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April 12, 2022 35 mins

In this episode of the Tape Heads: Draft Season podcast, hosts Bob Wischusen and Greg Cosell discuss where teams are right now while preparing for the Draft.  Now just two weeks away, we've got players visiting teams and Greg explains how evaluations could be changing.  We move to the defensive tackles and what Bob thinks are some of the most intriguing prospects we're seeing from this class of players. Looking at some of the prime prospects, Greg points out that most of them didn't play often on 3rd downs with distance.  Depending on the needs of the team, it will be interesting to see where these prospects come off the Draft board.  We turn to the prospects like Jordan Davis, Travon Walker, Devonte Wyatt, DeMarvin Leal, Phidarian Mathis, Matthew Butler, and Neil Farrell.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:03):
Tape Eds' is a production of I Heart Media and
the NFL. Welcome to another week, another edition of tapeds
Draft Season. As now we actually have the finish line
in our sites, Bobo Shoes and longtime radio voice of
the New York Jets college football for ESPN as well,

(00:24):
and the guy you want to hear from every week
as we go through all of these prospects. And again,
we don't do the mock drafts on this podcast as
much as we take a deeper dive behind the xers
and o's that hopefully the real football nerds like us
will appreciate and nobody, and I say this with all
love and respect, is a bigger football nerd than Greg
cost but as nerdy as anybody I've ever met in football.

(00:44):
And I love it because we can take that deep
dive every week. Of course, Greg, you've been watching him
NFL films, breakdown games each week, NFL Match Up, the
Show on ESPN and also UH for forty plus years.
He has been going behind the Xers and o's looking
at the all twenty two not just breaking down regular
season actual NFL game, but also at this time of

(01:04):
the year, the draft prospects because that's what we're talking about.
And Greg, we actually, as I said, can see the tape. Right,
we've kind of hit the home stretch. It's about two
weeks away now from Draft night and getting this draft underway,
and teams right now, I would guess are probably really
starting to put the final touches on their board. This process. Now,

(01:25):
once you get about two weeks away, I'm sure if
you go into an NFL team's war room, a lot
of the homework, you know, as they say, the hey
is in the barn, right. They have now gone to
the combine, they've had visit, they've gone through free agency,
they've done their reports. Now it's about bringing all your scouts,
your entire personnel department to your facility. All these guys

(01:45):
the travel of country all year, going everywhere to watch
these prospects. Now they come to your building and they
basically spent two weeks in a bunker getting the final
touches on this draft board. Right, I mean, how what
percentage of the work do you think is now done
at this point for NFL teams? I would think if
they're good at it, Bob, close to the only thing

(02:07):
that would remain is there are still some um in
house visits as it were, with players this week, maybe
even next week. But beyond that, all the study is done. Uh,
All the tape work is done, for sure, All the
postseason work is done, because, as you said, the combines done,

(02:28):
the pro days I think are essentially done. There may
be a few left, but I think for the most part,
teams have their boards relatively set. They would have to
be something dramatic to me at this point that would
change a team's draft board. Now, maybe they bring a
player in that they really liked on tape and they've
heard pretty good things about and they really can't stand

(02:50):
them when they interview them and spend a day with them.
Maybe that changes something. But for the most part, you know,
the thing that always amazes me is the way people
start changing their evaluations of players. You know, so many
people do obviously draft work now, and they change their
evaluation of players based on what Because if you don't
work for a team, you're not getting this inside information.

(03:13):
So what are you changing your evaluation? You watched one
more game. If you watch six games, that seventh game
is going to make you change your evaluation. Of course,
not so people just change it because they talked to
someone who tells them something. But for me, I sit
here and I study tape all day and that's that's
what I do. So I can't speak to these guys

(03:35):
characters and personalities, and that's a factor. But as as
you've let the people know with me, it's based on
the tape study well and for us as well. If
you've followed our podcast going back when we first started
this about a month ago, to take you all the
way up through draft season and through the draft itself,
we've kind of checked every box. Right. Look, we've done
the quarterbacks, We've done the wide receivers. We've talked running backs,

(03:56):
we've talked pass rushers, we've talked corners and safeties. One
position though that we haven't gotten to yet that I
think is a really interesting position. And there are guys
that are on this board that are going to be
some of the most fascinating prospects athletically, especially at this
point considering their size and athleticism, are defensive tackles, and

(04:17):
there are some guys that give your team needs help
on the d line. There are we've talked about the
Thibodeaus and the Hutchinson's, the pass rushers. But the guys
that play in between the guards, that are you know,
gap eaters, that are guys that when the run game
gets talked about, are the keys if your team needs
one of those guys. There are certainly guys to talk

(04:38):
about in this draft, and we'll get to the prospects,
but I think to start that discussion just your take
on how that position has evolved over the years. Like
we talked a lot about the fact that, you know,
we don't live in the world of the Earl Campbell's
and Tony Dorsets and Walter Payton's anymore where outside of
maybe Derrick Henry, teams don't base their entire offense around

(04:59):
handing the ball to a workhorse running back of thirty
times a game. That just that's not the kind of
football that's played. Me more so, how does that change
the interior defensive tackle position evaluation when you know that
unless you play the Titans, you're not playing against teams
that used to play the way we watched in the

(05:19):
eighties and nineties, you know. And it's funny you mentioned
that because this weekend I was finishing up my work
with the Georgia defense. Because George has eight guys who
are to combine, and obviously I can't watch all eight
guys at one time, so I had to do it
in bits and pieces. And I was just cleaning up
Jordan Davis, the big d tackle, and Davonte Wyatt, another
player who's being talked about as a first round pick,

(05:41):
and Bob. It started me thinking. We talked about the
run game and its value, as you said, and you're
so correct to point out that very few teams, Tennessee
being one of the very few that really says, here's
our run game, this is what we do. You need
to stop our run game in a very conventional sense. Obviously,
the Baltimore Ravens have a different kind of run game

(06:03):
with all Mark Jackson, but a traditional conventional run game.
Going back, you mentioned some backs. I mean, George Rodgers
was the first pick in the draft in one, Billy
Sims I believe was the first pick in eighty. That
kind of football is not played anymore. So it got
me thinking, then, what is the value of a defensive
tackle and interior defensive lineman into day's NFL If that

(06:28):
player is not going to play one in your sub defense,
meaning nickel or dime and two if he's not going
to play on third down the money down in this league?
So what is the value of that player? And I
kept going back and forth in my head, and my
guess is a lot of people would have different answers
to that question. But you know, when we'll get too

(06:50):
specific players. I'm just using Jordan Davis as an example
for our conceptual part of the conversation. He hardly ever
played it on third and passing situations. He might have
played on third down when it was third one or
third and two, which is not necessarily a passing situation,
but he did not play on third and passing situation

(07:11):
down a distance. So what is the value of Jordan Davis?
Even if you love the player on tape and you
love what he does in the run game, is that
player a top fifteen, top twelve pick? And to be
honest with you, I think that's a very debatable point. Well,
it is, and it's fascinating to think about where you

(07:33):
would want to take that guy. But at the same time,
when you like Aaron Donalds is primarily an interior defensive line,
but he's a pass rusher, and he's a pass rush sure,
so maybe that's the box that has to be checked.
But I mean, he's he's the defensive player of the year, right,
Like he's he might be the best defensive player in football.

(07:54):
And there are other guys like a Vita Villa or
a Fletcher Cox, right, guys that play on the interior
of the defensive line that are massively impactful and can
be in the games they play because they can push
the pocket and rush the quarterback. So I guess the
question would be when you're if you're an NFL team
and you taking a look at these players, do you

(08:15):
not throw out their ability to maybe play two gap
and stop the run. Obviously have to be able to
do that, but do you maybe first look at athleticism
and pass rush ability from the interior defensive line to say, oh, okay,
like this guy can do what I need a guy
in modern day football to be able to do from
that position. Yeah, And and that that was my thought

(08:37):
during the weekend when I was watching the Georgia defense.
You mentioned some players. First of all, Aaron Donald is
a great pass rusher, and Aaron Donald can line up
as a y defensive end and rush the quarterback. We've
seen him do that. We've seen Fletcher Cox do that
he's a pass rusher. Now he's older, but in his prime,
Fletcher Cox could rush the quarterback. Fletcher Cox played defensive

(08:59):
end at Mississippi State many many snaps when he came
out of college. So we're you made the correct point.
We're talking about the ability to rush the quarterback and
versatility in alignment in your sub defensive fronts. The players
like that. The Coxes, the Aaron Donald for service Jones

(09:19):
comes to mind, right like I got you can go
hit the quarterback from anywhere on the defensive great point.
So those guys clearly have value. You want those guys.
You know, if a player is simply a run defender, okay,
and and essentially does not have alignment versatility across your
defensive front, what is the value of that player? Because

(09:41):
I know you talk too many old time coaches and
they still many of them will still start with the
idea that, oh, your defense has to start with stopping
the run. But if you talk to a lot of
younger defensive coaches, the first thing they say is, we've
got to stop the explosive pass plays. So where is
the balance there? Look, no one wants to be just

(10:01):
gutted by the run game. We know that, we know
that there's a physical element to that that wears you
down and that beat you up. We get that, but
not many offenses play that way right now. And the
thought process for a lot of defensive coaches is that
we have to start defending the past to make sure

(10:22):
that we do not give up big plays in the
passing game, and will defend the run on the way
to the quarterback. And you can also scheme to defend
the run, as you well know, Bob, if you're facing
a team that you know really has let's say a
high percentage based on film study of first and ten
runs or or whatever the percentage may be in a

(10:42):
given down in distance, you can scheme to stop the run.
You don't necessarily need just big bodies in order to
do that, right, And one other question that I would have,
and maybe i'm describing a unicorn type player, you know,
and Aaron Donald, but the fact that team's run game,
like if you think about the most productive running backs

(11:03):
when healthy in the NFL, like a Christian McCaffrey, they
are guys that get thrown the ball a lot, and
a lot of it is the screen game. So how
much are you looking for, if you're an NFL prognosticator,
for an interior defensive lineman, a player that's athletic enough
to factor in that area of the field where like
I can engage, I can discard, and I've got the

(11:25):
athleticism to get out and be a tackler against a
team screen game, because that is going to be for
many teams their run game, right that that's where they're
gonna get the running back the football. You know, you
don't think of all right, I got a three pound
interior defensive lineman. That's why you scream to get away
from those guys, right, Like, that guy can't go get
my running back if I get into ball in space.

(11:47):
But vitave again, so is a very athletic guy. By
the way, he's also signed up a defensive end, by
the way, So how far how hard is it to
find that guy? It's very hard to find that guy,
extremely hard. And the other point, just as we wrap
up here for a second this kind versation is who
would have thought, years ago, Bob, how many teams run

(12:09):
game would actually be founded on the shotgun. You know,
years and years ago you never saw a run game
unless the quarterback was under center, and it was what
we call conventional nowadays, teams run out of the shotgun
with three wide receivers on the field. That is the
foundation of many teams run game in the NFL. It's
not old school. Sure, there are teams with fallbacks, no question,

(12:32):
but it's not That's not the way most teams run
the ball in the NFL now, Yeah, it's It is
a fascinating position with the evolution of football to try
and diagnose what you've got and how high a player
at that position is worthy of being drafted. And when
we come back, we're going to dive into the prospects.
Who they are, what do they do well? Can they

(12:54):
do what Greg is saying they have to be able
to do? Now we'll go deep into the line of
scrimmage and if your team needs some help on the
interior defensive line, is this going to be a draft
class that's gonna get you the player unique Greg, we'll
tell you that next when we come back on tap
Heeds Draft season. We are back on tape Heeds Draft season,
Bobo shoos of Greg co Cell doing a deep dive

(13:14):
as we take you up to the NFL Draft, which
is a couple of weeks away, and we really are
now in the home stretch of teams finalizing their boards
and also us talking about these prospects. And as we
said and segment one of this episode, defensive tackle, interior
defensive line positions we haven't talked about yet. And there's

(13:34):
plenty of guys that you know are going to get drafted,
but how well do they blend into what you need
out of an interior defensive lineman in today's NFL with
the evolution of offenses and the style of the running
game and the running backs themselves. And so, Greg, let's
get to some of these guys. You said you did
a deep dive into the Georgia defense, and you could
almost draft the entire Georgia defense, right, and you could

(13:56):
just you know, put them all in the NFL. But um,
there are three guys that will be on or boarding
on many teams boards to talk about that play this
area of the field. Jordan Davis was really that that's
the freakazoid guy from the Combine, right, I mean, he
basically ran for his position what amounts to like a
three five forty, right, I mean he was just he

(14:18):
blew the top off of the combine. So start with
Jordan Davis and what you think he is as an
NFL player. He was a fascinating study, Bob. Um. We
know he's a massive man. He came in at six
six and three eight and three forty one, and everybody
knows he ran a four seven eight forty at the combine,
which obviously is ridiculous for a man that size. But

(14:40):
when you watch him play and and this is something
that really stood out to me, and I want to
try to make this as clear as I can, because
there's a significant difference everybody always says with a player
like that. And by the way, he is a run
defense player. He's a base defense defensive tackle. George's coaching

(15:01):
staff did not play him on third in passing situations.
Third down and passing situations. So that tells you that
this coaching staff, which I think is pretty smart since
they won a national championship and they've got a lot
of good players and many will be NFL starters. Um,
they did not believe that his traits lent themselves to

(15:22):
playing on third down in passing situations. That cannot be discounted.
But the point I really wanted to make is with Davis.
He really draws the distinction between two words that are
thrown around a lot, strength and power. Strength is the
ability to just hold yourself in one spot and fend

(15:46):
off movements, so you can just stand there and you
can hold off offensive lineman, which he does exceptionally well.
Um strength is more of a stationary kind of concept.
Power is different, and Jordan Davis is not powerful. The
way to think of power is strength in motion, force, velocity.

(16:11):
Jordan Davis is not a powerful player. He's a strong player.
He doesn't move people. He just stops people. So power
is the ability to play with velocity, force and and
velocity and force, whereas strength is much more about just
controlling and dominating a short area. That is what Jordan

(16:34):
Davis does exceptionally well. He dominates a small area with strength,
but he doesn't really move people. So he's a base
defense defensive tackle. He's really good at that. What what
is his value? Was he a top ten, top twelve
pick in the draft? If Kirby Smart is not going

(16:55):
to play him in passing situations? Are you going to
be playing him in passing situations in the NFL? And again,
I don't know the d trip to that, Bob, But
I think that's a fascinating conversation to have before people
just throw out automatically that this guy is a top
ten pick or a top twelve pick. Well, I would
ask two questions, and they both might be kind of dumb,

(17:16):
But I do think there's no questions. Well, you haven't
hung around with me long enough. Um, George's defense allowed
like a touchdown a game they were in his historically
great defense in college football, you can recruit as many
dudes as you want, and they can. You can recruit
the ten best pass rushers out of high school in
the nation and have them all on your team. We

(17:39):
know that they had great pass rushers on their team.
They may have a personnel luxury correct at Georgia that
you don't have in the NFL. If you're drafting Jordan Davis,
it means your defensive line is bad. George's defensive line
was probably the best in college football without Jordan Davis,
so maybe you had the ability to take him off
the field in passing situations just because you had better

(18:02):
at that particular Uler's skill on their defense most likely
will not be the case wherever he goes in the NFL,
So is there a chance that his NFL team is saying, look, man,
we drafted you in the top ten or top fifteen
because we have no dudes up front. Maybe you have
to go rush the rush the passer like we need
you on the field because you're the best we've got

(18:23):
even if you weren't the best on your own college defense. Well,
here's something else to consider. And I'm not sure how
this plays out at the next level either. He only
played about twenty to twenty two snaps per game. Think
about that, Bob, and in in college football, where teams
tend to run more plays than they do in the
NFL because almost every college team, with few exceptions, plays

(18:46):
tempo and doesn't huddle. Now that doesn't mean they play
fast all the time, but they don't huddle, so they
run more snaps. So he only played twenty to twenty
two snaps per game. So the question is can he
come into the NFL and now play forty or forty
five snaps per game. These are all things you have
to think about. And I'm not suggesting he can't become

(19:07):
a better pass rusher. You know, guys, do not enter
the NFL has totally finished products. Guys, can improve. Guys
do get coached, Guys get better nutrition, they get better training.
We know all those things happen, but it's just something
to think about without just flippingly throwing out that, oh,
this guy's a top ten pick. You have to factor

(19:28):
all these things into your evaluation and into the equation
as you see him as part of your defensive front
in the NFL. Well, a couple other guys. Let's get
to the other Georgia guys that impacted Jordan Davis a
snap count, I would imagine to a certain extent. You know,
Trayvon Walker. I see him listed as a defensive end
by a lot of folks. Right, he can kind of
go inside and outside. Maybe that versatility is something that

(19:52):
makes him a top five pick. Who knows where teams
may put Trayvon Walker on their board. But if you
think he is a really, really, really good pass rusher
who also can slide inside, maybe he's that unicorn type
player I was talking about, maybe he does get drafted
higher than all of them. Who knows? What do you think? Yeah,
and I think Walker is the most intriguing. And we'll

(20:12):
mention Davante Wyatt next. But Walker is the most intriguing,
not only because of his physical attribute six five to
seventy two, really long arms, and for whatever it's worth,
he ran a ridiculous forty yard dash at four or
five one. But he is long, he's athletic, he has
a very sturdy frame. And you're right, he played both

(20:34):
inside and outside. Now I think there's much too unleash
and unlock with him as an edge pass rusher. But
he didn't do enough for that in college, where you
can absolutely say, based on tape, oh that's what he
is for sure. Now I think the traits are there
and that can be cultivated. But your point is correct, Bob.

(20:55):
He played inside and outside, and he can rush the
quarterback from either spot. He may even be better doing
it from the inside. There's a powerful feel to his game.
He's got strong, heavy hands, he's got really good short
area movement. Um so he can be a multi positional player, which,
by the way, that's becoming even more important today's NFL

(21:18):
because how many teams whatever term teams like to use
when they go to their sub defense on third down,
Cheetah front, NASCAR front, you've heard all these terms. They
like to bring in very often four players who are
essentially pass rushers regardless of position. So a lot of
times you see a guy who's listed as a defensive
end be a defensive tackle, but when it's third down

(21:40):
because he can rush the quarterback, and tray Von Walker
absolutely fits into that mold. So he's a very intriguing
player and arguably the most interesting of the three Georgia
defensive linemen who are coming out. Well, you mentioned whyatt
he's the third of this trio. What about him? Yeah?
Why it's another guy that He was a guy I

(22:02):
had to watch a lot, and I'm just being honest.
There's every once in a while there's a guy when
I study tape that it just takes me a long
time to get a real feel for a guy. And
he was one of those guys that I just couldn't
get a defined feel for his game. I would say
that there's no jump off the film traits to him. Um,
he's he's not high level explosive, he's not exceedingly strong,

(22:26):
although he shows flashes of both, but not enough where
you say, hey, that's his game. And he didn't show
the kind of pass rush traits that you you tend
to think about. Number One, he's not very long, so
he doesn't have length to his body or his arms.
He's not he doesn't have elad interior burst and explosiveness,
so you don't go, wow, look at that guy move.

(22:48):
So I kept thinking, what is Davonte Wyatt in today's NFL?
And ultimately I came to the conclusion that he's probably
a guy who you're going to start off playing in
your base defense as an interior defensive tackle. Maybe he
can become a three down player. UM. When I finished

(23:08):
watching him, I kind of thought, and this guy's really
developed into a nice player. I thought of Javon Hargrave,
who plays with the the Eagles now, who began his
career with the Steelers, UM, who's actually reasonably athletic. You
know Whyatt's game was kind of built on flashes, and
those flashes kept sort of percolating in my brain, Bob,
making me think, Okay, can this guy be more than

(23:31):
what he shows on tape right now? And my answer
would probably be yes. But I think he would start
his career as a basically a base defense defensive tackle.
How good is the Georgia defense. We've done an entire
segment here and we've not gotten off their time. I mean,
that's how good they were, right, But there are certainly
other guys that are on the board of defensive tackle

(23:53):
to talk about. We'll talk about some prospects outside of
Athens and we'll get to those guys when we come back.
Are there more defensive guys that can be versatile enough
on the defensive line to make themselves three down players
and be worthy of a high draft choice? Greg co
Sell will tell you about a few of those guys
next on Taped's Draft Season. We are back on this

(24:13):
first episode this week of Taped's Draft Season, Bobo Shoos
and Greg co Sell. The first of two episodes are
next will drop on Thursday, and again we are taking
you right up until the NFL Draft, doing a deep
dive the nerd football, so to speak, at defensive line,
defensive tackle, interior defensive line has been our topic today.
All right, Greg, we hit the Georgia guys. Let's get
to a few others. Um I had to Marven Lee

(24:35):
out at Texas A and M a handful of times
during his college career. I think he's a really interesting player.
Like he doesn't when when you look at kind of
that prototypical frame of a big time defensive player. He
he doesn't necessarily like check every box when you just
look at him getting off the bus. But man, he
is as athletic as they come and really flashed at

(24:59):
times at at Texas A And I don't I don't
know if he's a first round draft choice, but you
have to think he's not gonna last long on day two.
Do you agree? Yeah, he was another guy. I think
you hit it right on the head and and you
kind of led me in perfectly because you can watch
his tape and I actually watched him last summer from
and I obviously watched him this year from his tape,

(25:19):
and he at times really get you excited. He's got strong,
active hands, he's got quick, athletic feet. He could control
and displace offensive lineman in the running game. He could
rush the quarterback both inside and off the edge with
that desirable combination of quickness and power that you like
to see. And he's six four close to two ninety,

(25:43):
so he kind of fits more as an interior player,
which is why we're talking about him. His arm length
is very good. I thought his one tape, Bob, he
did not play to those trades as consistently as he
did in But the traits are there, and I think
he's really more of an interior player. I don't think ultimately,

(26:04):
even though I think he can at times play off
the edge, I don't know if that's what he really
is at the NFL level, if he can do that
against quality NFL offensive tackles. So if you if he
can play to his traits more consistently, that I think
you have something. And I think that's why you said
he's likely not a first round pick, but he's certainly

(26:24):
going to be a Day two player. How about Perry
and Winfrey from Oklahoma. That was a guy that he
that I really kind of liked the more I watched him.
He's he's an athletic kid um And it's funny. Oklahoma
has a specific kind of defense with their defensive coordinator.
It's a it's a movement based defense, so there's a
lot of slanting and there's a lot of stunting, and

(26:48):
he predominantly lined up inside. So I kept watching him
and thank god, this guy is almost lining up like
he's a nose tackle. And then as the year progressed,
he started to play a lot more what we call
three technique, meaning he lined up outside the guard uh
and in side the offensive tackle, and that position is
much more of a penetrating position. And he's a very

(27:09):
athletic guy. Um, he's got quickness, he's got balanced, he's
got body control. Um. There were times he played with
really strong hands. Uh. I think that he's just beginning
to scratch the surface of what he is. And I
think he can be that three technique, which, as I said,
is viewed for the most part as a a penetrating

(27:31):
position with good athletic ability, but he still has the
versatility to play multiple positions. I've heard from some people
that he will absolutely be a top fifty pick. Now
you never know that, you know. That's the people that
I've spoken to, But hey, maybe if I spoke to others,
they wouldn't say that, So you never know. And by
the way, I've learned over the years that you know,

(27:51):
you gotta take what guys tell you with a grain
of salt, you know, at this time of year. So
but he was a force the last half of the season,
showing really high level d tackle traits with a really
good combination of power and quickness, and and he really
grew on me. Bob. The more I watched him, Fedarian
mathis from Alabama. What do you think about him? Yeah,

(28:13):
he's he's the next in that group of of Alabama
defense interior defensive lineman. Um, he really is one of
those steady execution guys. You know. Alabama is obviously very
much a a uh, do your job kind of defense
in the interior. Um, that's the way they play. Um.

(28:34):
He lined up in multiple positions, which of course is
a Nick Saban philosophy that he has multiple fronts and
that always makes a player a valuable asset as he
gets to the NFL. The ability in the because the
league has now become much more of a multiple front league,
so players who are front and scheme versatile have more

(28:57):
value than ever before. And he's got size, He's got length,
really long arms, are really a long wingspan. I think
he can two gap, meaning that he can play head
up on an offensive lineman and then basically play peekaboo
and find the ball in the run game. I think
he can be a one gap player as well, where
he can be a penetrator and shoot in a gap.

(29:19):
And I thought he flashed just enough pass rush traits uh,
including be very effective in stunt concepts to make you
believe that with more coaching and development, Bob that he
could develop into a sub front inside pass rusher. So
Fidarian Mathis was a player whose tape I really liked. Yeah,
you mentioned the SEC. I'm noticing a pattern here, right.

(29:40):
Let's go to the next guy, Tennessee, Matthew Butler. I
think everybody in this we got one guy from Oklahoma
of these top prospects you wanted to talk about, and
seven from the SEC. That tells you, uh, the level
of defense they are still playing in that league athletically
and prospect wise, just different than the rest of college football.
What about Butler? Butler was a guy I knew nothing

(30:00):
about when I put the tape on because he played
five years of Tennessee. He took advantage of the COVID season,
and he was only a two year starter in those
five years. He was a four star recruit. But I
just didn't know much about him at all. And I
don't know if you've got to do any Tennessee games.
But this guy, now, this guy is a power player.
Um Now, he plays with great energy, great competitiveness, and

(30:22):
he can redirect, change direction and run players down. But
in the interior he was a power player. And I
spoke about the difference between power and strength. Butler has both.
Butler was very strong in the in that he could
control a specific small area, but he also had the

(30:43):
power to move people and that showed up in every game.
In the SEC he would displace offensive lineman. He moved them,
and we're talking about SEC offensive lineman. So he made
dominant plays versus the run. He could stalemate double teams.
He could defeat double teams, and that's a really important

(31:04):
trait in the NFL. Um if you're talking about the
run game, and people do run the ball obviously, but
he could stalemate double teams. Another guy with pretty long arms,
good body length, six four. Um. You know, I watched
his tape and and I thought that he was one
of the best interior D line prospects in this draft.

(31:25):
Not being talked about enough in my opinion at all.
How about Neil Farrell from l s U. Yeah, another
guy that I really like. See it's funny. These are
two guys and I'm glad you mentioned him. These are
two guys that are not being talked about. And I
think Farrell was another guy that could end up being
a good pass rusher with time. Um he he could
work effectively both as a one gap and a two

(31:47):
gap d tackle. He showed quickness off the snap. I
watched a lot of L s U tape. Obviously, I
end up seeing a lot of SEC tape just because
you're always seeing really good players and so many transition
to the league. UM. I think he's got a trades
profile that will be in demand. UM he has size.
He's six four, he's got length, he's got play strength,

(32:08):
he's got heavy hands, he's got what we call plus movement. UM.
I think he showed enough that you could say, down
the road, he'll be a pass rusher from the inside.
Think of it this way. Think of someone like Greg
Gaines for the Rams. I don't know if you remember
him coming out of the University of Washington. Now he's
a smaller man in terms of height. But when he
came out of you Dub, everybody pretty much said, oh, really,

(32:31):
just a tough run defender. You're not going to see
him play in passing situations. And by the end of
this season with the Rams, he didn't come off the field.
He was playing seventy snaps a game. So I think
some of these guys and that's why this discussion is
so fascinating as to what they can become, because you
have to think about that. So many of these guys
I think can become interior pass rushers that do play

(32:55):
in sub fronts. But of course it also depends who
else you have in your sub front. Greg Gaines was
playing with Leonard Floyd von Miller, Aaron Donald, which obviously
helps him. Um, not everybody is going to be playing
with that. In fact, nobody will be playing with that, right,
all right, So we ran through a bunch of guys
before we wrap this episode up again, circle back, kind

(33:15):
of wide angle lens. You looked at this class, you've
looked at the top prospects. But also flashing back to
the conversation, we had to start how important this position is?
How good is this group? Like, if you're an NFL fan,
your team needs an ear into your defensive lineman. There
are obviously some prospects here. How early do you expect
some of these guys to start coming off the board.
My guess is they will go early for this reason.

(33:38):
It's you still have to put a board together and
you still have to rank players and you've got to
draft players based on your ranking. But I think the
most fascinating question, which we did discuss, is the larger
macro view of the value of interior players who you
don't believe can necessarily play in your sub defense. That's

(34:00):
ultimately the larger question. But I think in terms of
where guys come off the board, we know Davis will
come off the board relatively early. My guess is Davante
Wyatt probably will as well. UM. But I just I
keep coming back to that same question. You know, you
know we're in a league. Now, we're in a passing league. Offensively,

(34:22):
we're in an eleven personnel league with with one back,
one tight end, and three wide receivers. Now, obviously teams
run the ball out of that, no question. Um. And
they do that on first and tent and they do
it on second and three. UM. So I'm just really fascinated, Bob,
as we kind of put a bow on this to
see how they're used, not where they're drafted. Once guys
get drafted, it almost seems, with the exception of quarterbacks,

(34:45):
everybody forgets where they get drafted because now they're in
the NFL. You know, no one really says about a
d tackle. Oh, he was drafted fourteenth and he's he's
he's about No one really says that. They only say
that about quarterbacks, so it doesn't matter where they're drafted.
I'm more curious as to their deployment in the NFL. Yeah,
and it is probably a position that has been affected

(35:06):
by the evolution of football as much as any else
because of the guys they used to have to tackle
just don't play the way that they played back when
you know, on interior defensive lineman, controlling the line of
scrimmage could be the difference between your team going to
the Super Bowl or not. It's just it's it's football
is different. And we've been talking a lot about how
football being different has affected the NFL Draft and how

(35:28):
teams put together their boards and look, you can hit
us up on social media, keep your players suggestions. Coming
were another episode closer to the NFL Draft at this
point and coming up on Thursday, we will be talking
even more about SEC players, where they might fit in
the NFL, where they might go. There are obviously many
of them that are gonna go in the first round.
Hopefully you will join us again for another edition of

(35:49):
tape heads, draft season,
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