clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 NFL Draft:Final Thoughts (Defense)

What are my final thoughts of the 2016 defensive prospects?

Vernon Hargreaves III. Future Titan perhaps?
Vernon Hargreaves III. Future Titan perhaps?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


- This year's defensive end class has a lot of talent and depth. You could get an impact starter into the fourth or fifth rounds.

- The one guy that nearly everyone is forgetting about is Penn State's Carl Nassib. He was a force to be reckoned with on a poor PSU team.

- I remain skeptical of Joey Bosa's sudden decision at the beginning of 2015 to move out of the apartment that he shared with Ezekiel Elliott. I wonder if someone got into his ear that he was ruining his draft stock and made a business decision instead of getting the help that he really needs (allegedly)

- Deforest Buckner isn't Dion Jordan so people need to get that Oregon stigma out of their systems. Buckner is better than Arik Armstead in terms of talent and Armstead had a decent rookie season. Would be really interesting should he be available at 5 and the Titans pounce on a trade to get him.

- Speaking of former Buckeyes, if I were a GM, I'd hedge my bets and hope that Noah Spence falls to the early second round. His off field history is too extensive to ignore. He dominated the Senior Bowl.

- The most intriguing end prospect to me is BYU's Bronson Kaufusi. He's had a good offseason combined with a great senior season. He was all over the place in the "Holy War" bowl game against hated rival Utah. I wouldn't mind it if the Titans drafted him.

- An interesting name that popped up is Iowa's Drew Ott. He was declared eligible just recently because the NCAA, in their insanity, decided to take their time ruling on Ott's waiver case. It's utterly stupid how they operate most of the time.


- Mississippi State's Chris Jones was my favorite tackle prospect to watch in this class.

- Robert Nkemdiche will likely get taken in the first round but he has a lot of off field issues to overcome to be successful. He needs to make a business decision like Bosa and change his social circle. Potential to be Johnny Manziel off the field.

- Louisville's Sheldon Rankins quietly had a great 2015 campaign and he's been rising up the boards since. I've been a fan of his game since last year when no one was talking about him.

- Huge fan of Javon Hargrave. He blew up at the East v West Shrine Game and proceeded to dominate the Senior Bowl as a injury replacement in the one practice he did get in. Brandon Williams 2.0?

- Not a fan of the Bama boys A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed. The question is that who helped who become great?

- A prospect expected to go late to keep an eye on is Notre Dame's Sheldon Day. He had a good week of practice in Mobile and proceeded to blow up on the last day as an end. Jurrell Casey 2.0?

- Clemson's D.J. Reader is another to keep an eye on late. He's the anchor in the middle that could hold down a NT spot for years.


- It's Reggie Ragland and......everyone else this year.

- Scooby Wright III would've been better served to return to school and prove that he could stay healthy next year. The decision to go pro was a dumb one. He's a poor man's Luke Keuchely.

- Nothing really exciting this year in the ILB crop, I'm afraid.


- I really don't understand Su'a Cravens' decision to not participate in any private workouts this year. This move reeks of agent driven cowardice and teams will likely take him off their boards for it.

- LSU's Deion Jones could be better served converting to safety due to his size. He can fly though.

- One guy that had a lot of hype going into Mobile but has seemingly disappeared is Utah State's Kyler Fackrell. He's an exceptional talent that comps to Ezekiel Ansah. Been watching him for three years now.

- If I just had to have an OLB that excels at both rushing the passer and playing his position, I'd pick UGA's Jordan Jenkins.

- If teams are hesitant about taking an OLB early or miss out, I'd take a look at Washington's Travis Feeney. He's good.

- Oklahoma's Eric Striker is just simply a tweener stuck in no man's land. Good college player though.

- Who will end up winning the battle of knee recovery, Myles Jack or Jaylon Smith?

- Kamalei Correa (Boise State). I get the hype. He good.


- The corner class is loaded this year.

- Don't get the hype of Eli Apple. Honestly I don't.

- The best pure cover corner might be Houston's William Jackson III in a close contest over fellow III brother Vernon Hargreaves.

- Hargreaves is no slouch, either. He's been one of the best corners in the country two years running and had a bad game in the SEC title game when the Gators defense finally quit trying to bail out their awful offense.

- Rumors of Clemson's Mackensie Alexander being a diva aka Deangelo Hall have me skittish on taking him. Great talent though.

- Cyrus Jones being a middle round prospect is laughable. He's living off the Bama hype more than anyone. Got burnt multiple times and is a return man only at this point.

- Oklahoma's Zack Sanchez made like Mark Sanchez and was an one hit wonder after being repeatedly inconsistent until 2015.

- This year's batch of small school corners are one of the best in recent memory. I'm a fan of UNI's Deiondre Hall. HE fits what teams trying to copy Seattle's secondary are doing.


- I know I've been sounding like a broken record singing the praises of Boise State's Darian Thompson repeatedly but he's that good. Thompson really showed out at the Senior Bowl.

- Miami's Deon Bush could be an interesting prospect to take a look at late.

- Although FS may seem like Jalen Ramsey and everyone else, there's talent to be had in the middle rounds.

- I'm not buying the Keanu Neal hype just yet.

- WVU's Karl Joseph was fortunate that he got hurt early in the year as opposed to late so the recovery time is a lot more advanced. I still question his ability to play center field effectively though. Hard hitter.

- I really don't get the Miles Killebrew hype that he's been getting. Looked out of place at the all star events. Needs a lot of coaching to become a passable depth player.

- On the other end of the spectrum, MTSU's Kevin Byard helped himself a lot during the process.

- Vonn Bell is an intriguing prospect.