NFL Draft: Top Five Overall Defensive Players
Host Jeremy Ganes, alongside Trent Fye and DJ Bauer, ranked the best overall players on the offensive and defensive side of the ball in the 2019 NFL Draft:
This year is arguably a very defensive draft with many players in the top 25 being on the defensive end with highly sought after talent. Top defensive line, top linebackers, to defensive backs. Seven of the top 10 draft picks in this years draft are defensive players, primarily from the defensive line (NFL.com). This is already set to be the best defensive class, but even more importantly, the best defensive line class in NFL history. Big name schools are in the limelight in this years draft which include teams like Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, Mississippi State, Michigan and many others.
Alabama’s top defensive player in this years draft is their Defensive Tackle, LSU is repping two defensive players in a cornerback and linebacker, Michigan has a couple solid players, same with Mississippi State, and Ohio State has arguably the No.1 overall pick in this year’s draft. Don’t be surprised if you see four defensive linemen taken with the first four picks of the draft.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the top five overall defensive players in this years draft.
No. 5 - Ed Oliver - Houston - DL
Ed Oliver was a dark horse candidate to be in contention for the heisman a year ago with his fantastic sophomore season, but he had a bit of an underperforming junior campaign compared to his sophomore season. He is still a very dominant defensive lineman and will make a huge impact. Oliver totalled 53 tackles for loss, 192 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and five forced fumbles in his career. He draws comparisons to Aaron Donald and John Randall, mostly because they are on the shorter end of the stick, but are very powerful and consistent with great technique. He comes in at 6-foot-2, 287 pounds and he put up 32 reps on the bench press. He is drawing first round buzz and can even be a top-15 pick.
No. 4 - Greedy Williams - LSU - CB
Greedy Williams is arguably the best cornerback in this year’s draft. He has great instincts and football IQ to go along with his NFL ready body. He comes in a t 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, which is a long frame that helps clog up passing lanes and jams a receiver. He ran an elite 40 time of 4.37. If you add his size, speed, and football IQ; he has the making to become a dominant force in the NFL. He comes from a pedigree of exceptional defensive backs including Patrick Peterson and Jamal Adams. Williams totalled eight interceptions and 20 pass breakups in his two years as a starter. Expect him to go 15 and even a pair up with a former tiger if he falls to the right team.
The top three will be defensive line, including defensive tackles and defensive ends/edge rushers.
No. 3 - Josh Allen - Kentucky - Edge Rusher
Josh Allen earned his way to being a top draft pick. Allen was once a two star linebacker out of New Jersey. He went on to win defensive player of the year in 2018 where he totalled 21.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. He helped Kentucky to their first bowl win in a decade. Allen comes in at 6-foot-5, 262 pounds and ran a 40 time of 4.63. This is an elite combination to become an outstanding edge rusher. Allen played as an outside linebacker in college, but will be putting his hand in the dirt to transition to the NFL. Allen draws comparisons to Khalil Mack. Mack did in college at Buffalo what Allen did at Kentucky playing a similar position and having similar stats. Expect Allen to go top five.
At No. 2 - Quinnen Williams - Alabama - DL
Quinnen Williams has been a force to be reckoned with on the defensive line performing at top level against top competition. Williams performed very well at the combine to help his draft stock even more. He ran a 40 time of 4.83 which is outstanding for his size. He comes Expect Williams to go top five if not top three.
in at 6-foot-3, 303 lbs. Williams totalled 26 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and a pass breakup in his two years at Alabama. He comes from a college that routinely produces top defensive line talent. He draws comparisons to Ndamukong Suh because of his size and physical nature.
No. 1 - Nick Bosa - Ohio State - DE
Nick Bosa is a very familiar name in the football world. His brother currently plays for the Chargers, and his dad is a hall of famer. He also played for a top college program. Bosa started since his freshman year and even took his brothers college number. He had an excellent freshman and sophomore campaign, but his junior season was cut short after a game three injury. He decided to forgo the rest of the season and focus on the NFL draft. Bosa ran a 40 time of 4.79 to go along with his 6-foot-4, 266 pound frame and he put up 29 reps on the bench press. He totalled 29 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Expect Nick Bosa to go top three if not No.1 overall.
Devin White - LSU - LB
Devin White has all the intangibles to become a dominant linebacker. He ran a 40 time of 4.42 and comes in at 6 feet, 237 pounds. He had two straight 120-plus tackle seasons at LSU.
Devin Bush - Michigan - LB
Devin Bush comes in a little undersized sitting under six feet at 5-foot-11 but has the weight at 234 pounds. Bush as well ran a 40 yard dash of 4.43 just behind Devin White. Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown said Bush is the best linebacker he’s ever coached.
Christian Wilkins - Clemson - DL
Wilkins is a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the line. His combine stats were fairly average for a defensive lineman, but his play on the field does all the talking. Wilkins was almost like a short range linebacker because he has 15 pass breakups in his career.
It will be quite interesting to see what happens in this year’s draft. Tune into Commradio on draft weekend to hear in depth draft talk.
Trent Fye is a junior majoring in broadcast journalis. To contact him, email email@example.com.