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Draft Blog: Who Will Be The First Defensive Player Drafted?

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Who Will Be The First Defensive Player Drafted?

Up until this point, it seems like there’s been a consensus opinion that Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey will be the first defensive player off the board during the 2016 NFL draft; however, there is a new name that may jump Ramsey in the draft.

Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner has become a favorite for the San Diego Chargers at the No. 3 overall pick. If Ramsey doesn’t go No. 1 or No. 2, there is a good possibility that Buckner will be the first defensive player selected in the draft. Buckner perfectly fits the Chargers’ defensive scheme with his ability to be a catalytic player from the five-technique defensive tackle position. Buckner has the size, length, strength and technique to be a force for the Chargers and he could be higher than Ramsey on their board.

When the draft comes around, don’t be surprised if you hear Buckner’s name go before Ramsey.

Overrated Player of the Week

Ronnie Stanley, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Ronnie Stanley is almost universally rated as the No. 2 offensive tackle in the NFL draft class and when you watch him, you can see why. Stanley has great footwork in pass protection and he has the fluidity and athleticism to handle the athletic edge rushers in the NFL.

Nevertheless, Stanley has significant warts that should preclude him from being a first-round pick. First off, Stanley isn’t a finisher.  You rarely see him bury a defender when he has the opportunity to. Furthermore, Stanley lacks power at the point of attack and he has problems with people who play with power. Watch his game versus Clemson’s Shaq Lawson and you will see those deficiencies manifest themselves over and over again. Also, that lack of power doesn’t let him generate any push in the run game. Right now, the best thing he can do is wall off defenders, he doesn’t reset the line of scrimmage and he gives up way too much push at the point of attack.

Also, that lack of power doesn’t let him generate any push in the run game. Right now, the best thing he can do is wall off defenders, he doesn’t reset the line of scrimmage and he gives up way too much push at the point of attack.

Overall, Stanley is a very talented player who has a high ceiling, but his current construction doesn’t lend himself well to be an impact starter from day one.

Underrated Player of the Week

David Perkins, Edge Defender, Illinois State

One player that has flown under nearly every radar this draft season is Illinois State’s David Perkins. If you look at any draft analysts comprehensive player rankings, it is unlikely that you will see Perkins’ name anywhere, which is about as under the radar as you can get.

Turn on the film of Perkins and you see an explosive edge rusher who can make a big impact on Sundays. The Ohio State transfer didn’t just beat up on small schools as he showed a lot of impressive traits against a team like Iowa, who is known for stellar offensive line play.

Perkins comes off the edge with a rare first step, combined with violent hands, incredible bend and the best closing speed in this class. He isn’t the biggest edge rusher (6-foot-2 and 242 pounds), but he plays with good strength and he can hold up at the point of attack.

Perkins isn’t very refined with hands, but you can’t discount is athletic traits combined with his football intelligence.

Perkins may not hear his name called until day three, but you can bet whoever drafts him will get a lot of bang for their buck.


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com