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Mayock’s Top Interior D-Line Prospects in 2017 Draft

Posted Feb 14, 2017

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock released his first position-by-position rankings, starting with the interior defensive line

The offseason is underway with the NFL Combine just around the corner.

As general manager Thomas Dimitroff said last week following Super Bowl LI, the Falcons will enter this offseason without ‘any major holes’ on their roster; it’s all about building depth.

With the pre-draft process heating up, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock unveiled his position-by-position rankings.

One position group Atlanta could continue to bolster is the interior defensive line. Atlanta finished 17th in the league against the run, allowing 104.5 rushing yards a game and 28th against the pass, giving up an average of 266.7 yards per game. The Falcons finished 16th in sacks, tallying 34 in the regular season.

Head Coach Dan Quinn has often stressed the importance of the play at the line of scrimmage. The Falcons saw improvement from their defensive line in 2016, thanks to emergence of Grady Jarrett, Ra’Shede Hageman and Courtney Upshaw. Those three combined for five of Atlanta’s 10 postseason sacks.

Here’s a look at Mayock’s top interior defensive line prospects, with analysis from Lance Zierlein of NFL.com

Jonathan Allen, Alabama

Strengths: Athletic, quick off the ball. Has proven to be a vocal leader. Went to Alabama as an outside linebacker, speed shows in the open field.

Weaknesses: Lack of height and length for his specific position.

Caleb Brantley, Florida

Strengths: Plays with a real fire to him, commended for his strength, ability to shed blocks.

Weaknesses: Lacks lateral agility and quickness, not considered a “dynamic pass rusher” with hesitation regarding his ability to handle a snap count.

Malik McDowell, Michigan State

Strengths: Has “freakish” size and athleticism, with quick, strong hands.

Weaknesses: Knocked for his footwork and technique.

Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte

Strengths: Commended for his power and strike ability. Demonstrated ability to set the edge, well-balanced.

Weaknesses: At 6’3 and 304 lbs, considered to have an “average build.”

Chris Wormley, Michigan

Strengths: Moves considerably well for his size (6’5, 297lbs), sets the edge with good technique and discipline.

Weaknesses: Lacks explosive first step, hand quickness.

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