2016 NFL Draft Rankings: 3-4 Defensive End

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Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports /
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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

4.) Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma St (6’4 | 275 | 4.77) – Productive pass rusher who has gotten better every year. Ogbah has 24 sacks over the last two seasons and has evolved from a pure speed rusher to a more balanced player with speed, power, and raw but effective rush moves. He finished the 2015 season as the BIG12 Defensive Player of the Year and led the conference in sacks (13), tackles for loss (17.5) and QB hurries (19) and should be able to step in to an NFL d-line rotation immediately. Ogbah has the skill-set to play DE in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme which could make him more attractive to Bears DC Vic Fangio who likes to change alignments on the fly.

Bears angle: In play at 11. A potential play-maker at DE

5.) Sheldon Rankins, Louisville (6’2 | 304 | 4.92) – Was arguably the best d-linemen at the Senior Bowl before having to leave due to injury. Rankins lacks ideal height for the 5-tech position but has elite power, the size and strength to play inside or out, and impressive quickness off the ball for a man his size. His power was too much for Senior Bowl blockers and he consistently destroyed whoever was lined up in front of him. It was an impressive performance and should solidify Rankins spot in the mid-first round.

Bears angle: Not a reach at 11

6.) Adolphus Washington, Ohio St (6’4 | 297 | 4.96) – The fact that Washington is this far down the list is a testament to how great the d-line class is this year. Most seasons Washington would be a no doubt first rounder. He has ideal size for a 5-tech (6’4 | 295), the strength to drive tackles into the backfield, and above-average quickness for a 300-pounder.

Washington can handle double-teams, shed blockers to make plays near the line of scrimmage, has enough quickness to make plays outside of the hashmarks, and an explosive enough burst to generate pressure on the QB. Washington needs to improve his play recognition and clean up his pass rush technique, but should be able to contribute immediately and has Pro Bowl potential.

Bears angle: After Senior Bowl could be in play at 11

7.) Jarran Reed, Alabama (6’3 | 311 | 5.14) –  I had Reed a few spots lower before the Senior Bowl but after watching him beat double-teams, generate interior pressure, and play through the whistle, I’m impressed. Reed has elite strength, a good first step, long arms, and good enough hands to shed blockers. He’s never going to be a great pass rusher, but will get occasional sacks on bull-rushes and hustle plays.

Bears angle: 11 is too early and won’t be there in round 2

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

8.) Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (6’4 | 296 | 4.81) – Former #1 recruit out of high school who has shown flashes throughout his college career, but has been hindered by both injuries and off-field issues. Nkemdiche still has a ton of talent and upside, but teams will have to look closely at his off-field problems and decision making off the field.

On the field he provides a tempting mix of size, power, and ridiculous athleticism for his size. Nkemdiche’s technique is disappointingly raw, he doesn’t have a go-to pass rush move and hasn’t finished enough plays in the backfield for a guy with his physical tools. If he can straighten out his off-field issues and ends up with a coaching staff who can develop his technique, Nkemdiche has Pro Bowl talent at either the 5-tech or inside at DT.

Bears angle: Too risky for the Bears to roll the dice at pick 11, but if off-field concerns drop him out of the first round…

9.) Jonathan Bullard, Florida (6’3 | 283 | 4.86) – Made steady progress every season during his college career, topped off by an impressive senior season where he racked up 66 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks. Bullard has the size to play DE in the Bears 3-4 scheme and enough strength to slide inside on passing downs. He uses his height effectively to get in passing lanes and his long arms to shed blocks and make plays against the run near the line of scrimmage. Bullard is never going to lead the league in sacks, but he could be one of the best run stoppers in this draft class.

Bears angle: 11 is too early and he will probably be gone by the Bears 2nd round pick

10.) Carl Nassib, Penn St (6’7 | 273 | 4.74) – Former walk-on who got his first chance to start in 2015 and led the FBS with 15.5 sacks despite missing the last two games of the season. Nassib has the ability to be the rare 5-tech who is better at rushing the QB than stuffing the run. Nassib is solid against the run, but his quick burst off the ball, ability to shed blockers, non-stop motor, and polished pass rush moves give him double-digit sack potential. He may need a season to get stronger, but could be an asset against both the run and pass by year two.

Bears angle: Good value in round 2