Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Draft: Defensive Linemen to Watch

A few defensive linemen to keep an eye on when the NFL Draft kicks off.


NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's top 5 players at the defensive end position.

Early on:** With the Buccaneers' signing of Chris Baker this spring, it's unlikely the team will target a defensive tackle with their first-round pick. But the Bucs could be in the market for a pass-rusher, and there should be plenty available when they make their selection at No. 19. Texas A&M's Myles Garrett and Stanford's Solomon Thomas are considered to be the two top defensive ends in this year's class, but both will be long gone by the bottom of the first round. Tennessee's Derek Barnett, Michigan's Taco Charlton and Missouri's Charles Harris could all be on the board and all three have been linked to the Buccaneers this offseason. Harris and Barnett were both listed as potential selections for Tampa Bay in this week's Mock Draft Roundup.


Defensive linemen participate in drills during the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Mid-round picks:** Despite playing for a smaller school, Villanova's Tanoh Kpassagnon could be a good fit in the third or fourth round. The 6-foot-7 defensive end put together a strong week at Senior Bowl practices and recorded 11 sacks during 2016, which were the fifth-most in the FCS. Florida's Caleb Brantley and Notre Dame's Jarron Jones could be two interior defensive linemen still on the board in the third or fourth round, should the Buccaneers look to add depth behind Baker and Gerald McCoy.

Late-round steals: Miami's Al-Quadin Muhammad appeared in just 17 games during his college career, but his intangibles still earned him an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine. He's 6-foot-3, 255 pounds and could be utilized as an outside linebacker in addition to a traditional defensive end position. In those 17 games he played, he recorded seven sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss. Muhammad was one of the top pass-rushers in high school, but hasn't played football in two of the last three seasons. He could be available in the seventh round or as an undrafted free agent. Also keep an eye on Southern Mississippi defensive tackle Dylan Bradley.

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