Andrew Harbaugh | July 29th, 2019
After finishing up the offensive side of the ball we are full steam ahead onto defense. This class may not be as deep as last years but it is top-heavy with loads of talent across the positions.
Below is a recap and links to all the previous positions I have ranked so far.
Today will be the defensive linemen consisting of tackles and ends depending on size and how they align. This class could have been on the thinner side but a lot of these players I have graded in the top five came back for their senior years.
Now, keep in mind while reading to let me know what players im missing out on, what players im low on, and what players I’m too high on. The beauty of the NFL draft is everyone has an opinion and it is important every gets a chance to share how they feel on players.
This position was a lot of fun to watch and grade so let’s not waste any more time getting to the grades.
Derrick Brown came out of the gates last year on fire as Auburn put on a dominant performance against a top-ranked Washington team. Who was constantly creating pressure against Jake Browning and the Huskies? Derrick Brown. That would be a common theme for the Auburn Tigers as the defense led the way most the year.
Brown the last couple years has been the most physically present defensive linemen in college football. Now before we jump all over that statement not many players can man the line as a run defender while also rushing and pressuring the quarterback, Brown has done just that.
Brown just has to maintain consistency in his game. It seemed for series at a time teams were able to handle him, when he enters the NFL he can’t allow that to happen. Whether its a stamina issue or strength issue its very fixable with one year of college ball left.
A player I didn’t know what I was getting when I started looking into him and studying his game. I quickly fell in love with his size and ability, he doesn’t have that freakish size you see with many defensive tackles but that’s also a trait Geno Atkins lacks and he fairs just fine in the NFL.
Onwuzurike shows many pass rush moves when I watch his film, he consistently gets int he backfield and can disrupt a play before it even has time to develop. After being supplanted behind the likes of Vita Vea in years past Onwuzurike finally showed when he gets the snap count he can produce and be a presence on a strong defense. While he lacks the speed and size of others on this list his technique and hand usage are what separates him from the pack.
School: NC State
Year: RS Senior
I have to give credit here to Joe Marino of The Draft Network, I did not have Murchison on my early watchlist and that was my mistake. The show he put on in the games I watched made me realize he should have been one of the first names I had on my list of defensive linemen.
Another smaller linemen, Murchison finally had a chance to play after the previous defensive line was all drafted into the NFL ironically. While only bringing down the quarterback four times he did manage to disrupt early and often on most plays.
The biggest thing for him going forward is showing last year wasn’t a one-hit-wonder. Another year of 13 consistent games will mean when we revisit these rankings during draft season we may see him on the same spot or even higher.
Most peoples rankings will have Raekwon Davis but for me, it seemed at times he was overshadowed by fellow teammate and a top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft Quinnen Williams. While he did show plenty of promise, coming in at number four in my rankings, I just felt like I came away from his tape wanting more.
He has a tremendous skill when it comes to defending the run. The aforementioned Quinnen Williams and Davis served as the most dominant defensive linemates in college football last year. Alabama had the ideal pass rusher in Williams and the Ideal run-stuffer in Davis. When it comes to NFL projections the skies the limit with Davis based on his last two years.
The way Brown disappeared at times for a series it seems Davis would disappear for quarters at a time. We need to see some more development in his skill set and body if we see that he could very well top this list and even be a top 15 pick come April in Las Vegas.
School: Florida State
Marvin Wilson is a player who when you see him you assume he isn’t very athletic or agile, wrong. Wilson popped off on tape to me on a rather less than impressive year by Florida State as a whole. Wilson was a welcomed breath of fresh air when it came to watching the Seminoles.
Last year he pressured the quarterback 34 times, that is the most of any returning ACC defensive lineman. That is his money-making trait, pure raw power that allows him to get to the quarterback. He came to Florida State as a five star and last year we all finally got a chance to see that talent on display with his impressive pass-rushing ability.
Wilson may be the best pass rusher on this list and he is number five in my rankings, why? He lacks much in terms of run defense at times where his instincts tell him to get the passer when he should be more patient. Once he controls that aspect of his game he should see a drastic jump in his draft stock.
Questions and comments?
Follow Us on Twitter @thescorecrow
Follow Us on Reddit at u/TheScorecrow
Follow Us on Facebook at The Scorecrow
Follow Us on Instagram at The Scorecrow
Facebook Group where you can read and post articles at The Scorecrow
Reddit Group where everyone can post without fear of being banned at The Scorecrow
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images