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Draft prospects to watch at each position — Defense

Syndication: Online Athens Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Edge Rusher

Andrew Aziz’s Pick — George Karlaftis

Karlaftis has the size to play at 5 tech or even as a 3 tech if needed. He is strong at the point of attack and has shown to be very aggressive with his hands (also showing proper placement). He wasn’t very productive last season, but that’s due to be the only real threat in the entire Purdue front 7 so he saw a lot more double teams and attention, similar to what Aidan Hutchinson saw at Michigan. If Hutcinson is Versace, then Karlaftis is Hugo Boss.

Elliot Denton-Singh’s Pick — Arnold Ebeketie

Ebeketie is flying under the radar in this years NFL draft edge class. Ebeketie has the size, athleticism and length to be a productive edge rusher in the NFL. He has very good hands in both the pass and run games. He produced last year in college after taking over from Odafe Oweh and racked up 18 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks.


Defensive Tackle

Andrew Aziz’s Pick — Jordan Davis

I feel Davis is getting disrespected. 6’6 350 pounder nose tackles who run like they’re 290 pounds don’t come around often or ever. He was productive at Georgia, but with his size, speed and strength, you take him in the top 10 and build around him. He can easily eat up 2 gaps and does have pass rushing ability on top of being an incredible run stopper. If he drops outside the top 10, some team is getting an absolute steal.

Elliot Denton-Singh’s Pick — DeMarvin Leal

Leal isn’t getting much notice in the run up to the draft but he really should be. He’s such an explosive defensive linemen who is so smooth and nimble moving around the line. Leal should make a very good 3 tech defensive tackle in the NFL wheee he can use his explosive get off to attack offensive linemen and destroy the pocket from within.


Linebacker

Andrew Aziz’s Pick — Nakobe Dean

Dean is the best linebacker in this year’s class. While Lloyd is incredibly versatile and could do everything well, one thing that Dean has are incredible instincts. Instincts are the toughest things to teach, especially at the NFL level when the game is so fast so that coupled with Dean’s incredible range is something I’ll take any day of the week.

Elliot Denton-Singh’s Pick — Chad Muma

Chad Muma is a heat seeking middle at linebacker and when he sees the ball he gets the ball. He has an aggressive mentality and attacks ball carriers. Muma averaged 11 tackles per game in college and also played on special teams which only adds to his value. He has great size, good speed and I’d s sure tackler.


Defensive Back

Andrew Aziz’s Pick — Daxton Hill

I’m a sucker for versatile and smart safeties and Hill definitely fits that mold. He can do it all: tackle well, make plays in coverage, play multiple positions and has great IQ. He is going to be a reliable, consistent starter for many years to come.

Elliot Denton-Singh’s Pick — Kaiir Elam

Kair Elam has great height, size and speed and will hold up very well in press coverage in the NFL. He has fluid hips and great mobility in shadowing receivers. Elam has great awareness in zone which gives him the flexibility to play in a variety of coverages. He plays bigger than he is in pass coverage and is a sure tackler.