2016 NFL Draft Rankings: 3-4 Defensive End

Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 4
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

16.) Aziz Shittu, Stanford (6’3 | 284 | 4.91) – Former 5-star recruit who never quite lived up to his potential in college, but was a solid starter when healthy enough to play. Shittu has the size, athleticism, and power to play the 5-tech in the Bears scheme, though he played inside more often in college. He was a force against the run for the Cardinal, holding his own against double-teams and making plenty of stops near the line of scrimmage while providing occasional interior pressure.

Bears angle:  Early day 3 pick who could contribute as a rookie, playing outside on early downs and inside in sub-packages

17.) Anthony Zettel, Penn St (6’4 | 273 | 4.87) – His quickness off the ball stood out during both the Shrine and Senior bowl practices. Zettel was constantly disruptive in both formats and has the quickness off the ball to do the same at the next level. He was in the backfield often, sometimes impacting plays but other times taking himself out of the play by being too aggressive. Zettel has an impressive burst off the ball, the ability to shed blocks, and a non-stop motor. He needs to improve his lower body strength and work on his play recognition, but Zettel has the potential to eventually be a starting 5-tech in the NFL and could be a good fit for the Bears scheme.

Bears angle: Late round pick who could develop into impact player after a couple years in the weight room

18.) Dean Lowry, Northwestern (6’6 | 290 | 4.97) – Prototype 5-tech build and was lauded by Shrine coaches all week for his non-stop motor and effort level. Lowry lacks ideal arm length, but has enough power to drive tackles back in 1-1 match-ups and hold up against double teams when needed. Lowry isn’t explosive, but sets the edge well against the run, diagnoses plays quickly, and is fast enough to chase down QBs for hustle sacks.

Bears angle: Late round, natural 5-tech who could provide depth right away

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

19.) Ebuka Onyemata, Manitoba (6’4 | 304 | 5.06) – Interesting Canadian prospect who has only played five years of organized football but was Canada’s top D-linemen last year (Metras Trophy) and has the athleticism to play in the NFL. Onyemeta showed impressive movement skills both off the edge and inside during Shrine practices and then put a brutal hit on Michigan QB Jake Ruddock during the game and also had a half-sack. He’s probably too raw to contribute right away, but is a developmental prospect with upside.

Bears angle:  Give DC Vic Fangio a couple years to work with this guy and the Bears could have a late round gem.

20.) Lawrence Thomas, Michigan St (6’4 | 281 | 4.97) – Doesn’t have enough burst or quickness to win 1-1 pass rush battles at the NFL level, but Thomas flashed elite power at the Senior Bowl this year. When he comes off the ball low Thomas is able to drive tackles into the backfield with his strength. He has the potential to be an asset against the run at the next level, but will probably never provide much of a pass rush. I could see Thomas as a rotational early down 5-tech in the NFL which is valuable enough for Thomas to be selected late in the draft.

Bears angle: Powerful run-stopper who could add depth right away as a late round pick

¹ Scouting reports on players are from a combination of watching plenty of college football, individual player tape from Draftbreakdown, and various reports from CBS Sports, Walterfootball, NFL.com, and of course ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.