Last weekend, Washington added one of the top defensive line prospects on the West Coast in Wilsonville (Or.) Draco Bynum, so today we take a look at the impact he will have on the rest of the 2018 class as well as where he'll fit in once he arrives next summer...
What to like
Like several of Washington's commits at both to end the 2017 recruiting cycle and a few to start the 2018 class, the thing that stands out about Bynum above everything else is his size. He's a legit 6'5" and he currently tips the scales at close to 260 pounds. He's also got very long arms and he always seems to be around the ball. The other thing that really seems to have piqued Washington's interest in him is that they feel he's versatile enough to play inside at defensive tackle or with his hand in the ground playing as a five-technique (outside shoulder of offensive tackle) at defensive end.
What needs work
While Bynum is a very good athlete, he definitely needs to get stronger. Most reading this are saying "duh, all freshmen need to get stronger" and while that is true, in order to play the position(s) he'll be asked to play, Bynum will really need to focus on his lower-body strength.
Bynum also plays a little high which is natural for a guy his size. Right now, he's much more athletic than his opponents, so they don't make him pay for that, but at the next level, he'll be pushed around unless he gets his pads down.
How he fits
The Husky coaches have told Bynum they see him starting out as a defensive end in their scheme, but that they think he could eventually grow himself into an interior player.
Washington took Ali Gaye (6'6", 270) and Joe Tryon (6'5", 245) in the 2017 class and they will fill some of the same roles that Bynum will be tasked with learning -- defensive tackle or defensive end.
!Shane Bowmanstarted out at end and moved inside to tackle and that seems to be the path that Bynum will likely take although we'll need to wait a few years, just like we did with Bowman, before we really see where he settles in.
How he impacts the 2018 class
At the beginning of the 2018 recruiting cycle, we projected the Huskies to take at least three defensive linemen in the class and Bynum is the first. With his size and athleticism, he could project almost anywhere along the defensive front, so he's more of a swing player. Expect Washington to take at least one more versatile player and one true inside player.
In recent weeks, the Huskies have really ramped up their defensive line recruiting with offers out to Malik Langham, Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Keondre Coburn, Calvin Avery and Tommy Togiai among many others.
Of that group, Langham seems to fit the same type of role that Bynum does with long levers and enough to size to project as a true 3-4 defensive end or he could move inside if the need arises.
The Bottom Line
For the past five years, spanning two different coaching staffs, we've seen the Huskies try to get longer along the defensive line and Bynum just continues that trend. He's versatile and can figure in at several positions up front which the staff has put at a premium and his work-ethic is second-to-none. Because they have recruited pretty well along the defensive line, there might not be a need to push him into the lineup right away, but they will give him every opportunity to show that he's ready to play as a freshman in the fall of 2018.