2019 NFL draft: Early defensive linemen scouting reports | SI.com – Sports Illustrated

There are a few simple things that you need to know about the 2019 NFL draft class, specifically the defensive linemen.

Ohio State DE Nick Bosa is thought to be better than his brother Joey—who was drafted by the Chargers with the No. 3 pick in 2016—was at this point, and Nick might not even be the best defensive-line prospect in this class. And Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence, who grabbed the NFL’s attention after his true freshman season in 2016, will have to fight to be the third player drafted—he might not even be the first from his own school.

If last year’s draft revolved around the quarterbacks, next year’s is shaping up to be about drafting players who will punish them. Tell an NFL evaluator that more than half of the guys drafted in the top 10 in April 2019 will be a defensive lineman, and you’ll be met with a shrug, and a nod. One college scouting director put it plainly via text: “If the top juniors declare, the 2019 defensive line class could be one of the deeper position in recent memory—at any position. There will good players drafted each day [at those positions].”

In the coming weeks, there’s a good chance that Rams’ Aaron Donald and Raiders’ Khalil Mack reconfigure the way that defensive-pressure players are rewarded in today’s NFL, just like Ndamukong Suh and Von Miller did three years ago. And the surest bet there is going into the 2019 draft cycle is that next year’s defensive line class will affirm how the NFL values them.

“[Nick is] not as rangy [as Joey], but just as freaky and he’s stronger. He’s hell on wheels” said one NFC exec about the Bosas. “[Houston’s] Ed Oliver … [I was at a game where] he sprints down the field in

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