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, NFLPA aiming to reach new CBA prior to 2019 seasonNew,16commentsPotentially good news for football fans. EDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:Report: NFL, NFLPA aiming to reach new CBA prior to 2019 seasonTwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Bud LiteRemember the NFL lockout back in 2011? I do. It sucked!Instead of being able to look forward to the upcoming football season, fans were stuck following along with a bunch of boring legal stuff.It was a relief that the work stoppage didn’t last into the regular season, though it did stretch out until late July. Eagles fans will (unfortunately) remember that time well. It was the birth of the dreaded “Dream Team” era, after all. Philadelphia signed a bunch of free agents (Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Vince Young, Cullen Jenkins, Ronnie Brown, Evan Mathis) right as a shortened training camp began. Sorry to remind you.The (potentially) good news is that it looks like there might not be another lockout in the near future. Check out this new reporting from ESPN’s Dan Graziano:Finalizing a new CBA before this upcoming season pretty optimistic. Too optimistic, I’d say. From the outside looking in, it seems like the gap between the owners and the players isn’t a small one to bridge. Think back to Malcolm Jenkins comments from earlier this year: So, yeah. It’d be surprising if a new deal came together so quickly. At the very least Youth Avonte Maddox Jerseys
, it’s encouraging to hear the NFL and the NFLPA are talking and potentially making progress. There’s still plenty of time before the 2021 season gets here.A deal getting done before the 2019 season would be great news for football fans. It’d be ideal if the new CBA is finalized by the 2021 offseason at the latest so that a lockout doesn’t interrupt free agency and whatnot leading up to the 2021 season.Again, there’s a lot of time for things to change. Hopefully this optimism doesn’t end up being for naught. We know the Philadelphia Eagles love this defensive line class. Is that love justified? For the interior defensive linemen, there surely isn’t a lack of top end talent. This could help push down other excellent interior prospects throughout the draft. The depth of the class isn’t what I thought it would be, but there’s a good mix of specialists once you get past the obvious headliners.I’ve finished preliminary grading on the top of the class and present to you, gentle reader, my pre-Combine rankings.Important Context You’ve Already Scrolled Past:Height/weight listings are from (probably unreliable) school listings unless otherwise noted.Players listed have at least 3 games of film study done.Final Grade results from a formula that takes into account universal factors (play strength, mental processing, etc.) and position-specific traits (use of hands, first step explosiveness, pass rush ability, etc.)Grading not final. More film may be required & athleticism score includes elements of athletic testing.1. QUINNEN WILLIAMS – Alabama (6’4”, 295)My top ranked player in the entire class, Williams is a slam dunk lock to be off the board in lightning speed. In his first full season as a starter, he racked up 8 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss. That’s tremendous production for an interior defensive lineman.Williams has the first step Avonte Maddox Jerseys Stitched
, heavy hands, flexibility, motor and a full toolbox of pass rush moves that teams will covet. His games against LSU and Ole Miss were two of the best films I’ve seen from any player this year. You won’t find an easier evaluation in this years’ class.Summary: Immediate impact starter. Run to the podium.Grade: 85.7 (Early 1st Round)2. ED OLIVER – Houston (6’3”, 292)Oliver received a ton of hype coming into the season, but he failed to move the needle further in 2018. The 2017 film looks very similar, which is where the problem lies. Well, not really a problem, as he’s still an incredible prospect. Still, Oliver failed to develop counters and improve on his hand usage while being embroiled in a weird situation with his coaching staff.There are also some concerns over Oliver’s size and some teams have reportedly considered moving him to linebacker. That listing of 292 pounds feels like a big fat lie, but I’m not as concerned as others. If teaching a potentially dominant 3-tech to be a linebacker seems foolish, it’s because it probably is. Besides, if you’re interested in rewiring Oliver’s brain to read runs from an off-ball alignment and teach him how coverage works, you probably won’t value him high enough to draft him anyway.Oliver is a 3-tech, plain and simple. He may need to add 10 pounds to be effective from that alignment in the NFL Youth Ron Jaworski Jerseys
, but he’s likely only a loaf of bread a day away from reaching that mark. All that aside, Oliver remains a disruptive force with crazy athleticism for his size. A potential move to linebacker wouldn’t even be discussed if he wasn’t a freak on the move. He’ll have issues with play strength against gap schemes, but more times than not he’s going to beat you with his explosiveness and flexibility. Top tier prospect.Summary: Immediate starter at 3-tech and instant upgrade to pass rush.Grade: 81.0 (Early/Mid 1st Round)3. JEFFERY SIMMONS – Mississippi State (6’4”, 310)Love the player, hate the backstory. It’s going to be a challenge for teams to balance those two aspects. On one hand you have a monster of a man that is a force against the run and pass. On the other, do you want to make the face of your draft haul a player that pleaded “no contest” to simple assault on a woman?On the field, Simmons has a red hot motor with the range to consistently make plays outside of the core of the formation. His length and get off allow him to secure his gap early in the rep and his 18 tackles for a loss in 2018 speak to those qualities.Simmons’ polish as a pass rusher is always on display, which is a heavily weighted factor in my grading formula. He’s going to provide a solid interior push along with clean wins in passing situations.Summary: Immediate, 3-down starter. Background flag.Grade: 80.3 (Early/Mid 1st Round)4. CHRISTIAN WILKINS – Clemson (6’4”, 315)Wilkins just gets after it. Whatever he lacks in length, he more than makes up for with high quality traits. He understands how to use his hands and read his keys while possessing good balance and flexibility. He also has better movement skills than you would expect from a man his size. A dog in pursuit, Wilkins is a playmaker whether being run at or away from.Wilkins works from snap-to-whistle and will refuse to stay blocked in passing situations. Does a great job leveraging himself into a position to disengage and brings the requisite juice needed to be productive in the NFL. You’ll see his name linked to the Eagles a ton as we work through the pre-draft process.Summary: Immediate starter from multiple inside alignments. 3-down player.Grade: 74.6 (Early 2nd Round)5. DRE’MONT JONES – Ohio State (6’3”, 286)If Jones had better discipline with his pad level he’d be a first round prospect. Freeze frame him at the first step after the snap and too often he’s the highest player off the ball. This is going to lead to him getting washed out of plays when a lower pad level would’ve given him a fighting chance.With that out of the way, let’s talk about why I still value Jones so highly. First off Ron Jaworski Jerseys Stitched
, dude can boogie. We’re talking fantastic quickness and bend around the arc from the interior, which should show up in his Combine numbers. 13 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2018 point to his disruptive ability.You’ll be able to move him around in passing situations, which plays well into what the Eagles like to do with their front four. Jones may start his career as a situational pass rusher until he adds bulk and gains polish, but defensive line coaches should be salivating over his skill set.Summary: Situational pass rusher with future 3-down starter potential.Grade: 69.6 (Late 2nd Round)Rounding Out the Group鈥exas’ Charles Omenihu is a player a value highly that is going to require more vetting on my end. There’s a very good chance he ends up grading higher than Dre’Mont Jones, but more tape study is needed. The first two games I watched of him were against fast paced offenses in Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, which made the entire defense gas out quick. Is it a cause for concern? Probably not, as Omenihu has showed much better in the other games I’ve viewed. Tough evaluation, but a very good player regardless.Michigan’s Rashan Gary is a frustrating evaluation that will likely test well and go high, but is he an interior defensive lineman? I think he’s a strong side defensive end that you’ll need to kick inside for passing downs. I currently have a second round grade on Gary. His lack of consistency, sputtering motor, and lack of a plan as a pass rusher are to prevalent on film for me to feel comfortable selecting him in the first round.The Combine will be important for Notre Dame’s Jerry Tillery, who has some stiffness to his lower body that’s accentuated by pad level issues. 7 sacks in 2018 is hard to ignore and right now providing an interior push will be his early path to success while the rest of his game develops. Risky boom-bust prospect. Fit with the right coaching staff will be key.Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence keeps getting mocked in the first round, and to the Eagles as well, but I don’t see the appeal. I left his summer evaluation of 2017 film underwhelmed Womens Shareef Miller Jersey
, but gave him the benefit of the doubt due to a foot injury. In 2018 I saw more of the same. He’s going to be a fantastic run defender, but I have serious questions about his ability to stay on the field in passing situations. How much value you place on run defense will dictate how much you value Lawrence. My grading system has more of an emphasis on rushing the passer, which pushes him down the board.Arizona State’s Renell Wren takes care of his gap, which is nice, but that’s about it. Too many plays he’s in position to make go right around him. There’s still enough there to like as a reliable run defender, if you’re into that kind of thing. I kind of am, but mainly in the Day 3 range.Texas A&M’s Daylon Mack impressed during Shrine Week, which earned him a meeting with the Eagles. He was then bumped up to the Senior Bowl where he continued to have a solid pre-draft process.More film study needed on Alabama’s Isaiah Buggs and Miami’s Gerald Willis but early returns indicate they would not threaten the top 5 of the group.