#1 Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Blazing fast and can cover sideline to sideline. Today’s new age style of linebacker. Will clean up everything that comes his way and can cover with the best. He can rush the passer (10 sacks) or break up the pass (11 PBU).
#2 Devin White, LB, LSU
More in the mold of traditional style linebackers, but could just as easily be my #1. Fast, intelligent and is a tackling machine. He led the SEC in tackles last season with 123, and finished second the year before with 133.
#3 Ed Oliver, DT, Houston Pound for pound my top IDP in the draft and plays at a premium position in the NFL. Fast and agile, with the strength of a bear! Provides pass rush from the interior. The two-time All-American leaves college as the AAC career leader in tackles for a loss, with 53.
#4 Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Considered by many as the top defensive tackle in the draft and top IDP prospect, but the sophomore only has one big year of production. A big man with amazing agility and quickness. Another interior pass rusher like Oliver. Finished last season fifth in sacks with 8 and third in tackles for loss with 20.
#5 Josh Allen, DE, Kentucky
The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, looking to make an instant impact the NFL. My top edge rusher in the draft. He led the SEC in sacks, with 17, good enough for second in the nation. Will fit either scheme and be very effective.
#6 Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Big production versus SEC competition the last two years. Led the SEC in sacks in 2017 with 11 and finished second last year with 12. Blew away scouts at the NFL Combine with speed and agility. The only question is about his heart issue.
#7 Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The little brother of Chargers’ star, Joey Bosa. He’ll look to follow in his footsteps. Considered by many as the top IDP in the draft. Was having career season as a senior until injury struck. Now he’s healthy and ready to terrorize the NFL.
#8 Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Is as explosive and quick off the snap as anyone in this draft. Instantly puts pressure on O-Lineman and disrupts the backfield. His 23 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks show the potential. Versatility will be a plus for NFL teams.
#9 Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
A beast who has the versatility to play all along the defensive line. A disruptive and fundamentally sound prospect who can fit with any team. He leaves Clemson with 40 career tackles for a loss and 16 sacks.
#10 Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
A big pass rusher who can set the edge as well as anyone in the class. Best suited for a team that utilizes the 4-3 scheme. Improved each season at Clemson, as a pass rusher making plays for a loss. Finished his career as a Tiger, ranked second all-time in ACC history with 51 tackles for loss and third with 27 sacks.
#11 Sutton Smith, DE, Northern Illinois
Some will question the level of competition he played against in the MAC, but he dominated the conference just as he should. Rushing the passer is his game and scored one of the highest explosion scores (2.523) in my grading system. Finished third all-time in the MAC, with 59 tackles for a loss and second in sacks with 30.
#12 Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
After the top two linebackers Bush and White, Wilson starts the next tier at the position. A jack of all trades playmaker, who gets the job done in all situations. Finished third in the SEC, with 4 interceptions, during the 2017 season.
#13 Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
Most have Burns rated a lot higher than me, but he has very good bend and lean, who can get after the passer. A situational rusher at the next level, in which many have made a living being just that. He finished second in the ACC last season, with 10 sacks.
#14 Khalil Hodge, LB Buffalo
One of my favorite prospects in the draft. Maybe the next Darius Leonard? Only time will tell. He’s a tackling machine who racked up 419 tackles in 40 career games at Buffalo. A big step up in competition coming, but he will be just fine.
#15 Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
A first-round talent, but a torn ACL will force teams interested in drafting him to possibly have to wait until 2020, to see him fully healthy and on the field.
#16 Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
The top safety in the class and has experience at playing cornerback as well. A playmaking safety who isn’t afraid to lay the wood.
#17 Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington
Burr-Kirven was the 2018 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, as he led them with 176 tackles. He filled the stat box each week for the Huskies. Very active playmaker, who can make stops in the backfield or when dropping in coverage.
#18 Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
He’s a little on the smaller side at just under 5’11”, 190 lbs., but is my top corner in the draft. Very intelligent and quick to process and go make the play. A big-time playmaker, who had a combined 26 interceptions and pass breakups in his two seasons at Washington.
#19 Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
The fourth of Clemson’s big boys on the defensive line. Bryant can set the edge as well as rush the passer. He’ll excel as a 4-3 defensive end.
#20 Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Most have him as the top corner in the class and he’s the closest to a shutdown corner there is. Extremely active hands and makes a ton of plays. Has a bit of a prima donna attitude, but don’t all good corners?
#21 T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin
A solid all-around linebacker who was a jack of all trades player for the Badgers. Likes to play downhill but can play in space or coverage as well. Finished his career with 366 tackles for the Badgers.
#22 Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota
A high motor guy who wowed at the NFL Combine, in Indianapolis. When I went back to watch his tape, I saw a player that needs polish, but the hustle and drive to get better is there. He led the Gophers in tackles (104) and tackles for loss (15) last season.
#23 Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
A workman type player who doesn’t excel at any one thing but can do a lot really well. The kind of player you know New England would draft. He finished eighth in the ACC, in both tackles (100) and sacks (8) during 2018 season.
#24 Jachai Polite, DE, Florida
The Gator defensive end is one of the more polarizing players in the draft. There are some concerns with attitude and character, but he was a contender for SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors last season. He led the Gators with 11 sacks, 19.5 tackles for a loss and an outstanding 6 forced fumbles. When his head is right, he’s a heck of a player.
#25 Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The third of the four-star defensive linemen for Clemson. A big man who will clog up running lanes and eat up blockers. Likely a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme. Has the ability to provide pass rush from the interior.