2016 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Andrew Billings
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: Prior to the 2015 season, Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman was getting a lot of media hype. WalterFootball.com didn't fall in line with that though. In speaking with sources during the 2014 season, they had Oakman with mid-round grades if he had entered the 2015 NFL Draft and let slip there was another Bears defensive lineman who they liked much better. That player was Billings.
In 2014 as a sophomore, he totaled 37 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and one forced fumble. Billings was even better in 2015 and showed improvement in his pass-rushing skills. The junior totaled 39 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks. Along with being a football star, Billings was a champion Texas state weight lifter, and his power clearly translates to the football field.
In the pass rush, Billings has surpassing quickness to close on the quarterback when he sheds his block. He uses strength to overwhelm blockers and uses his strong upper body to slap hands off of him and get free of blockers. He also is skilled at eating up double teams. Billings has serious power and a thick base to generate power into the pocket with a bull rush. However, some sources feel that Billings will be more of a two-down defender in the NFL because he won't be able to overwhelm NFL offensive linemen like college players.
Billings is tough as a run defender. He fills his gap and is very hard to move at the line of scrimmage. Billings eats up his block and prevents holes from opening up. As a nose tackle, Billings should immediately be a contributor in the NFL. He shows a nice ability to shed blocks and chase down backs. He also has a quality motor and chases backs downfield.
In speaking with sources, some say they feel that Billings has been underrated by other teams. In the 2016 NFL Draft, Billings is most likely to go in the second round. There is a chance that he goes on Thursday night as a late first-round pick.
Player Comparison: Casey Hampton. Hampton had a great career with the Steelers after being the 19th-overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft out of Texas. Hampton (6-1, 325) was a run stuffer and disruptor in the middle of Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense. Billings is very similar, but I don't think he will be as good as Hampton was in his NFL career. I think Billings will be more of a poor man's Casey Hampton.
NFL Matches: Buffalo, Washington, Houston, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Arizona, Seattle, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit and New Orleans
There are a lot of options for Billings in the first or second round. Kyle Williams is aging for the Bills, and they could easily address their front seven this offseason. Billings could form a tough tandem with Marcel Dareus.
Cincinnati could be a fit for Billings, and the team could use another tackle to complement Geno Atkins. Brandon Thompson and Devon Still didn't turn into starters, while Domata Peko is aging and declining. Billings would be a nice nose tackle to pair with Atkins at the three-technique.
Billings could also be in play for the Cardinals. They have to replace Darnell Dockett and Dan Williams, plus Arizona wants to improve its defensive front this offseason. Billings could form a nice duo with Calais Campbell, but without a second-round pick, the Cardinals are more limited than most teams.
Seattle could use an interior disruptor as well. Brandon Mebane left in free agency, and the Seahawks have had problems with a lack of interior pass rush once injuries have hit their defense.
The Redskins want to get younger and more athletic up front. Green Bay has to replace B.J. Raji, and Billings could be in play for the Packers as an upgrade at nose tackle.
Denver locked up Derek Wolfe, but they lost Malik Jackson. Sources say they will be looking hard at defensive line talent in the first round. Billings could be a consideration for the Super Bowl champions, but there are other players who are better scheme fits.
The Saints have to upgrade their pass defense. Billings would give them an interior presence to go with Nick Fairley.
The Lions badly need to upgrade their defensive tackles. Billings would give them an interior defender to stuff runs and could be a nice defender to pair with Ziggy Ansah.
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