Over at DenverBroncos.com they have been looking at upcoming prospects in the draft, little more than a tease most of the time, but when I saw the latest installment, I got all excited. Defensive Linemen, some of the more interesting guys. Thing was, I read through the article, and left unsatisfied, as if the itch hadn't been scratched.
While the Combine interviews are good to listen to, I realized that I wanted to see these guys in action again. My big board has been assembled now for about a week, and I have long since replaced all of my college torrents, so it has actually been awhile since I really sat down and watched these prospects, and reinforced and reminded myself of why I have them ranked where they are.
Well, far be it from me to withhold the fruits of this morning's labor.
Below are four pretty good videos, a little bad a little good, for four of the DL-type prospects that DB.com highlighted this morning, as well as some quick thoughts about where I think the Broncos may have these guys slotted. Enjoy.
- If you are having trouble spotting #91 in the video, just look for the first guy off the ball on every snap.
- Note how he moves around on the line, DT, both DE spots. Definite R-OLB candidate, lots of skills.
- Sadly no dropbacks here, and only a few for his career, mostly gimmicky stuff. Reports from the combine had him doing very well in the LB drills, though. I'm looking forward to seeing how or if he gets a chance to develop those skills in the NFL.
- He gets some time in vs. Bulaga, and does well. If you ever get the chance, the whole battle for that game was a good one to watch. Not flashy, but very dramatic stuff, if DL-OL battles are your thing. You'll get to watch Moeaki as well, which is fun. I think Riley Reiff (last I heard he was recruited as a DE) is the RT. Who knew that the guy with the facebook status "is getting arrested half-naked behind the Pita-Pit," was a shutdown RT? :)
- I could list about 100 more things I like in there, but I'll limit myself and end it here by noting how often he gets hits and pressures even when the QB sees him coming. A great first step and great closing instincts: in other words, a great start and a great finish. This guy is a clearcut frontrunner for the #11 pick.
DE Jason Piere-Paul
- Another strong pass-rush candidate. Nice long arms, knows how to get em up in the passing lanes, plenty of deflected passes to his credit
- Not to stout against the run, lanky guys like him usually have trouble wading through the garbage at the line, he is no exception. Still, he flashed on a couple of interior moves where he got penetration.
- A handful of really polished moves, but I can't picture him anywhere except at rush OLB in the 3-4. Not the most versatile defender in this group.
- Fast, and an above average jump off the ball. Actually, the better way of saying that, is when he gets jump, he is very fast, but he doesn't get off the line consistently.
- Not to ruin him for you before he has had an honest chance, but he reminds me a bit of Jarvis Moss when he was a Gator, only less raw, with more technical finesse.
- He edges into the top 15, but I think Denver will look at him as a bottom of the list guy at their #11 spot. With so many suitable options in the top ten however, I can't envision a scenario where the Broncos cupboard gets picked bare enough. But stranger things have happened.
DL Dan Williams
- A little NT in there, a little DT. Measurables not quite the perfect fit for the nose, and despite his amazing lower body build, he can be held at the point of attack.
- Does a really good job of shedding, and sticking with plays, which is good to see. That kind of work ethic can go a long ways, no doubt.
- Good technical showing, but what you see on a lot of the plays isn't going to help him play the nose. For such a low built guy, he gets stood up an awful lot. Too many times he went straight backwards on running plays.
- I wouldn't want to be tackled by this guy. I remember the first time I saw him noting how hard of a hitter he is for an interior DL, and that hasn't changed.
- I can't see Denver looking at this guy as a legitimate NT, but he has a very unique lower body build that makes him different from most NT candidates. I'd rather see him stay in a 4-3, put some of those moves on display. Brian Price is another guy that is similar, and I have both of them ranked near eachother in the high second round. If Denver likes them, I expect they will see if they are there at #40-45, no earlier than that.
DL Lamarr Houston
- More of a 3-4 end and one of the better fits in this group. #33 in the video (wierd number)
- Lots to like, but mostly as flashes. No closing speed to speak of, struggles to shed blocks.
- My favorite thing about him is how he doesn't fall off vs. the run. He really gets good leg drive and holds the line, which if he is ever asked to play DT, will suit him well. Out at the 5-tech he did ok, and he does a great job of keeping defenders from locking him up, overall.
- Great bull rush, and good overall speed. We get to see him here chasing down a few plays, and the guy is no stranger to hustle.
- He had plenty of time at DT earlier in his career, and you can see the remnants of that here. He is a patient guy sniffing out the screen or option, though without any acceleration to speak of he can be caught flatfooted.
- As a guy rounding out the top 100 or so overall, the Broncos could look at him as early as #80. There should be a number of talented guys going around that time, so it could be ideal placement if the Broncos find themselves targeting OL (or something else) in the first two rounds.