As the NFL Scouting Combine kicks off, the Chicago Bears will get a look at some defensive linemen who could help solidify their front four after finishing last in sacks (20) and allowing the most rushing touchdowns (31).
There are great options at 3-technique, the critical position for Matt Eberflus’ defense that lines up on the outside shoulder of the offensive guard. The 3-tech is a player expected to wreak havoc from the interior, playing the run on the way to the pass and collapsing the middle of the pocket.
In addition to 3-technique, some incredibly athletic edge rushers could help the Bears get pressure on the quarterback. Unfortunately, the team ranked last in pressure and didn’t get the expected production out of players like the now-released Al-Quaddin Muhammad.
Drills for defensive linemen begin on Thursday, March 2. Here are 10 players to watch between interior defensive linemen and edge rushers.
NOTE: Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter won’t be participating in drills at the combine, so he’s not included in our list.
DL Bryan Bresee, Clemson
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Bryan Bresee was a super freshman when he arrived at Clemson as the No. 1 overall high school player. The redshirt sophomore is an explosive player who will impress many with his speed, agility, and athleticism for a guy who weighs 300 pounds.
DL Zacch Pickens, South Carolina
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Zacch Pickens has the ideal build of an interior defensive lineman. He’s got strong hands and a stocky lower body. While he isn’t the most agile when moving laterally, he’s powerful and controls offensive linemen with his strength.
DL Jaquelin Roy, LSU
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Jaquelin Roy is a powerful player at 6-foot-3 and 302 pounds. He will be hampered by a hamstring injury and won’t participate in the 40-yard dash or broad jump, but his size and strength are impressive. He looks the part of an NFL defensive tackle.
DL Gervon Dexter, Florida
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Tall (6-foot-6) and athletic, Gervon Dexter will look impressive as he attacks blockers with length and has the strength to control the line of scrimmage. His height makes him a long strider. It will be interesting to see what happens to his draft stock if he runs sub 4.8 in the 40-yard dash.
DL Tuli Tuipulotu, USC
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Tuli Tuipulotu is incredibly athletic and will display his speed and agility in Indianapolis. There are questions about him being much lighter than his listed weight of 290 pounds, so it will be interesting to see his weigh-in.
EDGE Will Anderson, Alabama
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One of the most popular players, Will Anderson, is a long and lean edge player who is great at rushing the passer. He has a strong lower body but will need to add bulk. The Alabama superstar is expected to run in the 4.5 range, which will only solidify scouts’ belief in his athleticism.
EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson
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A physical freak at 275 pounds, Myles Murphy is explosive off the ball and has even dropped into coverage at Clemson. At 6-foot-5, he has the length needed to keep offensive linemen away from his body. In addition, he’s a high-energy player and will be fun to watch in Indy.
EDGE BJ Ojulari, LSU
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One of the best pass rushers in the draft, BJ Ojulari will impress in the drills when he can put his technique and hand placement on display. He’s a tremendous athlete who was asked to drop into coverage for the Tigers. If he can’t add bulk, he’s likely a 3-4 OLB, so seeing him at the weigh-in will be interesting. If he’s closer to 270, he’s interested in playing 4-3. If he’s still around 250, he’s more interested in 3-4.
EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
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Felix Anudike-Uzomah is a high-motor guy that uses his speed and effort to make plays. He’s a pass-rush specialist but lacks the bulk needed to be a consistent run defender. Anudike-Uzomah will be another player to watch regarding weigh-ins and the 40-yard dash.
EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State
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Zach Harrison has track speed for a guy who weighs 270 pounds. In high school, he ran a 10.7 100-meter dash. While he was 30 pounds lighter when he ran those times, don’t be surprised if he posts an eye-popping time.
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