Jonathan Allen, 3-4DE, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 286. Arm: 33.63. 40 Time: 5.00. Projected Round (2017): Top-10 Pick. 4/26/17: Allen is a tremendous interior pass-rusher and also causes havoc in run defense. I recapped over well over 100 games in 2016, and in my opinion, Allen was the best player in college football.
As a senior, Allen was tremendous at using his speed and strength to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. He totaled 62 tackles, 15 for a loss, 9.5 sacks, two passes batted and one interception returned 75 yards for a touchdown in 2016. All season, Allen dominated at the point of attack. There has been some concern about a shoulder issue with Allen, but it never held him back or caused him to miss time at Alabama in two straight 15-game seasons.
8/13/16: Allen played really well in 2015 with 36 tackles with 14.5 for a loss, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes batted. He totaled 33 tackles with 11.5 for a loss and 5.5 sacks the year before. Allen has some natural pass-rushing skills to him along with quickness and strength.
For the NFL, Allen would fit very well as a speedy three-technique defensive tackle. He is very fast at firing his gap, and his speed poses a real mismatch against guards. Allen has a quick first-step, and uses that agility to transition to power. He rushes with good pad level and leverage, so he can get into a guard's chest and toss them to the side to break free on the quarterback. Allen's upper body strength to shed blocks is very impressive, especially for a sub 300-pound defensive lineman. He has the speed to beat right tackles and also uses his power to win on the edge.
In the ground game, Allen is good at holding his own. He has developed technique and is a solid run defender. Allen has natural functional strength in the upper body and in his base to maintain gap integrity.
In a 4-3 scheme, Allen could play end or tackle. He also could serve as a five-technique defensive end in a DTfense.
Malik McDowell*, 3-4DE, Michigan State
Height: 6-6. Weight: 295. Arm: 34.75. 40 Time: 4.85. Projected Round (2017): 1-3. 4/26/17: In 2016, McDowell totaled 34 tackles with seven for a loss and 1.5 sacks; however, he was very disruptive and put a lot of heat on the quarterback. An ankle injury cost him multiple games late in the season, and McDowell decided to skip his senior year to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. McDowell's final games weren't as impressive, and he seemed to take his foot off the pedal.
Sources have said that McDowell has a high first-round skill set, but concerns about his motor and work ethic could cause him to slide in the 2017 NFL Draft. Team sources say that McDowell is a perfect fit as a 3-4 defensive end in the NFL. They think he has more athletic upside than DeForest Buckner or Arik Armstead, top-16 picks by the 49ers in 2015 and 2016, but the football character concerns are hurting McDowell significantly, so he could slip to the second round.
In speaking with teammates of McDowell, they say he is generally a good guy and a hard worker. He is tough to block in practice and is a smart defender; however, some players didn't like him because he tried to embarrass them in practice. McDowell didn't interview well at the combine.
8/13/16: McDowell was a backup in 2014 who enjoyed a breakout season in 2015. At times last season, he was the Spartans' most disruptive defensive lineman. McDowell totaled 41 tackles with 13 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick-six on the year. He has a lot of upside to develop.
McDowell is at his best when uses his quickness to get upfield. With his speed, he can fire his gap and achieve penetration into the backfield. After getting by guards, McDowell has a nice ability to close. With his height, he can be a little stiff and isn't great at bending to redirect, but that is typical with players of his stature.
There are a few things that McDowell could improve in 2016. He definitely could stand to get better at using his hands to shed blocks. Doing more to get off blocks is definitely necessary for him to have success against NFL offensive linemen. McDowell could use more pass-rushing moves as he is too reliant on speed or a bull rush.
Chris Wormley, 3-4DE, Michigan
Height: 6-5. Weight: 297. Arm: 33.5. Hand: 10.38. Projected 40 Time: 5.15. Projected Round (2017): 1-3. 4/26/17: At the Senior Bowl, Wormley had a solid, but unspectacular, week of practice. He shone in the team interviews as NFL sources raved about his character and intangibles.
Wormley had 40 tackles with nine for a loss and six sacks in 2016. He improved his pass rush as a senior, plus has good length with functional strength and quickness. His best fit in the NFL might come as a 3-4 defensive end, but he also is versatile where he could be a base end in a 4-3 defense who also plays defensive tackle. Wormley had a lot of solid games, but was quiet against Ohio State and Florida State to end the season.
9/3/16: Wormley was mostly a backup until he broke out in 2015. He recorded 43 tackles with 6.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for a loss, one pass batted, and one forced fumble on the year.
Wormley is a tough run defender who has some quickness and a burst to close when he breaks free. However, Wormley badly needs to develop some pass-rushing moves and improve his ability to shed blocks while putting heat on the quarterback. What Wormley does as a pass rusher in 2016 is going to have a huge bearing on how high he goes in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Tanoh Kpassagnon, 3-4DE, Villanova
Height: 6-6. Weight: 280. Arm: 34.75. Hand: 10.88. 40 Time: 4.83. Projected Round (2017): 2-3. 4/26/17: Kpassagnon recorded 45 tackles with 21.5 for a loss, 11 sacks, one forced fumble and a pass batted in 2016. Sources from multiple teams said they see Kpassagnon being selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He had a quality week of practice at the Senior Bowl and worked out well at the combine.
9/3/16: Kpassagnon has impressed NFL sources in their scouting of fall practices. In 2015, he totaled 33 tackles with 6.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss, two blocked kicks and a forced fumble. Evaluators believe that Kpassagnon is raw, but that the skill set is there with a lot of upside to develop. Sources say that Kpassagnon is a perfect fit as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense. Defensive ends with his measurements are in demand, and teams believe that a strong season could result in Kpassagnon being selected in the second or third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Montravius Adams, 3-4DE, Auburn
Height: 6-3. Weight: 308. Arm: 31.88. Hand: 9.25. 40 Time: 4.87. Projected Round (2017): 2-3. 4/26/17: At the combine, Adams ran fast and looked good in the field drills. He also had an excellent Senior Bowl where he showed impressive interior pass-rushing skills. Adams was superb in the one-on-ones.
Adams would be a good second-day pick given his flexibility for a 4-3 or 3-4. In a 3-4, he could play five-technique defensive end. His best position though would be as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3, where he could use his speed to shoot gaps. Adams struggled against the run as a two-gap defender.
In 2016, Adams had 39 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and two passes batted. He turned in some solid play in the season opener against Clemson and continued that throughout the year. At times, Adams looked like a first-round talent with speed and size at the point of attack, but his consistency was lacking. Adams would be a beast on some plays and a ghost for other stretches.
8/13/16: Adams had a tremendous opening to the 2015 season, but didn't maintain that level of play. Auburn also gave him too many snaps. He cooled down significantly after his hot start to the season. Adams totaled 44 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up during 2015.
Adams has demonstrated the ability to be a speedy disruptor at the point of attack with pass rush to go along with run defense. He has a ton of physical talent, but has to maintain good conditioning and not get lazy with his motor.
Jaleel Johnson, 3-4DE, Iowa
Height: 6-2. Weight: 309. Arm: 32.75. Hand: 9.5. 40 Time: 5.38. Projected Round (2017): 3-5. 4/26/17: Johnson has the skill set to be a difference-maker at the point of attack. He is strong enough to shed blocks, yet has the speed to close on the quarterback. He ran slower than expected at the combine.
Johnson needs to get more consistent and increase the tempo of his motor, but he had 7.5 sacks in 2016. The senior also recorded 55 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss and two passes broken up. As a junior, he had 45 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and one pass batted.
In a number of ways, Johnson is a similar prospect to former teammate Carl Davis, who had first-round potential but slid to the third round in large part because of inconsistent effort. Johnson looks like he has a better motor and more consistent effort.
Jarron Jones, 3-4DE, Notre Dame
Height: 6-5. Weight: 315. Arm: 35.5. 40 Time: 5.33. Projected Round (2017): 3-5. 4/26/17: Jones recorded 45 tackles with 11 for a loss, two sacks, three passes batted and one forced fumble in 2016, but was more active for Notre Dame than the numbers illustrate. Jones is a disruptive defender who makes plays in the backfield in the ground game as well as puts heat on the quarterback. He has versatile size for a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Jones has a lot of potential with good size, but lacks consistency.
8/13/16: Early on in 2015, Jones tore his MCL and went out for the season. He was having a quality 2014 season before a foot injury caused him to miss the final two contests. Jones tied Sheldon Day for the most tackles on the line with 40. Jones also had 7.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks with two passes batted. He could be even better as a junior and should form a tough tandem with Day.
Davon Godchaux*, 3-4DE, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 310. Arm: 32.38 40 Time: 5.27. Projected Round (2017): 3-5. 4/26/17: Godchaux had 62 tackles with 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for the season. He put together an impressive game against Mississippi State with six tackles, a sack and a critical fumble recovery. Godchaux has some speed at the point of attack and can be disruptive, but he needs to become more consistent.
8/13/16: Godchaux was very disruptive for LSU in 2015. He totaled 41 tackles with nine for a loss, six sacks and a pass broken up during the regular season. Godchaux is fast and explosive at the point of attack, plus has a lot of potential. He could be poised for a big 2016 season.
Godchaux has a quick first-step off the ball with the speed to shoot his gap. He can fire up the field and close on the quarterback. LSU ran a lot of stunts at times lsat year, and Godchaux was effective at looping around and getting to the signal-caller. Godchaux is at his best working up field and causing disruption in the backfield in either the pass rush or run defense. Against the run though, he could work on holding his ground against downhill runs and also getting off blocks. Godchaux could stand to get his hands more active in the ground game and pass rush as well. He also will have to watch his pad level and avoid standing up too high.
Eddie Vanderdoes, 3-4DE, UCLA
Height: 6-3. Weight: 305. Arm: 31.63. Hand: 10.63. 40 Time: 4.99. Projected Round (2017): 4-6. 4/26/17: Vanderdoes was a stout run defender at the point of attack, but didn't show much in the pass rush. He recorded 29 tackles with 1.5 sacks in 2016. Vanderdoes had a quality week at the Senior Bowl and worked out pretty well at the combine.
8/13/16: At the beginning of the 2015 season, Vanderdoes tore a knee ligament and went out for the year. UCLA said that his knee locked up on him earlier in the contest in which he was injured, but the final moment for him on the field came when he lifted up defensive tackle Kenny Clark (6-3, 310) while celebrating a touchdown catch that Clark made. Both were in on the goal-line offense.
Vanderdoes was a tough defender in 2014 for the Bruins, notching 50 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss. He came on late in that season and clearly has a lot of upside to develop.
Vincent Taylor*, 3-4DE, Oklahoma State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 310. Arm: 34.38. 40 Time: 5.07. Projected Round (2017): 4-6. 4/26/17: Taylor is a sleeper prospect who could end up being a nice value pick in the mid-rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has disruptive speed at the point of attack with the strength to fight off blockers. Taylor played well as a junior and decided to skip his senior year. In 2016, Taylor had 51 tackles with 13 for a loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up.
8/13/16: Taylor had 48 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, five sacks and a pass broken up in 2015. He has quality size and athleticism with good upside to develop.
Chunky Clements, 3-4DE, Illinois
Height: 6-2. Weight: 301. Arm: 32.88. Projected 40 Time: 5.05. Projected Round (2017): 6-FA. 4/26/17: Sources say that Clements is a late-round draftable player. They feel he has some ability, but a poor motor. Clements will turn it on and off, but isn't consistent enough.
In 2016, the senior totaled 36 tackles with seven for a loss, 3.5 sacks, one pass broken up and one forced fumble. As a junior, Clements had 35 tackles with 11.5 for a loss and .5 sacks. He notched two sacks as a sophomore.