NFL Hot Press: Multiple Teams Grade Jonathan Bullard in Round 2

Multiple Teams Grade Jonathan Bullard in Round 2

Updated March 20, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

One of the players on the bubble between the first and second round is Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard. The Gators standout had a superb senior year, but in a deep defensive line draft some talented players are going to slip to the second round. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, Bullard has been getting second-round grades.

Teams really like Bullard as a player, but scheme fit and size concerns could push him into the second round. Sources from 3-4 teams say Bullard (6-3, 285) lacks the length they like in defensive ends. They think they could get away with Bullard there, but it isn’t an ideal fit. Teams that run a 4-3 feel Bullard would be an end on run downs and move inside in passing situations. From a variety of teams, scouts say that being a three technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 could be Bullard’s best fit.

With those scheme issues, it leads sources to say that Bullard is a bit of a tweener. Even contacts on the Gators coaching staff said it was a challenge for a time for them to figure out how best to utilize Bullard. Still, sources said he has very good tape and often makes a play that gets them to say, “Wow!”

One thing working in Bullard’s favor is teams don’t see 31 first-rounders in this draft. Thus, some players with second-round grades are going to be selected on Thursday night. Bullard could be one of those players, but in surveying five teams, they all had a second-round grade on Bullard.

In 2015, Bullard totaled 66 tackles with 17.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks and two passes batted. He was one of the SEC’s best run defenders on the defensive line and demonstrated the ability to rush well from the inside. The year before, Bullard totaled 52 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, and two passes batted while coming on strong late in the season.

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