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Savage: 10 D-linemen who stood out at RSB

Mon, Feb 20, 2017

Officially, 17 defensive linemen participated during the Reese’s Senior Bowl week and the belief here is that every one of them will have an excellent chance of being selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. These are the five interior and five outside prospects that stood out during the week in Mobile.

Defensive Tackles

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Eddie is an athletic big man who is light on his feet and heavy with his hands. This two and a-half year starter missed almost the entire 2015 season with a knee injury and then was plagued by a bad ankle down the stretch in 2016. He flashes short area movement skills and is difficult to knock off his feet. Expect him to create a positive buzz through the Combine and Pro Day workout season. 

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 7           Losses: 2

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: Ranked as the #4 defensive tackle in the country by SuperPrep, he was a 2nd team All-USA Today selection out of Placer High School in Auburn, CA.

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After being overshadowed and under-recognized for the Crimson Tide, Dalvin won over a bunch of NFL people with his play on the field and personality during interviews. This three-year regular was 149-2 as a high school wrestler and that ability to leverage is obvious in his play.

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 7           Losses: 2

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: Dalvin overcame torn ACL’s in both knees (one in a high school soccer match and the other as a redshirt freshman in 2013) to become one of Alabama’s most dependable players. He finished his senior season with 62 total tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss and 3 sacks to go along with 9 career pass breakups.

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Stevie only started two games in 2015 for Utah before transferring as a graduate to USC and becoming a mainstay for the Trojans. He is a true Nose with the girth and power to anchor the middle of a 3-4 defense. Capable of holding the point and pushing the pocket, he had a terrific week in the Port City.

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 6           Losses: 1

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: After totaling 8 tackles against Penn State, Stevie was named Defensive MVP of the 2017 Rose Bowl.

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This three-year starter had a very consistent showing against the run and pass during the RSB practices. Active along the line-of-scrimmage and as a rusher, he surprised some NFL evaluators with his overall ability.

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 7           Losses: 2

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: Ryan closed out his Michigan career with 91 total tackles, 18.5 tackles-for-loss and 5 sacks. His brother, Graham, played in the 2016 RSB and started 11 games as a rookie center for the Detroit Lions.

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This three-year starter for the Tigers has ideal size and quickness for his next-level position. As a pass rusher, he has burst in his takeoff and uses his hands well.

1-on-1 Pass Rush:     Wins: 3           Losses: 4

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: All-SEC in 2016, Montravius tallied 151 total tackles, 21 tackles-for-loss and 11 sacks during his career on the Plains.

Defensive Ends

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Chosen as the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Tarell recorded 50 total tackles, 16.5 tackles-for-loss and 11.5 sacks a senior. In Mobile, he demonstrated outstanding first-step quickness as a pass rusher and did not look totally out of place as a 3-4 outside linebacker in space. Ideally, he will be drafted as a 4-3 defensive end where he can get after the quarterback.

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 4           Losses: 1

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: In three and a-half years as a starter, Tarell set the all-time Ohio U sack record with 29.

#93 KEIONTA DAVIS/Chattanooga (SOUTH)
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Keionta had no trouble whatsoever adjusting to big-school competition because he plays with proper technique and uses his hands very well. He understands how to hold the point-of-attack and is a capable straight-line pass rusher.

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 5           Losses: 1

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: In three seasons as a starter for the Mocs, he was a three-time All-Southern Conference choice and two-time All-America selection while registering 31 total sacks.

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A combination DE/DT, Isaac has the versatility to line up as an early down run defender and inside Sub pass rusher. He gives glimpses of quality quickness and yet is big enough to anchor the LOS. 

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 5           Losses: 4

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: A three-year starter for the Fighting Irish, Isaac made the successful jump from single A high school football in Georgia to a successful career in South Bend.

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As a two-year starter for the FCS-level Wildcats, Tanoh took advantage of his opportunity in Mobile by flashing impressive quickness and body control against better competition. At 6’7, he can fit as a left-side DE in the 4-3 or as a 5-technique in the 3-4 with the skillset to slide inside as a Sub DT in both schemes. One of the most intriguing talents on either roster, he has vast potential as a pro.

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 4           Losses: 3

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: All-Colonial Athletic Association and FCS All-American in 2016, Tanoh completed his playing career with 105 total tackles, 37.5 tackles-for-loss and 22 sacks.

#75 JORDAN WILLIS/Kansas State (SOUTH)
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Jordan capped off his week in Mobile by being selected as the South team Most Outstanding Player after racking up two sacks and forcing two fumbles in the game. He has a blue-collar approach and appears to play better in Team situations more so than in 1-on-1 drills. He wins with his hand usage and relentless competitiveness. 

1-on-1 Pass Rush-     Wins: 1           Losses: 4

Reese’s Senior Bowl Pieces: Jordan concluded his K-State career with 52 total tackles, 17.5 tackles-for-loss and 11.5 sacks as a senior to earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year recognition.