DeForest Buckner- Defensive End- Oregon
Size: 6’7 281lbs

 

DeForest Buckner was a force at Oregon. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Strengths:

  • Great size
  • Natural strength
  • Aggressive, high motor
  • Long arms
  • Athletic and versatile

Analysis: While many NFL experts have called Joey Bosa the better prospect, I believe DeForest Buckner will be the better pro. 2015 was Buckner’s breakout campaign, he generated top-¬≠end production by combining his power and dynamic athletic traits. Buckner improved his pad level as rusher creating dominating pocket push that he was able to convert into sacks and knockdowns. For a defensive end, he plays the run very well, combining for 163 tackles the last two seasons. His size allows him to play multiple positions depending on the scheme, from 4-3 DE or DT to 3-4 OLB, even 3-4 DE. He has a non-stop motor and his long arms prevent him from being engaged by offensive lineman. His strength is the key that sets him apart from Joey Bosa.

Weaknesses:

  • Plays tall out of snap
  • Knee bend
  • Needs to square shoulders before taking on defenders

Analysis: Similar to Bosa, DeForest Buckner plays too tall off the snap, needing to lower his pad level to win leverage battles with stronger NFL lineman. On tape, Buckner has habit of turning shoulders and getting knocked out of position rather than taking on blocks with squared up pads. Most of the weaknesses Buckner is getting tagged with are technique driven, meaning a solid defensive line coach can work to correct those issues. As the draft closes in, I expect DeForest Buckner to eventually pass Bosa as the better NFL prospect.

Draft Projection: Top 10

NFL Comparison: Mario Williams

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