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Evaluating the top defensive lineman in the NFL draft

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Quinnen Williams

Combine:

Game Film:

Quinnen Williams is a slam dunk top-5 draft selection, come day 1 of the NFL draft. Williams has the intangibles of an elite defensive tackle who can play the run and bust through the line of scrimmage to get after the quarterback. The 6’3″ 303-pound interior pass rusher doesn’t just use his power when rushing the quarterback, he provides an explosive burst when the ball is snapped. Williams posted a 4.83 40-yard dash at the combine, showing off his blazing speed for a 300-pounder. He has fluent ability to adjust and trace down the running back in the mix of traffic.

He was just a one-year starter at Alabama, but when he got his chance to start he made the most of his opportunity. Last season Williams totalled eight sacks, one pass defended, 71 tackles and 19.5 tackles for a loss. He was awarded the John Outland trophy and named an All-American. Williams has followed the footsteps of the previous Alabama defensive lineman, as they have had two defensive tackles drafted in the first round in 2017 and 2018 (Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne).

Nick Bosa

Combine:

Game Film:

Nick Bosa has been slotted in at the top of the draft during the entire draft process by most talent evaluators. His name has been tossed around the NFL world for quite sometime, being the brother of Chargers star defensive end Joey Bosa. His blood lines are good, that’s pretty clear, but it’s also clear that he’s a force to be wrecking with. When watching his film, he jumps off the screen as a dominate football player, that is constantly around the football.

He has that rare combination of speed and power that every team looks for in an edge rusher. Bosa is a master at using his hands to shed blockers and beat the defender with his first step quickness. Despite only playing three games in his final year at Ohio State, his production in his first two seasons speaks for itself. Bosa finished his college career with 77 tackles, 17.5 sacks and two passes defended. Bosa will without a doubt be selected inside the top five come draft day.

Josh Allen

Combine:

Game Film:

Josh Allen is arguably the most versatile player inside the top five. His game film is electrifying, as he has the capability to rush off the edge and drop back in coverage covering running backs and tight ends. Allen has an explosive dash on the edge, to go along with his ability to break free is what separates him from the rest of the pack. He ran a 4.68 40-yard dash at the combine and put up 28 reps, which provides scouts with his superior speed and power.

Allen has been slotted in right after Nick Bosa in most mock drafts, as the second best edge rusher. He is slightly bigger than Bosa and has more games under his belt in college. In Allen’s final year at Kentucky, he recorded 88 tackles (21.5 tackles for loss), 17 sacks and four passes defended. Even with the large number of sacks, he potentially could have sacked the quarterback more often, had he not dropped back in coverage. It appears certain, that Allen will strictly rush the passer in the NFL and won’t have to worry about covering guys coming out of the backfield.

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