FSNext: NFTC Champaign: Top DL

After breaking down film from Sunday's NFTC in Champaign, Illinois, we name our Top Ten Prospects to watch. Who made the cut? There were several good performances and some hard ones to leave off the list.

The Nike Football Training Camp held in Champaign, Illinois on Sunday brought out a solid group of defensive linemen to evaluate.

There were several hard cuts we had to make while putting this list together and one requirement was prospects must have taken multiple reps during one-on-one drills.

After going over film of 28 defensive linemen, the following prospects earned a spot on the FOXSportsNEXT.com top defensive linemen team.

Elijah Daniel – Avon (IN) HS – Class of 2013
HT: 6-3 | WT: 250

There is no mistaking the talent Daniel's has at this time and he earned top honors along the defensive line with initial quickness off the ball and use of both power and finesse moves in beating every offensive lineman willing to take the challenge. With his overall athletic ability some programs could even look at moving Daniel's to the linebacker.


Jason Hatcher – Louisville (KY) Trinity HS – Class of 2013
HT: 6-2 | WT: 240

If not for the outstanding performance of Daniel's, Hatcher would be fighting for top honors along the defensive line. The Kentucky native combines strength and quickness off the edge to cause problems for offensive linemen. However, at times he takes the drill wide taking himself out of the play. Hatcher must stay low to use all his natural gifts to dominate.


Alec James – Brookfield (WI) East HS – Class of 2013
HT: 6-4 | WT: 220

James has a great frame to work with and room to grow in the next couple of years. During the day he showed great initial quickness and the ability to dip his shoulder. However, he always looked to go wide and at times would have taken himself out of a play in real game action. Adding a few more moves will make James a beast to defend.


Chikwe Obasih – Brookfield (WI) Central HS – Class of 2013
HT: 6-3 | WT: 230

The Wisconsin verbal pledge enjoyed a solid day and showed why the Badgers were happy to accept his early verbal pledge. Great frame and quickness allow Obasih the ability to beat offensive linemen when he stays low. Shows ability to dip shoulder to an advantage over bigger linemen.


Nile Sykes – Oak Park (IL) Oak Park & River Forest HS – Class of 2014
HT: 6-3 | WT: 215

Sykes showed great quickness off the edge and the natural ability to dip his shoulder and take an inside move when needed. Has room to add weight and long enough arms to keep separation from offensive linemen.


Gelen Robinson – Saint John (IN) Lake Central HS – Class of 2014
HT: 6-1 | WT: 230

Robinson is a natural bender who stays low and can beat an offensive lineman with inside or outside moves. Has strong compact body and great first step. Must add more technique especially working on his hands.


Dawaune Smoot – Groveport (OH) Madison HS – Class of 2013
HT: 6-3 | WT: 220

A great surprise on the day was the performance of Smoot during one-on-one drills. Showed great natural ability using a quick first step and straight ahead power moves to win drills. However, at times he gets too high and over thinks what he should do and tries to be too fancy.


Freddy Beaugard – Lombard (IL) Montini HS – Class of 2013
HT: 6-3 | WT: 235

The Illinois native shows great burst and the ability to stay low and use a shoulder dip to cause offensive linemen havoc. Best football is ahead of him as he continues to work on technique.


Marquise Moore – Toledo (OH) Whitmer HS – Class of 2013
HT: 6-1 | WT: 275

We'll list Moore at 6-foot-1 but he may be just a tad shorter. However, it doesn't really matter as the Ohio native shows above average quickness to go with brute strength. Already solid in using his hands, Moore showed the ability to stay low and deliver a solid blow that knocked most offensive linemen off balanced giving him a clear shot at the target in front of him. Must do a little body reshaping and keep weight in the 280-285 range. Most BCS programs may stay away; however, we feel someone who is willing to take a chance could end up with a solid player in the middle of their defense. If Moore was taller he would be talked about as one of the top defensive linemen in the Midwest.


Peyton Newell – Hiawatha (KS) Senior HS – Class of 2014
HT: 6-3 | WT: 270

You can see why Newell is gaining early attention as he's got a compact build and above average strength for his age. Shows early hand work but will need to continue working on technique and staying low. Showed great crossover step that causes issues for offensive linemen. However, it will be interesting to see how he does against linemen with longer reach.

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