By LOGAN KING
Year-in and year-out, there is buzz about versatile college actors leading up to the NFL draft. Coming out of college, calls like Tyrann Mathieu, Jabrill Peppers, Derwin James, and most recently Isaiah Simmons were portended as practicality players that defensive coordinators would have the indulgence of ordering up anywhere across the field. This versatility is highly valued and often leads to a high draft selection for players who display statu flexibility at the college rank, as checked by the calls have mentioned.
While there is uncertainty heading into the 2020 season, with various powwows once eliminating out-of-conference matchups, it is still worthwhile to take a look at some participates who may end up being the best all-around defender manager into next year’s draft.
The table below shows the top five returning NCAA defenders in terms of Total Points Saved on defensive sounds who made an impact at all three different levels of the justification in 2019. Each recorded at least 100 clicks aligned at defensive back, off-ball linebacker, and defensive wire( which includes standing edge rushers ). Each musician is listed with their upcoming school year and relevant 2019 statistics.
NameYearPosSchoolSnapsDB% LB% DL% Total PointsJoseph OssaiJuniorLBTexas8 1219% 47% 34% 65 Antjuan SimmonsSeniorLBMichigan State8 2842% 46% 58 JaCoby StevensSeniorSLSU9 3169% 42 Jeremiah Owusu-KoramoahSeniorLBNotre Dame6 7156% 26% 37 Tyreke DavisSeniorLBNorth Texas6 9016% 58% 27% 36
The interminable 6’4” 255 lbs Ossai was a force on the Longhorns’ defense last season, ranking fifth in Total Points Saved among all linebackers in the NCAA( second among returning linebackers ). Aside from quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who ranked eighth in Total Points among all NCAA participates, Ossai was the most valuable player on the team in terms of the statistic. While primarily lining up as an off-ball linebacker, more than one-third of his moves came on the defensive line- mainly as a tolerate fringe rusher. When outside of the box, Ossai exclusively lined up as a slot follower.
Ossai resulted the Texas defense with 90 tackles on the season and 14.5 attacks for loss. He was extremely beneficial against the pass, ranking eighth among linebackers in Pass Defense Total Points Saved. While rushing on 46% of extends, Ossai was able to generate pressure on 20% of pass runs and sack the quarterback four times. He also recorded two interceptions while in pass coverage. With a same picture this season, Ossai may end up foregoing his senior time and testifying for the 2021 sketch.
Simmons’ performance in 2019 situated him 15 th among all linebackers in areas of Total Points Saved( second among returning Big 10 linebackers ). He guided the Spartans’ defense in Total Points and finished second among all players on the team, behind quarterback Brian Lewerke. Simmons devoted almost as much time outside of the box as a slot guard as he did in the box as an off-ball linebacker. Occasionally, he lined up as a stance shape rusher with 101 of his snaps coming from the position.
Simmons produced the Michigan State defense in undertakes with 88 on the season, 15.5 of which were undertakes for loss. He was effective against both the flow and pass, ranking 25 th and 22 nd at linebacker in Total Points Saved versus each, respectively. While mainly utilized in coverage against the pass-ranking 22 nd at the position in Pass Coverage Total Points Saved and allowing a consummation percentage of merely 46% when targeted-Simmons was also efficient when scurrying the passer, producing 3.5 sackings while exclusively racing 19% of the time. Entering his senior time, Simmons will be an intriguing prospect to watch this season who will likely end up hearing his name called in the 2021 drawing.
A key player in LSU’s perfect 2019 season, Stevens finished as the 21 st graded safety in terms of Total Points Saved( second among returning SEC securities ). A versatile full-time starter on a justification laden with NFL talent, Stevens lined up chiefly at defensive back, evenly dividing age as a late safety and slot defender. When in the slot, he rarely lined up in press coverage- exclusively 17 out of 325 crackings. When in the box, Stevens lined up as either an off-ball linebacker or as a tolerate perimeter rusher.
Stevens was very active in 2019, lending 93 tackles( second on crew) and 9.5 attacks for loss. He had same yield against the flee and pass, grading 30 th and 38 th among securities in Total Points Saved versus each, respectively. In coverage, Stevens broke up nine moves on 31 targets, three of which were interceptions. He proves a particular knack for rushing the passer, engendering pressure rates of 26% and 43% in each of the last two seasons along with sack paces of 8% and 10%. If Stevens is able to continue his high level of creation for the Tigers’ defense in his elderly season, he will dominate a high selection in the 2021 draft.
In his first season as a starter, Owusu-Koramoah was runner-up for Total Points Saved on Notre Dame’s defense( firstly among returning defensive participates ). He toy the majority of his snaps as a slot defender. When not in the slit, exactly over a part of his sounds came as an off-ball linebacker and virtually 20% came as a digest advantage rusher.
Owusu-Koramoah finished the season with 76 undertakes, 13.5 attacks for loss, and three thrust mistakes. His versatility is seen against the pass. Despite chiefly being a coverage player, Owusu-Koramoah was able to generate pressure on 27% of his scoots and finished with 5.5 sackings. Another time as a starter with similar or better make will certainly boost his inventory for the 2021 enlist.
The highest rated returning three degree defender in terms of Total Points Saved from Group of Five class, Davis led the Mean Green defense in the statistic last year. The majority of his cracks came as an off-ball linebacker, been accompanied by over a part of snaps as a tolerate advantage rusher and 107 clicks as a slot advocate.
The All-Conference USA Honorable Mention recorded 79 tackles with a team-leading 14.5 attacks for loss. From a Total Points attitude, Davis is stronger against the feed than against the pass on a per-snap basis. However, his talents against the pass are not to be overlooked, as he rendered stres on 27% of pass rushes, rendering 4.5 bags. While impressive statistically, realise Davis play on Sundays may be a long shot given his size- 5’10” 209 lbs. His best risk may be to improve upon his pass coverage skills and transition to more of a defensive back role.
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