NFL Draft: Pre-Combine defensive rankings

Breaking Burgundy Analyst Paul Conner shares his top five players at each defensive position for the NFL Draft.

The NFL Combine starts Wednesday. Before the six day event kicks off, Breaking Burgundy film analyst Paul Conner shares his rankings. After his top 5 players at each offensive position, time for the best of the best on the defensive side. Check back for additional updates and revisions over the next two months. Final grades will be handed out, but plenty of homework remains.

Defense:

3-4 Defensive Ends

1. DeForest Buckner - Oregon 

2. Robert Nkemdiche - Ole Miss

3. Sheldon Rankins - Louisville

4. Jonathan Bullard - Florida

5. Chris Jones - Mississippi State

Others to watch: Maliek Collins - Nebraska, Luther Maddy - Virginia Tech, Javon Hargrave

Nose Tackles

1. Andrew Billings - Baylor

2. Vernon Butler - Louisiana Tech

3. A'Shawn Robinson - Alabama

4. Jarran Reed - Alabama

5. Austin Johnson - Penn State

Edge Rushers

1. Joey Bosa - Ohio State

2. Noah Spence - Eastern Kentucky

3. Shaquille Lawson - Clemson

4. Leonard Floyd - Georgia

5. Kevin Dodd - Clemson

Inside Linebackers

1. Myles Jack

2. Jaylon Smith

3. Reggie Ragland

4. Darron Lee - Ohio State

5. Deion Jones - LSU

Others to watch: Kentrell Brothers - Missouri, Antonio Morrison - Florida

Cornerbacks

1. Jalen Ramsey - Florida State

2. Vernon Hargreaves III - Florida

3. Mackensie Alexander - Clemson

4. Kendall Fuller - Virginia Tech

5. Eli Apple - Ohio State

Others to watch: William Jackson - Houston, Will Redmond - Mississippi State, Xavien Howard - Baylor, Keivarae Russell - Notre Dame, Cyrus Jones - Alabama

Safeties

1. Darian Thompson - Boise State

2. Karl Joseph - West Virginia

3. Vonn Bell - Ohio State

4. Jeremy Cash - Duke

5. Keanu Neal - Florida

Others to watch: Deon Bush - Miami, Jalen Mills - LSU, Tyvis Powell - Ohio State, T.J. Green - Clemson, Jayron Kearse - Clemson

Check out the Breaking Burgundy forums for more player profiles and to share your thoughts on the NFL Draft and the Redskins!

Paul Conner is the Film Analyst and a Draft Evaluator at Breaking Burgundy. You can follow him on Twitter @P_ConnerJr

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