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Defensive Line Draft Rankings

by Thor Nystrom
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Defensive End

1. Bradley Chubb (NC State) | 6’4/269

Athletic composite percentile: 82.4%

Player Comp: Everson Griffen (hat tip: Jonah Tuls)

This is an extremely deep DE group, which is all the more impressive in lieu of the fact that Clemson's Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, both potential Round 1 picks, returned to school.

The class is fronted by Bradley Chubb, the surest thing of all defenders in this year’s class. Chubb has an ideal frame, long and broad. He’s uber-athletic, technically sound, obscenely productive and fawned over by those around NC State’s program as a leader and a tone-setter. On tape, he’s as disruptive as a crying baby on an airplane, a play-in, play-out nuisance. He boasts a middleweight fighter’s active hands and ADHD bouncy feet. Chubb isn’t a superfreak bender off the edge like Jadeveon Clowney or Myles Garrett. He makes up for that with a quick first step and a relentlessness playing style bordering on the pathological. Chubb is like being in a room with extremely loud house music playing. You can tolerate it for 10 minutes or so, but then it will begin to melt your brain and you’ll start making mistakes until you can escape it.

Chubb is an extremely sharp player with intuitive feel for what the offense wants to do and how he can best go about foiling those plans. Not only is he a top-flight pass rusher, but Chubb sets the edge in run defense. He’s not getting pushed backwards, and he’ll ghost his man as soon as an opportunity for the kill presents itself. Chubb even showed the capability of not embarrassing himself when dropped into coverage in the rare instances that the Wolfpack shook things up. He’s absolutely a top-five overall talent.

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2. Harold Landry (Boston College) | 6’2/252

Athletic composite percentile: 87.1%

Player Comp: Vic Beasley (hat tip: Dane Brugler)

Landry dominated in 2015-2016, decided to return to school, and, unfortunately, may go a bit lower than he would have last spring. An ankle injury stole four games this past season. Landry is sort of like the edge-rushing answer to WR James Washington in this class—insanely productive over a long period of time, plus-athlete, short, long-limbed, and, ultimately, polarizing in the draft community.

As a pass rusher, Landry explodes low off the snap and wins with speed and a deep bag of pass rusher tricks. Between his quickness, bend, shoulder dip, rip move and assortment of counter moves, Landry is like a pitcher with a big fastball and a wide variety of breaking pitches. If you gear up for the speed, he’ll buckle your knees with a Bugs Bunny curve. Landry has proved his versatility by improving as a run defender and showing the ability to drop into coverage. His lack of power and anchor can be an issue against the run. He’s not weak in that facet of the game, however, due to his quickness, leverage, hand usage and sheer effort.

Landry could very well be in for a move to 3-4 OLB in the NFL. That’s not necessary, but he showed he has the athleticism for it at the NFL Combine. Teams that talk themselves out of Landry because of his height and injury-pocked 2017 are making a mistake.

3. Josh Sweat (Florida State) | 6’5/251

Athletic composite percentile: 95.4%

Player Comp: Smaller Jadeveon Clowney (hat tip: Dane Brugler)

Because of his injury history and uneven tape, the NFL Combine was as important for Sweat as any prospect in this class. He went out and destroyed it, dropping a 95th percentile athletic score via a 4.53 40-yard dash, 4.28 short shuttle, 39.5-inch vertical jump and 124-inch broad jump. Just as importantly, he was cleared medically. That was no sure thing due to Sweat’s knee issues. Late in his high school career, Sweat dislocated his knee and tore his ACL in an injury that was so devastating that he later commented: “I could have lost the bottom of my leg.” Sweat also missed a pair of games last year with a meniscus issue.

But the NFL didn’t red flag him, and Sweat submitted the second-best best athletic composite score of all defensive linemen in this class (Taven Bryan was first). Sweat had a reputation for being lazy earlier in his FSU career. He announced before last season that he would change that perception. Mission accomplished. (And about that perception: It seems probable that Sweat’s sluggish early career with FSU was a result of working through the devastating injury; he still posted five TFL and an interception as a true freshman, one year after the injury occurred... and then he posted 24 TFL over the next two years before turning pro).

The No. 1 defensive end in the country coming out of high school, Sweat is a flexible, explosive athlete with a rocked-up physique and extremely long arms (the second-highest wingspan among edge rushers in this class). He has zero issues bending the edge or quickly changing direction in pursuit. After he sheds, he’s chasing like a greyhound until the whistle blows. Sweat showed an ability to set the edge at FSU, gaining leverage and separation. He plays with discipline, sticking to his assignment and not running himself out of the play. Sweat doesn’t get bullied, and he’ll make plays upfield.

He isn’t the biggest end, and he doesn’t have the strongest anchor due to a skinny lower half, and for those reasons he can get beaten at the point of attack when a linemen latches on. And as of now, Sweat has work to do as a pass rusher to fulfill his ample upside. He has all the athletic tools to become an edge rushing terror, but he needs to play with a quicker first step, improve his technique, add a few counter moves and learn how to more effectively utilize his hands. Sweat’s profile isn’t as clean as some of his brethren, but his upside is sky-high as an end who profiles as a plus against the run and potentially as a plus-plus against the pass.

4. Marcus Davenport (UTSA) | 6’6/264

Athletic composite percentile: 80.1%

Player Comp: Aldon Smith (hat tip: Josh Norris)

Davenport is a long, twitchy athlete with perennial Pro Bowl upside. He’s raw, but we know he has the singular trait we need from underdeveloped prospects: He works his butt off.  Davenport showed great dedication by adding over 60 pounds to his frame since arriving on campus (ESPN’s recruiting profile listed him at 6’6/197). Those around the UTSA program vouch for his superlative work ethic.

And while he still has a ways to go with his technique, it got better and better each year he was on campus. Davenport has a scary combination of length (with a large wingspan in addition to his height), athleticism and strength. He uses his fire hose arms to create space and disengage, and he uses his powerful, active hands to lead the dance. He’s superb at turning speed to power and he’s a violent finisher.

While all the tools are here for Davenport to turn into a Von Miller-esque terror, he’s got a long way to go. Davenport plays alarmingly high, and, by extension, doesn’t bend the edge—which is another way of saying that he lacks flexibility and balance on the attack. Popping up quickly on the snap steals some of the advantages that his athleticism should afford him. Davenport doesn’t get on top of offensive linemen as quickly as he could, and he essentially invites them into his chest protector. And because his movements are predictable and he lacks a deep reserve of pass-rushing moves, Davenport can get run out of the play or have his momentum used against him.

Davenport could dominate Conference USA foes with length, straight line speed and power. In the NFL, if he doesn’t continue improving his technique, learn to play lower and develop more moves, he’ll become our most recent size/speed edge rushing marvel to go bust. But if he continues improving at the rate he did at the end of college, look out. There’s just too much risk associated with the profile for me to buy on his Draft Day sticker price.

5. Sam Hubbard (Ohio State) | 6’5/270

Athletic composite percentile: 64.7%

Player Comp: Derrick Morgan (hat tip: Lance Zierlein)

Hubbard has no such questions, and he comes, for better or worse, with a far more restricted projection variance profile than the players listed ahead of him. In fact, Hubbard is something of a boring prospect in that his projection is so straightforward. He has a good frame, and he plays extremely hard.

Hubbard isn’t a high-end athlete, but, as he showed in his pre-Draft workouts, athleticism won’t be an issue at the next level (his 6.84 three-cone was the quickest of all edge defenders in this class). He’s not the fastest north-to-south, but Hubbard is a coordinated athlete with strong quickness, balance and agility. And that combination plays up because of his high football IQ (high IQ period, that is—Hubbard was an Academic All-American). If Hubbard figures out that you’re tipping plays pre-snap, he’ll make you pay. And because he’s so relentless, Hubbard’s effectiveness increases as the game goes on because you’ll tire before he does, and he’ll diagnose exactly how to go about exploiting your compensatory mechanisms.

I see a valuable long-time starter with very little bust potential, but I don’t see a superstar because he’ll likely never be an elite pass rusher.

6. Rasheem Green (USC) | 6’4/275

Athletic composite percentile: 62.6%

Player Comp: Poor man’s Richard Seymour (hat tip: Matt Miller)

Green has a higher upside than Hubbard—he could be a star—but a lower floor. A former five-star recruit, Green started to put it together (10 sacks) in 2017 before surprisingly opting into the draft. From an athletic profile standpoint, he’s natural, fluid, flexible, explosive and long. But man, he’s just not there yet.

Got erased by some mediocre Pac-12 tackles over the past few years. He’s unpolished, and sometimes appears a little lackadaisical, like he’s thinking about the Madden dynasty he has paused in his dorm room when it appears that he won’t be directly involved in a play. Gonna need to be coached up. He gets fooled too often. Also needs to get stronger. Frame certainly supports the notion that he can. Like Davenport, Green has a maddening quirk of playing high with a narrow base, which has the effect of mitigating some of his power and athleticism.

Could potentially move inside if he packed on enough bulk—but he’d have to seriously upgrade his anchor and play strength to make that work long-term in the NFL. USC used him inside as a pass rusher on obvious throwing downs and that’s something he could probably do immediately. If somebody gets through to him, Green is going to have a long, lucrative career. That’s no guarantee.

7. Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest) | 6’3/264

Athletic composite percentile: N/A

Player Comp: Emmanuel Ogbah (hat tip: Jonah Tuls)

Ejiofor played out of the spotlight at Wake Forest, wasn’t able to participate in the Senior Bowl or NFL Combine due to a torn labrum and he isn’t a high-end athlete. For those reasons, he’ll come at a discount on Draft Day.

He may well turn out to be a steal. Ejiofor makes up for a lack of twitch and explosion with a deep array of pass-rushing moves, smarts and power. He has an explosive first step, active hands and a can-do attitude. He’s purported to be a film rat, and that comes across on tape—he does his job and is never out of position. Ejiofor is also a tough son of a gun; he played through that torn labrum last year for the Demon Deacons.

Solid as a run defender and pass rusher but lacking in elite traits, Ejifor’s workmanlike game should translate well to the NFL. He may begin as a rotation player with a starting gig attainable not far down the road.

8. Da’shawn Hand (Alabama) | 6’4/297

Athletic composite percentile: 53.2%

Player Comp: Allen Bailey (hat tip: Charlie Campbell)

Hand, the No. 1 recruit in the country coming out of the prep ranks, didn’t live up to the superstar hype in Tuscaloosa, developing into a strong complementary player, not a game-changer. His calling cards are technique and strength, two things Alabama is very good at instilling in their players. He also makes good use of his long arms and powerful, ahem, hands.

Hand is a strong run defender and a mediocre pass rusher who never finished a collegiate season with more than three sacks. In the pros, Hand figures to be much the same. You can rely on him to do his job efficiently and get dirty in the trenches, but Hand will never be a backfield ransacker. He may ultimately be a 4-3 DT.

9. Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State) | 6’3/269

Athletic composite percentile: 94.4%

Player Comp: Poor man’s Adrian Clayborn (hat tip: Dane Brugler)

I have a hard time wrapping my head around Lewis. On the one hand, he’s extremely productive (34 TFL, 23 sacks and five forced fumbles over the past three years), he’s technically sound, he’s versatile, he tested as an outstanding athlete and Urban Meyer raves about him.

On the other hand, he’s a tweener who doesn’t play with the same level of athleticism on the field as he tested with. Lewis played a ton of snaps inside for the Buckeyes, but he doesn’t have the bulk to do that in the NFL. The Buckeyes probably made a mistake there, as Lewis had the class’ best edge pressure rate, per Optimum Scouting. But the guys at Optimum Scouting also unearthed a gem of a rate stat that gives some pause: Lewis led the class with 20% of his “winning moves” coming while unblocked. The NFL doesn’t give out free lunches as willingly as Rutgers’ offensive line does. I’m utterly convinced that I’ve either rated Lewis too high or too low. I just can’t tell which, so I’m splitting the difference on a prospect I have no conviction about whatsoever.

10. Ade Aruna (Tulane) | 6’5/262

Athletic composite percentile: 85.6%

Player Comp: Henry Anderson (hat tip: Owa Odighizuwa)

Are you in the mood to buy a lottery ticket? Aruna is long (with an 80-inch wingspan and huge hands) and extremely athletic. He’s a former basketball player who has the smooth agility, bend and body control you’d expect of a hooper. If it all comes together, he’s going to be a dangerous pass rusher.

But he’s oh so very raw. Aruna didn’t start playing football until 2012, and he still doesn’t have a great idea of what he’s doing out there. He plays high, frittering away leverage consistently, and his approach is rudimentary at this time. In addition to improving his technique, Aruna needs to continue packing on muscle in the weight room in the name of improving his play strength and anchor.

11. Jalyn Holmes (Ohio State) | 6’5/283

Athletic composite percentile: 21.8%

Player Comp: Henry Anderson (hat tip: Lance Zierlein)

Holmes won’t be a star, but I think he has the goods to eventually be a lower-end starter at the next level. He’s a subpar athlete who doesn’t add much value as a pass rusher and didn’t start for the Buckeyes until last season. He does, however, play with good strength. He’s a rangy, long-armed power player with a high football IQ. Holmes may be best off adding more weight and moving inside, where his strength will play and his lack of pass rushing value can be mitigated.

12. Chad Thomas (Miami) | 6’5/281

Athletic composite percentile: 16.9%

Player Comp: Kareem Martin (hat tip: Charlie Campbell)

Off the bus, Thomas looks exactly how you want your defensive ends to look, long and well-built. He’s a power player with good feet who plays with good leverage.

Unfortunately, Thomas consistently underachieved in college. We may have gotten a clue as to why when he underwhelmed in pre-Draft testing. The former Miami Hurricane profiles as a backup who’s stronger against the run than the pass.

13. Hercules Mata’afa (Washington State)

14. Kentavius Street (NC State) – Note: Tore ACL during pre-draft workout

15. John Franklin-Myers (Stephen F. Austin)

16. Joe Ostman (Central Michigan)

17. Ja’von Rolland-Jones (Arkansas State)

18. Marcell Frazier (Missouri)

19. Ola Adeniyi (Toledo)

20.  Justin Lawler (SMU)

21. Trevon Young (Louisville)

22. Bunmi Rotimi (Old Dominion)

23. Mat Boesen (TCU)

24. Jalen Wilkerson (Florida State)

25. Ebenezer Ogundeko (Tennessee State)

Defensive Tackle

1. Taven Bryan (Florida) | 6’5/291

Athletic composite percentile: 97.1%

Player Comp: Robert Nkemdiche (hat tip: Dane Brugler)

I ranked Bryan a few spots lower in my pre-Combine rankings. Since then, he absolutely destroyed the NFL Combine, with elite finishes in the three cone, vertical jump, and broad jump, three tests that translate well to NFL success in the trenches.

My nitpick with Bryan is that he needs to get into the weight room and get coached up from a technical and game play standpoint. Bryan looks a tad skinny for a DT, and he at times struggled with maulers in the SEC.  Bryan could stand to gain 15 pounds or so if he’s going to stay inside. At present, he’s undisciplined and lacking in instincts. Want proof? He managed only 5.5 sacks over his entire career at Florida despite having a big athletic advantage in every single confrontation he was in.

Enough with the negatives. Frothy-mouthed announcers and YouTube highlight-posters have proclaimed Bryan could be the next J.J. Watt. That’s probably overstating it, but Bryan is also a hyper-athletic player with tremendous strength who plays with an edge. He’s holy-crap quick off the ball and he never, ever quits. Between that lightning-quick first step and thunderous power, Bryan is able to penetrate and disrupt on almost every play.

Bryan has a long way to go, but his ceiling is probably the highest of any defender in this class. If absolutely everything clicks, he’s J.J. Watt. Even 90% of that is still a dominant player.

2. Vita Vea (Washington) | 6’4/347

Athletic composite percentile: N/A

Player Comp: Haloti Ngata (hat tip: Daniel Jeremiah, et al.)

Vea acquits himself as the second coming of Haloti Ngata. He’s a super-charged load, massive, strong, and angry. What sets him apart from players of a similar profile is his quickness and motor. He has a great internal mechanism for timing the snap, and his quick first step means that his powerful hands are inside your chest protector a split-second after the center has released the ball.

Vea plays behind the line of scrimmage, flinging blockers to the side like unnecessary throw pillows. He’s plus-plus-plus in run defense, but also provides value as a pass rusher due to his tenacious interior penetration and UFC fighter-like finisher’s instinct.

Vea was a dominant Second-Team All-American last season despite his crude, unrefined playing style. He plays high, with no real technique outside of throwing offensive linemen out of the way like the Hulk and chasing the ball like a crazed rhino. Vea didn’t start for the first time until 2016, and he became a full-time starter for the first time last season. From where I’m sitting, it seems like he has a lot of upside left to untap. But there’s work to go, which means he isn’t the safest of prospects. But if he hits his ceiling, he’ll be a more athletic Haloti Ngata. And boy is that scary.

3. Da’Ron Payne (Alabama) | 6’2/311

Athletic composite percentile: 63.1%

Player Comp: Sheldon Richardson (hat tip: Chris Trepasso)

On tape, Payne’s size/speed/feet combo is mutant-esque. He was used as part of Alabama’s vaunted defensive line rotation early in his career, and really took off when Jonathan Allen vacated his war-daddy post. Not only does the skillset appear just south of elite, but Payne stared in some huge games against top-shelf competition, including both games of last year’s CFB Playoff.

Premier run stuffer. Good luck moving him—he eats blocks like a Number Muncher—and he has the athleticism and diagnostic skills to shed and ransack. He’s also likely to be a far better pass-rusher in the NFL than he was in college. His counting stats—1.5 sacks last year—don’t do that area of his game justice, but it’s important to note that Alabama didn’t unleash him to pin his ears back as often as some other players on this list.

Payne came to Tuscaloosa within shouting distance of 4 bills. As he shed bad weight, the athleticism bloomed like a flower. He moves like a smaller player, which maybe makes sense considering his bones and muscles were conditioned to carry around a lot more weight.

4. Maurice Hurst (Michigan) | 6’1/292

Athletic composite percentile: N/A

Player Comp: Grady Jarrett (hat tip: Chris Trepasso)

Hurst is a bullet quick 4-3 DT with bad intentions. Slick feet, now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t bang-bang-bang hands. Disrupts plays with quick interior penetration, an extremely valuable skill. Good feel for responsibilities, will get his hands up to deflect passes. He never stops competing.

Hurst probably can’t add much more weight, which means he’ll continue to struggle with power in the run game at the next level. On tape, Hurst too often was put on skates and driven out of the play on running plays. He’s extremely disruptive, but his momentum can be used against him when he falls in love with pinning his ears back and plays undisciplined. That area of his game isn’t likely to get better in the NFL. In college, he only had to face the Billy Price’s and James Daniels’ of the world twice or three times a campaign. In the NFL, he’ll get them every Sunday.

Hurst was red flagged at the NFL Combine for a heart condition, but the league did not request that he return to Indy for re-tests, which was a good sign. Team doctors will ultimately decide whether or not to greenlight Hurst. We’ve been given no reason to believe that this is a big problem for his evaluation, but we’re obviously working with incomplete information. More should become clear on Draft Day.

5. Tim Settle (Virginia Tech) | 6’3/329

Athletic composite percentile: 2.4%

Player Comp: Vince Wilfork starter kit (hat tip: Lance Zierlein)

Settle is enormous and active, posting 12.5 TFL and four sacks last year. Settle rapidly improved in 2017 after ditching some bad weight and improving his cardio, which played up his natural athleticism. I’m obviously projecting a continued upward trajectory going forward, especially if he’s willing to trade some more belly fat for muscle while improving his technique.

The skill set is there. Settle comes pre-equipped with plus-plus quickness, a great motor, good balance and light feet. He fires out low and chases rabidly once disengaged. Will make the occasional play in the second or third level by chasing from behind, which looks like a grizzly bear catching a deer. Violent finisher: Explodes into targets like a runaway semi broad-siding a parked car. Virginia Tech moved Settle around a little, and he proved he can function as more than a nose tackle.

Settle’s game is a little wild man right now, but he does seem to have strong awareness of what’s happening around him. Not only does he need to work on his technique, but he needs to keep shedding fat. He only played for two years for the Hokies, and only started one. In limited snaps, he dropped 19.5 TFL (over 35% of his tackles at VT were TFL). I expected Settle to test far better than he did, but I’m going to trust what I saw on tape. The ceiling is a freakish perennial Pro Bowler. The floor is an abject bust. He’s not for the faint of heart, but could provide a huge reward on investment if his NFL position coach gets through to him.

6. Harrison Phillips (Stanford) | 6’3/307

Athletic composite percentile: 62.4%

Player Comp: Kyle Williams (hat tip: Daniel Jeremiah)

Phillips is a divisive prospect. Here’s what we know: Phillips was an utter menace in college, posting stupid stats last season (a team-leading 103 tackles, 17 TFL, 7.5 sacks). He’s a former stud wrestler, and that comes across clearly on tape. He’s country strong and extremely tough to move. The issue is his lack of athleticism and high center of gravity.

When Phillips is on, he’s setting the pace, getting his hands on you, disengaging, and stuffing the runner. When he’s off, he’s on the ground too often, with heavy feet and an upright style that gets felled like an oak. Either way, Good Phil or Bad Phil, his game is generally confined to a very small radius around the line of scrimmage. In the Pac-12, Phillips strength, cunning and desire was enough to dominate. Those traits alone won’t cut it in the NFL. He’s going to be a solid run defender, but I don’t see much value-added as a pass rusher. Like a first base prospect in baseball with good power and a good approach but a bad body and zero positional versatility, Phillips is downgraded because veteran players of his type are readily available for cheap in free agency.

7. Nathan Shepherd (Fort Hays State) | 6’4/315

Athletic composite percentile: 64.7%

Player Comp: Brodrick Bunkley (hat tip: Jonah Tuls)

Shepherd is all projection at this point. But boy is he fun to dream on and think about. Fascinating story. The Canada native was the first Fort Hays State player ever to be invited to the Senior Bowl. Was turning heads until he broke his hand. Shepherd began his college career at Canada’s Simon Fraser University as a 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker(!!!). He got up to 250 pounds but was forced to leave school for financial reasons and work in electrical construction.

Fort Hays State heard word about him and incredibly helped to turn him into a legitimate NFL prospect. He still moves like a far smaller man, athletic and fluid, but he remains incredibly raw. And therein lies the rub: Shepherd will turn 25 in October. While Tim Settle was born in July 1997 (20 years old), Shepherd was born in October 1993. Because he’s a full four years younger, it’s easier for me to talk myself into the idea that Settle will work out the kinks.

I have one other age-related nitpick: Shepherd is big, well built, athletic, and he was older than the Division-II players he was playing against. Despite that, Shepherd accrued only 10 sacks over three seasons at Fort Hays (36 starts).

Nobody has any idea what Shepherd will turn out to be... or any idea if he’ll turn out to be anything at all. His size/athleticism combination seems to indicate a high ceiling, but Shepherd is running out of time to make good on it before Father Time begins to steal his quickness.

8. B.J. Hill (NC State) | 6’3/311

Athletic composite percentile: 42.2%

Player Comp: Kenny Clark (hat tip: Optimum Scouting)


Hill has a nice blend of size and athleticism, and he plays extremely hard. Generates consistent pressure. He can, however, be controlled because he plays high. That neuters his ability to drop the anchor. His technique needs work.

Hill was in a plum situation in college, playing along a vaunted defensive line fronted by Bradley Chubb. I fear that made him look a bit better than he actually is.

9. Deadrin Senat (South Florida) | 6’0/314

Athletic composite percentile: 13.4%

Player Comp: Brandon Mebane (hat tip: Jonah Tuls)

Built low to the ground and boasting tremendous strength, Senat is a load. He wins the leverage battle on every play and is difficult to move after dropping his anchor on run plays, even when double-teamed.

Senat’s lack of length shows in the pass rush, where large interior blockers can eat him up like a half-priced app. He’ll never be strong in that facet of the game. You pick him for the boost your run defense will get.

10. Folorunso Fatukasi (UConn) | 6’4/318

Athletic composite percentile: 69.9%

Player Comp: Abry Jones (hat tip: Lance Zierlein)

If I’m bargain shopping for a DT early on Day 3, Fatukasi is the dude I’m gunning for. He’s lacking in polish and needing to play lower, because at present he gifts away leverage and loses his feet because of it. Fatukasi is a fabulous athlete for his size, but he’s way more of a north-south player than an east-west one.

But when he’s on, watch out. Fatukasi is long and powerfully built, equipped with a huge 82-inch wingspan and big, strong hands. He has an explosive first step, and he moves aside offensive linemen like you move aside soup cans when you’re digging for something in the back of the pantry. To me, Fatukasi is the bite sized, Kirkland brand version of Vita Vea.

11. Derrick Nnadi (Florida State) | 6’1/317

Athletic composite percentile: 4.6%

Player Comp: Andrew Billings (hat tip: Josh Liskiewitz)

Nnadi is like eating at Chipotle. It may not be your first choice, or your second, but it’ll get the job done on a budget. He’s short and squat, and uses that to his advantage in firing out low and popping you in the chest. Nnadi is a high-effort player who doesn’t quit.

Because of his limitations as a pass-rusher, Nnadi will enter the NFL as a two-down player. He graded out as PFF’s No. 8 run-defending DT among 2018 draft prospects last season, but just No. 113 as a pass-rusher (four sacks and 23 pressures).

If you need a DT but can’t secure one on Day 1 or 2, you could do worse than popping Nnadi on Day 3. Like a Chipotle burrito, the ceiling isn’t high, but you know what you’re getting.

12. Andrew Brown (Virginia) | 6’3/296

Athletic composite percentile: 68.9%

Player Comp: Jonathan Bullard but not quite as good vs. run (hat tip: Jonah Tuls)

A former five-star prospect with a nice blend of size, strength and athleticism, Brown was productive the past two years (23.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks) despite usually playing out of position at defensive end in Virginia’s hybrid front. He’s built for the inside, not the outside, where he can shoot gaps, bull rush and straight grind. Brown’s effort never abates.

Brown isn’t quick off the snap, and he plays high. Because of that, it’s way easier to block him than it should be. As a pass rusher, he’s a one-note player who wins with power or doesn’t win at all. Like a major league sitter who knows he can sit dead-red on the fastball, NFL linemen likely won’t be too concerned with him when the quarterback drops back unless Brown diversifies his moves and learns to play lower. The former high school player of the year retains plenty of promise, but it never completely came together at Virginia and it’s hard to picture it all materializing once he enters the pros.

13. RJ McIntosh (Miami)

14. Trenton Thompson (Georgia)

15. Kendrick Norton (Miami)

16. Justin Jones (NC State)

17. Breeland Speaks (Ole Miss)

18. James Looney (Cal)

19. Poona Ford (Texas)

20. PJ Hall (Sam Houston)

21. Bilal Nichols (Delaware)

22. Eddy Wilson (Purdue)

23. Jojo Wicker (Arizona State)

24. Kahlil McKenzie (Tennessee)

25. Zaycoven Henderson (Texas A&M)

Thor Nystrom

Thor Nystrom is Rotoworld’s lead CFB writer. The 2018 FSWA College Sports Writer of the Year, Nystrom’s writing has also been honored by Rolling Stone magazine and The Best American Essays series. Say hi to him on Twitter @thorku!