1. Leonard Williams (USC)- There have been many good defensive linemen selected in the draft over the last few years. JJ Watt is one along with Robert Quinn. This young man Leonard Williams has the potential to join those two and have a great career at the next level. He can fit a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme on any defense. He can play all over the defensive line and set the tone on the inside of the defensive line. He can burst into the backfield and shut down the run. He displays the strength to shed blocks and get past people. Williams is a very tough mismatch against any offensive lineman because of his speed, strength and power. He has what it takes to be a starter in the NFL immediately and can have an immediate impact.
2. Danny Shelton (Washington)- Standing at 6’1 and weighing in at 343 pounds, Danny Shelton is a massive guy that takes advantage of his power at the point of attack. He uses a variety of moves to get past blockers. He’s able to bulldoze his way into the backfield to bring down the ball-carrier, has a great swim-move to fly by a defender and he’s extremely quick for a guy playing inside on the defensive line. Shelton led the country in sacks by a defensive tackle with nine. Other than his sacks, he recorded 87 tackles on the season last year and 16.5 of those tackles were for a loss. He can get to the quarterback and stop the run.
3. Malcolm Brown (Texas)- This guy is an interesting prospect heading into the draft. He’s able to play all over the line. He possesses the speed to play a nose tackle in a 4-3 defense. Brown had a very good season last year under Charlie Strong at Texas. He can use his speed to be a very dangerous pass rusher. He can be very disruptive on the line and can still affect the play even if he doesn’t get to the quarterback. He uses his power to shed blockers and is great at tackling. He was a tough matchup for anyone to block.
4. Eddie Goldman (Florida State)- After Timmy Jernigan departed for the NFL, Eddie Goldman flourished onto the scene for the Seminoles defense. He’s extremely fast for a man weighing 336 pounds. Goldman is big, strong, quick and disruptive. He has enough speed to get pressure as a pass-rusher while being very stout at the point of attack. Goldman recorded 35 tackles and 8 sacks in his campaign at Florida State in 2014. He can move all over the defensive line.
5. Jordan Phillps (Oklahoma)- He was one of the underrated defensive players in the country last year. I really like his skill set for the position. He has a tremendous first step off the line, good hands to move the blockers around and great burst with power. He uses his size to his advantage to overwhelm offensive linemen. He performed well at the combine and he’ll be a very nice draft pick for any team that is trying to fill their need for a defensive lineman.