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Combine Preview: Defensive Line

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A look at the defensive linemen looking to impress NFL scouts in Indianapolis.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our primer series heading into the NFL Scouting Combine just two short weeks away, we’re looking today at the defensive linemen.

Now, it’s important as a reader to understand when the NFL released their combine participants, they didn’t separate EDGE rushers. So, everyone is either a defensive lineman or a linebacker. If your favorite EDGE guy isn’t here, we should get to him when we preview the linebackers in the near future.

On the combine’s website, they are separated by linemen, EDGE and linebackers. So if you’re interested in that breakdown, head on over and check it out.

First things first, let’s introduce you to the trench defenders who will be showing off their skills in Indianapolis this year.

2019 COMBINE DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

NAME SCHOOL
NAME SCHOOL
ZACH ALLEN BOSTON COLLEGE
BEN BANOGU TCU
TERRY BECKNER MISSOURI
NICK BOSA OHIO STATE
JORDAN BRAILFORD OKLAHOMA STATE
AUSTIN BRYANT CLEMSON
ISAIAH BUGGS ALABAMA
BRIAN BURNS FLORIDA STATE
MALIK CARNEY NORTH CAROLINA
DEMARCUS CHRISTMAS FLORIDA STATE
L.J. COLLIER CHARLESTON
JOHN COMINSKY CHARLESTON
BYRON COWART MARYLAND
MAXX CROSBY EASTERN MICHIGAN
JAMAL DAVIS AKRON
JAYLON FERGUSON LOUISIANA TECH
CLELIN FERRELL CLEMSON
GREG GAINES WASHINGTON
RASHAN GARY WASHINGTON
KEVIN GIVENS PENN STATE
CARL GRANDERSON WYOMING
GERRI GREEN MISSISSIPPI STATE
TRYSTEN HILL CENTRAL FLORIDA
ALBERT HUGGINS CLEMSON
JOE JACKSON MIAMI
CECE JEFFERSON FLORIDA
JALEN JELKS OREGON
DARRYL JOHNSON NORTH CAROLINA A&T
DRE'MONT JONES OHIO STATE
KINGSLEY KEKE TEXAS A&M
DEXTER LAWRENCE CLEMSON
JONATHAN LEDBETTER GEORGIA
DAYLON MACK TEXAS A&M
SHAREEF MILLER PENN STATE
ANTHONY NELSON IOWA
ED OLIVER HOUSTON
CHARLES OMENIHU TEXAS
JACHAI POLITE FLORIDA
WYATT RAY BOSTON COLLEGE
DONTAVIUS RUSSELL AUBURN
KHALEN SAUNDERS WESTERN ILLINOIS
CHRIS SLAYTON SYRACUSE
SUTTON SMITH NORTHERN ILLINOIS
MONTEZ SWEAT MISSISSIPPI STATE
JERRY TILLERY NOTRE DAME
ARMON WATTS ARKANSAS
CHRISTIAN WILKINS CLEMSON
QUINNEN WILLIAMS ALABAMA
GERALD WILLIS MIAMI
CHASE WINOVICH MICHIGAN
DANIEL WISE KANSAS
RENELL WREN ARIZONA STATE
OSHANE XIMINES OLD DOMINION

BEST IN CLASS: QUINNEN WILLIAMS, ALABAMA

This is a little harder to decide because interior and exterior defensive linemen are not created equal.

However, I think if you compare prospect to prospect, Williams is just a tad higher than Nick Bosa of Ohio State. If anything, the fact we haven’t seen Bosa in a while and don’t know yet just how he’ll look coming off his injury is one big reason Williams gets the edge here.

MOST TO PROVE: MONTEZ SWEAT, MISSISSIPPI STATE

Sweat is in a bad place to be heading into the scouting combine, he’s a one-tick pony. Now, his one trick is pretty good, but to be successful at the next level he’s going to have to get better in some key areas.

This is his first big chance to show NFL teams he’s already working on those areas, and if he does it’ll help his draft stock. If he comes in as stiff as he’s looked thus far, then some teams are going to be discouraged.

He’ll still have his pro day and will certainly get his fair share of private workouts, but this is a big chance on a highly publicized stage to show he’s already addressing some of those concerns rather than relying solely on what he already does well.

MOST LIKELY BUCS DRAFT PICK: CHARLES OMENIHU (TEXAS)

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There are questions to the overall polish on Omenihu’s game, but there’s no doubt he’s got the build and athleticism to get the job done.

As a day-two pick, Omenihu would provide the Buccaneers defensive line some depth and energy who could play early on in key situations and packages designed to accentuate what he does best.

The concern here is he may improve his draft stock to the point where he lands in the gap where Tampa Bay doesn’t currently have a pick.