54 defensive linemen were invited to this year's Combine, and there are some seriously impressive prospects among them.
This year appears to be a good one for finding impact defensive lineman in the NFL Draft, and most of the top prospects are headed to the NFL Scouting Combine starting next week. A full list of all the participants is below, with underclassmen in italics. Before we get to the full list though, let's take a look at some of the big names as well as some of the interesting ones.
Bjoern Werner (FSU), Damontre Moore (Texas A&M), and Barkevious Mingo (LSU) are some names likely to go in the top 15 picks. They're all looked at as the tweeners - 4-3 ends or 3-4 outside linebackers. The bigger ends who would likely stay on the line in a 3-4 will probably last a little longer, with players like Ezekiel Ansah (BYU) or Datone Jones (UCLA) potentially going in the bottom half of round 1. Star Lotulelei (Utah) and Sheldon Richardson (Missouri) will probably be high picks as well as tackles, though Richardson may move to end if he's drafted by a 3-4 team. The tackle class is deep too, with John Jenkins (Georgia) and Johnathan Hankins (Ohio State) potentially around at 26 for the Packers.
Intriguing Mid-Round Possibilities
I've been impressed by Brandon Williams' (Missouri Southern) work at the Senior Bowl, especially since he didn't play against top competition at the FCS level. Margus Hunt (SMU) is a physical freak of nature, and I'd love to see him in Green and Gold next season.
Mingo is definitely the early leader for most ridiculous/hilarious name, with Ansah in the discussion as well. Don't sleep on Stansly Maponga (TCU) or Quanterus Smith (Western Kentucky), either - I can't wait to hear Jon Gruden stumble through pronouncing their names.
|Barnes, T.J.||Georgia Tech|
|Bass, David||Missouri Western State|
|Boyd, Josh||Mississippi State|
|Bryant, Armonty||East Central|
|Carradine, Tank||Florida State|
|Dawkins, Everett||Florida State|
|Gholston, William||Michigan State|
|Grissom, Cory||South Florida|
|Hankins, Johnathan||Ohio State|
|Hill, Jordan||Penn State|
|Jenkins, Brandon||Florida State|
|Jones, Chris||Bowling Green|
|Lewis-Moore, Kapron||Notre Dame|
|Moore, Damontre||Texas A&M|
|Simon, John||Ohio State|
|Smith, Jared||New Hampshire|
|Smith, Quanterus||Western Kentucky|
|Taylor, Devin||South Carolina|
|Werner, Bjoern||Florida State|
|Williams, Brandon||Missouri Southern State|
|Williams, Nate||Ohio State|
|Williams, Sylvester||North Carolina|
|Williams, Tourek||Florida International|
For more on this year's scouting combine: SBNation.com