Chicago Bears 2018 NFL Draft: Late round pass rushers
Who are some later round edge rushers that the Chicago Bears could look into?
When looking at the Chicago Bears depth chart at edge rusher, they are going to draft someone at the position at some point. Sam Acho, Howard Jones, and Aaron Lynch would typically be the depth behind Leonard Floyd as the four-man pass rushing rotation. The fact of the matter is that even if they have an option in round two, or a middle round player, they could double dip in the fifth and seventh round, or fourth and sixth, any variation if they cannot land an early pass rusher.
Who are some of the potential high upside players who are going to fall into the late rounds?
Ade Aruna, Tulane
As a draft prospect, Aruna is definitely on the more raw side. However, from a height, weight, speed perspective, he can become one rare gem of this class. As a weight, adjust SPARQ athlete, he tested in the 85% percentile.
Aruna was used as a 3-4 defensive end at Tulane due to his size. However, his weight and athleticism have him transferring to the edge in the NFL.
A lot of what he can do in the NFL is projection which causes him to fall down draft boards. However, you can see his burst out of the breaks in the play below. He is leaping out of stance faster than anyone else.
Aruna is able to rip through the SMU offensive tackle and find the ball and pounce. The run stuffing of a defensive end out on the edge helps define a floor.
As for his pass rushing upside, his ability to attack his prey with this type of closing speed is something that you invest in the sixth or seventh round.
While Aruna comes into the NFL with 11 career sacks at the collegiate level spread out over four seasons there is something to invest in. The play below was a rare sight to see, but it shows something worth investing into. Getting this out of Aruna consistently would turn him into an impact player in this league. That late in the draft it is worth a shot.
Joe Ostman, Central Michigan
Ostman is an interesting prospect who did not get an invite to the combine but could be on teams radars in the late rounds. Ostman finished his career with 26 sacks and posted 13 as a Senior. At his Pro Day, his numbers tested him in the 76% percentile as a weight-adjusted athlete.
Ostman is is an awkward pass rusher with shorter legs who does not take long strides. He lacks real arm length too, and looks undersized as he typically is unable to utilize his size as a pass rusher.
Still, he is a worker bee with the technicality to make the jump to the NFL. Ostman has a full pass rushing repertoire. He can use a dip and has the speed to close with the power to take down the tall and almighty Josh Allen.
Ostman also has the swipe move while bending around the edge and a spin move with quick and precise footwork.
It is clear that Ostman works on his technique and he it shows as well on the field as he is a tough worker who fights until the play is over. Below, he is showing his understanding of hand technique. Ostman is maintaining separation from his lineman and is able to push off, and dip under him to help end a play.
Ostman can be seen finishing off plays consistently. His ambition in technique and on tape has a player with a high special teams floor. Still, with his athletic upside, there is potential to find a sack artist here.
Leon Jacobs, Wisconsin
You can take an easy glance at Leon Jacobs and tell why for as intriguing as he is, he is a late round flier in the NFL.
Jacobs has high upside due to his athleticism. There is no doubt about it, the can fly to the football.
Jacobs has a combination of speed and with a strong dip move, he is able to disrupt pockets.
However, he is going to have a tough hill to climb to make NFL relevance due to his size. Coming off of the edge, when he has his skill set put together, it is a great to watch. Below, he puts the tackle on skates but still does not have the strength to finish the sack.
He also is far too often flatted out of his path. Jacobs is raw and does not pass rush with a purpose. He does not use his hands well, unlike Ostman. Without any leverage to push away from the tackle, the tackle is able to seal him off to the outside as he does not have a plan to strike inside towards the ball.
Then there are his run diagnoses issues. Far too often he over pursues and takes himself out of plays early. Smart coaches notice it and against Florida Atlantic, Lane Kiffin made it a point to test Jacobs, and exposed his run diagnoses.
More from Bear Goggles On
- Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL
- How the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023
- The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forward
- Chicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback
- 7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears
Jacobs is lined up on the right side in the play below. the play action to run up the middle has Jacobs putting his head down and plowing across the line of scrimmage. This sets up an easy running lane for the quarterback to expose for some cheap yards.
Jacobs is a player who may have a greater upside than Ostman due to his long frame and bend. However, there is much more safety in a selection of Ostman when it comes to getting him rotational snaps on the defensive side of the ball.
Ade Aruna has the higher ceiling than either pass rusher. Still, Ostman and Jacobs come with the floor of a special teams asset. It would be tough to get Aruna on too many different units due to his size. It leaves all three as differing options for the team to look over as the late rounds approach.