Updated Aug. 30, 2018
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Early this summer, WalterFootball.com reported how advance NFL scouts working the 2019 NFL Draft saw the potential for next year's class to have a legendary group of defensive line. With team scouts hitting fall training camps around the country, sources say that they see the potential for the 2019 NFL Draft to not only be legendary for quantity, but also for quality on the defensive line. These sources believe that from a group of defensive linemen, there could be multiple players who grade out as high as the 2010 combination of Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy.
The defensive linemen who sources see as having the potential to form a Suh and McCoy like duo are Houston's Ed Oliver, Alabama's Raekwon Davis, Auburn's Derrick Brown, Ohio State's Nick Bosa, Michigan's Rashan Gary, Clemson's Dexter Lawrence and Mississippi State's Jeff Simmons. Some sources differ on who they like more off of their initial impression, and obviously a lot can and will change during the 2018 season. Heading into the year, however, those lineman are considered to possibly end up with elite grades like Suh and McCoy.
Oliver has received the most hype, but there are some unknowns with him for NFL teams. On NFL teams preseason watch lists, Oliver is listed at 6-foot-3, 290 pounds and running a 4.70-second time in the 40-yard dash, but those numbers are estimates according to sources. "[The Houston Cougars have] been hiding him," said one scout. "They didn't let him get measured this spring." Conversely, Alabama allowed Davis to be measured, and teams' watch list has him checking in at 6-foot-6, 316 pounds, with 35.25-inch arms, 10.88-inch hands, and a wingspan of 85.25 inches. His 40-yard dash time is at 5.17 seconds. The decision to not have Oliver measured makes some sources wonder if there is something that is being hidden right now, like Oliver's numbers being exaggerated, but all of that will eventually come out during the pre-draft process.
A lot will change during the course of the 2018 season and in the draft season with the Senior Bowl, combine workouts, and pre-draft interviews. Heading into the year though, teams see some real potential for elite defensive line prospects among the large quantity of first-round graded defensive linemen.