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Prototype: who is the ultimate defensive lineman in the 2024 Draft?

On April 25, the 2024 NFL draft will be held in Detroit. The opportunity to present the different prospects in more detail through new thematic articles, the “Prototype”. The idea is simple: identify the perfect prospect, with the main quality of each player entered in the draft. Today, last focus on defensive line players. Good reading !

Speed/Motor: Braden Fiske

His 40-yard dash time at the Combine blew many minds away. However, the Florida State player only confirmed his athletic potential seen first at Western Michigan then with the Seminoles. Explosive from the snap, Fiske stands out above all for his great penetration capacity and, above all, his constant activity. Attributes which make him a valuable player in the pass rush, despite a relative power which can penalize him on his balance and his anchor point.

Anchor point / Double teams: T’Vondre Sweat

Speaking of this sector of the game, it is difficult not to define the Texas diamond as a real brick wall. Certainly, his physical mass does not go unnoticed, but that does not make him a simple “hole plugger”. Because over the years, Sweat has evolved into a versatile force, capable of attracting offensive linemen to the outside to provide gaps for the back lines. Such a combination of physics and technique will inevitably make him a highly scrutinized commodity for the draft.

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Tackle: Kris Jenkins

It is undoubtedly the other “thick brute” of this vintage. Because even without Sweat's physical dimensions, Jenkins is an immovable force, thanks to many aspects. A solid upper body, sprawling arms, constant power: so many points that make him almost unplayable on the run stop, where the son of the former New York Jets player has been active for several years. In addition to having a physical and technical advantage over stronger offensive linemen, Jenkins is a sure bet in terms of tackling, with a percentage of 5% of missed tackles in 2023. Almost nothing in a conference where we run a lot.

Panoply of moves : Jer’Zhawn Newton

In a class where a lot of linemen excel in the pass rush, Jer'Zhawn Newton is undoubtedly the reference in this sector. It must be said that beyond his excellent first step and his unthinkable fluidity of movement for a player of his size, the Fighting Illini relies on an arsenal of fascinating movements which also allows him to be able to attack from almost all angles. the sectors of the first curtain. With 43 pressures, and especially 8 sacks in 2023, he could have climbed higher in the first round of the draft, if injuries had not disrupted his draft process.

Upper body: Byron Murphy II

Beyond Newton, the other extra-terrestrial in this class is undoubtedly Byron Murphy II. More stocky than massive on paper, the Longhorn did not choose his university at random, because he is a real bull on the whistle. Explosive from the outset, he exudes such power on first contact and a hand technique that has sent more than one opponent wandering in recent months. This permanent upper body activity and intensity makes him a solid player on the run stop, but also and above all an undeniable threat when chasing the quarterback. A point that obviously pleases, in the modern NFL.

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