Scouts agree: This year's draft class offers a unique collection of talent along the defensive line.
In Greg Cosell's latest mock draft, he projects Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox as the first D-lineman off the board to the St. Louis Rams at No. 6. Cosell projects six more linemen landing in the first round, while other mocks have that number north of 10.
Not all these prospects will pan out.
When 20 talent evaluators were polled by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, among other questions, they were asked to pinpoint which of the top 15 defensive linemen had the best chance to bust. Here's what they said:
â¢ North Carolina end Quinton Coples led with 5½ votes. "His interviews are so delusional in terms of him thinking he's one way and everybody else saying that he's another," one personnel man told the newspaper. "If he doesn't have it in him, people will be waiting for something that's not going to happen."
â¢ Memphis tackle Dontari Poe and Penn State tackle Devon Still each received 3½ votes. "Love Poe's ability," one scout told the Journal Sentinel. "Don't like the way he plays. Pretty good kid. Quiet. Humble. Country. Pretty well-spoken. But he doesn't know what he doesn't know. If you tell him that he doesn't play hard, he's, like, 'Really?' "
"There's a lot of them that could (fail)," San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith told the newspaper. "Do they want to become great football players? Or do they want to become Albert Haynesworth?"
That question seems easy enough. For many teams, drafting defensive linemen has been anything but.