Fri, Mar 02, 2018
Executive Director Phil Savage spent 20 years in the National Football League as a coach, scout, executive and general manager. Prior to the Combine, he will evaluate the Reese’s Senior Bowl practice sessions and game, position-by-position, for both the North and South squads.
Now that the offensive review is complete, it’s time to take a look at the defensive linemen. As we construct our Reese’s All-Senior Bowl team, here are five tackles and three ends that stood out on the front line of the defense.
#27 Justin Jones/NC State (N) 6023/311 H-10 A-33 5/8 WS-80 4/8
Winner of the Alabama Power Practice Award for the defensive line, Justin proved himself to be very consistent as a run defender and pass rusher. He displayed strength at the point-of-attack, agility against backside blocks and the skill to get on half of a man in pass rush. He looked and practiced like a future NFL starter.
1-on-1 Pass Rush- Wins: 7 Losses: 7
Reese’s Pieces: This two-year starter ended his NCSU career with 108 total tackles and 22.5 tackles-for-loss, including 8.5 sacks.
#99 Andrew Brown/Virginia (S) 6034/294 H-9 1/8 A-35 1/8 WS-82 3/8
Andrew was expected to flash from the inside as a pass rusher and he did not disappoint with his quickness and effort. His preference is to work the edges of his opponent against the run, so he likely needs to play in a 4-3 front as a 3-technique rather than having to two-gap in a 3-4 scheme.
1-on-1 Pass Rush- Wins: 3 Losses: 5
Reese’s Pieces: Chosen as the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2013 at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, VA. Finished his UVA career with 94 total tackles and 26.5 tackles-for-loss, including 10.5 sacks.
#98 B.J. Hill/NC State (N) 6033/321 H-10 3/8 A-32 2/8 WS-77 3/8
One of four seniors on the Wolfpack defensive line, B.J. was very consistent during the week by stacking the run and winning his share of pass rush opportunities. He appears to be a prospect that can mix into a defensive tackle rotation as soon as his rookie season.
1-on-1 Pass Rush- Wins: 8 Losses: 7
Reese’s Pieces: In three and a-half years as a starter for NCSU, B.J. tallied 183 total tackles and 23.5 tackles-for-loss, including 8 sacks.
#95 Poona Ford/Texas (S) 5115/306 H-9 2/8 A-32 6/8 WS-80 2/8\
Because of his height, Poona has a low center of gravity and can get underneath people with leverage and drive in his lower body. He can hold up at the point and get down the line in chase, plus he has some degree of pass rush ability when pushing the pocket or getting on the edge of a center.
1-on-1 Pass Rush- Wins: 4 Losses: 5
Reese’s Pieces: Nicknamed “Poona” after his grandmother began calling him “Pooh” as a child. Hails from Hilton Head, SC and started for two and a-half seasons for the Longhorns. Earned Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year honors as a senior.
#66 Harrison Phillips/Stanford (N) 6033/303 H-10 4/8 A-33 6/8 WS-81 7/8
Harrison is a powerful, rugged defender on the inside, especially against the run. He did get stuck as a pass rusher, but has the overall tools to improve this aspect of his game. He has all the traits, on and off the field, to become an inside starter very early in his career.
1-on-1 Pass Rush- Wins: 4 Losses: 9
Reese’s Pieces: Named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Nebraska in 2013, Harrison tore his ACL in 2015 as a sophomore at Stanford. He responded over the past two seasons with 144 total tackles and 27 tackles-for-loss, including 14.5 sacks.
#93 Marcus Davenport/UTSA (S) 6057/259 H-9 A-34 WS-81 2/8
This former Roadrunner flew under the radar for much of the season and the idea was that he would be a revelation at the RSB. Instead, his reputation preceded himself, so there was a ton of hype and expectation heaped on him upon arrival to Mobile. He has a classic 4-3 defensive end build with height, long arms and a lean lower body. After a slow start on Tuesday, by Thursday, he revved up his pass rush and then played well in the game with a half-sack and 19-yard scoop-and-score.
1-on-1 Pass Rush- Wins: 1 Losses: 6
Reese’s Pieces: Named 2017 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus established UTSA career records for tackles-for-loss (38), sacks (22) and QB hurries (21) as a three-season starter.
#31 Ogbo Okoronkwo/Oklahoma (N) 6013/243 H-9 2/8 A-34 4/8 WS-79 2/8
While Ogbo will be asked to workout as a 3-4 outside linebacker throughout the spring, his best position will remain as an undersized, pass rushing defensive end (in some circles, people may reference him as a designated pass rusher). He has initial burst and stays low when trying to race up the field. As a full-time DE, he will have some issues when stacking the run, but as a part-time pass rusher, he could be a nice addition for a team looking to increase the heat from their sub package.
1-on-1 Pass Rush- Wins: 4 Losses: 6
Reese’s Pieces: Tabbed as the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, in two years of starting for the Sooners, Ogbo registered 147 total tackles and 29.5 tackles-for-loss, including 17 sacks.
#11 Kylie Fitts/Utah (S) 6036/259 H-9 3/8 A-32 3/8 WS-77 4/8
In watching the practice tapes, Kylie was the biggest surprise in terms of his ability to change course as a pass rusher in the 1-on-1 drills. His hands, hips and feet are tied together and with his effort, he was a tough out coming off the edge.
1-on-1 Pass Rush- Wins: 6 Losses: 2
Reese’s Pieces: Began his career at UCLA before transferring to Utah and sitting out the 2014 season. In two-plus years as a starter for the Utes, Kylie compiled 68 total tackles and 14 tackles-for-loss, including 11.5 sacks.