Draft Prep: the “crop” of the defensive line class

I had previously mentioned in my analysis of the top of this draft class, or the “Crop”, about how the Steelers might forego this position due to already being set with roster depth along the defensive line. Don’t be surprised if the Steelers decide to draft someone anyway. You could still find quality backups in this draft, even if the class isn’t that deep. That’s what we’ll be looking at today with the “Crop” of the D-line.

Don’t forget to be on the lookout for part three in the coming days, where the latter third of this class will be profiled.

The Crop

  • J. Jones – 6’1” 319 lbs. (DT)
  • Chris Wormley – 6’ 5” 298 lbs. (DE)
  • Jaleel Johnson – 6’ 3” 318 lbs. (DT)
  • Dalvin Tomlinson – 6’3” 310 lbs. (DT)
  • Eddie Vanderdoes – 6’ 3” 305 lbs. (DT)
  • Montravius Adams – 6’4” 304 lbs. (DT)
  • Elijah Qualls – 6’ 1” 313 lbs. (DT)

Chris Wormley

Chris Wormley can play both inside and outside, which gives him the flexibility of spelling any of the top Steelers d-linemen. Consistency is an issue with Wormley: he flashes at times and then vanishes. His size and the athleticism with which he plays will make sure that he comes off the board before the third round ends.

Dalvin Tomlinson

Dalvin Tomlinson only played one full season at Alabama. He needs to work on his technique but shows promise in his power to fight off double teams.

An AFC south scout had this to say about Tomlinson on his NFL.com draft profile:

“I don’t know how he flew under the radar so long because he is a dude. If you liked those guys from last year (Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson), no reason you won’t like this one.”

I could see Tomlinson go anywhere from round two to five. The Steelers should consider drafting him in those later rounds, if he’s around.

Eddie Vanderdoes

Vanderdoes, as seems to have been the case with a lot of the “non-edge” defensive linemen, didn’t have the best combine. However, he has big time talent though an injury history may make some teams think twice before taking him.

An AFC west coast scout said this about Vanderdoes on his NFL.com profile:

“He really looked the part in 2014 and in the one game he played in 2015. He flashed this year but he just wasn’t the same player. I want to project him as a healthy player but if he keeps playing this heavy the Steelers may never see the same player from before even if he is fully healthy.”

The question on Vanderdoes is if you’re getting the former or the latter player if you take him. In my opinion, the higher the pick, the riskier he is to draft.

Montravius Adams

Adams is a player that the combine didn’t help much either. Consistency is also one of the concerns with him. His junior year was not a great season, but he played much better in his senior year.

He would fit more as a rotational defensive tackle when needed, but it’s unlikely he would ever become more.

Conclusion

Everyone here projects to be a backup. Remember, I believe the Steelers are set at this position to begin with, and they won’t be making defensive line a draft priority. That said, there are still a few players worth looking for at the bottom third of the draft.  Be on the lookout for part three of this series in the coming days, where that portion of this draft class will be profiled.

Steelers War Room | Inside The Pittsburgh Steelers plans for the 2017 NFL Draft

Inside The Pittsburgh Steelers plans for the 2017 NFL Draft

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