to fight off blockers, and a motor that doesn't underwhelm.
Garrett isn't a finished product, so there are things he can improve on. There are plays in the run game that he can get pushed back. If Garrett stays in a 4-3 defense, he could use more strength for holding his gap against downhill runs. He also gets in trouble in this regard when he stands up too high. While Garrett is a blinding edge rusher, he should continue to work on pass-rushing moves for use against NFL offensive tackles. His skill set alone won't be enough to be beat good left tackles in the pro game.
Garrett (6-5, 260) took college football by storm in 2014 as he was an impact-making defender for the Aggies from Day 1. The fast and athletic Garrett was a force on the edge as a quarterback hunter. He had 11.5 sacks with 53 tackles and 14 for a loss. That sack total broke the NCAA freshman record previously set by Jadeveon Clowney.
Taco Charlton, 3-4OLB, Michigan
Height: 6-6. Weight: 277. Arm: 34.25. 40 Time: 4.92. Projected Round (2017): 1. 4/26/17: Sources have said that Charlton should go in the top half of the first round and has a shot at going in the top 10. He has an excellent skill set with athletic upside for the NFL. Numerous scouts have compared Charlton to Carlos Dunlap and think he could be that kind of edge defender. If Charlton slides in the first round, it will be because of some concerns from his medical evaluation.
Entering the 2016 season, Charlton flashed for Michigan but was mainly a backup and also was used inside at tackle. In 2016 though, he had 9.5 sacks, 43 tackles and 13 tackles for a loss as the bookend defensive end with the impressive Chris Wormley. Charlton is athletic with versatile size to be a base end in a 4-3 defense or a standup linebacker in a 3-4. He is a fast defender with athleticism and some functional strength.
Solomon Thomas*, 3-4OLB, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 273. Arm: 33. 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2017): 1-2. 4/26/17: As expected, Thomas had a good workout at the combine. NFL teams aren't as high on Thomas the media though. In speaking with sources from nine different teams, seven of them thought that Thomas is more of a mid- to late first-round pick. The issue that is coming up the most with Thomas is that many teams feel has tweener size with his best fit coming as an end in a 4-3 defense, although he lacks length for that position. Teams that run a 3-4 don't see a great fit for him. They also point to some underwhelming game tapes namely versus USC and Washington.
WalterFootball.com was the first to report that Thomas intended to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. The junior enjoyed an excellent 2016 season as a big presence in Stanford's defense. On the year, he totaled 62 tackles with 15 for a loss, eight sacks and one forced fumble. Thomas has good speed off the edge with strength and physicality. Off the field, he is getting high marks for character and work ethic.
Charles Harris, 3-4OLB, Missouri
Height: 6-3. Weight: 253. Arm: 32.38. 40 Time: 4.82. Projected Round (2017): 1. 4/26/17: For the NFL, Harris is a speed edge rusher could fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Harris is fast off the edge with a functional ability to fight off blockers. He isn't a great fit for a 4-3 defense, but could add weight to be a right defensive end. Team sources say that he has excellent football character, work ethic, leadership and competitiveness.
Harris totaled 61 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, two passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2016. To start the season, he turned in underwhelming performances against West Virginia and Eastern Michigan with a total of five tackles in those games. Harris exploded versus Georgia though, racking up three sacks and seven tackles.
8/13/16: Harris (6-3, 235) is a speedy edge rusher who broke out in 2015 with 56 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. He was a backup as a redshirt freshman in 2014 and notched two sacks. Harris needs to add weight for the NFL.
What Harris does the best is get after the quarterback. He is a fast edge rusher with a fantastic first-step. He quickly gets penetration into the backfield and shows a nice ability to finish off plays. Harris is a fast edge rusher who can burn tackles with pure speed around the corner. Not only is his speed dangerous, but Harris shows some good moves with an excellent spin move back to the inside. He has some speed-to-power skills with the ability to fight offensive tackles. Harris also possesses some functional strength for the pass rush and shows quality read-and-react skills.
Aside from his run defense, Harris could use work on improving a few things. Running more hoop drills could help him to sink his hips better, as there have been instances when he looked a little stiff hipped. Harris has a good starting point for pass-rushing moves that is a lot more advanced than many early round pass-rushers who just rely on their natural athleticisms, but continuing to developed more moves and master his current ones is always a good idea. Harris should continue to refine and expand his moves arsenal. He also should work on his hand usage to continue to get better at as using his hands and feet at the same time.
For the NFL, I think Harris would be an excellent fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He has a good body type for that. He could remain a 4-3 defensive end, but he could have problems in run defense in that scheme.
Derek Barnett*, 3-4OLB, Tennessee
Height: 6-3. Weight: 259. Arm: 32.13. 40 Time: 4.88. Projected Round (2017): 1. 4/26/17: In 2016, Barnett totaled 56 tackles with 19 for a loss, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes broken up and one interception. He came up with huge plays to help Tennessee earn comeback wins over Georgia and Florida. Barnett also beat Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson for a strip-sack. Barnett consistently put a lot of pressure on the quarterback in 2016. As a prospect, scouting sources say that Barnett is very similar to Shaq Lawson, who ended up being a top-20 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
9/3/16: In 2015, Barnett recorded 69 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and 10 sacks. Those 10 sacks matched his extremely impressive freshman season for the Volunteers. 2014, which saw him set freshman records at Tennessee, also saw him rack up 72 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss. Barnett (6-3, 268) is a fast edge defender and a natural pass-rusher, who clearly has a ton of upside.
The best traits that Barnett illustrates are an ability to sink his hips and dip under tackles to get leverage before chasing down the quarterback. Barnett bends extremely well and has enough lower body strength to stay up with tackles pressing down on him. Barnett's hands are very good for a college player, too. He also shows a nice ability to use his hands and feet at the same time.
In the ground game, Barnett is a solid defender. He has room for improvement, yet isn't a liability. Barnett could wear down in the NFL, however, and should continue to work on his strength in order to be a run stopper as a professional.
Barnett has other areas to improve. He is a little stiff in the open field with redirection, so that is one area to get better at. Most importantly for the NFL, Barnett should work on building up a repertoire of pass-rushing moves. He needs to develop a spin move, a rip move, and maybe a club move - if he adds strength. Barnett is too reliant on using speed and trying to dip under offensive tackles. In the NFL, he's going to need more than that.
T.J. Watt*, 3-4OLB, Wisconsin
Height: 6-4. Weight: 252. Arm: 33.13. 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2017): 1-2. 4/26/17: Watt had a strong debut to open the 2016 season with an impressive game against LSU. That set the tone for an excellent junior year, and Watt decided to skip his senior campaign to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. He is a good edge rusher who also is very tough at setting the edge in the ground game. Watt would be a perfect fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. In a 4-3 defense, he could be a Sam (strongside) linebacker who rushes off the edge in pass situations. He could gain weight to be a right end as well.
Watt performed well at the combine showing good speed, athleticism and plenty of upside. In 2016, he recorded 63 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles. In 2015, Watt was a backup who totaled eight tackles with three passes broken up. He is the younger brother of J.J. Watt and Derek Watt.
Takkarist McKinley, 3-4OLB, UCLA
Height: 6-2. Weight: 250. Arm: 34.75. 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round (2017): 1-3. 4/26/17: McKinley is a pass-rushing specialist who really blossomed during 2016. He racked up 61 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and six passes batted on the season. It is a big improvement over his 2015 production when he had 35 tackle with 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes broken up. McKinley was a backup prior to that, but still had 2.5 sacks.
For the NFL, McKinley's body type would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Some team sources have McKinley graded in the mid-rounds, but the team that likes him early enough to draft him could do so in the first or second round as the hype suggests that some team will reach on McKinley because of his speed-rush potential.
McKinley is a fast, explosive, and high motor as a run-and-chase defender, but he enters the NFL as a one-trick pony speed rusher. He is very fast off the edge with an explosive first-step and excellent closing speed. McKinley is a dynamic speed rusher and dangerous quarterback hunter coming from the backside. However, he lacks pass-rushing moves and is extremely tight. McKinley is purely a speed rusher and needs to learn more moves for the NFL. Long offensive tackles also give him problems getting around them. McKinley has a good motor and gets some sacks on second effort.
In the ground game, McKinkley can get destroyed on some plays. He can get pushed out of his gap and ridden around the field. He is at his best in pursuit using his explosive speed to chase down backs. McKinley is better at trying to fire into the backfield to disrupt runs and then hold his ground at the point of attack. Maintaing gap integrity is going to be a big challenge for McKinley against NFL offensive linemen.
Tyus Bowser, 3-4OLB, Houston
Height: 6-2. Weight: 244. Arm: 33. Hand: 10.13. 40 Time: 4.65. Projected Round (2017): 1-3. 4/26/17: In 2016, Bowser had 47 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass batted. He was a tough edge rusher for Houston. His best fit could come as a 3-4 outside and inside linebacker. In a 4-3 defense, Bowser would fit as a Sam (strongside) linebacker who also serves as a designated pass-rusher off the edge in passing situations. Bowser could go in the early rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft as teams like his speed, explosion, and athletic ability.
Tim Williams, 3-4OLB, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 244. Arm: 32.75. 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2017): 2-3. 4/26/17: We were right on the money projecting Williams to run a 4.68-second time in the 40-yard dash. On the other hand, he didn't do as well as expected in the field drills.
In 2016, Williams totaled nine sacks, 16 tackles for a loss, 31 tackles, two forced fumbles and a pass batted. He put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and really stepped up with some big games against Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU and Mississippi State. Williams was very consistent on the season with generating a pass rush and producing sacks.
Williams likely hurt his draft stock in late September with an arrest for carrying a pistol without a permit. Alabama suspended him for the first half of the game against Kentucky as a result. WalterFootball.com, however, was first to report of other off-the-field issues that are hurting Williams' draft stock as he failed many drug tests at Alabama. Multiple team sources believe Williams could slip to Round 2 and their teams won't consider Williams in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. They say the severity of his substance-abuse issues are similar to Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory, who was one of the most talented players for the 2015 NFL Draft, yet slipped to the second round. Gregory has had repeated suspensions in the NFL, and teams are worried that Williams could face a similar issue.
8/13/16: Even though Williams wasn't a starter in 2015, he had a breakout season for the Crimson Tide. Alabama used him as a situational pass-rusher, and he recorded 10.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss and 19 tackles in that role. Williams came on really strong to help the Crimson Tide win a National Championship.
The senior is a fast edge rusher with a nose for the quarterback. It will be interesting to see if Williams can evolve into an every-down defender.
Jordan Willis, 3-4OLB, Kansas State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 255. Arm: 33.25. Hand: 10. 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2017): 2-3. 4/26/17: Willis was one of the stars of the combine's defensive line drills with a very fast 40 time. He also did well in the field drills, in which he looked smooth and athletic. That performance should solidify him to go no lower than the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Willis caused a lot of disruption and negative plays for his defense in an impressive senior year. In 2016, he totaled 11.5 sacks, 52 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, three passes batted and three forced fumbles. Willis has good strength to set the edge in rush defense and pass-rush skills off the edge. He could play as a defensive end in a 4-3 or an outside linebacker in a 3-4.
Ryan Anderson, 3-4OLB, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 258. Arm: 31.75. Hand: 9.38. 40 Time: 4.78. Projected Round (2017): 2-3. 4/26/17: Anderson totaled 54 tackles with 17 for a loss, eight sacks, two passes broken up, one interception and three forced fumbles during 2016. He had impressive games with excellent pass-rushing contributions against USC, Ole Miss and many other opponents. Throughout his senior year, Anderson made a lot of clutch plays in crunch time to help create turnovers or splash plays for his defense. He doesn't have the best skill set, but he is an instinctive football player. Anderson played well at the Senior Bowl and helped himself.
For the NFL, Anderson would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. In a 4-3 defense, he would be a Sam (strongside) linebacker.
8/13/16: Anderson came on strong to close out the 2015 season. He totaled 37 tackles with 11.5 for a loss, six sacks and two forced fumbles. Anderson has versatile size and upside to develop. He should take on a bigger role with Reggie Ragland in the NFL.
Dawuane Smoot, 3-4OLB, Illinois
Height: 6-2. Weight: 255. Arm: 32.75. Hand: 9.13. 40 Time: 4.77. Projected Round (2017): 2-3. 4/26/17: Sources say that Smoot is very athletic and explosive off the edge; however, they feel he is more disruptive than productive. Smoot is the kind of player who will have a lot of pressures on the quarterback, but only a few sacks. Sources say he could be an edge defender similar to Nick Perry. In speaking to sources at multiple teams during the season, they viewed Smoot as a mid- to late first-rounder. The grades were lowered to the middle of the second day later in the year.
Smoot notched 56 tackles and 15 for a loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted in 2016. He had a quality week at the Senior Bowl and followed it up with a nice performance at the combine.
Smoot had a strong junior season in 2015 as he totaled eight sacks with 15 tackles for a loss, 40 tackles, two passes batted and three forced fumbles. He started across from Jihad Ward, and sources said that Smoot impressed them while grading Ward for the 2016 NFL Draft. As a sophomore in 2014, Smoot had 33 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks.
Carroll Phillips, 3-4OLB, Illinois
Height: 6-3. Weight: 242. Arm: 31.75. Hand: 9.5. 40 Time: 4.64. Projected Round (2017): 2-4. 4/26/17: Phillips has first-round talent, but he probably will fall to the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft. He faced some off-the-field concerns, but those were cleared up in his favor and Phillips was cleared of any wrong doing. WalterFootball.com knows some teams that really like Phillips and have him in play on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2016, Phillips recorded 56 tackles with 20 tackles for a loss, nine sacks and one forced fumble.
Phillips is a sleeper prospect who some NFL teams love and others are lukewarm on. The teams that love Phillips say he is super athletic and twitchy. They feel that his speed and athleticism is very similar to Leonard Floyd. Like Floyd at Georgia, Phillips can struggle some on run downs; however, they feel that he is a gifted, natural pass-rushing talent. The teams that aren't in love with Phillips don't see him as a high pick, as one could expect.
As a junior, Phillips made 26 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks as the backup to Jihad Ward.
Carl Lawson*, 3-4OLB, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 261. Arm: 31.5. 40 Time: 4.67. Projected Round (2017): 3-5. 4/26/17: In 2016, Lawson recorded 30 tackles with 12.5 for a loss, nine sacks and one forced fumble. He is a quick edge rusher who will fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. Lawson is stiff as a rusher, but has some strength. His medical evaluation is going to be critical, and he could get flunked by some teams medically.
9/3/16: Lawson has a first-round skill set, but injuries have derailed his career. If he stays healthy for 2016 though, he could easily rise. In last season's opener against Louisville, Lawson made four tackles, two for a loss and one sack in the first half before hurting his hip. That injury caused him to miss half the season. Lawson came back and played well against Ole Miss. He looked good and was a challenge for Rebels star left tackle Laremy Tunsil. Over the course of his limited 2015 season, Lawson totaled 17 tackles, 2.5 for a loss and two sacks. He missed the entire 2014 season with an injury. Lawson is a fast edge rusher with natural pass-rushing skills, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy.
Daeshon Hall, 3-4OLB, Texas A&M
Height: 6-5. Weight: 265. Arm: 34.63. Hand: 9.5. 40 Time: 4.76. Projected Round (2017): 3-5. 4/26/17: In 2016, Hall collected 50 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted. He had some good games for the Aggies, but wasn't consistent with his pass-rush production. Hall was solid against the run as a senior and went on to have a respectable week at the Senior Bowl.
9/3/16: Hall looked poised to break out last season after picking up an impressive four sacks against Louisville in Week 1. However, that performance was an anomaly, as the junior finished 2015 with a total of 54 tackles with 12.5 for a loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. Despite seeing great pass-rushing opportunities playing across from Myles Garrett, Hall wasn't consistent.
Hall is a fast edge rusher who has to show more consistency and was wise to return for his senior year. In 2014 as a sophomore, he recorded 29 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Deatrich Wise Jr., 3-4OLB, Arkansas
Height: 6-6. Weight: 271. Arm: 35.63. 40 Time: 4.92. Projected Round (2017): 4-6. 4/26/17: In 2016, Wise had 49 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and three passes batted. He displayed improvement in his run defense, but his pass-rush production dropped off from the 2015 season. Wise had a decent week at the the East-West Shrine.
9/3/16: In 2015, Wise had 31 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, eight sacks and three passes broken up as a situational pass-rusher. He has a lot of upside to grow into a bigger role. It was a huge improvement for Wise year over year, and he could continue to climb if he builds on last season's performance. Wise had 13 tackles with three for a loss and two sacks in 2014.
Josh Carraway, 3-4OLB, TCU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 241. Arm: 32.88. Hand: 9. Projected 40 Time: 4.74. Projected Round (2017): 4-6. 4/26/17: Carraway totaled 49 tackles with eight sacks, 11 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble in 2016. He is a speed rusher off the edge with some athleticism. Carraway didn't impress at the Senior Bowl.
8/13/16: In 2015, Carraway had an impressive season for the Horned Frogs with 47 tackles, nine sacks, 11.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and two passes batted. He has the size to fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Devonte Fields, 3-4OLB, Louisville
Height: 6-4. Weight: 240. Projected 40 Time: 4.65. Projected Round (2017): 4-6. 4/26/17: Fields had 45 tackles with nine for a loss, six sacks and three passes batted in 2016. He played well at times for Louisville, but wasn't always consistent. Sources say the significant off-the-field concerns with Fields are going to weigh down his draft stock, but that is no shocker given how things went for him at TCU.
8/13/16: Fields would be a little higher in these rankings if it weren't for the off-the-field issues that could weigh down his draft stock. Playing for TCU in 2012, Fields took the Big XII by storm as a First-Team All-Big XII pick and the Big XII Freshman of the Year. That breakout season saw him notch 10 sacks, 53 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, four passes batted, two forced fumbles and an interception.
Fields then missed the next two seasons with an injury and having to sit out as things fell apart for him at TCU. He transferred to Louisville for 2015 and was dreadful in the first half of the season. In the first six games of the year, Fields had only .5 sacks. However, midway through the year the switch was flipped and he went on a tear to close out the season with 10.5 sacks in the final seven games. Fields totaled 64 tackles with 22.5 for a loss, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and three passes batted in 2015.
There is no doubt that Fields is very fast off the edge. He has a quick first-step and gets upfield. Fields uses his speed and agility to turn the corner and get pointed to the quarterback. Fields' closing speed is tremendous as once he is free, he eats up ground in an instant to get to quarterbacks in the pocket or running backs in the ground game. With how fast Fields is in pursuit, he can make plays in the pass rush and ground game that other edge rushers are incapable of making.
There are a number of areas for improvement though for the NFL. Fields definitely has to get stronger. He can get pushed around in the ground game. When offensive linemen engage him, he can struggle to maintain his gap and shed blocks. Fields is in trouble when runs come downhill straight at him. Adding strength would also help his pass rush as Fields could use that to help get blockers hands off of him.
Fields definitely needs to develop more pass-rushing moves for the next level. Right now, he is getting by on his speed and athleticism.
Garrett Sickels*, 3-4OLB, Penn State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 261. Arm: 32.13. 40 Time: 4.90. Projected Round (2017): 4-6. 4/26/17: Sickels decided to skip his senior season at Penn State and enter the 2017 NFL Draft. The junior recorded 47 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks in 2016. The previous season, he had 35 tackles with five tackles for a loss and three sacks playing on the other side from Carl Nassib. Sickels would probably fit best in the NFL as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Ken Ekanem, 3-4OLB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-3. Weight: 257. Arm: 32. 40 Time: 4.88. Projected Round (2017): 5-7. 4/26/17: On the season, Ekanem recorded 36 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and two passes broken up. He has some situational pass-rush potential for the NFL.
9/3/16: In 2015, Ekanem notched 39 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and three passes batted. He is more of a 3-4 outside linebacker type for the NFL.
Ejuan Price, 3-4OLB, Pittsburgh
Height: 5-11. Weight: 241. Arm: 32.75. 40 Time: 4.84. Projected Round (2017): 5-7. 4/26/17: Price is a fast edge rusher who will have to transition to outside or maybe inside linebacker in the NFL. He was a terror in the pass rush as a senior with 13 sacks, 45 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, three force fumbles and one pass broken up.
As a pro, Price might fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He has speed off the edge with functional strength to fight off blockers, but he has a crippling lack of length. Some team sources aren't convinced there is a good position for him in the NFL.
As a junior in 2015, Price totaled nine sacks with 13 tackles for a loss and 26 tackles. He could have a medical red flag with teams as he missed the 2014 season with a chest muscle injury from the offseason. He also took a medical redshirt while missing the 2012 season from a pectoral injury. Those missed seasons will result in Price being a bit older as he will be 24 in his rookie season.
Darius English, 3-4OLB, South Carolina
Height: 6-6. Weight: 238. Projected 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2017): 5-7. 4/26/17: In 2016, English totaled 60 tackles with 13 for a loss, nine sacks, one pass batted and two forced fumbles. English has good length and can get pressure on the quarterback, but is undersized and lean for the NFL.
9/3/16: English finished 2015 with a total of 28 tackles, six for a loss and 4.5 sacks. He was part of the Gamecocks' young defensive line in 2014 that replaced a talented group which had moved on to the NFL. English had 24 tackles with two for a loss and one sack that season. He has flashed at times, but needs to improve his run defense and increase his pass-rush production.
Lewis Neal, 3-4OLB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 264. Projected 40 Time: 4.75. Projected Round (2017): 6-FA. 4/26/17: Neal collected 60 tackles with 3.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss and one pass batted in 2016. After a quiet opener, he played better in some games, but overall, he was disappointing as a senior. With Arden Key commanding so much attention, it was surprising that Neal didn't produce more.
8/13/16: The Tigers' defense didn't generate the headlines of the offense in 2015, but there was some good NFL talent on the LSU defense with Neal being the program's top edge rusher. He was a serious pass-rushing presence off the edge, recording eight sacks. Neal also had 48 tackles and six passes batted. The 6-foot-2, 264-pounder is a dangerous edge rusher who looks like he has upside to develop.
Darius Hamilton, 3-4OLB, Rutgers
Height: 6-4. Weight: 255. Projected 40 Time: 4.90. Projected Round (2017): 6-FA. 4/26/17: Hamilton recorded 56 tackles with 2.5 for a loss and .5 sacks on the year.
8/13/16: Hamilton missed two games with a knee injury in 2015 before returning against Penn State. He didn't play well in that contest, admitting afterward that he rushed back too early. Hamilton then went out for the season.
The redshirt senior is an undersized speed-rushing defensive tackle who will have to move to defensive end or outside linebacker in the NFL. He had 11.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks in 2014 to go along with 45 tackles. Hamilton recorded 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss the year before.
Hunter Dimick, 3-4OLB, Utah
Height: 6-3. Weight: 266. Projected 40 Time: 4.99. Projected Round (2017): 6-FA. 4/26/17: Dimick totaled 54 tackles with 20 for a loss, 14.5 sacks, one forced fumble and seven passes batted in 2016. He played well for the Utes, but his skill set could be a bit lacking for the NFL.
9/3/16: Dimick formed a nice duo with Nate Orchard in 2014. The first-year starter had 10 sacks to go with 52 tackles, two forced fumbles and two passes broken up. In 2015, injuries held Dimick back as he only played in seven games. He totaled 14 tackles with six for a loss and two sacks for his year. Dimick needs a bounce-back season.
Peter Kalambayi, 3-4OLB, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 245. Projected 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2017): 7-FA. 4/26/17: Kalambayi had 45 tackles with six for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2016. He made a couple of sacks against Kansas State when he was virtually unblocked.
8/13/16: Kalambayi had an impressive sophomore season with 32 tackles, 9.5 for a loss and 6.5 sacks in 2014. However, he didn't really build on that as a junior with 52 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble and three passes batted. Kalambayi needs to improve his pass rush and run defense as a senior.
While we greatly differ on prospect rankings, something that should be assumed this early in the process, I see great thought was put into each pick and they all make sense when looked at through your perspective on the players. Great job!
Out of sheer boredom and the upcoming NBA draft has gotten me itching to make a new mock draft. Of course the NFL draft is a whole lot less predictable than the NBA draft, but also provides more success stories than the NBA draft. Again, I used schedules to determine each team's records and if you get upset with me just remember it's June and a whole lot can change by next April.