Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pass rushing prospects

Using the guidelines I've come up with, it's time to evaluate the combine performances of the top pass rush prospects using Mel Kiper and Todd McShay's lists, as well as identify any high-upside players outside the top-ranked lists. As usual, I'll break them out by 4-3 DE vs 3-4 OLB.

NamePosition40 dash10yd splitBroad jumpVertical
Myles JackOLB--------
Darron LeeOLB4.471.5411'135.5
Leonard FloydOLB4.60--10'739.5
Noah SpenceOLB4.801.6110'135
Kamalei CorreaOLB4.691.629'033
Emmanuel OgbahOLB4.631.5810'135.5
Joey BosaDE4.86--10'032
Shaq LawsonDE4.701.6310'033

Plain and simple, Joey Bosa is the big loser. If I'm picking, I don't spend a 1st rounder on him. He simply doesn't project to Pro Bowl levels of performance, and there's simply too much other value available to use that pick on such an outcome. But, someone will take him. His college tape at a big-name school is just too good. Buyer beware.

Shaq Lawson is mixed. The optimist will see his numbers as good with a few exceptions, the pessimist as borderline. I don't know what it is about Clemson defensive ends, but there's just not a lot of success in the NFL.

Noah Spence ran a curiously slow 40 despite having a very good 10-yard split. Coupled with off-the-field concerns, he falls out of the first 2 rounds as well. Those picks should go towards high-floor impact players, not headache concerns.

Kamalei Correa has been getting buzz, but his measurables leave too much to be desired. I'd drop him to at least the 4th round. He had decent college production, but in a smaller conference; the league is full of great college players whose athleticism kept them from being impact NFL players.

Darron Lee and Leonard Floyd look great and should be the top 2 taken. Ogbah should probably be next in line. Myles Jack's tape shows extreme athletic ability as well, so maybe his lack of numbers isn't a big deal.

The lower-graded prospects have a number of high-upside options

NamePosition40 dash10yd splitBroad jumpVertical
Travis FeeneyOLB4.501.5810'1040
De'Vondre CampbellOLB4.581.649'834
Deion JonesOLB4.591.6010'033
Montese OvertonOLB4.611.5910'334
Devante BondOLB4.701.6210'137.5
Charles TapperDE4.591.599'1134

There is a glut of interesting potentially 2nd- and 3rd- round players here. Many of these players had good college production too. I'd certainly take some of these players over Spence or Correa. In a league desperate for an impact pass rush, I'd rather spend a pick on whomever a team thinks fits their culture and system than on a running back or guard or a #3 wide receiver.

Some teams will make some serious mistakes and overvalue players. As usual, smart teams can benefit.