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2016 NFL Draft Preview: Defensive Tackles

The Mold


With the emergence of Mike Smith as the teams defensive coordinator, there’s a good chance you see a slight shift in what the team looks for at defensive tackle. Smith will have the opportunity to work with Gerald McCoy as well as Clinton McDonald, aside from those two there’s a good possibility that depth is added in free agency and through the draft. Mike Smith has worked with lengthy tackles that play the run particularly well and rush the passer second. With the possibility of more multiple fronts than the Bucs have used in the passed, the potential higher emphasis than usual on the nose tackle position could be important to watch.


 

Who are the prospects and where do they fit?


 

1.DeForest Buckner, Defensive Tackle, Oregon

Height: 6’7″

Weight: 291 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 83

Tackles for a Loss: 17

Sacks: 10.5

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

As one of the few that I’ve seen that have tabbed DeForest Buckner a tackle, the skillset evaluation is a bit tricky. Buckner displays a tremendous ability to use his length and quickness to make plays outside the usual realms of the tackle position. Lining up often in the 5 and 6 technique spots in Oregon’s 3-4, Buckner played a similar role to that of the nose tackle in Mike Smith’s 4-3. Buckner displays very good usage of his length and in 2015, put together the tools he showed flashes of in 2013 and 2014. Buckner makes for an intriguing prospect as a run defender because he’s simply to agile and long for lineman simply stand pat and let him come into them. Buckner stacks and sheds blocks with ease, was often double teamed and continued to show the ability to take it on while making an impact on the play. Buckner has the athletic ability to get across the lineman’s face and make plays in pursuit as well as the backfield. Buckner will struggle with leverage at times and it’s hard not to with his height. When engaged, there will be times where Buckner is unable to pop loose and he can be taken off his spot. Buckner is not as technically sound as a run defender inside as the other top prospects in this class are.

Against the pass, Buckner came into his own in 2015. Displaying good quickness, impressive agility and usage of his length. Buckner creates space with good arm extension and displayed a knack for getting his hands in passing lanes to bat down passes. Shows good fluidity in his hips allowing him to rush from multiple angles as well as a heads up bull rush that puts guards to shame. Tremendously tough to engage with and block for an interior lineman due to length. Buckner will get passed the pocket when rushing from the edge as well as lose sight of the ball at times when pushed beyond the pocket. relies heavily on natural strength and athleticism while showing little in the form of a true pass rush approach snap to snap. Hand work and placement are big issues for Buckner at this stage and he will have to work on keeping them inside and not getting as wide up top making it easy to get hands on him from secondary help.

Background:

Quiet leader off the field, monster on it. Buckner is a force on the field, displaying leadership both vocally and with his actions. Don Pellum when talking about Buckner’s departure and role as a leader for the Oregon football team as he enters the draft stated, “We may miss that more because he was so good at getting guys going. If a guy was not doing what he was supposed to be doing DeForest said, ‘I got it coach.’ He was so good at being that guy.” (Ryan Thorburn, The Register-Guard) For a team that seems to lack accountability at times, Buckner would be a welcome addition to the defensive line. Buckner is a noted hard worker in the weight room, works on his craft mentally and physically and showed his hard work pays off this past season.  

Team Fit:

Mike Smith uses multiple fronts and while many will look at his size and point to William Gholston I’ll say look at the film. While similarly sized, Buckner is a much better natural athlete and proved to be able to show his talent was more than just traits by racking up good production his final season. Buckner can play end in a 3-4 or 4-3 thanks to his unique build and abilities while also providing pass rushing production from the nose spot in a 4-3 next to Gerald McCoy. Buckner is a unique talent and if the Bucs are simply looking for good players, Buckner will assuredly be on their short list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Sheldon Rankins, Defensive Tackle, Louisville

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 299 lbs

Class: Senior

Tackles: 58

Tackles for a Loss: 13

Sacks: 6

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Rankins shows impressive pursuit prowess and determination. Struggles to initiate the POA, often a tad late off the snap. Shows good arm extension and use of length against the run. Big powerful upper body allowed his to shed blocks and wrap up the ball carrier. Showed the ability to redirect and power his way to the ball carrier. Could stand to work on staying low throughout his engagement with lineman to better use his leverage.

Rankins displays the ability to line up in the A gap and take on double teams. Rankins needs work on his pass rush technique and approach. Rankins tends to be a step late off the snap and must work on his anticipation. While heavy handed, showed little in the way of hand usage. Uses his power well and can manhandle guards with his power and quickness. Causes chaos when able to get to the lineman’s shoulder, showing an impressive rip and pull at times. Showed the athleticism to line up at end in a time of need for Louisville.

Background:

Rankins was a second team all ACC selection in 2015. Leadership role grew in 2015 as he played alongside Devonte Fields and co. for the Cardinals defense. Rankins came to the University as a high school linebacker and has grown into the massive interior nose tackle he is today.

Team Fit:

Rankins could play the 3-tech or nose in a 4-3 and shows the power and versatility to work at either spot in a rotation early on. Rankins could be groomed into a reliable tackle with very high upside and pro bowl potential down the road with some experience. Teaming up with Gerald McCoy and spelling him late in the game could help form a very formidable interior to the d-line.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Jon Bullard, Defensive Tackle, Florida

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 285 lbs

Class: Senior

Tackles: 63

Tackles for a Loss: 18

Sacks: 6.5

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Bullard is quite arguably the best interior tackle coming out. Bullard split time at end and tackle over the last two seasons and given the opportunity, could provide an NFL team with that same versatility. Bullard off the edge plays with good quickness and extension. When moved inside to his usual 3-tech spot, Bullard initiates contact at the POA and uses his hand work and shifts his frame to avoid being cross checked by guards. Bullard will struggle at times against double teams and can get pushed back some there. As the focal point of the Gators defense, Bullard didn’t allow this to happen often and it’s shown with his 11.5 tackles for a loss on runs. Bullard displays good change of direction for his size and does a good job shedding tackles one on one.

Against the pass, Bullard displayed the necessary suddenness and get off to beat guards off the snap. Bullard converts speed to power very well and has an inside rip that afforded him a good amount of pressures this past season. Bullard is an effort rusher from the interior and needs to work on secondary moves and some hand placement issues. Bullard has solid functional strength but could stand to add a bit more and that shouldn’t be an issue. When watching Bullard rush off the edge and get up field on a tackle, it’s clear how athletic he actually is and it’s important to remember, his role at Florida was a versatile one. If a team feels he’s best suited to focus at one spot, there’s a good chance a hard worker like Bullard will make the transition and change his body accordingly. Bullard tends to overrun and over pursue at times leading to him getting behind the quarterback and vacating the gap responsibility, this will need to get cleaned up. Bullard shows the basic awareness skills needed but with some fine tuning, could really wreck havoc on opposing offensive lines.

Background:

Bullard enters the draft as a consensus 3rd team All American, 1st team All SEC and team captain. Bullard is not the overly vocal type, that role goes to Vernon Hargreaves III and the rest of the back 7. Instead, Bullard is a quiet and hard working leader that leads by example. Bullard is well respected by teammates and coaches and puts in all the work and then some between games. A former 5-star recruit, Bullard lived up to expectations at Florida. Bullard is a selfless player, having no problem focusing on the team and it’s development over his own as shown by his willingness to move inside and out at the coaching staffs request. Bullard knows he can rely on teammates, but don’t look for him to be looking elsewhere when a big play is needed. “Being kind of the leader on defense, I take pride in making big plays when we need them,” Bullard said. “I’m not going to ask somebody else to make them. … If I’m in the area to make it, then I’m going to make it.” (Jordan McPherson, Orlando Sentinel). The coaching staff loves him, speaking to the kind of character Bullard brings to the table. “It’s always great to coach a veteran,” Rumph said, “but it’s also good to coach a guy who’s really good on the football field and still is humble enough to take coaching, to work hard and bust his butt to be the best every day. That’s rewarding for me every day.” Bullard now looks to continue a tradition and become the third straight Gator defensive lineman taken in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.

Team Fit:

Bullard can help fill two needs in one thanks to his versatility. Much like Henry Melton in his early days, Bullard can play end on 1st and 2nd down then move inside to rush the passer on third downs. Short term, Bullard’s best fit for himself and the team would be as a rotational guy learning behind Gerald McCoy at 3-tech and playing alongside him on 3rd downs. Bullard is a bully on the field and the Buccaneers need players like that on defense.

 

 

 

 

4. Jarran Reed, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 307

Class: Junior

Tackles: 57

Tackles for a Loss: 4.5

Sacks: 1

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Reed displays very good use of power and leverage. Takes on blocks at the point of attack and does well with redirection. Understands gap integrity and is a gritty defender with good understanding and willingness to take on the dirty work. Shows good hip drive and sinks his hips into the tackle. When engaged, shows the awareness to slide down the line and take on the run himself. Does a good job forcing the ball outside and filtering it to the linebackers, when a play can be made, Reed disengages and plugs the back. Reed does a great job keeping his head up and finding the football.

Against the pass, Reed is not going to be a threat to cause havoc in the backfield. Strictly a nose tackle based on his skillset and capabilities. Lacks the overall athleticism and creativity to create a pass rush. Limited in his moves and shows relatively no plan to his attack as a pass rusher. Again, does a great job eating the double team and is able to 1 and 2 gap as a tackle. Lacks explosion out of the stance. Reed has a relative low ceiling as a pass rusher and much isn’t expected in this area of his game.

Background:

Reed was a JUCO transfer to Alabama out of East Mississippi Community College. Reed was arrested for DUI in 2014 but has otherwise been a model citizen while at Alabama. Reed was selected as an All-SEC 2nd team and in 2014 was an ALL-SEC honorable mention. Reed is a hard worker on and off the field. Reed is a vocal leader and it showed in 2015 for the Crimson Tide. “He’s the one who kick-starts everything for us,” linebacker Reggie Ragland said. “As soon as he gets to talking, you can tell in his eyes that he’s bringing everything he’s got.

Team Fit:

Reed would come in and compete immediately for the nose tackle spot. With Clinton McDonald already in place, Reed would make for a formidable 1-2 punch next to Gerald McCoy and help alleviate some of the pressure thrown McCoy’s way.

 

 

 

5. Andrew Billings, Defensive Tackle, Baylor

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 311 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 39

Tackles for a Loss: 14

Sacks: 5.5

Forced Fumbles: 1

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Billings displays the natural strength and non stop effort at the POA. At his best when pad level is low and drives hips into the lineman. Shows functional strength to toss one on one blockers and disengage from grappling lineman to attack the ball. Will struggle to get outside the tackles and make stops due to limited long range speed and shows limited lateral movement.

Against the pass, Billings displays good quickness to match with his strength to collapse the pocket and get up field. Lacks ideal snap reaction and initial burst. Will get off balance in his rush and ends up on the ground A LOT. Must improve balance and stay within himself in order stay in the play.

Background:

Billings entered Baylor as a big name player with some serious credentials outside of football. Billings set the state record for Power Lifting at 2,010 lbs. Billings finished his career at Baylor with co-defensive player of the year honors for the conference. Billings will enter the draft as a just turned 21-year old player who is still ascending.

Team Fit:

Billings fits best as a run stuffing nose tackle. While able to produce some pressure up the middle, Billings simply lacks the reaction time and explosiveness needed to keep up that same production in the NFL. The Buccaneers could use a long term solution next to Gerald McCoy and Billings very well could develop into that player.

 

 

 

 

6. A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 307 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 46

Tackles for a Loss: 7.5

Sacks: 3.5

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Robinson is a stout run defender and it’s why he’s going to be a high draft pick. A two-gapping tackle at Alabama, Robinson displays the ability to hold the point and force an effective double team on himself. Robinson projects out as a nose tackle for the Buccaneers and alongside a player like Clinton McDonald, Robinson would learn from a very good veteran and get a chance to play next to an All Pro talent in Gerald McCoy. Robinson is able to launch into guards and centers and move them into a backpedal and shift them off balance. Robinson displays good power and has shown the capability of grappling and shifting aside guards against the run. Pad level is a concern at times for Robinson as is his understanding of how to disengage from blocks. Strong finisher, rarely allowing a broken tackle.

Against the pass, Robinson has a bare bones approach that will need to be overhauled. The natural ability is there as far as strength,  hustle and motor go. The pass rush moves are non existent for Robinson right now as he relies on brute strength in his bull rush and a push/pull technique to get penetration. Robinson again needs to work with better pad level and stay low throughout the snap. Robinson lacks ideal explosion and reaction time off the snap and struggles to get good forward lean into his pass rush.

Background:

Team captain and vocal leader on and off the field. Robinson holds teammates accountable and doesn’t shy from this role. All American and All SEC as well as a finalist for the Outland Trophy. Robinson is clean on and off the field from behavioral issues.

Team Fit:

It’s no secret that the Buccaneers need help along the defensive line and with the arrival of Mike Smith, some two gapping may be in order. Mike Smith coached a player with very similar traits to Robinson in Jacksonville, John Henderson. If Smith sees some John Henderson in Robinson, this could be a fit the team likes. Robinson projects out to be a potential nose tackle for the Buccaneers. Eat up blockers, free up Gerald McCoy.

 

 

 

 

7. Vernon Butler, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana Tech

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 323 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 50

Tackles for a Loss: 10

Sacks: 3

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Butler displays the ability to read the play and two gap the run. Tremendous bend at the knees for someone his size, Butler displays the use of strong hands and long, extended arms consistently. Butler showed the ability the take on the double team and keep working on the play. Shows the power to toss aside guards and disengage when needed to make the stop. Showed the ability to bounce to the side and make a stop. Could stand to use some filling out in the lower half.

Against the pass, Butler shows the basic necessities of an interior pass rusher such as the ability to side and stutter step into a bull rush. Has the power to push blocker right back into the pocket if feet aren’t set. Uses the stack and shed as well as push and rip to get the blocker out of the way. Must work on utilizing technique and pass rush moves over always going to out-muscling his opponent. Needs to get more “tight” on his approach, plays a bit wild. Must show the ability to keep on going when his initial pass rush move is stalled.

Background:

Butler has always been a soft spoken player that let his play do the talking but in 2015, that changed for the Senior defensive tackle. “Yeah, basically, I’m more ‘Watch me and I’ll show you how to do it,’” Butler said. “If I have to, I’ll teach them how to do it.” “(Young players) are looking up to me,” Butler said. “They’re looking at what I’m going to do next, watching my movement and stuff. It feels good. I like it. It motivates me to do better, to know that somebody’s watching me.” Butler has a background with basketball, playing the sport up through high school. Butler also trains with A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed in prep for the draft.

Team Fit:

Butler could play the nose next to Gerald McCoy as well as in an odd front. Butler’s raw power and talent could help clog the middle of the defensive line with McCoy for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

8. Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Tackle, Ole Miss

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 294 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 26

Tackles for a Loss: 7

Sacks: 3

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Nkemdiche shows tremendous lower body strength and explosion capabilities. Nkemdiche has good length and lateral quickness to get off the block and cross the tackle en route to make the tackle. Capable of playing both 1 and 2 gap schemes and has shown ability to push through the guards shoulder while working in a bit of a spin move and improving handwork a bit his junior year. For all the natural ability, Nkemdiche has yet to put these tools together consistently and more concerning is the lack of finishing plays.

Against the pass, Nkemdiche again shows the ability to convert speed to power and works in a good bull rush along with doing a good job on stunts. Nkemdiche has some very special traits about him, the problem is they are all just physical traits right now. Nkemdiche, while showing the explosion and short area movement to do so, rarely closes on the play and struggled to produce sacks and pressure all three seasons at Ole Miss. Nkemdiche has a bad habit of rushing with his head down causing him to lose spot of the ball. Nkemdiche shows below desirable effort after his initial attack is held off and until he proves that being great is what he wants, I’d be very concerned about taking him high.

Background:

Nkemdiche has not stayed clean while at Ole Miss and it has caused him to miss some football. Nkemdiche fell from a hotel room and was subsequently suspended for the teams bowl game. Amidst the incident at the hotel room, Nkdemdiche was arrested for marijuana possession. In 2014 Nkemdiche causes a bit of a stir for a photo that surfaced of him with a bong, the team handled the matter and Nkemdiche spoke on the situation, “We have to really watch our surroundings and know what is going on around us,” Nkemdiche said. “If we want to have some fun, we have to know where we can have fun at. We just can’t freelance and be like, ‘Oh we can do whatever we want.'” Nkemdiche has achieved 2nd team All American status for two straight seasons as well as being named 1st Team Freshman All American. Exiting high school, Nkemdiche was the consensus #1 player in the nation as a defensive end recruit. Several anonymous executives and scouts have spoken out about Nkemdiche’s off-field concerns as well as the on field ones which aren’t lacking. How this affects Nkemdiche on draft day is still to be seen.

Team Fit:

The Buccaneers still need help along the defensive line including inside at tackle. Nkemdiche could help bridge the gap with Mike Smith’s multiple fronts and the presence of Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald could hopefully bring out the best in Nkemdiche both on and off the field. A very talented player, Nkemdiche could become a dominant interior force.

 

 

 

 

9. Kenny Clark, Defensive Tackle, UCLA

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 214

Class: Junior

Tackles: 73

Tackles for a Loss: 10.5

Sacks: 5.5

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Clark does a tremendous job controlling his man and maneuvering about as he pleases until he’s ready to spring off and make the stop. Clark plays with very good leverage and anchors in as good as any tackle in this class. Shows the ability to launch into the gap when lines pull a guard. Not a run and chase defender, Clark has limited top end speed and struggles to get outside the tackles to make a stop.

Against the pass, Clark played surprisingly well. At times double teams, Clark capitalized on his one on ones with a quick initial burst and utilizing his wrestling background to help throw off blockers. Clark struggled at times to finish plays in the backfield due to limited lateral quickness. Clark will also at times give up some time while engaged with hand to hand combat with a lineman, relying too often at times with hands versus simply beating his man straight up with power.

Background:

A High School state wrestling champ, Clark uses his background well on the field. Clark was voted as a first team All-Pac 12 tackle. Clark was a 4-star recruit out of high school that inspires to become a coach one day. Clark was surrounded by talent this past year in Myles Jack and Su’a Cravens and both players owe a lot of their clean looks to the work Clark puts in up front.

Team Fit:

Clark is a talented run stuffer that would fill in at nose tackle and compete with Clinton McDonald for snaps immediately. With the veteran presence of McDonald, a player like Clark could very well thrive with that leadership of McDonald and the presence of Gerald McCoy.

 

 

 

 

10. Sheldon Day, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 293 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 45

Tackles for a Loss: 15.5

Sacks: 4

Forced Fumbles: 2

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Day is often overwhelmed. Lacking good length and muscle mass, Day struggles to get off blocks and will be swallowed by a double team. Day shows the arm extension and hand placement needed to have success against the run but often comes up just short against runs that are at him. Uses quickness to shed when he does success and relies on deception and quick  movements.

Against the pass, Day wins with quickness and change of direction. Lacks ideal strength and length to bull rush effectively. Shows good rip and arm over moves while mixing in some decent bend for an interior lineman. Motor rarely quits and he grinds out snaps. Very effective when used in stunts.

Background:

A voted leader by his Notre Dame teammates, Day however had to grow into the role before truly taking over. Noted as quiet and reserved at times, Sheldon Day’s rise to leading the Notre Dame defense alongside Jaylon Smith came after some hard work and in game adversity. Day has learned how to work hard and treat his body right, cutting out many snacks and other food items he regularly relied on. Down to 285, Day increased his strength while limiting his unnecessary body fat. Day has been a hard worker on and off the field for Notre Dame and it’s coaching staff.

Team Fit:

Day would be a perfect mid-round rotational 3-tech to give Gerald McCoy a breather. Not a true 3-down tackle due to size and length issues but an absolute terror potentially if used in limited snaps as a situational pass rusher from the inside.

 

 

 

 

 

11. Javon Hargrave, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina State

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 309 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 59

Tackles for a Loss: 22

Sacks: 13.5

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Tremendous get off for a man of his size, Hargrave gets into the lineman’s chest thwarted the initial block attempt. Uses this get off to stall rushes his way and does a good job redirecting the run. When Hargrave wins the point of attack, he routinely wins the snap. Good fluid lower half allows him shed and separate. Will get caught up in traffic when the run gets outside and at times, will get a bit sloppy with technique and allow lineman to get inside his chest.

Against the pass, Hargrave does a good job using that initial burst and getting the lineman uncomfortable. Hargrave has sudden power and converts speed to power well for a man of his size. Hargrave lacks a pass rush arsenal and currently wins with quickness. Hargrave regularly took on and beat double teams the last two seasons, albeit at a lower level of competition. At the Shrine game, Hargrave was regularly beating and winning matchups both in practice and in the game. Hargrave needs to do a better job setting up his moves and maintaining gap integrity but he has the tools to turn into a solid pro.

Background:

It’s hard to mention Hargrave without going back to the day scouts took notice, a 6 sack performance against Bethune Cookman. “That one  game changed my life — it really did,” Hargrave said.  “Since that game, lots of scouts have come around to watch me.  That game was the spark for a lot of good things that have happened to me.”It’s hard to believe but Hargrave’s physical status was doubtful going into the Bethune-Cookman game. “I had a minor knee thing, so I didn’t  even start the game, and that’s what made it really crazy,” Hargrave said. “I had no idea I had six sacks. I was just trying to win, and I lost count. I didn’t realize it until they started asking questions  in the press conference.” Hargrave is noted as being an extraordinarily hard worker and good teammate. After struggling to make grades initially, Hargrave worked hard and got his grades up to be eligible. Hargrave eventually landed on the Dean’s list. Hargrave contemplated leaving early for the 2015 draft but he decided against it. “I kind of snuck up on some people and had an amazing season, but I know my senior year will be tougher,” Hargrave said. “Teams will be ready for me and game-planning for me. That  just means I’ve got to work hard to be successful.” The hard work paid off as he’s now well on his way to being a potential mid round pick.

(See more at: http://www.salisburypost.com/2015/01/06/college-football-hargraves-hard-working-holidays/#sthash.fWeVoEQ8.dpuf)

Team Fit:

Hargrave bursts onto the scene for many at the East-West Shrine game. Hargrave had big production at a small school and a year after Ali Marpet was taken by Jason Licht, Hargrave may be the next small school target for the Buccaneers. Hargrave can rotate in with Gerald McCoy and be groomed into a potential starting role down the line.

 

 

 

12. Chris Jones, Defensive Tackle, Mississippi State

Height: 6’6″

Weight: 310 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 36

Tackles for a Loss: 7

Sacks: 2.5

Forced Fumbles: 0

Skillset Evaluation:

Massive body and frame, uses it inconsistently against the run but shows the functional ability to take advantage of his length. Jones is best described as inconsistent and failing to show the desire to win on an every down basis. Jones has the length, short area quickness and strength to win at the POA consistently, the effort just isn’t there. Jones stacks and sheds well, can change direction with little lost in the way of speed. Uses his hands well in combat with lineman to manipulate spacing and attacks the ball carrier well. When in pursuit away from him, Jones shows the ability to track in traffic and make the play.

Against the pass, Jones shows good initial get off and quickness. Jones has a slight spin move and shows the ability to split a double team. Jones lacks good leverage, often standing far too vertical and loses the leverage game.  Jones struggles to pick up and keep momentum throughout his rush. Will give in after initial move too often. Simply lacks refinement and consistent effort.

Background:

Jones was a 5-star recruit as the number two player in the nation. Jones never lived up to his status entering Mississippi State and determined an early exit was best for his future, after 3 years in the program. Jones never experienced off-field issues and there have not been any questions about his work ethic.

Team Fit:

Jones needs a lot of work still and a change in his overall approach on a down to down basis. That said, Jones has a frame to grow with and the natural abilities that can’t be taught. Jones can easily sport another 10-15 lbs without sacrificing much in the way of athleticism and could be groomed to take over Clinton McDonald’s spot down the line.

 

 

13. Adolphus Washington, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 301 lbs

Class: Junior

Tackles: 49

Tackles for a Loss: 7

Sacks: 4

Forced Fumbles: 1

Skillset Evaluation:

Against the run, Washington plays high and relies heavily on upper body strength. Washington has shown the ability to cross the LOS and work his way into the backfield. Washington displays above average recognition and breakdown skills when engaged at the LOS. Solid tackler with some power behind his hits, good reach when stretched out for tackle. Has shown ability to bounce out and make the stop to either side.

Against the pass, Washington displays the ability to split the gap as both a 1 and 2 gap pass rusher. Washington can take on blockers work the pocket. Washington plays with poor pad level, relies too much on upper body strength and has shown a tendency to tire out as the game goes on. Uses strong grip to push/pull lineman and has the natural strength to maul guards. Must strengthen lower half and sink hips into his bull rush. Struggles to recognize when the quarterback has stepped up in the pocket, playing blind at times in his pass rush. Effort becomes a question and he will have long periods of questionable play.

Background:

Washington was suspended for the teams bowl game after being hit up for solicitation in a prostitution sting. Washington has owned up to it and recently spoke out on the situation. “I’m not embarrassed by it at all. And I don’t regret doing it because I don’t regret anything I do. Everything you do is a learning experience, positive or negative. This happened to be a negative, and I have to deal with it.” Washington grew up in a rough Cleveland neighborhood and used football as his way out. Washington is not a loud and boisterous player, he’s very reserved off the field. As a student, Washington excels. “Our academic people have a lot of respect for him,” Meyer said. “He’s a very good student (majoring in sport industry). He takes care of his business and obviously was raised the right way.”  (http://buckeyextra.dispatch.com/content/stories/2014/09/26/gameday/cover-adolphus-washington.html)

Team Fit:

Washington has experience at end, nose and 3-tech at Ohio State. The Buccaneers need help along the interior and Washington could provide some versatility at a bargain price if the team can get him to play with more consistent effort and determination.

 

 


 

Grades:

  1. DeForest Buckner – 8.4
  2. Sheldon Rankins – 8.0
  3. Jon Bullard – 7.9
  4. Jarran Reed– 7.9
  5. Andrew Billings – 7.9
  6. A’Shawn Robinson – 7.8
  7. Vernon Butler – 7.8
  8. Robert Nkemdiche – 7.6
  9. Kenny Clark – 7.6
  10. Sheldon Day – 7.5
  11. Javon Hargrave – 7.4
  12. Chris Jones – 7.3
  13. Adolphus Washington – 7.1

Grade Scale:

9.0 – 10 (Top 5)

8.4 – 8.9 (Top 10)

8.1 – 8.3 (Top 15)

7.8 – 8.0 (1st Round)

7.5 – 7.7 (2nd Round)

7.2 – 7.6 (3rd Round)

6.8 – 7.1 (4th Round)

6.4 – 6.7 (5th Round)

6.0 – 6.3 (6th Round)

5.7 – 5.9 (7th Round)

0.0 – 5.6 (Undrafted)

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