Players that I like in the draft – DL

By Rick

Well now we move over to the defense. For all of us Packer fans this is the area of concern and focus for the upcoming draft and Free Agency. Again you will here all about the top 5 guys for each position so here are some of the guys I am very interested in and seem to be undervalued or are drawing a lot of attention and will moving up the teams big boards. This time we will focus on the D line.

I mentioned during the lockout to watch for certain players in college football this season. This first man was set to be a top NT in the draft but had a tear in his ACL and still played(!!) in 8 games after being diagnosed. With his surgery taking him out most of next season his loss might just be Green Bays gain. Alabama’s Josh Chapman (6-1, 315) was 66th on my big board coming into the start of the college season. He is not a DT he is a
3-4 NT, one of the hardest positions to find and fill. Notice last year what Raji could do when left at NT and not moved around for rotation like this year. With Chapman’s recovery at one year he will be not ready to play until late next season if at all. From my sources he is now being slotted around round 5 by most teams. Like Starks he can be PUP listed if the recovery may be in the season or he can be drafted and IR’d and sat for the year for a steal at future depth. He will be a player to watch come the draft.

Hebron Fang has had an interesting road to this point. He was a Juco transfer to USC and then the sanctions and a home burglary when his wife was home alone led him to choose the out clause in USC’s sanctions and BYU took him and has said he is one of the strongest players they have ever had. 6-1 and 331 he is a little short and stocky but has high motor. He has had an issue with weight and gets banged up but any 3-4 defense will bring him in as a 4th round pick and NT depth. He will be fun to watch at the combine.

A week or two ago I mentioned Billy Winn DE Boise State (6-3; 300 lbs; 4.85 40yrd dash). He is #52 on my Big Board and played in both a 3 and 5 technique and even played out side the tackle. Very strong and athletic for 300 lbs. He can play 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE. A solid player for a mid to late 2nd rounder. Not a great first step but leverage and strong skills and hands allow him to shed blockers and get to RBs and QBs in the back field. May be the steal of the draft if he goes to the right team as I have him scored better then last year’s Corey Liuget from Illinois (1st round Chargers)

A similar player is Nebraska’s Jared Crick. Last July I posted about saying.
Jared Crick DE/DT, Nebraska (Big 10) 6-4;285 lbs. Played next to Suh and looked great until a knee injury shut him down last year. A perfect DE for a 3-4 defense. The Patriots, Steelers, and Packers will be fighting to see which can draft him. Assuming a solid and healthy performance he may even reach the first round.
Well a torn pectoral in October took him out the remainder of this season but he is fully healed and back for the combine and is still a solid 2 round pick.

Next up – LBs

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