Andrew Diaz's All Draft Team: Defense
The defenders in this draft are remarkably talented.
Interior Defensive Line
Jordan Davis, Georgia: Jordan Davis is a monster; it befuddles me that a man of his size moves in the way that he does. At the combine, the 6'6, 341 pound defensive tackle ran a 4.78 40 yard dash and vertical jumped 32 inches. WHAT?! Along with that, he made 32 tackles and 2 sacks on a loaded Georgia defensive line.
Travis Jones, UConn: It would have been easy to put Devonte Wyatt as the other defensive tackle, but Travis Jones went from a diamond in the rough to a potential day one selection. He was essentially the only bright spot on the Huskies dismal roster in 2021 which is saying a lot. Jones, a CT native, recorded 48 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season and will be a menace in the middle for whoever grabs him.
Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan: There's no way I could leave off a guy that was in the race for the Heisman Trophy. Hutchinson really broke out in 2021 as he only had 4.5 sacks in his three prior seasons; this past season he had 14. To go with his 14 sacks, Hutchinson made 62 tackles and forced 2 fumbles. Hutchinson bends the edge nicely and transitions from speed to power and power to speed in an elite manner.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon: It was between Travon Walker and Thibodeuax but I don't see the hype around Walker and I love how Thibodeuax plays. Thibodeuax is long, lean, and mean and in ten games in 2021, he made 49 tackles and 7 sacks. He plays a lot, A LOT, like Josh Allen and I'm predicting will have a more fruitful career than the Jacksonville pass rusher has had. Thibodeuaxs explosion and first step is undoubtedly great and will make him a force to reckoned with right off the rip in the NFL.
Nakobe Dean, Georgia: While the Bulldogs defensive line was the star of Georgias defense, Nakobe Dean made those big fellas right. His talent in immense and he has great upside. In 2021, Dean recorded 72 tackles and 6 sacks; to put that into perspective, Travon Walker had 6, Jordan Davis had 2, and Devonte Wyatt had 2.5. Dean was the true anchor of the defense and was a primary reason that the Bulldogs hoisted the National Championship trophy.
Devin Lloyd, Utah: If we're talking about the best athletes in this draft class, it is imperative that you mention Devin Lloyds name. He ran a 4.6 40, had a 35 inch vert, and benched 225 25 times. Now look at him on the field. He did everything. Number zero tallied 111 tackles, 8 sacks, 4 interceptions, and broke up 8 passes. Lloyd is going to be an unreal player in the NFL because there are no weak spots in his game.
Chad Muma, Wyoming: Much like Travis Jones, Chad Mumas stock has been rising. The top two linebackers are solidified in Lloyd and Dean, but Muma is my lock as the third. Muma was a tackling machine at Wyoming in 2021; he made 142 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and picked off 3 passes. His play reminds me a lot of prime Sean Lee as he's not going to make a lot of noise in a game, but when you check the stat sheet his name will be all over it. He'll be a second round steal for whoever needs an efficient linebacker.
Ahmad Sauce Gardner, Cincinnati: Sauce is goo-, no, no, no, a GREAT prospect. While at Cincinnati, Gardner didn't allow a single touchdown; and he played against Jameson Williams, Slade Bolden, and Gabriel Davis. While his career fascinates me, this past season he had was nuts. Gardner made 40 tackles, picked off 3 passes, and tallied 3 sacks. Just a jack of all trades.
Derek Stingley Jr., Louisiana State: I really think that people forget how good Derek Stingley is. Part of that is because he only played in three games this year and the other part is that Sauce Gardner was a machine. In 2019, Stingley picked off 6 passes and made 38 tackles, but if you look at who he faced it's even more impressive. He saw Van Jefferson, Tee Higgins, CeeDee Lamb, and George Pickens and played great as a true freshman. Stingley will be a steal between picks 9-15.
Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame: How much more do I need to say it? I LOVE KYLE HAMILTON. I've already poured my heart into an article about Hamilton and how his 40 time should be disregarded if you've watched any film, but I'll do it again. Hamilton flies around the field and makes the guys in front of him right. His coverage is ridiculous if you watch the Florida State game when he tracks down a ball from across the field and turns it into an interception. He's the second best defensive back in the draft and should be a top ten selection.
Daxton Hill, Michigan: The second safety pick was like picking a running back for the offense; I really toiled over it and it came down to Jaquan Brisker and Daxton Hill, but I like Hills play a lot more. He plays with great aggression in run support and is super versatile. Hill has the ability to play anywhere in the secondary which elevates his draft stock and makes him a more appealing candidate at the backend of the first round.