It’s never too early to look ahead for the NFL Draft. The season is a whole 84 days away and I know we are all salivating at the chance to get back to our regular Saturday schedule.
In the meantime, Breaking Football is going to keep you alive by looking at some prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft.
In my lifetime of watching football, I don’t think I have ever heard so much hype surrounding a defensive line class. Analysts and scouts are already projecting them to be the best DL class ever.
There are so many good ones that I can’t put them all into one article! Make sure you check us again for part 2! Let’s dive into the Hog Mollies of the defense!
Ed Oliver, Houston, 6’3, 290 lbs
From the moment Oliver stepped on a college football field, he has been one of the best players in the nation. If you look on his player profile on the Houston athletic page, you will see a list of accolades beginning from his freshman year. He may not be as tall as his listed height but he is powerful, devastatingly quick and ultra disruptive in the run and pass game.
Ed Oliver is a lot of fun to watch. Plays with a charged up, frenetic energy. Found the ball sideline to sideline and 10-20 yards downfield routinely in this one as a pursuit player. Excellent pad level. Motor stands out most. Good tackler too. pic.twitter.com/uG30kcWoqS
— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) May 1, 2018
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) June 5, 2018
An athletic freak that can disrupt the game all over the DL. If he stays healthy and doesn’t have any off-field concerns, Oliver will most certainly be a top 5 pick.
Dexter Lawrence, Clemson, 6’4, 340 lbs
You may see Lawrence’s size and think he’s an old school, lumbering DL but he is a big man that can move decently well. And of course he is powerful, manhandling any OL in his way.
Dexter Lawrence. pic.twitter.com/V4mJVIXqrg
— Seldom Used Reserve (@seldomusedrsrv) April 26, 2018
Researched Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence a little bit today. Last summer, he reportedly ran a 4.9 40, only has 18% body fat and already bench pressing 225 lbs. 32 times. Not bad for a 6-5, 340 pounder. pic.twitter.com/ASIvcyXx0Q
— J.R. (@JReidDraftScout) April 11, 2018
While he is primarily played at 1T, he can also play 3T and maybe even 5T for a spell. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has already put Lawrence in the top 15 of his 2019 mock draft. Lawrence can take over games and could very well see himself in that top 15 conversation in April.
Jeffrey Simmons, Mississippi State, 6’4, 310 lbs
The first thing you’ll see when you look up Jeffrey Simmons is a video of him beating a woman who was involved in an altercation with his sister. This video came out in March of 2016 before Simmons reported to Starkville and he apologized after the video came out.
Since then, he has stayed out of trouble, has been a member of the SEC’s Academic Honor Roll and has been praised for his leadership by his coaches including Dan Mullen. NFL teams will surely look into this red flag but from the outside in, it looks like Simmons has learned from that encounter.
Simmons is a strong athlete who uses his hands consistently well. His long arms help him stack and shed in the run game and he swat hands and bull rush in the passing game. His burst and strength allow him to be versatile and play anywhere along the DL. Expect Simmons and Sweat to put Mississippi State’s defense on the map and put themselves on NFL teams’ radar.
Terry Buckner Jr., Missouri, 6’4, 290 lbs
The former 5 star recruit tore his ACL and MCL in his right knee near the end of his freshman year in 2015 and tore his ACL in his left knee in 2016. After a highlight reel season of dominating OL, Beckner decided to return for one more year in Mizzou; much to the pleasure of Mizzou and much to the scorn of SEC fans and NFL scouts.
— Joe (@JDec89) December 10, 2017
DL: Use your hands! Terry Beckner Jr throws a blocker to the side for the tackle #DLineZou
— DLineVids (@DLineVids) January 25, 2018
— DLineVids (@DLineVids) November 28, 2017
Beckner’s great get off combined with his violent, ferocious hands and athleticism make him an incredible DL to watch. His biggest concern will be if his medicals check out; if they do, Beckner could be included in a potential run on DL in the first round of the 2019 draft.