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2019 Senior Bowl Preview (Defense)

Who are some of the top defensive prospects in Mobile this week? Will there another Duck to stand out?

NCAA Football: Redbox Bowl-Michigan State vs Oregon Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

NORTH

DE

1. Zach Allen 6’5 285 Boston College

- The focal point of the Golden Eagles pass rush after a very good junior season being Harold Landry’s running mate. Had a monstrous junior season with 100 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks. Production has dropped off a bit in 2018 tackles wise due to being the focus of opposing offensive lines but still a talented prospect. Football IQ and work ethic are major pluses. Run defense is a plus as well.

2. Charles Omenihu 6’6 275 Texas

- CO is an impact defender on the interior. He has improved a lot since his freshman season fundamentally. Lateral agility is a plus when rushing the passer. Projects as a 4-3 defensive tackle at the next level. He dominated in the Sugar Bowl against Georgia.

3. Byron Cowart 6’4 293 Maryland

- Cowart transferred to Auburn for his senior season after a less than ideal career at Auburn that saw him in some off field issues. He largely failed to live up to his top billing as a five star recruit but has matured while at College Park. Needs a big week on and off the field.

4. Jalen Jelks 6’5 245 Oregon

- Jelks had his moments of brilliance but was largely held in check during the 2018 season due to being the opposing offenses’ primary threat. He has a chance to follow up Justin Hollins’ impressive performance from the Shrine Game this week. Was once touted as a first round pick but has slipped some towards the middle rounds.

5. Chase Winovich 6’3 253 Michigan

- He’s one of the better edge rushers that no one talks about. A relentless worker that won’t quit until the echo of the whistle. A load to handle for offensive tackles. He may be limited athletically but he just doesn’t stop working to get the sack.

DT

1. Greg Gaines 6’1 332 DT / NT Washington

- The next man up in the Huskies’ recent trend of standout interior defensive linemen. He’s a classic space eating type of 3-4 nose tackle. A monster in the middle when rushing the passer. Lack of athleticism like his predecessors will hurt his stock a bit.

ILB

1. Te’Von Coney 6’0 240 Notre Dame

- He has enough athleticism to be a sideline to sideline defender when needed. A playmaker for the legit Fighting Irish defense. Football IQ and tackling ability are major pluses. He finished the year as the leading tackler on the team. Will need to prove that he’s better than that poor showing against Clemson.

2. Cameron Smith 6’1 250 USC

- One of the best inside linebackers in the class. Football IQ is a plus. Athleticism is a plus as well. The medical history isn’t a good one to say the least. He missed a ton of time with a knee injury during his career. The heartbeat of the Trojans defense. The medical will be a key with him.

OLB

1. Sutton Smith 6’1 237 Northern Illinois

- Smith has been a stat sheet stuffing monster the past three years with 139 tackles, 58.5 tackles for loss, and 30 sacks. Scouts have been looking forward to him being in an all star event for a couple of years. He has a chance to boost his stock tremendously in Mobile.

2. Ben Banogu 6’4 249 TCU

- Banogu transferred to TCU as a freshman and hasn’t looked back since. He’s an edge rusher with very long limbs and an arsenal of pass rush moves. Technically not the most proficient but his athleticism will get him in the door. It’s up to him to develop further. Quick twitch athlete with a ton of burst at the point of attack. Consistent production over the past two years. Posted a career line of 151 tackles, 44 tackles for loss, and 19 sacks.

3. Chase Hansen 6’2 220 Utah

- Hansen has been a terror for opposing offenses to line up against. He’s a stat sheet monster, posting 114 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and two interceptions. I rewatched the Oregon tape and he was all over the place there too. An undersized linebacker prospect that moved from safety this past season. Instinctive even for a first year linebacker convert.

CB

1. . Kris Boyd 6’0 195 Texas

- The leader of a resurgent Horns secondary. A dominant playmaker. Size and speed are a plus. Has been excellent thus far into the 2018 season. One of the best corners in the nation. Boyd has a case for being a top five corner prospect. One of the best corners in Mobile.

2. Iman Marshall 6’0 205 USC

- Athleticism is a huge plus. Work ethic and character are pluses as well. Has the speed and agility to keep up with the fastest receivers. He’s been inconsistent thus far in his career. He was invited to due to teammate Marvell Tell not being in Mobile. A fairly good test awaits him.

S

1. Will Harris 6’2 210 Boston College

- Harris was deployed seemingly everywhere as a blitzer off the edge, center field, and sometimes at corner in certain sets. He seems more like a in the box type of safety due to a lack of athleticism. Can get there to make the play sometimes but has problems identifying the ball. Gets lost in the wash a ton. Had a solid junior season but has dropped off slightly as a senior. He had a solid week at Shrine Game last week and will look to follow up that effort this week.

2. Nasir Adderley 5’11 200 Delaware

- Adderley could be the most talked about prospect in Mobile this week within the scouting community. His buzz has been growing steadily. Converted from cornerback to safety so the instincts are there. Has pretty good athletic range. He should perform well.

SOUTH

DE

1. Montez Sweat 6’5 241 Mississippi State

- A fundamentally sound pass and run defender. Athleticism is a plus. Character and work ethic are a plus as well. He’s one of the best in a strong DL class. Lateral agility is a plus. Possesses a good arsenal of pass rush and counter pass rush moves. Can stand to add some weight to his frame. He should be the most talented edge rusher in Mobile.

2. Jaylon Ferguson 6’5 269 Louisiana Tech

- Ferguson has been a monster throughout his career. If you look up the word production, his picture is next to the word. One of the more underrated edge rushers in a loaded class. Motor is a plus.

3. Isaiah Buggs 6’4 292 Alabama

- The next guy up in the defensive trenches. He had an outstanding junior campaign in 2017 and was impressive in 2018. Raekwon Davis rightly gets all the attention but Buggs deserves some press as well. He’s seriously talented and should be a first round pick. Didn’t need to be in Mobile but chose to come anyway.

DT

1. Demarcus Christmas 6’4 308 DT RS Senior

- The long line of standout FSU defensive tackles continues. Christmas is the latest. He could have gone pro as a RS Junior and could’ve gotten drafted in the middle rounds. He’s a bit underrated due to the strength of the defensive line class. A strong run defender who can also rush the passer in bursts. A last minute add to the Senior Bowl roster.

2. Daylon Mack 6’0 320 DL Senior

- Was a breath of fresh air as a senior thus far under the tutelage of DC Mike Elko. A physical force in the middle of the line. Underrated athlete. Power is the name of his game. He reportedly dominated the Shrine Game practices last week.

3. Gerald Willis III 6’2 280 Miami

- Willis was a monster in the middle for the Canes this past season. Athleticism is on point. Still refining the little things in terms of fundamentals. He’s vaulted himself into first round conversations with his play. Been unstoppable at times. He’s really good. There were some off field issues early on but he has matured a ton.

LB

1. Bobby Okereke 6’2 234 Stanford

- Stanford’s leading tackler with 89 tackles, six tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. He’s an athlete that can go sideline to sideline. He’s a bit of a bowling ball that fly all over once he gets going. Instincts are a bit off but that can be honed and developed. Has a chance to wow people this week.

2. Deshaun Davis 5’11 246 Auburn

- Davis was the field general type of leader for the underrated Tigers defense. He won’t wow anyone physically but his IQ and instincts just pop off the tape that I’ve watched. Almost always right on top of the play.

3. David Long 5’11 225 West Virginia

- Long has been a playmaker for the Eers on defense. He’s seemingly everywhere on the field. A rangy athletic linebacker type that can cover sideline to sideline. The size is a question though as 225 is rather small for the next level. Maybe a transition to safety is in the cards?

4. D’Andre Walker 6’2 240 Georgia

- Walker was a revelation this past season as he’s the leading force off the edge for the Dogs. Work ethic is a plus. Frame is another. He’s very well coached. Finally showed out as a senior after sitting behind major NFL talent. Georgia’s leader in sacks.

CB

1. Rock Ya-Sin 6’1 190 Temple

- He has been a standout corner prospect for the Owls. Work ethic and character will carry the day for him in Mobile. Production is a plus as well. Underrated and could leave Mobile as a top corner.

2. Isaiah Johnson 6’2 195 Houston

- He’s a taller corner so teams will like that about him. Can turn and run with receivers as well. Athleticism is a plus. From the film that I’ve seen him, he seems very uninspired in his pursuit to the football in pass and run, the run game especially. He doesn’t even bother to engage the blocker most of the time. Gets a little too grabby beyond the five yard rule as well.

3. Sheldrick Redwine 6’1 205 Miami

- Redwine was part of an intimidating Hurricanes secondary. He’s an athlete that can cover a lot of space. Can stay with receivers step for step as well as play the run relatively well. A safety by trade but is listed on the Senior Bowl roster as a cornerback.

S

1. Johnathan Abram 6’0 210 Mississippi State

- Abram has really come on as a senior during the 2018 campaign. He profiles as a more of a in the box strong safety but can play free safety in small doses without being exposed. Fundamentally sound as a run defender. Pass defense needs some work. Athletically, he’s above average and should test well during the offseason.

2. Mike Edwards 5’11 200 Kentucky

- Could be one of the top safety prospects in the country. I haven’t seen him much but when I do watch Kentucky, he really shows up. Football IQ is up there. Instinctive safety that can bait QBs into throwing his direction. A willing run defender who doesn’t shy away from contact as evidenced by his tackling numbers (77, 9.5 for loss).

3. Jaquan Johnson 5’11 190 Miami

- Johnson is one of the best safeties in the class that hardly anyone talks about. He’s been at Miami for a long time now. A guy who’s seemingly always around the ball. Tackling fundamentals are on point. Football IQ is a plus. Expect for him to have a big week.

4. Juan Thornhill 6’1 195 Virginia

- Thornhill is a good safety without a defined role at the next level. From what I’ve seen of Virginia, he stands out as a well schooled defensive back and fundamentally sound. Leads the team in tackles with 92 and has five interceptions.