Instead of doing individual players like last year, this year Draft Core will be highlighting the position as a whole.
Players deemed as “Primetime Players” are the elite crop of the draft. Draft Core evaluates the top rated players and highlight a trait or two that will translate to the next level. In addition, Draft Core will make a player comparison and a team that needs the player’s skill set.
This year’s DT class is not nearly as deep as last year’s, but there are still intriguing options at the position. There are two Primetime Players at the DT position. The players listed can do it all and possess an intriguing blend of power and speed. The players are Auburn’s Derrick Brown and South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw.
Derrick Brown Auburn
Elite Run Stuffer
Brown is a rare blend of size, explosiveness, power and technique that he combines with an unrelenting motor to physically dominate his opponents. He has the ability to take over both 1st and 2nd down while also having the ability to develop into an above average pass rusher down the road.
To start his career, don’t expect gaudy sack numbers like Aaron Donald. These are two different play styles. Brown’s elite strength alone warrants a double team or else he will wreck opposing running games.
Player Comparison: Marcel Dareus
Dareus isn’t particularly known for his pass rushing capabilities also. It is his strength and how he disrupts an opponent’s ground attack. Brown enters the NFL with Dareus’ ability but with the potential to be even better.
Team Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars (1st round, 9th overall)
The Jags recently lost Dareaus to free agency so a player with Brown’s skill set is a key need on that defensive line. Jacksonville has a lot of needs, but they would benefit by being patient and scooping up whoever falls with their two first round picks.
Javon Kinlaw South Carolina
Explosive Pass Rusher
Kinlaw is sort of the opposite of Brown in the sense of their play styles and what they bring to the table. He excels at taking over the gap he’s responsible for and his burst/first step is already elite. He is further along at getting to the quarterback but has the tendency to over pursue and bite on fakes.
The scary thing about Kinlaw is he is still sort of growing into his frame by adding more muscle his senior year.
Player Comparison: Leonard Williams (1st round, 12th or 19th overall)
Leonard Williams came out of USC with the uncanny ability to cause disruptions on 3rd down while he slowly developed as a run stuffer. The former Trojan hasn’t produced the kind of sack numbers in the NFL that he did in college, but both him and Kinlaw enter the NFL with similar pros and cons.
Team Fit: Las Vegas Raiders (1st round, 12th or 19th overall)
Gruden and Mayock would be lucky to have the opportunity with either picks to select an interior presence like Kinlaw. After drafting Clelin Ferrell a year ago on the EDGE, Kinlaw complements him well on the inside.