2016 NFL Draft Defensive Positional Rankings, with Analysis: Version 1.0

Defensive Positional Rankings, with analysis, Top 5 per position.

Defensive Ends:

1. Joey Bosa*, Ohio State

Bosa has great size, gets a ton of pressure, an elite pass rusher, a great tackler, and is just disruptive on defense. The only issue is he doesn’t have the best speed, but that won’t stop him from being a top pick in 2016.

2. Shawn Oakman, Baylor

Oakman is a big body defensive lineman, solid pass rusher, solid tackler, and a disruptive defender. However he isn’t the fastest lineman.

3. Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

Calhoun is a nice tall edge rusher, a dynamic pass rusher, solid tackler, and a disruptive defender. However he doesn’t have elite edge rush speed, he is on the light side, which means he would need to add extra weight to play DE, or slide outside to OLB in the NFL.

4. DeForest Buckner, Oregon

Buckner has great size, he is a solid pass rusher, a solid tackler, is disruptive on defense. However he doesn’t have the best speed for a DE, as he has issues with very fast, mobile QBs.

5. Emmanuel Ogbah*, Oklahoma State

Ogbah has solid size for a 4-3 DE, is a solid tackler, and a solid pass rusher. He creates havoc, and is always one of the first to make the tackle. He tends to get stuffed at the line of scrimmage by bigger offensive lineman, and doesn’t have the best speed, but that doesn’t hurt his overall game.

Defensive Tackles:

1. Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

Nkemdiche has solid size. He is just a stud athlete, creates havoc, gets a good pass rush, a solid tackler. He doesn’t have great speed, but he should excel in the NFL. And he is probably a 3-4 DE in the NFL or a 4-3 DT

2. A’Shawn Robinson*, Alabama

Robinson is a big boy, has great size, is a solid tackler, a pure run stuffer, a decent pass rusher, is versatile, can play DE, and DT, along with the possibility of lining up at NT in the NFL. He doesn’t have the best speed.

3. Sheldon Day, Notre Dame

Day has great size for a DL, likely a 3-4 DE in the NFL. He gets a decent amount of pressure, is a solid tackler, a hard hitter, and a good pass rusher. His downside is his speed, and he gets caught up at the line of scrimmage against top tier offensive lineman.

4. Andrew Billings*, Baylor

Billings is a big bodied defensive tackle, who is best suited for the nose tackle spot in a 3-4 defense, he is a run stuffer, a good tackler, a hard hitter, gets good pressure on the quarterback. He is on the slow side, and he struggles against faster offensive players.

5. Hassan Ridgeway*, Texas

Ridgeway has great size, he’s a solid tackler, fits as a 3-4 NT, gets a good push, and is a good pass rusher. He doesn’t have great speed, and he has issues with fast backs

Outside Linebackers:

1. Darron Lee*, Ohio State

Lee has nice size, is a solid tackler, a hard hitter, a good pass rusher, has a non stop motor, good in coverage. He isn’t the fastest linebacker, but that doesn’t hurt his stock, and he is only a redshirt sophomore, so he is still young, and developing.

2. Jordan Jenkins, Georgia

Jenkins has great size, is a great pass rusher, a solid tackler, and gets tons of pressure. However he doesn’t posses elite pass rush speed, and he gets stuffed against big offensive lineman.

3. Leonard Floyd*, Georgia

Floyd has great size for a edge rush OLB, he is a solid pass rusher, and a solid tackler. He doesn’t posses elite edge rush speed, and he gets manhandled at the line of scrimmage at times.

4. Dadi Nicolas, Virginia Tech

Nicolas has nice size to play OLB in the NFL. He is a solid pass rusher, and a solid tackler. While he has decent speed, he tends to get beat by faster backs at times.

5. Eric Striker, Oklahoma

Striker has decent size, is a hard hitter, and a solid pass rusher. However he doesn’t have great speed, he also whiffs on some tackles, and also struggles in coverage

Inside Linebackers:

1. Jaylon Smith*, Notre Dame

Smith has nice size, he has decent speed, he is very versatile, can play OLB, and ILB, he is a solid tackler, a hard hitter, and a solid pas rusher. He also has a nonstop motor, is always in on the play, is disruptive, creates havoc, and is a play maker on defense for the Irish. However he does miss some tackles.

2. Myles Jack*, UCLA

Jack has solid size for a linebacker, he is a solid pass rusher, versatile, played some running back at UCLA, a solid tackler. He has decent speed. He seems to whiff on some tackles. Also not the best coverage linebacker.

3. Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn

McKinzy has great size to play ILB, is a hard hitter, a solid tackler, and good in coverage. However he doesn’t have great speed, and gets leveled at times by bigger offensive lineman.

4. Scooby Wright III*, Arizona

Wright has good size, gets good pressure for an ILB, a solid tackler, a hard hitter, and is a play maker on defense. He doesn’t have great speed, and tends to make some silly mistakes with personal fouls.

5. Kentrell Brothers, Missouri

Brothers has nice size for an ILB, is a solid tackler, good in coverage, and a hard hitter. He doesn’t have great speed, but that doesn’t effect his game.

Cornerbacks:

1. Vernon Hargreaves III*, Florida

Hargreaves has good size, and great speed. He is a great cover cornerback, a good tackler, a shut down CB, and a true #1 CB. There aren’t many flaws with his game, as he seems to be the best CB prospect in years. If I had to nit pick, I would say that he does get beat deep at times, but very rarely.

2. Kendall Fuller*, Virginia Tech

Fuller has good size, and great speed. A great cover cornerback, a good tackler. However he does whiff on some tackles, commits some penalties, and gets lost in coverage at times.

3. Jalen Ramsey*, Florida State

Ramsey has solid size, is a hard hitter, makes plays, doesn’t give up on plays, is a solid tackler, and a decent cover DB. His downside is that he doesn’t have elite DB speed.

4. Cameron Sutton, Tennessee

Sutton has good size, is a solid tackler, and a solid cover cornerback. He doesn’t have elite speed, but that doesn’t hurt his overall game

5. Will Redmond, Mississippi State

Redmond has decent size, and solid speed. He is a solid cover cornerback, a hard hitter, and a solid tackler. He looks smaller on tape than what his listed size is.

Free Safeties:

1. Jalen Mills, LSU

Mills has solid size for a FS, is a solid tackler, and a hard hitter. He doesn’t have the best speed, and isn’t the best in coverage.

2. Tyvis Powell*, Ohio State

Powell has great size, is a solid tackler, he doesn’t give up on plays, he’s a hard hitter. However he doesn’t have the best speed, as he gets beat, and has problems with fast offensive players.

3. Leon McQuay III*, USC

McQuay has great size, is a solid tackler, doesn’t give up on plays, a decent cover safety, and a hard hitter. He doesn’t have elite speed, but that doesn’t hurt his overall game.

4. Darian Thompson, Boise State

Thompson has great size, he’s a play maker in the secondary, is a solid tackler, and a hard hitter. He’s also decent in coverage. He doesn’t have the best speed, but that doesn’t hurt his overall game

5. Deon Bush, Miami(Fla.)

Bush has great size, is a good blitzing safety, is a solid tackler, he is a good cover safety, and a big plus is he is a special teams standout. However he doesn’t have great speed.

Strong Safeties:

1. Su’a Cravens*, USC

Cravens has nice size, can play safety, and linebacker, is a solid tackler, a hard hitter, decent in coverage. Just a play maker on defense. He doesn’t have great speed.

2. Tony Conner*, Ole Miss

Conner has decent size, is a solid tackler, is a hard hitter, a decent cover safety. He has good speed, not the best, but good enough. Another plus is that he is able to play as the nickleback.

3. Jeremy Cash, Duke

Cash is decent in coverage, is a solid tackler, a hard hitter. He is a good blitzing safety. However he looks smaller on tape than what is listed. He also doesn’t have elite safety speed.

4. Karl Joseph, West Virginia

Joseph has decent size, is a solid tackler, and a hard hitter. However he isn’t the best in coverage, and is a slower safety.

5. Vonn Bell*, Ohio State

Bell has decent size, is a play maker in the defensive backfield, is a solid tackler, a hard hitter, and a good cover safety. He doesn’t have great speed, but that doesn’t hurt his overall game.