DT Eddie Vanderdoes (Photo by Steve Cheng)

Green Bay Packers Day 2 Lookahead: Defensive Line

While defensive line isn’t a big need, Ted Thompson has drafted at least one in every draft since the conversion to the 3-4 scheme in 2009 — including two in five of those eight drafts

After only one player was selected in the first round, here are the Day 2 options on the defensive line. The Green Bay Packers own two picks in the second round (Nos. 33 and 61) and one pick in the third round (No. 93).

Note: Pass-rushing productivity measures sacks, hits and hurries per pass-rushing snap. Run-stop percentage measures impact tackles (less than 40 percent of needed yardage on first down, less than 60 percent on second down and short of the line to gain on third and fourth down). Both are from ProFootballFocus.com’s Draft Pass. The statistical rankings in those categories are based on our top 20 prospects, which were based on Green Bay's historical standards.

Malik McDowell, Michigan State (6-6 1/4, 295; 4.85 40; 4.53 shuttle; 23 bench): Junior. With his athleticism, he could be a fit at the elephant position formerly manned by Julius Peppers and Datone Jones. McDowell earned awards all three seasons. After being a Freshman All-American, McDowell was second-team all-Big Ten as a sophomore with career-high totals of 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for losses. Then came his junior campaign: second-team All-American and first-team all-conference. In nine games, he registered 34 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a team-high seven tackles for losses. In three seasons, McDowell posted 7.5 sacks and 24.5 TFLs. He ranked fourth in PFF’s pass-rushing and run-stopping stats. That’s good, but with that freakish package, which includes 34 3/4-inch arms, he left you wanting more. In a sense, he’s a taller Jerel Worthy, and that didn’t work out well for Green Bay. If he can manage his pad level, where his height naturally works against him, and crank up his motor full-time, he could be dominant. He’s just so long and athletic in the run game that he’s not blocked even when he’s blocked. In June 2015, McDowell went to the Mayo Clinic in hopes of finding out why he was experiencing chest pains. The diagnosis? Growing pains.

Chris Wormley, Michigan (6-5, 298; 4.86 40; 4.59 shuttle; 23 bench): Wormley was first-team all-Big Ten as a senior, when he notched 5.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for losses among his 39 tackles. He finished sixth in PFF’s PRP but 14th in run-stop percentage, though some of that latter number comes from opponents simply being able to run to the other side when Wormley was at end. He added three blocked kicks and five forced fumbles. Wormley started 30 games in his career, tallying 18 sacks and 33 TFLs. He missed all of 2012, his true freshman season, with a torn ACL. Other than Allen, he might be the safest pick in this draft class. He might not be overwhelmingly great at any one thing but he is pretty flawless, too, other than he needs to build some pass-rushing moves. An impressive shuttle time and long arms (34 1/4) showed up to scouts on film. He played end and defensive tackle at Michigan, so he should be able to handle 3-4 end and nickel tackle for Green Bay.

Larry Ogunjobi, UNC-Charlotte (6-2 5/8, 305; 4.97 40; 4.75 shuttle; 26 bench): Charlotte’s had a football program for four years. There is no doubt Ogunjobi will be the first player drafted. As a senior who played frequently as an attacking nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme, he had a career-high 65 tackles to go with three sacks and 13.5 tackles for losses to become the first first-team all-conference player in school history. Ogunjobi ranked just 18th in PFF’s pass-rushing productivity but was No. 1 by a significant margin in run-stop percentage. His four-year total is incredible compared to other 300-pounders: 13 sacks and 49 tackles for losses. He ranked eighth among active FBS defenders in TFLs. Quickness at the snap, hands and explosive power make up for so-so athleticism and short arms (32 5/8). He’s a beast against double-team blocks. Ogunjobi, a first-generation American and the son of Nigerian parents, is a big man. He was bigger when he was forced to start playing football as a high school sophomore. He was 350 pounds back then.

Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama (6-2 7/8, 310; 5.19 40; 4.59 shuttle; 22 bench): In his one and only season as a starter, Tomlinson was in on 62 tackles, a total that included three sacks and 5.5 tackles for losses. He ranked 12th in PRP and eighth in run-stop percentage. Tomlinson had only two sacks and six TFLs in his previous seasons. Don’t let that bench-press number fool you: Tomlinson plays with power. That’s also how he wins. There’s not a lot to his game other than power, power and more power. He’s very much in the mold of the player who kept him out of the lineup at Alabama, A’Shawn Robinson. After redshirting in 2012, Tomlinson missed most of 2013 with a knee injury. At Henry County (Ga.) High School, Tomlinson was a three-time state heavyweight champion. How dominant was he as a senior? He went 49-0 and pinned his championship opponent in just 9 seconds. In high school, Tomlinson was close to a 4.0 student, an artist and played the saxophone and trumpet. He also played soccer. He needed all of those distractions. His dad died of cancer when he was 5, his mom when he was 17.

Jaleel Johnson, Iowa (6-2 5/8, 316; 5.38 40; 4.62 shuttle; 19 bench): After recording all of 12 tackles in 21 games from 2012 through 2014, Johnson made an impact as a junior with 45 tackles, including 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for losses. Johnson was even more effective as a senior, posting 55 tackles, including 7.5 sacks and 10 tackles for losses, to be first-team all-Big Ten. He ranked seventh in PRP and 14th in run-stop percentage. He’s a typical Iowa lineman — strong, lots of effort, well-coached and capable of contributing on all three downs. Unlike the Packers’ Mike Daniels — to whom Johnson was compared by PFF — Johnson has height and length (33 1/4 arms). Johnson is from a rough-and-tumble neighborhood in Brooklyn. When he was a teenager, his parents sent him to live with an aunt in Chicago. His position coach at Iowa, Chris Andriano, was his coach in high school.

Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA (6-3 1/8, 305; 4.99 40; 4.39 shuttle; 28 bench): Junior. After missing almost all of the 2015 season with a torn ACL, Vanderdoes was honorable mention all-Pac-12 as a senior with 29 tackles, including 1.5 sacks and two tackles for losses. He is all potential, as he had the worst combined ranking in PRP (16th) and run-stop percentage (17th) among our top-20 prospects. He had 2.5 sacks and 12.5 TFLs for his career. But he’s got length (33 1/8 arms) and that blazing shuttle should attract Green Bay’s attention. Vanderdoes ran for touchdowns as a freshman and sophomore. He was in the backfield in the season-opening game against Virginia in 2015 when defensive tackle Kenny Clark, the Packers’ top pick last year, scored on a 3-yard touchdown reception. In celebration, Vanderdoes hoisted Clark in the air ‚ then collapsed to the turf with a torn ACL. According to Vanderdoes and the coaches, his knee locked up earlier in the game and the injury did not happen during the celebration. Now that he’s a year past the injury, his play should improve.

Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova (6-6 3/4, 289; 4.83 40; 4.62 shuttle; 23 bench): Kpassagnon was named a first-team FCS All-American and Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year as a senior as he led the CAA and ranked in the top 15 nationally with 11 sacks and 21.5 tackles for losses. Kpassagnon recorded at least one sack in nine of 13 games. Pro Football Focus charted his games against FBS-level competition. In that limited sample size, he ranked 13th in PRP and ninth in run-stop percentage. With his size and athleticism, he could be a fit for the elephant position. Considering his production, length (35 5/8 arms) and physique — it looks like his abs have abs — how did Kpassagnon wind up at Villanova? Rather than participate in camps meant to catch the eye of recruiters, Kpassagnon focused on the Future Business Leaders of America. He’ll be a project, with pad level being his position coach’s first challenge for a player who won most of the time based on his overwhelming size and athletic advantage.

Ryan Glasgow, Michigan (6-2 7/8, 302; 5.13 40; 4.50 shuttle; 20 bench): Glasgow started 33 games in four seasons and was second-team all-Big Ten as a senior, when he had career-high totals of four sacks, 9.5 tackles for losses and 42 tackles. Glasgow tied Allen for second in PFF’s PRP but was 13th in run-stop percentage. In his first three seasons, he had a combined one sack, nine tackles for losses and 49 tackles. Glasgow was a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the nation’s best player who started his career as a walk-on. For a walk-on, he’s got an impressive array of physical skills. The shuttle time was tremendous, and he’s got 33 3/4-inch arms to keep linemen at bay. And typical of a walk-on, he plays with hunger and motor. He might not be a three-down player in the NFL, though; Michigan didn’t even use him extensively in pass-rushing situations. Glasgow’s brother, Graham, was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2016 and started 11 games at center and guard. A third Glasgow, little brother Jordan, just completed his redshirt freshman season as a safety at Michigan. All three were walk-ons.

Nazair Jones, North Carolina (6-5 1/8, 304; 5.11 40; 4.63 shuttle; 18 bench): Jones piled up 70 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for losses, during his final season. He finished 19th in PRP and 11th in run-stop percentage. Back in the day, Jones was the prototype for a 3-4 end, with size, length (34 5/8-inch arms to beat blockers and knock down passes) and the power to stop a run game in its tracks. Not so much anymore, though. Jones lacks pass-rushing skill and elite athletic ability. It’s a passing league and, at this point, he’s not a three-down player. Not that there’s anything wrong with stopping the run. Jones’ life took a dramatic turn in the span of a couple days as a high school junior. On a Friday night, he played in a season-ending playoff loss. On Saturday, he was in the weight room. On Sunday, he couldn’t walk. Over the next several months, Jones went through various tests at UNC’s Children Hospital; all the while his condition was worsening, ultimately forcing him into a wheelchair. He dropped nearly 50 pounds off what had been a 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame. Jones was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic pain condition that affects a body part following an injury or trauma. For Jones, the area of concern was his back.

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.


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