Nick Bosa*, 3-4OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 270. Projected 40 Time: 4.79. Projected Round (2019): 1. 2/22/18: Bosa had 34 tackles, 8.5 sacks, two passes batted and one forced fumble in 2017. He was the Buckeyes' best defensive end even though he rotated with Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes. Bosa could explode as a junior as that trio left for the NFL and he should play every down in 2018. As a freshman, Bosa played well for Ohio State, recording 29 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and five sacks.
Clelin Ferrell*, 3-4OLB, Clemson
Height: 6-5. Weight: 265. Projected 40 Time: 4.77. Projected Round (2019): 1. 2/22/18: In 2017, Clemson fielded a defensive line that was comprised of future first-round picks, and Ferrell was arguably the most consistent of the bunch. He created a lot of the big plays for the Tigers' other defensive linemen with the instant pressure he caused off the snap. Fellow defensive end Austin Bryant spent 2017 playing himself into an early-rounder, but Bryant did well cleaning up a lot of scrambling quarterbacks running away from Ferrell.
Ferrell has superb speed with athleticism and the ability bend around the corner. He is very fast off the snap to get upfield and put quick pressure on the quarterback. Ferrell is more disruptive than his stat line indicates. In 2017, he totaled 66 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, one pass batted and two forced fumbles. In 2016, Ferrell had an impressive redshirt freshman season for the Tigers as he totaled 44 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks and two passes batted.
Joe Jackson*, 3-4OLB, Miami
Height: 6-5. Weight: 258. Projected 40 Time: 4.65. Projected Round (2019): 1-2. 2/22/18: Jackson is a dangerous edge defender for Miami with a nose for the quarterback. He has excellent speed off the edge to go along with length and size. With a nice build, Jackson could grow into a solid base end in a 4-3 defense. In 2017, he had 59 tackles with 11.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks, two passes batted, and one forced fumble. He was impressive in his play against Notre Dame left tackle Mike McGlinchey, a future first-round pick and starting tackle in the NFL. As a freshman, Jackson had 8.5 sacks with 32 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, and two forced fumbles.
Brian Burns*, 3-4OLB, Florida State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 218. Projected 40 Time: 4.72. Projected Round (2019): 1-3. 2/22/18: In 2017, Burns had 48 tackles with 13.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, and four passes batted. He put more pressure on the quarterback than the numbers indicate. The 6-foot-5, 218-pounder notched 9.5 sacks in his debut season for Florida State and finished 2016 in impressive fashion. Scouts have said that Burns has a ton of athletic ability and upside. He should gain weight as he ages and fill out to being a starting edge defender.
Austin Bryant, 3-4OLB, Clemson
Height: 6-4. Weight: 265. Projected 40 Time: 4.77. Projected Round (2019): 1-3. 2/22/18: Some scouting sources told me they felt that Bryant spent 2017 playing his way into a first-round-caliber prospect. He was a dynamic speed rusher and a pass-rushing force for one of the best defenses in college football. On the year, Bryant totaled 8.5 sacks with 50 tackles, 15.5 for a loss, one interception and two forced fumbles. He benefited from cleaning up a lot of the disruption caused by Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins.
9/1/17: Bryant missed eight games for Clemson in 2016. As a result, he had 13 tackles with two sacks on the season. In 2015, he had 23 tackles with 1.5 sacks. Clemson feels that Bryant has a lot of ability and is excited about him for 2017.
Josh Allen*, 3-4OLB, Kentucky
Height: 6-5. Weight: 230. Projected 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2019): 1-3. 2/22/18: The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Allen was one of the top edge defenders in college football during the 2017 season. The junior had seven sacks along with 65 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and three passes batted on the year. Allen produced well as a sophomore in 2016 with 62 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles. One national scout compared Allen to Leonard Floyd coming out of Georgia with Allen's ability to rush off the edge. That scout said Allen isn't as freaky of an athlete as Floyd was, and Allen is not a top-10 pick, but he did grade Allen as a first-rounder.
Another director of college scouting said he had given Allen a high second-round grade, but thought Allen would definitely end up going in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, if he had declared. That director said Allen was an interesting player because he also can play inside linebacker, whereas Floyd was just an outside edge defender. That college director said that as an inside linebacker, Allen has similarities to current Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham in terms of his height, speed, length, and athleticism in the middle.
Montez Sweat, 3-4OLB, Mississippi State
Height: 6-6. Weight: 241. Projected 40 Time: 4.76. Projected Round (2019): 1-3. 2/22/18: Sweat debuted for the Bulldogs with an excellent 2017 season as a dynamic edge defender. He totaled an SEC-leading 10.5 sacks, with 15.5 tackles for a loss and 48 tackles for the year. To start out his collegiate career, Sweat played at Michigan State before some disciplinary issues led to him leaving for the junior college ranks at Co-Lin Community College. Sweat could add weight to become a defensive end, stay as an outside linebacker, or be a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.