2016 NFL Draft will have a bigger focus on the defensive front seven

The 2016 NFL Draft will have a bigger focus on the defensive front seven.

Last year, the Cleveland Browns decided to select Danny Shelton with the 12th overall pick in order to help bolster their defensive line. It was an interesting decision considering there were several talented defensive backs that were still on the board. But as we have seen in recent years, teams are placing a bigger emphasis on getting after the quarterback as well as stopping the run.

This season, we will once again see a plethora of talented players being selected on the defensive side of the ball during the first round of this year’s draft. As far as defensive linemen are concerned, there is a good chance that six or more could be selected within the first 15 picks.

In fact, I would not be surprised if three of them (Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa and Deforest Buckner) all end up going within the top 10. The latter two are considered by many to be top five talents in this draft class.

The team that might surprise us on draft night is the Detroit Lions. They currently hold three Day 1 picks and one of them will likely be used to address their needs at wide receiver (Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are currently their only two proven talent at that position).

The 2016 NFL Draft will have a bigger focus on the defensive front seven.

This is not to say that there is not talent at quarterback, offensive tackle or running back, but the difference between the top player in those positions and the next couple are minimal. The difference in talent among the pass rushers, however, is night and day.

Myles Jack has all-around game that makes him an enticing prospect for any scheme. He’s able to match up against running backs and tight ends in coverage, which allows him to stay on the field for all three downs. His speed makes him a threat coming off the edge in blitz packages as well as shooting gaps when he’s lined up in the middle of the defense. Jack’s instincts are unmatched by any other linebacker I’ve scouted; he rarely gets fooled by play fakes and always seems to be around the ball. The only question surrounding Jack is his health status after suffering a knee injury last year that required surgery.

Jack’s teammate Jaylon Smith was also considered a top-five pick before tearing his ACL and MCL in Notre Dame’s bowl game against Ohio State. There are still questions about whether Smith will be ready for training camp, but some teams may consider him worth the risk given his potential

The following is a guest post from Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting.

Every year, there are two or three positions that are the focus of the NFL Draft.

In 2013, it was offensive tackle. In 2014, wide receiver was at the forefront of media coverage and draft talk. 2015 was all about defensive line and running back.

This year, the 2016 NFL Draft will have a bigger focus on the defensive front seven than any other position.

Four of the top five picks in the past two drafts have been edge rushers (Khalil Mack, Jadeveon Clowney, Anthony Barr and Vic Beasley), and this year’s crop is even better. Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence, Clemson’s Shaq Lawson and UCLA’s Leonard Floyd could all be top-10 picks in April’s draft.

There are also a boatload of talented defensive linemen that could come off the board in either Round 1 or Round 2 — including Alabama’s A’Shawn Robinson, Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler and Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah — plus a handful of versatile linebackers that can play inside or outside in a 3-4 or 4-3

For the first time in years, the NFL Draft will have a bigger focus on the defensive front seven. We saw it last year, and we’ll see it again this year with a handful of teams that need to improve their defensive fronts. It’s not just the pass rushers, either.

There are some teams that need to improve their run defense as well. And while I’m not going to be talking about every single team in the league, let’s take a look at some of the players who could be available for your team.

In this first piece we’re going to go over some of the defensive tackles who could be available for your team in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. As always, I’ll start with a draft board from CBSSports.com and then I’ll go through some of my favorite prospects and highlight where I think they fit best.

If you don’t know what position these players play, you can find out more about them by clicking on their name on the top page of this site.

The 2016 NFL Draft will have a bigger focus on the defensive front seven than we have seen in recent years. This year’s draft class is loaded with pass rushers and run defenders, and those are the players who stand to make the biggest impact.

Each week, I will give you my updated Big Board, which ranks the top 50 prospects overall. I will also update my positional rankings after each week of the college football season. After each update, I will write a blog explaining why I made the changes that I did.

One thing to keep in mind as you read this list: it’s a projection of where these players might be drafted, not necessarily how good they are or how good they will be. It’s a projection of what NFL teams might do with these players in April.

Last week I wrote about Myles Jack and why he is moving up my board. This week, I want to talk about two players who are moving down: Baylor WR Corey Coleman and TCU WR Josh Doctson. Both Coleman and Doctson are talented receivers who have been productive for their schools, but both have had issues with drops this year that concern me as evaluators.

The NFL Draft is a time for teams to reload their rosters with the best players available. This year’s draft will take place April 28-30 in Chicago, at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

It seems like every year, there are more and more draft prospects at a given position. Some years have been loaded with quarterbacks while others may appear to have a lot of offensive lineman. One thing is for certain, 2016 is a great year to be looking for defensive line or linebacker help.

The 2016 NFL Draft is loaded with defensive talent and should be a boon for teams looking to sure up their front sevens. There are quality edge rushers, nose tackles and middle linebackers, all being selected in the first round according to some projections.

This year there are also more defensive backs than most years. The cornerback class is led by Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey, but the group of safeties could be one of the best groups to come out in several years. Ohio State’s Vonn Bell and West Virginia’s Karl Joseph are two of the better safeties in this class, but there are plenty of other defenders who could be taken on Day 2 as well.

With the NFL draft fast approaching and the combine in the books, it’s time to take a look at exactly what needs each team has and how those needs could be addressed.

Teams that pick lower in the draft are often forced to take the best available player. But there are plenty of teams selecting in the top 10 with a glaring need on their roster that can be filled by one of the top prospects in this year’s draft.

The 2016 NFL draft is loaded with defensive talent. There are at least five players who could go in the second half of Round 1 who would have been first-round picks most years, and some of them might even go undrafted. In addition, there are about 20 players who could become solid starters and a handful who should be able to make an immediate impact as rookies.

I’ve gone through all 32 teams and identified their biggest weaknesses heading into next season. I’ve also listed my top five prospects at each position, which will change as we get closer to the start of free agency.

Of course, these projections aren’t just based on need; they’re also based on what I think each team will do if given the chance to select any player in this year’s NFL draft.

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