Vita Vea*, 3-4DE, Washington
Height: 6-5. Weight: 332. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2018): 1. 2/3/18: Some sources have compared Vea to Haloti Ngata in terms of ability to play defensive end or nose tackle. They feel that Vea is a special nose tackle prospect who offers more than Danny Shelton did coming out of Washington. Vea will be downgraded in the 2018 NFL Draft because of being a nose tackle, but he still is a special and rare player.
Vea has a serious combination of size, length, strength, and quickness at the point of attack. He is a heavy nose tackle who is a rock against the run and can occasionally collapse the pocket in the pass rush. Vea totaled 44 tackles, 3.5 sacks and four passes batted in 2017. He has shown the ability to contribute somewhat in the pass rush while being big, strong, and having a burst at the point of attack.
9/1/17: Vea was a load at the point of attack for Washington in 2016. On the year, he totaled 39 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, one force fumble and two passes batted. Vea has a serious combination of size, length, strength, and quickness at the point of attack.
For the NFL, Vea projects as a heavy nose tackle who can be tough at the point of attack. He is a big, thick and strong. Vea can use his size and strength eat up blockers and generally holds gap integrity. He has a quick burst off the snap, and there are times where his size, power, and quickness overwhelm smaller interior linemen. Vea is at his best when he tries to bull his way into the backfield to cause disruption. With his upper body strength and the power in his base, Vea can push off or through blocks. He has a good motor and gives a second effort, too.
Vea needs to show improvement in the pass rush during 2017. The junior needs to develop some pass-rushing moves to go with his bull rush. He has to become more consistent in creating pressure and laying hits on the quarterback in order to be a highly in-demand draft prospect. Otherwise, he could be viewed as just a nose tackle.
Taven Bryan*, 3-4DE, Florida
Height: 6-4. Weight: 295. Projected 40 Time: 4.99. Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 2/3/18: Bryan broke out in 2017 with 40 tackles with six tackles for a loss and four sacks. He had a dominant game against Texas A&M. In speaking with some scouting sources, Bryan has drawn comparisons to Denver Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe. Some announcers have compared the 6-foot-4, 295-pounder Bryan to J.J. Watt, and in terms of style of play Bryan is reminiscent of Watt when playing well, but Bryan is not consistently dominant to deserve a comparison to Watt.
Bryan has a tremendous get-off with serious explosion off the snap. He also has developed strength with active hands to shed blocks. With his length, Bryan can play end or tackle, and he would be a perfect fit as a five-technique. He had a late start in football, however, from growing up Wyoming, and that shows up in him not demonstrating good instincts. Bryan is inconsistent while lacking feel and pass-rushing moves. Thus even though he is a first-round athlete, he still needs development as a player.
R.J. McIntosh*, 3-4DE, Miami
Height: 6-4. Weight: 293. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2018): 1-3. 2/3/18: McIntosh had an impressive 2017 season and caused disruption for Miami at the point of attack. He totaled 52 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, seven passes broken up and one forced fumble on the year. McIntosh also played well as a sophomore with 47 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss. McIntosh has scheme flexibility with the ability to play tackle in a 4-3 and serve as an end in a 3-4.
Duke Ejiofor, 3-4DE, Wake Forest
Height: 6-4. Weight: 270. Projected 40 Time: 4.73. Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 2/3/18: Ejiofor played well for Wake Forest in 2017, totaling 43 tackles with 16.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted. Ejoifor is a solid, sturdy base end with size and quickness on the edge. Sources say they are grading him on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft. They would have liked to see a more steady motor and consistency from Ejiofor. He may not have the skill set or consistency to be a first-rounder, but he could be a solid second-round pick.
9/1/17: Ejiofor goes under the radar playing at Wake Forest, but he was a real force in 2016. On the season, Ejiofor totaled 10.5 sacks, 50 tackles, four passes broken up, forced fumbles and one interception. He had 4.5 sacks as a sophomore.
Rasheem Green*, 3-4DE, USC
Height: 6-4. Weight: 275. Projected 40 Time: 4.99. Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 2/3/18: Green played well for the Trojans in 2017. The junior recorded 43 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, one forced fumble and four passes broken up on the year. As a sophomore, he totaled 55 tackles, 6.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles.
Green has good instincts and play recognition. He can use those skills to bat a lot of passes to prevent completions downfield. Green played defensive tackle for USC, but in the NFL, he will have to move to defensive end unless he is able to gain some weight.
Harrison Phillips, 3-4DE, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 295. Arm: 33.75. Hand: 10.5. Projected 40 Time: 5.24. Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 2/3/18: Phillips turned himself into a NFL prospect with a tremendous senior season. He had 103 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles for the year. In speaking with a director of college scouting who was scouting at Stanford, they felt that Phillips is a mid-rounder. They said that Phillips struggles with double teams and has limitations as a pass-rusher for the NFL that push him down, but they think Phillips is a good run stuffer for the next level. They said his game is similar to former Stanford nose tackle David Parry. Others will probably grade Phillips higher.
As a junior, Phillips had 46 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. He missed his sophomore season with an injury after backing up as a freshman.
Breeland Speaks*, 3-4DE, Ole Miss
Height: 6-3. Weight: 285. Projected 40 Time: 4.79. Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 2/3/18: Speaks finished the 2017 season in impressive fashion with a strong performance against Mississippi State. All night, Speaks was in the backfield, putting heat on the quarterback and playing the run well. The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder is strong at the point of attack and also has some speed with athleticism.
Speaks recorded 67 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble and one pass batted in 2017. He could get second-day consideration in the 2018 NFL Draft as a base end for a 4-3 defense.
Andrew Brown, 3-4DE, Virginia
Height: 6-3. Weight: 294. Arm: 35.13. Hand: 9.13. Projected 40 Time: 4.72. Projected Round (2018): 3-4. 2/3/18: In 2017, Brown notched 46 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He possesses a lot of talent, but doesn't play up to his skill set consistently.
9/1/17: Brown is a sturdy defender at the point of attack and impressed last year. Scouting sources say that Brown has a first-round skill set entering the 2017 season. In 2016, he totaled six sacks, 13 tackles for a loss and 38 tackles. Brown has good size to be a base end with quickness and athleticism to get after the quarterback.
B.J. Hill, 3-4DE, N.C. State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 321. Arm: 32.35. Hand: 10.38. Projected 40 Time: 5.17. Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 2/3/18: Hill was part of a talented defensive line for the Wolfpack, and all four of their 2017 starters are future NFL contributors. Hill is a tough run defender at the point of attack who is tough to move and reliable to fill his gap. The senior recorded 57 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, three sacks and three passes batted in 2017. As a junior, he totaled 39 tackles with 2.5 for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble and three passes batted. Hill contributed 50 tackles as a sophomore with 3.5 sacks and 40 tackles as a freshman with 1.5 sacks.
Folorunso Fatukasi, 3-4DE, Connecticut
Height: 6-4. Weight: 303. Projected 40 Time: 5.15. Projected Round (2018): 3-5 2/3/18: Fatukasi notched 45 tackles, 7.5 for a loss and four sacks in 2017. He had an impressive week at the East-West Shrine. Fatukasi was quick at the point of attack and also strong to hold his ground. He showed the versatility to fit a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.
9/1/17: Fatukasi had a quality junior year for the Huskies as he notched 43 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and a blocked kick. If Fatukasi can improve his pass rush as a senior, he could rise.
Da'Shawn Hand, 3-4DE, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 282. Arm: 34.25. Hand: 10. Projected 40 Time: 4.84. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 2/3/18: Hand totaled 27 tackles and three sacks in 2017. At the Senior Bowl, Hand was playing well before an injury knocked him out early. Some scouting sources say that Hand is just a guy and they graded him as a late-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft or an undrafted free agent. Others could like him more.
9/1/17: Hand has never lived up to the hype after being the No. 1 recruit in the nation coming out of high school. He was more of a rotational player for Alabama in 2016, but he was playing better late in the season. Hand totaled 21 tackles and two sacks in 2016. With Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Ryan Anderson all moving on to the NFL, Hand should take on a bigger role as a senior. As a sophomore in 2015, he totaled 16 tackles with three sacks and 6.5 tackles for a loss.
Kahlil McKenzie Jr.*, 3-4DE, Tennessee
Height: 6-3. Weight: 325. Projected 40 Time: 5.17. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 2/3/18: McKenzie finished 2017 with a total of 35 tackles, 3.5 for a loss and two sacks. He entered the 2018 NFL Draft.
9/1/17: A pectoral injury limited McKenzie to only half the season in 2016. As a freshman in 2015, McKenzie flashed with 24 tackles and a sack. He has to stay healthy and produce as a junior.
Greg Gilmore, 3-4DE, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 318. Projected 40 Time: 5.29. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 2/3/18: Gilmore has some versatility to fit as a three-technique or nose tackle in a 4-3 defense. In a 3-4, he could play end or tackle given his weight with enough length. In 2017, Gilmore totaled 53 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, and one pass batted. He collected 34 tackles with one sack as a junior and 13 tackles as a sophomore. Gilmore has some size and strength at the point of attack, but looks limited.
Christian LaCouture, 3-4DE, LSU
Height: 6-4. Weight: 290. Projected 40 Time: 5.17. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 2/3/18: LaCouture would fit best as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense in the NFL. As a senior, LaCouture totaled 66 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss six sacks and five passes broken up. He had a solid week at the Senior Bowl as well. An injury cost LaCouture the 2016 season. In 2015, he had 35 tackles with a sack after recording 40 tackles and 2.5 sacks as a sophomore.
Eddy Wilson*, 3-4DE, Purdue
Height: 6-4. Weight: 295. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2018): 6-FA. 2/3/18: Wilson was a surprise early entry to the 2018 NFL Draft and probably should have returned to school. In 2017, he totaled 27 tackles with one sack and two passes batted. As a sophomore, he had 36 tackles with 2.5 sacks. He had 10 tackles his freshman year. Wilson faced some off-the-field problems at Purdue and also missed the team's bowl game because of academic ineligibility.
Parker Cothren, 3-4DE, Penn State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 304. Projected 40 Time: 5.29. Projected Round (2018): 7-FA. 2/3/18: Cothren has some length, weight and strength to him, which lets him set the edge of the defensive line in a 3-4 defense. Being a backup and rotational five-technique end in a 3-4 would be his best fit in the NFL. In 2017, Cothren had 27 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. He totaled 26 tackles and two sacks as a junior.
9/1/17: Bailey was a quality run stuffer for Louisville in 2016. He totaled 58 tackles with nine tackles for a loss and two sacks on the year. Getting after the quarterback is critical to helping Bailey's draft stock.