Joey Bosa and DeForest Buckner are arguably the two best defensive line prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft. The scouting combine gives one of them a chance to edge the other out.
The 2016 NFL Scouting Combine has finally arrived and there are a multitude of prospects who could end up improving their draft stock through impressive athletic performances. On the other side, there are a handful of others who could find their stock drop.
As the media gears up for the multi-day event, all eyes will be on top prospects like secondary player Jalen Ramsey, offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, and defensive end Joey Bosa, not to mention a handful of quarterbacks who always attract plenty of attention.
For fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the most appealing players will be on the defensive side of the ball. A player like Ramsey could immediately change the defensive prospects of the 2016 Jaguars, helping to revamp an historically bad defense over the past few seasons. Ramsey’s primary competition for a possible safety in the early draft is Vernon Hargreaves and, barring a truly impressive combine performance, it looks like an outside chance that Hargreaves is good enough to warrant a top-five selection.
With Ramsey seemingly well ahead of his competition (there are other secondary players worth considering, of course), the more appealing comparisons will be along the defensive line.
The Jaguars struggled through 2015, fielding backup-quality players at almost every position along the D-Line throughout the season. Dante Fowler Jr., the first round selection in 2015, couldn’t take the field all season due to injury. Finding another young player to pair with Fowler is a tempting notion.
Which brings us back to defensive line prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft.
There is no better all around prospect than Joey Bosa, coming out of Ohio State. He is strong against the run and Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the best and second-best pass rusher in the last two years. His primary competition may end up being DeForest Buckner out of Oregon. PFF has them ranked as the two best prospects in the entire draft. Other sites have similar ratings for both of these players, often finishing in the top-five and top-10.
Whoever gets the edge may be the person who performs most in the scouting combine this weekend. Players who are able to prove their physical abilities were no joke in college are often capable of putting up impressive measurables in the combine. Comparing these two players side by side has to have some general managers salivating. They’re closely rated right now at NFL.com, with Buckner gaining the lead as a prospect.
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Keep an eye on these two and see if one of them is able to jump ahead over the other with an impressive combine performance. There are other defensive linemen to consider, of course, and there could be another Vic Beasley explosion in 2016, but for now it looks like Bosa and Buckner are the ones to watch.