Summary: Christian Ballard benefited at times from playing alongside another top prospect, Adrian Clayborn, on the Iowa defensive line. He uses his athleticism to make it through gaps, but in the NFL, he will need to add strength and some new maneuvers. When his first move is stonewalled, he is pretty much finished, and if he wants to continue his development must develop more of an aggressive attitude. However, he is an incredibly versatile prospect who can play across the line in both fronts.
Player Comparison: Tyson Alualu. In the 2010 NFL Draft, Jacksonville shocked the world by selecting Tyson Alualu No. 10 overall. Heading into the draft, he was a second-round prospect like Christian Ballard appears to be right now. However, some think Ballard could surprise by coming off the board in the first although given the talent in this year's defensive line, it would not be as high as Alualu was selected last year obviously.
In terms of size and ability, they are comparable. Ballard is a step quicker, but once he puts on some weight, the difference is going to be negligible. Both were also threats to play 3-4 end heading into the draft, although like Alualu, I anticipate a 4-3 team drafting Ballard to play tackle.