Top 10 Prospects by Position - Defense

College football and the NFL Draft

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wab
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Top 10 Prospects by Position - Defense

Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:29 pm

With the combine coming up, I thought I'd throw together a top 10 by position for each side of the ball with some high level commentary for each position group.

It's really not a great defensive draft. There's maybe 5 blue chip guys, and maybe 20 other solid players...after that it's kind of just not great.

DEFENSE

CB
Jeffrey Okudah - Ohio State 6'1" 200 lbs
Kristian Fulton - LSU 6'0" 200 lbs
C.J. Henderson - Florida 6'1" 202 lbs
Trevon Diggs - Alabama 6'2" 207 lbs
A.J. Terrell - Clemson 6'1" 190 lbs
Bryce Hall - Virginia 6'1" 200 lbs
Damon Arnette - Ohio State 6'0" 195 lbs
Jeff Gladney - TCU 6'0" 183 lbs
Jaylon Johnson - Utah 6'0" 190 lbs
Shyheim Carter - Alabama 6'0" 191 lbs

Probably the deepest position group on the defensive side of the ball, but it's really Okudah and then everyone else. The 2nd round is going to be ripe with corners.

LB
Isaiah Simmons - Clemson 6'4" 230 lbs
Kenneth Murray - Oklahoma 6'2" 234 lbs
Joshua Uche - Michigan 6'1" 241 lbs
Patrick Queen - LSU 6'1" 227 lbs
Malik Harrison - Ohio State 6'3" 246 lbs
Carter Coughlin - Minnesota 6'3" 234 lbs
Troy Dye - Oregon 6'4" 225 lbs
Evan Weaver - California 6'2" 234 lbs
David Woodward - Utah State 6'2" 235 lbs
Justin Strnad - Wake Forest 6'3" 235 lbs

BAAAAARF. Not the year to need a linebacker who is going to step in a play right away. Simmons is the best player of the group but is more of a "rover". I could see Murray moving up as the draft season progresses. I like Uche, but he's also kind of an inside/outside passing downs hybrid.

DT
Derrick Brown - Auburn 6'5" 318 lbs
Javon Kinlaw - South Carolina 6'5" 315 lbs
Raekwon Davis - Alabama 6'7" 312 lbs
Neville Gallimore - Oklahoma 6'2" 304 lbs
Leki Fotu - Utah 6'5" 337 lbs
Jordan Elliott - Missouri 6'4" 315 lbs
Davon Hamilton - Ohio State 6'4" 327 lbs
Justin Madubuike - Texas A&M 6'3" 304 lbs
Ross Blacklock - TCU 6'4" 305 lbs
Marlon Davidson - Auburn 6'3" 297 lbs

I only have Brown and Kinlaw as sure-fire 1st round picks. Brown looks like a top 5 player, and Kinlaw could somewhere between 9-15. After that, they are all similarly ranked. The wildcards are Davis and Hamilton.

DE
Chase Young - Ohio State 6'5" 265 lbs
A.J. Epenesa - Iowa 6'6" 280 lbs
Yetur Gross-Matos - Penn State 6'5" 264 lbs
Curtis Weaver - Boise State 6'3" 265 lbs
Nick Coe - Auburn 6'5" 291 lbs
Jonathan Greenard - Florida 6'4" 262 lbs
Kenny Willekes - Michigan State 6'4" 252 lbs
Alton Robinson - Syracuse 6'3" 259 lbs
Khalid Kareem - Notre Dame 6'4" 265 lbs
Joe Gaziano - Northwestern 6'4" 275 lbs

I broke DE and Edge out separately based on who I thought would play more snaps as a DE. There's some nice talent here and Young is arguably the best player in the entire draft.

EDGE
K'Lavon Chaisson - LSU 6'4" 250 lbs
Terrell Lewis - Alabama 6'5" 258 lbs
Julian Okwara - Notre Dame 6'4" 248 lbs
Bradlee Anae - Utah 6'3" 257 lbs
Zack Baun - Wisconsin 6'3" 240 lbs
Darrell Taylor - Tennessee 6'4" 259 lbs
Anfernee Jennings - Alabama 6'2" 252 lbs
Alex Highsmith - Charlotte 6'4" 242 lbs
Kendall Coleman - Syracuse 6'3" 253 lbs
Cameron Brown - Penn State 6'5" 232 lbs

These are guys that purely project to stand up 3-4 LBs. And I don't currently have a 1st round grade on any of them.

S
Xavier McKinney - Alabama 6'1" 200 lbs
Grant Delpit - LSU 6'3" 201 lbs
Noah Igbinoghene - Auburn 5'11" 200 lbs
Jordan Fuller - Ohio State 6'2" 205 lbs
Lamar Jackson - Nebraska 6'2" 206 lbs
Antoine Winfield Jr. - Minnesota 5'10" 195 lbs
Ashtyn Davis - California 6'1" 195 lbs
Julian Blackmon - Utah 6'1" 204 lbs
Brandon Jones - Texas 6'0" 205 lbs
K'Von Wallace - Clemson 5'11" 199 lbs

Another less than stellar position group. McKinney feels more like a corner to me, and Delpit has been pretty up and down. Fuller is my pick for the guy who will go waaaaaaay earlier than people expect. I really like Igbinoghene, Blackmon, and Jackson as developmental guys.
Grizzled
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Re: Top 10 Prospects by Position - Defense

Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:38 am

This isn't noted for being a great defensive draft. Young, Simmons, maybe Delpit, Okudah, Espenesa, Gross-Matos, Brown, maybe Kinlaw for top talent. This is hopefully where the Pace magic finding talent in lower picks works.
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G08
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Re: Top 10 Prospects by Position - Defense

Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:59 am

I think Amukamara is a goner and that money will go to a TE on free agency.

One of our second round picks should be a corner.

If it's as deep as wabster is saying, we might even see a trade down with one of the second round picks to acquire more shots in this draft.
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EricTighe
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Re: Top 10 Prospects by Position - Defense

Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:25 pm

Clemson safety Tanner Muse is the only Safety I like in this draft. The fact he passed all his teamates and caught Dobbins from behind. This kid has some skills. Not to mention he plays in the box and hits guys. He is also locked up on WR's and TE's in man to man coverage. He3 is what we are looking for to allow Jackson to play centerfield and make plays again.

6'3 and 230 and I did mention he ran down Dobbins.
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wab
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Re: Top 10 Prospects by Position - Defense

Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:30 pm

EricTighe wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:25 pm
Clemson safety Tanner Muse is the only Safety I like in this draft. The fact he passed all his teamates and caught Dobbins from behind. This kid has some skills. Not to mention he plays in the box and hits guys. He is also locked up on WR's and TE's in man to man coverage. He3 is what we are looking for to allow Jackson to play centerfield and make plays again.

6'3 and 230 and I did mention he ran down Dobbins.
Yeah, but I think teams are looking at him as a WIL
EricTighe
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Re: Top 10 Prospects by Position - Defense

Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:34 pm

I actually like the other OSU CB better than Jeffrey Okudah.

Damon Arnette - Ohio State 6'0" 195 lbs- this kid I luv. He loves to hit people and plays man to man all day long. They say he needs to work on his technique but how often you see him beat deep. He has dropped a few int's. But he isn't playing WR for a reason. I think this kid could be the best of this entire group and it is deep.

I also disagree with your assessment of the LB class. I can see a bunch of guys starting on special teams and progressing into bigger roles in a year or two.

Simmons is flat out freak at LB. Watch any Clemson game and this kid is all over the field. He is gonna be a stud. I would personally take him over Young but that is me.
RichH55
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Re: Top 10 Prospects by Position - Defense

Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:15 pm

I think the App. St. LB should be on the list for sure

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