Defensive End: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
I simply will not get off my soapbox about Kayvon Thibodeaux. This dude is probably the best player in the class. While it seems like the draft groupthink is starting to agree with me, I’ve still only seem him as high as No. 3 to the Texans. If the Jaguars really have plans to draft an edge rusher at No. 1 overall, “Thibs” is a no-brainer in my eyes. He’s big, strong, fast, and bendy. The biggest flaw here is that he’s good at marketing himself, which I can’t even believe is a flaw in the first place. Give me a break, and draft this guy first overall.
Defensive Tackle: Travis Jones, UConn
Most defenders who weigh 325 pounds do not move the way that Travis Jones does. The agility, explosiveness, and move set that Jones possesses simply does not make sense when you watch him on tape. It defies both viewer expectations and also the laws of physics. He’s like Vita Vea after three cans of Red Bull. I don’t think Jones goes in the first round, but I will wholeheartedly campaign for him to sneak into the back of the first. Maybe somewhere like Tampa Bay? Only time will tell.
Linebacker: Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
I’ll be the first to admit that Wisconsin’s Leo Chenal’s skillset might make him a little bit of a one-trick pony. But that trick? It’s exceptional. Chenal has somehow gained the “unathletic” label from some scouts, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. With a perfect 10 relative athletic score, he’s one of the athletic freaks of all time at the linebacker position. Chenal’s just going to hit you really really hard, over and over again. Watching his tape is so much fun, and if you’re an AFC contender who needs a big-time blitzing linebacker to complete their defense, I’d seriously invest in Chenal in the first round. He might not cover all that well, but boy can he put people in the ground.