2016 NFL Draft Rankings: 3-4 Defensive End
It’s finally time to start talking about the NFL Draft again! It’s my favorite sporting event of the year (except for maybe Cubs playoff games) and covering draft prospects is one of the most enjoyable parts of my gig here at Beargoggleson. I watched a ton of college football this season and have been watching tape and reading scouting reports for the last few months.
Leading up the draft you’ll see a steady barrage of positional rankings, prospect breakdowns of players I think would be good fits for the Bears, and of course more mock drafts then you will probably want to read.
I’ll be supplementing my positional draft rankings with breakdowns of the Bears situation at specific positions and also the available free agent targets at that position.
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- Is this Big Ten linebacker on the Chicago Bears draft radar?
So in theory if you were wondering what the Bears are doing at defensive end in 2016, you’ll be able to check out the current DEs on the roster, the available free agent options, and the top 15-20 DEs available in the draft all within one article. Click below to check out the Bears D-line situation and DE free agents they may target in the off-season:
Potential Free Agent D-line Targets
*If you have any problems with my rankings or questions about a specific prospect who isn’t listed, feel free to address it in the comments or reach out on twitter (@MikeFlannery_)
2016 NFL Draft: 3-4 DE Rankings
Since the Bears play a hybrid 3-4 scheme, I’m going to focus these rankings on players who fit at the 5-tech DE position. So if you are wondering why a defensive end isn’t listed, they are most likely a better fit in a 4-3 scheme or as an OLB. With that out of the way, here are my 3-4 DE rankings.
1.) Joey Bosa, Ohio St (6’5 | 275 | 4.82) – Elite prospect who can play anywhere on the defensive line, but is probably better off in a 4-3 scheme. There is no chance Bosa falls to the Bears pick at 11, but he was the size, power, and quickness to be a play-making DE in any scheme.
Bears angle: No chance Bosa falls to 11.
2.) DeForest Buckner, Oregon (6’7 | 290 | 4.87) – Has the size to handle double teams, the strength to set the edge against the run, and is quick enough to occasionally get to the QB as his 10.5 sacks last season attest to. He is strong enough to move inside if needed on passing downs and his combination of power, long arms and unusual quickness for his size could make him an effective interior pass rusher. Buckner also showed a knack for batting down passes with five pass deflections last season. He is polished enough to play right away and has the potential to be the total package at DE.
Bears angle: Would be a steal if available at 11
3.) A’Shaun Robinson, Alabama (6’3 | 312 | 5.18) – Might be the best run-stopping 5-tech prospect in the draft. Robinson is massive, has elite power already, and is surprisingly quick for his size. He didn’t record a sack last year, but he generated plenty of pressure on QBs and spend most of the 2nd half of the season driving o-linemen into backfields. Robinson should be able to contribute right away, but needs to improve his hand work if he’s going to beat the better NFL o-linemen.
Bears angle: In play at 11 and would improve run defense right away