The Early Bird List: Defensive Line

This part will focus on the defensive line. Early on this class has potential, production though has been spotty. If some of these guys step up the class could look better. Previous part can be seen here:


Jordan Davis – Georgia

Huge strong man at 6’6 340. He takes up double teams a lot. Davis has explosive strong hands. For his size he is pretty athletic. His biggest negative is that he offers no pass rush. Davis could also stand to lose a little weight. That might contribute to his lack of explosiveness off the snap. He might be limited to a two down role in the NFL. Which will hurt his stock.

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Haskell Garrett – Ohio State

2020 was his best season after a breakout 2019. Quick first step, and an overall good athlete. Explosive off the snap. Motor runs 100%. Garrett is a technically sound player. He only have average size at 6’2 300. The Buckeye shows good strength for his size. Garrett shows limitations as a run defender. He is probably a one position player at the next level, he will have to play 3-tech. Length is also an issue for Garrett which will limit his upside and his versatility. Still should be one of the early drafted linemen.

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Travis Jones – UConn

Jones is a big kid at 6’4 330ish. He has big strong hands and a strong upper body that shows up on film. Jones shows some potential as a pass rusher. He got a lot of pressures in 2019. Jones did not play in 2020. He mostly uses a bull rush but could develop and improve his other moves. Jones is already a good run defender. He has potential to rise if he shows improvement as a pass rusher.

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Demarvin Leal – Texas A & M

He is 6’4 290 but plays bigger. The #1 defensive linemen heading into the season. One of Leal’s biggest strengths is his positional versatility. He can play anywhere on the line. You can even stand him up. Leal still has a lot of room for growth with plenty of upside. He is an elite athlete. Great length to keep blockers at bay and to help him disengage. He does still need to add some weight and strength. He looks like he could carry another 20 pounds no problem. The Aggie could also stand to work on his bull rush more. Also he could refine is pass rush moves, and especially his counters. Hand usage could improve as well.

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Phidarian Mathis – Alabama

Mathis is already a good run stuffer. He is a beast at the point of attack, and he shows big strong hands in the run game as well. He has good size at 6’4 310-ish. Mathis showed some pass rush potential last season, now he needs to build on it. Plays with a good pad level and plays hard. He had no sacks until 2020. The question is was 2020 a flash in the pan or just him starting to realize his potential? A lot of his stock will ride on this season.

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LaBryan Ray – Alabama

At 6’4 285 he still has room for growth, but even at his size he is already a good run defender. His long arms help him in the run game. He shows decent range. Ray doesn’t take plays off. He gets his hands up and can bother passing lanes. Ray does have an injury history that needs to be looked at. His best fit is probably as a 5 tech in a 3-4. Needs to develop his pass rush game.

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Perrion Winfrey – Oklahoma

Winfrey is a former JUCO player, and so 2020 was his first year at D1. He showed a lot of potential. He is 6’3 290 with room to grow, with good length and explosiveness. Winfrey is a very twitchy player. The Sooner has strong hands, and plays well in the run game. He shows a solid anchor and good balance. Like a lot JUCO transfers he is still raw in his technique and needs some refinement. Can be fooled sometimes by misdirection, also needs work on his pad level. Like a lot of the other linemen in this class he can make a big jump if he shows development.

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Devonte Wyatt – Georgia

Another JUCO transfer, 6’3 315. Good run defense. He has showed some potential as a pass rusher with pressures, but he has yet to transform those pressures into sacks. Wyatt comes low off the snap and uses good leverage. Strong upper body. He has shown a little bit of a bull rush. Needs to convert those pressures into sacks if he wants to be a more complete player and move up in the draft.

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