Raekwon Davis*, 3-4DE, Alabama
Height: 6-6. Weight: 316. Projected 40 Time: 5.17. Projected Round (2019): 1. 6/15/18: Davis could make it three years in a row that an interior defensive lineman from Alabama goes as a top-20 pick. Like Da'Ron Payne, Davis has a freaky combination of size, quickness and athleticism. As a sophomore, Davis showed interior pass-rush skills with a fast first-step, active hands with functional strength to fight off blocks, and a burst to close. Davis can use powerful bull rushes to power through blockers as well.
Davis broke out in 2017 for the eventual National Champions, racking up 69 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and one interception. It was his first season of extended playing time, and he was very impressive. Davis definitely has early-round potential for his draft class.
Derrick Brown*, 3-4DE, Auburn
Height: 6-4. Weight: 322. Projected 40 Time: 4.95. Projected Round (2019): 1. 6/15/18: In many years, Brown would be the consensus-No. 1 interior defensive lineman; however, in this loaded draft class, Brown might go behind some other elite defensive line talents. Still, team sources love Brown with his quickness to push the pocket and the strength that he plays with. They see him as a three-technique in a 4-3, and he could play as a one-technique as well. Sources say they see Brown as a future first-round talent.
In 2017, Brown was a really solid interior lineman for Auburn. He was a tough run defender and contributed some in the pass rush. He totaled 56 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles for the year. Brown has the upside to get better as he gains experience.
Rashan Gary*, 3-4DE, Michigan
Height: 6-5. Weight: 287. Projected 40 Time: 5.00. Projected Round (2019): 1-2. 6/15/18: Gary notched 65 tackles with six sacks, one forced fumble and 12 tackles for a loss in 2017. Gary is a rare athlete who could turn into a dominant defender. Scouting sources say Gary has high first-round potential if he puts everything together. That could definitely happen during his junior season. One scouting sources who has done advance work on the 2019 class said that Gary is a rare physical talent similar to some former top of the draft prospects, but Michigan doesn't turn him loose as a pass-rusher as much as other prospects.
Dexter Lawrence*, 3-4DE, Clemson
Height: 6-4. Weight: 350. Projected 40 Time: 5.00. Projected Round (2019): 1-2. 6/15/18: Lawrence totaled 34 tackles with 2.5 sacks in 2017. While he wasn't as good as he was in 2016 and his production reflected that, he helped create a lot of sacks for those around him. Some team sources wonder if Lawrence was playing injured as a sophomore.
Lawrence was a tremendous freshman to help Clemson win the National Championship. NFL sources already rave about Lawrence, who was impossible to ignore in 2016. Lawrence was an All-Freshman selection all over the nation while being the ACC Rookie of the Year for that season. He totaled 63 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and a pass batted as a freshman. One national scout for a NFC team told me that they thought Lawrence was among the two most disruptive defensive linemen in 2016, along with Alabama's Jonathan Allen. With other good talent around Lawrence and his experience, he could dominate as a junior.
Christian Wilkins, 3-4DE, Clemson
Height: 6-3. Weight: 312. Projected 40 Time: 4.90. Projected Round (2019): 1-2. 6/15/18: In 2017, Wilkins totaled 60 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He played well all year, using his speed and athleticism to cause disruption at the point of attack. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, they see Wilkins as a future first-rounder. He is a fast interior pass-rusher who can collapse the pocket and provide an inside pass rush. Wilkins dominated Miami in the ACC Championship.
Wilkins played well for Clemson in 2016 as part of a tough defensive line that controlled the point of attack. The sophomore recorded 48 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 10 passes batted. Wilkins made 33 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2015. He has a nice skill set with upside.
Wilkins had to play a lot of defensive end in 2016 because of injury. He displayed a nice ability to play there, but his NFL home is on the inside. As a pass-rusher, Wilkins was able to get after the quarterback with pressure coming around the corner. He looked the most dangerous when lining up over guards and firing past them to cause disruption in the backfield. While he played a lot of end, at his weight, Wilkins really doesn't have edge rusher speed for the NFL. He will have to rush from the inside as a pro, but that is his natural position anyway. Wilkins was a solid run defender, too. He has a strong, thick lower body to hold his ground at the point of attack.
Jeffery Simmons*, 3-4DE, Mississippi State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 301. Projected 40 Time: 4.95. Projected Round (2019): 1-2. 6/15/18: Simmons is extremely talented athletically and possesses a ton of upside. In 2017, he totaled 60 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted. As a freshman, he had 40 tackles with two forced fumbles. While Simmons is a great athlete with a superb skill set, he has off-the-field concerns, including a video of him striking a woman with multiple punches in a street fight. Similar to Joe Mixon, that video could cause Simmons to slide in his draft class.
Zach Allen, 3-4DE, Boston College
Height: 6-4. Weight: 284. Projected 40 Time: 4.85. Projected Round (2019): 1-2. 6/15/18: Allen didn't receive the hype of teammate Harold Landry, but Allen was the better pro prospect and could easily have been picked before Landry if Allen had declared for the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen is a tough run defender who is strong to hold his ground at the point of attack. He anchors well and is tough to move. As a pass-rusher, Allen has an impressive first-step and burst out of his stance for a heavy defensive end. He has the strength to get pressure on the bull rush and the speed to close. Allen could use more pass-rushing moves for the NFL and with his size and strength, it would be nice to see him add a club or rip move.
Allen totaled 100 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, three passes broken up and an interception in 2017. In the NFL, Allen will be an asset as a run defender playing end in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He looks like a potential first-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Jerry Tillery, 3-4DE, Notre Dame
Height: 6-6. Weight: 310. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2019): 2-3. 6/15/18: Over the past few years, Tillery has played well for Notre Dame and has been active at the point of attack. For 2017, he totaled 47 tackles with nine for a loss, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Tillery had 37 tackles with three tackles for a loss in 2016. The sophomore played better than the numbers illustrate and caused some havoc in the backfield. Tillery has a good skill set to develop and is capable of compiling more production.
Marlon Davidson*, 3-4DE, Auburn
Height: 6-3. Weight: 278. Projected 40 Time: 4.85. Projected Round (2019): 2-3. 6/15/18: Davidson is a sturdy defender at the point of attack. He is a solid performer against the run, yet also can contribute some in the pass rush. In 2017, Davidson totaled 43 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble. As a freshman, he had 38 tackles with six for a loss, 2.5 sacks, four passes batted and one forced fumble.
Terry Beckner Jr., 3-4DE, Missouri
Height: 6-4. Weight: 290. Projected 40 Time: 4.98. Projected Round (2019): 2-4. 6/15/18: Beckner played well for Missouri in 2017, showing some ability to rush the passer from the inside. He totaled seven sacks, 11 tackles for a loss, 38 tackles, one interception and two passes batted. Sources who have done advance work on the 2019 class said that Beckner graded out with the potential to go in the first four rounds entering the 2018 season.
Christian Rector*, 3-4DE, USC
Height: 6-4. Weight: 275. Projected 40 Time: 4.78. Projected Round (2019): 3-5. 6/15/18: With Porter Gustin injured in 2017, Rector took advantage of the opportunity to have an impressive season for the Trojans. He totaled 7.5 sacks with 11 tackles for a loss, 35 tackles and two forced fumbles on the year. Rector was also held back by a hand injury that forced him to miss a couple of games after surgery. As Gustin's replacement, Rector showed some flexibility to play defensive end and outside linebacker. It will be interesting to see how USC uses Rector with Gustin back but having to replace Uchenna Nwosu and Rasheem Green.
Anthony Nelson*, 3-4DE, Iowa
Height: 6-7. Weight: 260. Projected 40 Time: 4.82. Projected Round (2019): 3-5. 6/15/18: Over the past two seasons, Nelson has been a solid defender for Iowa. As a sophomore, he totaled 41 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles. He had six sacks, 33 tackles and two forced fumbles as a redshirt freshman.
Raequan Williams*, 3-4DE, Michigan State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 300. Projected 40 Time: 5.11. Projected Round (2019): 4-6. 6/15/18: Williams has flashed some talent for the Spartans over the past two seasons. In 2017, he collected 31 tackles with 2.5 sacks after recording two sacks and 28 tackles during his freshman campaign. Williams has the upside to produce more as an upperclassman.
Jonathan Ledbetter, 3-4DE, Georgia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 277. Projected 40 Time: 4.83. Projected Round (2019): 5-7. 6/15/18: In 2017, Ledbetter totaled 38 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Late in the season, he flashed, including 1.5 sacks in the playoff games against Oklahoma and Alabama. Ledbetter also could fit as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense.
Kingsley Keke, 3-4DE, Texas A&M
Height: 6-4. Weight: 305. Projected 40 Time: 5.24. Projected Round (2019): 5-7. 6/15/18: In 2017, Keke totaled 54 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. He is a quality run defender who showed more pass-rush potential as a sophomore with four sacks.
Corbin Kaufusi, 3-4DE, BYU
Height: 6-9. Weight: 285. Projected 40 Time: 4.84. Projected Round (2019): 5-7. 6/15/18: The big-bodied Kaufusi has potential to break out in 2018. He stopped playing basketball for BYU and is focused on football. He only started five games in 2017 while recording 31 tackles and 2.5 sacks, but is expected to be a starter in 2018.