Senior Bowl Preview: Defense

Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn- Reyes is an overlooked prospect who should be able to fit in both the 3-4 and 4-3. Reyes is an athletic kid who doesn’t seem overly explosive. Can struggle to get off blocks, needs to prove he can play with the best offensive linemen in the country. Reyes has a lot of untapped potential and is a midround prospect.

Keenan Robinson, LB, Texas- I like Robinson more than most. He’s an athletic and explosive kid who just hasn’t put it together yet. He doesn’t have natural instincts and doesn’t make a ton of plays. But Robinson has ideal size and can run. With proper coaching and the right scheme Robinson could be a steal for the right team. I have a 3rd round grade on him.

Trenton Robinson, FS, Michigan State- Robinson is another safety prospect who has a low ceiling. He lacks any real explosion and I don’t see a lot of play making ability in him. A better run defender. I need to see more of Robinson especially in person to really get a feel for his draft potential.

Sean Spence, LB, Miami(Fl)- Spence is a really undersized LB who is a tackling machine. He exhibits way above average athleticism and speed. Was the heart and soul of the Hurricanes defense. Solid in pass coverage and could be a very solid blitzer. Spence will not be a fit for every team, but in the right scheme he will be a steal. A lot will depend on where he measures at in the weigh in. Listed at 6′ but I think he’s more like 5’10″.

Devon Still, DT, Penn State- Still is one of the 3-4 best defensive prospects that will be down at Mobile. Still is the total package for a DT, has ideal size, scheme versatility and athletic. Overpowers blockers and gets into the backfield with ease. Solid pass rush potential and excels against the run. Is a fit for 3-4 teams as well as 4-3 teams. Still is going to be drafted in round 1, high how is the question. He’s a much better prospect than former Nittany Lion DT Jared Odrick.

Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington- Massive nose tackle prospect who came into the season with a ton of hype, and he failed to live up to expectations. Ta’amu’s value will be his ability to anchor a defensive line in the pros. Ta’amu needs to prove that his senior year isn’t a true indication of his play. Right now I have him in the 3rd round, but he could help his stock as much as anyone with a big week.

Brandon Taylor, S, LSU- Taylor in my opinion is the best FS in this draft class. Doesn’t do anything exceptionally but is solid in all areas. Has decent instincts, needs to trust his eyes more because he can go sideline to sideline. Will hold up very well in the run and can be a solid tackler. Was massively overshadowed by the star studded LSU secondary.

Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson- Thompson is a penetrating DT, who excels at being disruptive and making plays behind the LOS. He has a very good motor and plays to the whistle. Excellent frame, fires off the blow with great explosion. Really came into his own this year. I have Thompson with a 2nd round grade, but many think he could go round 1.

Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama- Might be the best defensive prospect at the Senior Bowl. Upshaw is an explosion and attacking OLB. He plays with aggressiveness in both the run game and pass game. One of the best pass rushers in the draft. Can really take on blockers and blow them up. Upshaw has the ability to play multiple positions but is best suited for 3-4 OLB as a pass rusher and strong side run defender.

Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State- Wagner is an exceptional tackler who explodes through the ball carrier. One of my favorite defensive prospects in the draft. Undersized but has average-above average speed. Not the best instincts but works hard and makes a ton of plays. Can really elevate his stock in Mobile, right now he’s a second rounder.

Billy Winn, DL, Boise State- Winn is a versatile DL who could literally fit in every scheme at 6’4″ 300 pounds. Has been the anchor on Boise’s defense. A very solid run defender plays, with leverage and doesn’t get over powered. Winn is a second rounder right now but could really help his stock if he proves he rush the passer against elite competition.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Senior Bowl

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