atljbo Posted April 22, 2019 Share Posted April 22, 2019 By BOB McGINN Twelve of the 14 execs selected Williams as the best defensive lineman; Simmons claimed the other two firsts. Each scout was asked to rank his top seven players, with a first-place vote worth seven points, a second-place vote worth six and so on. Williams led with 96 points. Following, in order, were Simmons (67), Gary (64), Oliver (49), Dexter Lawrence (37), Wilkins (35), Tillery (16), Jones (15), Allen (six), Hill (four) and Khalen Saunders (three). “There’s just a big pot of ‘em,” said one exec. “What are you looking for? Undersized quickness? A nose? Because of who you end up taking in the first and second rounds, those third- and fourth-round graded players may end up going in the fifth or sixth because you’ve already drafted one. There could be seven in the first.” RANKING THE DEFENSIVE LINEMEN 1. QUINNEN WILLIAMS, Alabama (6-3, 299, 4.82, 1): Compared by one personnel man to Joe Greene, arguably the greatest DT of all time. “He’s just amazing with his quickness and balance,” said another scout. “Getting through gaps and his production. He’s rare with what he does.” Third-year sophomore played 24 games in 2017-’18. “He’s both strength and quickness,” another scout said. “Plays with leverage and can pass rush. He gets a shoulder, man, I’ll tell you what, you’re going to take a ride with him because he’s taking you right back to the quarterback.” Finished with 91 tackles (26 for loss) and 10 sacks. Ross Pierschbacher, a four-year starter at LG-C for the Crimson Tide, has said Williams is like butter. “He’s so slippery,” a third scout said. “You can’t ever get your hands on him. He’s a sneaky quick guy for his size. Is he going to be Aaron Donald? No. Is he going to be a really good pass rusher and run-down player? Yes. He’s got a ton of growth in his game. I think he’s the best player in the draft.” Scored 11 on the Wonderlic intelligence test but has had no academic difficulties. Arms were 33 1/4 inches, hands were 9 5/8 inches. From Birmingham, Ala. 2. RASHAN GARY, Michigan (6-4 ½, 276, 4.63, 1): Third-year junior. “He plays along the line on his feet, he’s explosive, he’s got twitch, he’s got a great get-off and lean,” said one scout. “His skill level is in the top 5 to 10%. His production is in the top 40%. We see him as a 5-technique but he could be a 3-technique. With that speed he can play on the right side.” Two-year starter in a multiple scheme, usually on the left side. “His whole life he has been the biggest, fastest person,” a second scout said. “With that you don’t have to strain and do the extras. I think that’s what happened to him. Everything was just so easy for him that he hasn’t incorporated that internal high motor to match his physical gifts. The production is not there … You see him anchor and toss people. You see him bull rush and stab guys. Then you don’t see it. He and Ed Oliver have a chance to bust. He’s just always been so much better than everyone else that he never had to try to kick your ***.” Led the position in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump (38 inches) and broad jump (10-0). His Wonderlic of 9 was the lowest among the top 25 D-linemen. “I’m not sold that Rashan Gary loves football,” a third scout said. “His football character is not very good. His interview wasn’t good. He thinks he’s this great worker. He has plays that he could have made but he didn’t finish or pursue.” From Plainfield, N.J. “I wish I had him,” said a fourth scout. “When he’s visible, he’s visible.” 3. JEFFERY SIMMONS, Mississippi State (6-3 ½, 305, no 40, 1): Third-year junior from Macon, Miss. “He’s kind of a combination of (Dexter) Lawrence and (Christian) Wilkins,” said one scout. “I have them Wilkins, Simmons and Lawrence. He has better athletic ability than Lawrence. He can play anywhere from 0- to 3-technique. He might even be a 5-technique. I don’t see him as a great anchor on the inside. Where Lawrence is more of a pure anchor I think Simmons is a good anchor that has better pass-rush ability.” Suffered a torn ACL in January while training. The combine rescinded his invitation for the physical altercation he had with a woman in March 2016. In the incident that was captured on video, Simmons repeatedly struck the woman on the ground with both fists. The woman had been arguing with his sister. He pleaded no contest to simple assault and paid about $800 in fines. “It’s a shame about Simmons and the knee because he already was fighting out of a hole with the domestic deal,” said a second scout. “We’ve got to get clearance from ownership about the assault incident. We’re going to take heat on it.” A third scout said he wouldn’t draft him because of the domestic incident. “Some teams will keep him on (the draft board), some teams will take him off,” he said. Might not be ready to play until 2020. “He’s a pretty complete player if he can get back to healthy,” said a fourth scout. “He’s a tremendous kid. He had that one incident.” Three-year starter with a Wonderlic of 14. Arms were 34 ½, hands were 10 ¼. Finished with 163 tackles (33 for loss) and seven sacks. 4. ED OLIVER, Houston (6-2, 284, 4.73, 1): Third-year junior from Houston was compared by various scouts to quick, undersized 3-techniques such as Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins and Grady Jarrett. “I love Oliver,” one scout said. “He’s a play-making rascal, and I believe he’s going to get better. He’s not going to be a strength player. He’s going to be mass times inertia. He gets there before you do.” Worked out well at the combine. “Thing that gets me is the 31-inch arms (31 ¾),” said a second scout. “They’re like your weapons when you’re a D-tackle. When he loses it’s because of the 31. I watched him against Tulane and I watched Tulane do it (maul him in the run game). Tulane didn’t necessarily have great linemen. You’ve got to play him in the B gap. He’ll flash greatness at you. Then, when a guy like that is getting off, teams will say, ‘Run the ball at him. Wear him down.’” Two scouts referred to Oliver as “a pain in the ***.” Said one: “Just talks too much trash. Running his mouth will get him in trouble somewhere. I would doubt he’d have any loyalty to his team when he becomes a player. If he’s a very good player you better sign him. Otherwise, he’s going to run away from you. Yeah, yeah, he’s a selfish guy, but he can turn the charm on if necessary.” Finished with 192 tackles (53 for loss) and 13 ½ sacks. Played much better as a sophomore than as a junior. Blunt, immature. “He’s little but he’s a **** of a player,” said a fourth scout. “He’s too quick and too fast to be manhandled, but he is not Aaron Donald. Geno Atkins is stronger.” Wonderlic of 20. 5. CHRISTIAN WILKINS, Clemson (6-3, 313, 5.04, 1): Charismatic leader, first two-time captain under coach Dabo Swinney for teams that won pair of national titles in three years. “Just a step below the others,” one scout said. “Close to being an elite player. He’s a big, big man that plays well on his feet and works well along the line of scrimmage. He has the manhandler stuff that Simmons and Williams have. He’s around the quarterback. More of a 3-technique than a nose tackle. This is a three-down player.” Finished with 192 tackles (40 ½ for loss), 16 sacks and 15 passes defensed. “Very similar to Quinnen,” said a second scout. “Just not as explosive. His hand use, his feel, his ability to get through gaps and his quickness inside is amazing. He’s gotten a lot better with his anchor over the years. He’s gotten tougher.” Arms were 32 ½, hands were 9 ¾. Wonderlic of 19. “His play has declined every year since his freshman year,” a third scout said. “His per-snap production has gone down. He’s a really good athlete but all he did was try to outathlete people. He’s not going to get away with that. I thought he’d come back and try to incorporate some level of physicality to his game. He didn’t. He leaves a lot to be desired.” From Springfield, Mass. 6. DEXTER LAWRENCE, Clemson (6-4 ½, 338, 5.04, 1-2): Massive third-year junior. “He’s no fat boy,” said one scout. “When he walked in the room I was shocked. He couldn’t fit through the **** door. He’s so big and broad. Not an ounce of fat on him. This is a man. He’s legit, and he’s a great, great kid. The kind of kid you would love to have on your team.” Extrovert. Hard worker. “I tend to think Linval Joseph might be a little quicker at this point,” a second scout said. “This guy is more raw-powered than he is explosive. He disrupts the passing game. When he gets a head of steam now you’re talking about a dump truck. He comes after you.” Finished with 131 tackles (18 for loss) and 10 sacks. “If he goes to the right system he might be Haloti Ngata,” a third scout said. “He’s got such an up side for a guy that’s almost 350 and is running right at 5.1. He’s got prototypical length (34 ¾-inch arms). He can almost put 40 up on the bench.” His 36 reps led the position. Wonderlic of 17. From Wake Forest, N.C. 7. JERRY TILLERY, Notre Dame (6-6 ½, 295, 4.98, 1-2): Two inches taller than any of the top 12 players. “He’s really athletic,” said one scout. “Size and length. Pass rusher first. He’s got really good edge quickness and moves. Shows burst to close. Not a gritty run defender at this point.” Underwent surgery in early March to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. “Had the medical procedure,” said a second scout. “Not a fan of his as a person. Inconsistent as a player, too.” Has studied abroad several times. Both parents are in the medical field. Considered difficult to coach by some scouts. Wonderlic of 31. “He’s so up and down,” said a third scout. “But, man, is he talented.” Finished with 133 tackles (23 for loss) and 12 ½ sacks. Hands (10 5/8) were the largest of the group. Arms were 34 ¼. “I just don’t think he plays hard,” said a fourth scout. “He catches blocks. Looks skinny on the field. Really inconsistent.” From Shreveport, La. 8. DRE’MONT JONES, Ohio State (6-2 ½, 283, 5.15, 1-2): Fourth-year junior. “He’s my underrated guy,” said one scout. “People are missing on him. He’s a really good athlete. Moves really well. Just a nimble, good-effort, disruptive guy.” Had no interest in lifting weights and an ill-defined body when he arrived in Columbus. His 18 reps on the bench were the fewest of the top 15 D-linemen. “He’s not going to be able to hold the point,” said a second scout. “He uses his athleticism to beat the blocker.” Finished with 114 tackles (22 for loss) and 9 ½ sacks. Arms were 33 3/4, hands were 9 5/8. Wonderlic of 20. “He’s quicker than his speed indicates,” a third scout said. “Fundamentally sound. Wins with his initial strike. He jolts you and grabs you and then catapults himself by you. Fairly smooth with his pass rush.” From Cleveland. 9. ZACH ALLEN, Boston College (6-4, 280, 4.97, 1-2): Fourth-year senior, three-year starter. “Kind of just a blue-collar tweener,” said one scout. “Good player, but nothing special.” Finished with 199 tackles (40 ½ for loss) and 16 1/2 sacks. “He’s not going to be a dynamic pass rusher,” said a second scout. “More of a size pass rusher. He can get in passing lanes and overpower some guys. Plays with a high motor.” From New Canaan, Conn. His father works on Wall Street; his mother was a former Dolphins cheerleader. “Between him and (Chase) Winovich, those are the kind of guys you want on your football team,” a third scout said. “But he was awful at the Senior Bowl and didn’t look good at the combine. He’s not a first-round pick. He’s a 4-eye or a 5-technique because he can play the double team. He finds the ball. He knows when it’s run and he knows when it’s pass.” Led the position with a Wonderlic of 36. Arms were 34 ¾, hands were 10 1/8. Added a fourth scout: “You know what you’re getting with Zach Allen. He’ll play forever.” 10. KHALEN SAUNDERS, Western Illinois (6-0 1/2, 321, 5.03, 2): Turned in a solid four-year career for the FCS Leathernecks and then made money for himself in Mobile. “You always worry about that level of comp but he went down to the Senior Bowl and kicked ***, too,” one scout said. “I’ve got zero reservations. He completely kicked Illinois’ *** (Sept. 8). It was like man among boys. I’d love to have him on my team.” Finished with 204 tackles (34 ½ for loss) and 18 sacks, including 14 over the past two years. “He’s extremely agile and athletic,” the scout continued. “He’s really hard to get on the ground. He’s got great feet and bend. He’s powerful. He’s nasty. He plays with aggression and violence where Christian Wilkins doesn’t.” Married, wife gave birth to their first child during Senior Bowl week. Wonderlic of 31. Arms were 32 ¼, hands were 9 1/8. “Great lateral quickness, natural leverage and he’s fast,” a second scout said. “High-school wrestler. Plays hard. Good kid.” From St. Louis. 11. TRYSTEN HILL, Central Florida (6-2 ½, 306, 5.03, 2-3): Started 26 games in 2016-’17 under coach Scott Frost but only one last year under new coach Josh Heupel. “You tell me a good player is a backup at UCF?” said one scout. “That’s all you need to know. He gets in and they just knock him around. He’s not very good.” Declared a year early, then tested extremely well. “The new staff didn’t like him,” a second scout said. “It all had to do with social media and he didn’t get along with the new coaches. Has maturity issues. His mother was in prison for a year. This guy’s on the edge.” Finished with 71 tackles (20 for loss) and six sacks. Made a lot of pre-draft visits as teams try to get a read on his character. Wonderlic of 23. “Kind of a barrel-looking guy,” a third scout said. “More athletic and twitchy than you’d expect looking at him. A lot of what he does is based on effort and athleticism. He kind of strays away from being a sound, fundamental player.” Arms were 33 3/8, hands were 10 ¼. From Lee, Fla. 12. L.J. COLLIER, Texas Christian (6-2, 283, 4.94, 2-3): Fifth-year senior from Munday, Texas. Generally played DE but some teams project him to 3-technique. “He’s that ideal hybrid guy,” one scout said. “Because he’s a pass rusher he’ll go higher. Between second and third round. He can rush the passer. He has violent hands. He’s got power and quickness.” Finished with 82 tackles (20 ½ for loss) and 14 ½ sacks. “I had him more as an edge,” said a second scout. “He knows how to play. He’s not gifted athletically. He reminds me a little bit of that Charles Tapper from Oklahoma a few years ago. He’s got that inside move. Besides that, he’s not going to threaten as a pass rusher. In run support he can leverage. He’s a backup.” 13. KINGSLEY KEKE, Texas A&M (6-2 ½, 291, 4.95, 3): Started 34 games in a four-year career. “His production falls short of his measurable talent,” said one scout. “He reads, then reacts. He’ll be a project. He does have some innate stuff. His game is still flashes. There’s no guarantees he’ll be a player.” Dropped about 30 pounds from 2017 to 2018 and turned himself into a solid prospect. Finished with 150 tackles (21 for loss) and 12 ½ sacks. “His instincts might hold him back a little bit,” a second scout said. “That’s why he hasn’t been able to maximize his (ability).” From Richmond, Texas. 14. GERALD WILLIS, Miami (6-1 ½, 297, 5.17, 3-4): Entered his fifth year of college with a checkered past and a free-agent grade before saving his best for last. Started 12 games and registered 18 tackles for loss, most by a Hurricane since DE Calais Campbell had 20 ½ in 2006. “You’ve got to get past the transfer and the character issues early in his career,” said one scout. “This was a highly recruited guy (5-star) out of high school. One-year production guy. Seems to have it on the right path but you just never know.” Began career at Florida in 2014, played eight games and was dismissed after failed drug tests and fighting with players on the team. Academically ineligible at Miami, tested positive again and basically was told to check into rehab if he wanted to remain in the program. Sat out the entire ’17 season getting his life together before coming through with a four-sack season. Wins with a sudden first step as an interior rusher. “This guy is going to test your player programs,” said a second scout. “Just look at his picture from the combine. He looks like he’s 47 years old. You’re taking a chance with this guy. He played inside. Not a bad player. He does enough things that he’s worth consideration.” Wonderlic of 11. From New Orleans. 15. JOHN COMINSKY, Charleston (6-5, 288, 4.70, 3-4): Fifth-year senior, four-year starter in the West Virginia NCAA Division II program. “He tested off the charts,” said one scout. “I don’t care what level of comp they come from. They test out like that somebody’s going to take them (high).” After an impressive week at the Senior Bowl, he ran a sizzling 40 at the combine, went 33 ½ in the vertical jump and scored 31 on the Wonderlic. “He was a high-school quarterback,” another scout said. “You can kick him down to a 3-technique and at the end of the day as an interior pass rusher he’ll be a (bleep).” Finished with 218 tackles (48 ½ for loss) and 16 sacks. “Been through a lot of adversity in his life,” said a third scout. “Very passionate, very intense. He just needs some NFL development. You wish he was a little longer. His arms were 33 ½.” From Barberton, Ohio. OTHERS: Daylon Mack, Texas A&M; Charles Omenihu, Texas; Isaiah Buggs, Alabama; Greg Gaines, Washington; Renell Wren, Arizona State; Terry Beckner, Missouri; Chris Slayton, Auburn; Dontavius Russell, Auburn; Daniel Wise, Kansas; Olive Sagapolu, Wisconsin; Ed Alexander, Louisiana State; Demarcus Christmas, Florida State; Michael Dogbe, Temple; Albert Huggins, Clemson; Kevin Givens, Penn State. THE SKINNY UNSUNG HERO Daylon Mack, NT, Texas A&M: A 5-star recruit out of Gladewater, Texas. Finally became a starter in 2018, and then turned in solid weeks at the East-West Game and the Senior Bowl. Great size (6-1, 334), very good speed (5.07) and tough to uproot at the point of attack. Maybe he’ll turn out to be a late bloomer. SCOUTS’ NIGHTMARE Charles Omenihu, DE, Texas: Played mostly inside as a senior and showed up at the combine weighing 280. One month later he was 264 and apparently looking to play defensive end for a 4-3 team. He’s 6-5 ½, and his 36-inch arms were by far the longest at the position. Posted 9 ½ of his 16 ½ sacks in 2018. Some teams love him, others wouldn’t have him in camp. PACKERS’ PICK TO REMEMBER Donnell Washington, DE, Clemson: Third-round draft choice in 2004. Before the draft, one scout said: “He’s a very typical Clemson guy. Has trouble spelling his name, but he’s athletic.” Great size (6-5 ½, 323), sensational speed (5.00) and a Wonderlic of 8. GM Mike Sherman traded up to select Washington, who was in uniform for one game (he didn’t get in) in two years before new coach Mike McCarthy cut him loose in June 2006. He went to training camp that year with Oakland, was cut and called it a career. One of the all-time Packers busts. QUOTE TO NOTE NFL executive: “Hands are always big to me. Whenever I shake hands with a player and they feel small to me, I think, ‘How the **** are you going to grab somebody with tiny hands?’” vel, Tim Mazetti, Goober Pyle and 6 others 9 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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