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Top 10 Interior Defensive Linemen of the 2022 NFL Draft

Live Analysis of Every Draft Pick... Top 10 Interior Defensive Linemen of the 2022 NFL Draft

1) Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

Key Measurables: 6027, 304, 32 7/8 in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 39 tackles, 7 TFLs, 11.1% pressure percentage, 2.5 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FR, 2 FF

Player Comp: Larry Ogunjobi

Background:

5th-year, COVID SR who has started 25 of 49 games, including 14 of 14 in 2021. 4-star HS prospect who originally signed with Georgia out of HS before, instead, going to Hutchinson CC (KS) for a year before coming back to Georgia and signing out of JUCO a year afterwards. DNS for Georgia (after coming in 2018) until the Sugar Bowl in 2019. Even without being a regular starter on the DL in 2019, he still led the interior DL in tackles (30).

Did not relinquish his starting role after that game, as he started every other game that he played in college (24/24 games). Highly decorated player in 2021, with a Coach’s All-SEC 1st Team, AP All-SEC 2nd Team, and National Championship to boot. Senior Bowl attendee. Played under HC Kirby Smart (6th season), DC Dan Lanning (3rd season), and DL Coach Tray Scott (5th season).

Projection:

Devonte Wyatt is a winning player with a low-ceiling and high floor player with a maxed-out frame [partly due to age (will be approx. 24.5 around his first NFL game)] who will project as a versatile Starter that you can win with due to his versatility, motor, leverage, and initial quickness and get off. He projects best as a 3-Tech in a 4-3 (with ability to play well as an undersized 3-4 DE as well) due to his inconsistency playing with power and anchoring at the POA but has shown versatility to play every position (0-5-Tech) along the DL and be successful in spurts.

Full Scouting Report

2) Travis Jones, Connecticut

Key Measurables: 6043, 327, 34 5/8 in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 48 tackles, 8 TFLs, 8.1% pressure percentage, 4.5 sacks

Player Comp: Linval Joseph

Background:

SR who has started 33 of 34 career games, including 11 of 11 in 2021. 3-star HS prospect at 6044 while weighing 356 (lost nearly 30 pounds while in college) who started 10 games as a true FR and has only missed 1 game in 3 years of playing CFB due to a right foot injury in 2021. Senior Bowl attendee. In 2021, UCONN went 1-11 with their only win coming against FCS/Ivy school Yale. Played under 3 different HCs (Randy Edsall, Lou Spanos, and Dennis Dottin-Carter), DC/DB Coach Jarren Horton (3rd season), and DL Coach Dennis Dottin-Carter (5th season) during 2021.

Projection:

Travis Jones is a 2-Gap, 0/2i NT playing out of a 3-point stance in a 3-4 who has versatility to play as a 1/3 in a 4-3 but would struggle consistently with single gap assignments. He is a low-ceiling, high-floor Functional Starter that you can win with and wins due to his explosive, compact frame that allows him to generate immense power at the POA and anchor very effectively while having serviceable flexibility to split gaps and occasionally be effective on passing downs (mainly effective, however, as a gap compressor).

Inconsistent with his effort but dominated against high level competition and did not have any problem with injuries or playing time in college. Question his team culture and whether that affected his willingness to play down the stretch at UCONN or whether that involved him as well.

Full Scouting Report

3) Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma

Key Measurables: 6035, 290, 35 ¼ in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 23 tackles, 11 TFLs, 11.2% pressure percentage, 5.5 sacks, 1 FF

Player Comp: Dre’Mont Jones

Background:

SR who has started 20 of 23 career games (FBS), including 12 of 12 in 2021. 3-star HS prospect from Illinois, Winfrey went to Iowa Western CC (IA) out of HS where he excelled for 2 years and ended up ranked as the #1 JUCO player in the country. As a JR, in his 1st year at Oklahoma, Winfrey started 8 of the last 9 games after serving as a role backup for the other games and was selected 2nd Team All-Big 12.

Returned as 1 of 3 returning starters on Defense as a SR in 2021. Winfrey started every game before opting out of the Alamo Bowl at the end of the year (was 2nd Team All-Big 12). Nearly 48% of his tackles went for loss in 2021. Senior Bowl attendee (won MVP). Played under HC Lincoln Riley (5th season), DC/SAF Coach Alex Grinch (3rd season), and DL Coach Calvin Thibodeaux (5th season).

Projection:

Perrion Winfrey projects as a player who could potentially have more in the tank regarding development as not only one of the youngest DTs in the draft (will have just turned 22 before the 1st game) along with only having 2 years on the FBS level. He is a player that played out of position in college and projects as a Role Starter with developmental upside who could work best either as a 4-3, 3 Tech DT or 3-4, 3-5 Tech DE (multiple defense/scheme flexible). Can 1 and 2-Gap effectively.

He has shown versatility to be effective with his speed, motor, and power from a 0 Tech on 3rd and long pass downs. Could be an edge setter from a 5 but shouldn’t be expected to bend the corner due to rigid hips and struggles with COD. Question his FBIQ and ability to expand mentally in the game.

Full Scouting Report

4) Logan Hall, Houston

Key Measurables: 6061, 283, 32 ¾ in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 48 tackles, 14 TFLs, 10.4% pressure percentage, 6.5 sacks

Player Comp: Deatrich Wise Jr.

Background: 

SR who has started 23 of 46 games, including 12 of 13 in 2021. 3-star HS prospect who was listed at 225 in HS and increased his weight to approx. 240 for his 1st 2 years at Houston before he gained more weight and became a regular starter on the DL in 2020. Has steadily increased his production while at Houston statistically including as a Pass Rusher, where he only produced 1.5 Sacks over his first 3 years before he set a career high in Sacks in 2021 with 6.5. Senior Bowl attendee. Played under HC Dana Holgerson (3rd season), Associate HC/DC Doug Belk (3rd season), and Brian Early (3rd season).

Projection:

Logan Hall projects initially as a Developmental Backup with traits with potential to be a Functional Starter down the line. He has a skill set that is hard to hammer down as to where he’d fit positionally at the next level but has the athleticism, developmental upside, and in-game effort to potentially be successful down the line.

He projects as a 5-Tech DE (with 3-Tech flexibility in “Rabbits”) in a 4-3 or 3-5 Tech DE in a 3-4 with experience along the Defensive Front but not enough girth or length to consistently be successful as a true DT. Has limited ability to be effective on 3rd Down immediately in the NFL but could provide early down Run-stopping ability due to his Run instincts, hand strength, and block awareness.

Full Scouting Report

More Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Lists:

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles |Interior Offensive Line | Edge Rushers | Interior Defensive Line | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties

5) Neil Farrell Jr., LSU

Key Measurables: 6041, 330, 32 ¼ in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 45 tackles, 10 TFLs, 9.8% pressure percentage, 2 sacks, 2 PD

Player Comp: Davon Godchaux

Background: 

SR who has started 21 of 52 career games, including 12 of 12 in 2021. 3-star HS prospect who came in listed at 287 lbs. as a FR (gaining approx. 45 lbs. while at LSU, weighing in at 330 at the NFL Combine). Saw action in 5 games as a True FR. Played in 10 games as a SOPH, suffering a lower leg injury during the week of the Fiesta Bowl (missed the game vs. UCF). Became the most productive DL in Tackles and TFLs in 2019 (on a National Championship-winning team) as a JR but only started 3 of 15 games he played (making his 1st SEC start vs. Florida).

Played in all 10 games with 6 starts in 2020 as a SR. Started all 12 games with 12 starts in 2021 as a 5th year SR, being named All-American by PFF. Played under a team in turmoil in 2021, with the HC being fired (2 straight years .500 or below). Garnered 2 SEC Academic Honor Roll awards (2020 and 2021). Senior Bowl attendee and was the DL MVP of his team (American) while there. Played under HC Ed Orgeron (6th season), DC Daronte Jones (1st season), and DL Coach Andre Carter (1st season).

Projection:

Neil Farrell Jr. projects as a Role Starter with limited upside (“he is what he is”) due to his age and limited length who would work best as a 3-4, 0-2i NT with capability to play 3-Tech in spurts (could be a successful 1-Tech in a 4-3 as well). Can 1 and 2-Gap effectively enough (but am certainly concerned if his instinctive nature can translate into success to overcome his lack of length against larger, more athletic OL at the next level). He is best utilized as a win-early, 2-Down run plugger but has limited ability as a Pass Rusher due to limited twitch, COD, and flexibility to bend a corner. High FBIQ player.

Full Scouting Report

6) Jordan Davis, Georgia

Key Measurables: 6063, 341, 34 in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 32 tackles, 6 TFLs, 6.3% pressure percentage, 2 sacks, 1 PD, 1 Rush TD

Player Comp: N/A

Background:

SR who has started 33 of 50 career games, including 14 of 15 in 2021. 3-star HS prospect who converted to DT at Georgia after strictly playing OL in HS. Started 4 games as a FR and made the FWAA Freshman All-American Team. Became a regular starter in 2019 and was named team captain and a 2nd-Team All-American in 2020. Won the Chuck Bednarik Award and Outland Trophy in 2021 as a 1st-Team All-American on a championship-winning team. Played under HC Kirby Smart (6th season), DC Dan Lanning (3rd season), and DL Coach Tray Scott (5th season).

Projection:

Jordan Davis is a high ceiling player with an initial projection as a Role/Situational Starter who could potentially turn into a Good Starter down the line with proper development. He projects best as a 2-down, 2-Gap 0/2i Tech NT in a 3-4 who could also play 1/3 Tech in a 4-3. Leader from a championship program who wins in the Box with his size, length, and width but lacks consistent motor/effort to be as effective as he could be given his combine athleticism and flashes on tape with explosiveness, play strength, and general POA (especially against interior Run).

Shouldn’t be asked to play on 3rd down due to inconsistent motor and limited bend/flexibility and COD. Should also be wary of recent injury history (right elbow and lower body specifically) along with general lack of production while at Georgia considering hype.

Full Scouting Report

7) DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

Key Measurables: 6037, 284, 33 1/8 in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 58 tackles, 13 TFLs, 9.5% pressure percentage, 8.5 sacks, 2 PD, 1 FF

Player Comp: Da’Quan Bowers

Background: 

JR who has started 29-35 career games, including 12 of 12 in 2021. 5-star HS prospect who has been a regular starter for Texas A&M since his FR year and hasn’t missed a game/start over the past 2 years (22 games). Earned the Defensive Top Newcomer and the Freshman Strength Award in 2019 as a true FR, earned the Defensive MVP and the Spring Defensive MVP in 2020, and earned the Defensive MVP and the Community Service Award in 2021 among his Texas A&M teammates. Nationally, he was widely regarded as either a 1st or 2nd Team All-American in 2021. Played under HC Jimbo Fisher (4th season), DC/SAF Coach Mike Elko (4th season), and DL Coach Elijah Robinson (4th season).

Projection:

Although DeMarvin Leal played all over the defensive front (0-5) for A&M’s 3-4, he didn’t consistently show the strength to 2-Gap and excelled in spurts as a penetrating, single gap player, and therefore would fit exclusively as a Developmental Backup with traits at 3-Tech in a 4-3 with potential to be a Functional Starter that you can win with who has versatility to play in a variety of roles throughout the DL.

He has the developmental potential being 1 of the younger DTs in the draft, along with having a frame to add strength, but must have the right support at the next level. He struggled against top, NFL-level matchups. Although minor, there is room for concern as he was arrested on 12/18/21 for Possession of Marijuana less than 2 ounces in Collin County, TX (something to know about).

Full Scouting Report

8) Phidarian Mathis, Alabama

Key Measurables: 6042, 310, 34 5/8 in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 53 tackles, 12 TFLs, 8.0% pressure percentage, 9 sacks, 2 PD, 2 FR, 1 FF

Player Comp: Poor Man’s Christian Barmore

Background:

RS SR who has started 20 of 55 games, including 12 of 15 in 2021. 4-star HS prospect who decided to ultimately go with Alabama late over in-state school, LSU. Redshirted in 2017. Made the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2018 as a rotational backup. Was, again, a rotational backup in 2019 until making his 1st career start against Auburn, which fed over to his 2nd career start in the Citrus Bowl vs. Michigan. Served as a rotational starter in 2020 before finally gaining a much more entrenched role as 1 of the permanent team captains and a 12-game starter in 2021.

Mathis’ 2021 season not only found him doubling his previous snap count high (439 in 2020 to 814 in 2021) but also to becoming a National Champion. With this came awards, including SEC 2nd Team, 2nd Team All-America (AFCA), SEC Community Service Team, and the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Played under HC Nick Saban (15th season), DC/ILB Coach Pete Golding (3rd season), and DL Coach Freddie Roach (2nd season).

Projection:

Phidarian Mathis was mostly a 0-3 Tech (also had some 5-Tech) in Alabama’s multiple defense and would project best as a solid Role Backup in a multiple defense that mainly plays him as a 1-Tech DT in a 4-3 with versatility to play from a 0-3-Tech dependent upon the situation. Possesses a championship-winning pedigree while also showing leadership values (team captain and Community Service Team) but has athletic limitations (along with age limitations, being 1 of the oldest DTs in the draft) that limits his upside.

Worry about his ability to diagnose and anchor in the Run game consistently but has the length to be able to be successful as a 1 or 2-Gap player immediately. Although productive as a Pass Rusher in 2021, it shouldn’t translate to the NFL due to his limited get off/initial burst and limited ability to anticipate the snap. This should leave him off the field on most 3rd Downs.

Full Scouting Report

9) Noah Elliss, Idaho

Key Measurables: 6041, 346, 32 ¼ in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 46 tackles, 7 TFLs, 3.8% pressure percentage, 1 sack, 3 PBU

Player Comp: Tedarrell Slaton

Background: 

RS SR who has started 16 of 21 career games, including 8 of 10 in 2021 (All-Big Sky Honorable mention in 2021). In 2021, Idaho (FCS) went 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the Big Sky Conference. Shrine Bowl attendee. 3-Star prospect (#346 overall according to 247 Composite) out of HS (Valor Christian HS, CO) who signed with Mississippi State before transferring to Idaho prior to his Redshirt Sophomore year (2019) after not playing for Mississippi State in his 2 years there (2017-2018). Played under HC Paul Petrino (9th season), DC/SAF Coach Mike Breske (7th season), and DL Coach Luther Elliss (5th season, Noah’s father, and former 1st Rounder/All-Pro for the Detroit Lions).

Projection:

Noah Elliss projects as a NT in a multiple defense that plays as a 0/1 Tech in a 3-4 and 1/3 Tech in a 4-3. Raw, developmental backup with traits who needs to win early to be able to be consistently successful. Would benefit from more play against high level comp in the NFL initially in practice (film too limited against FBS comp along with limited amount of overall games played over a 5 year span) and could develop into a Role Backup down the line who could stick on a roster.

Full Scouting Report

10) Otito Ogbonnia, UCLA

Key Measurables: 6037, 323, 34 ¼ in Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 30 tackles, 5 TFLs, 5.3% pressure percentage, 2 sacks, 2 PD, 1 FF

Player Comp: Khyiris Tonga

Background: 

SR who has started 27 of 43 career games, including 12 of 12 in 2021. 3-star HS prospect from Texas (both his parents are Nigerian). Ogbonnia never truly had a full-time starting role until 2021. Started 6 games (played in all 12 games) as a FR in 2018, 5 games (played in all 12 games) as a SO in 2019, 4 games (played in all 7 games) as a JR during a COVID-shortened season in 2020. Started 12 games (played in all 12 games) as a SR, gaining 2nd-Team All-Pac-12 recognition by PFF. Senior Bowl attendee. His 1st 2 years (2018-2019) while at UCLA, he competed in the Shot Put and Discus on the Track & Field team, seeing significant success.

Book smart (still developing FBIQ) and plans to go to Law School after his FB career. Was placed on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll 7 times while at UCLA while earning his undergraduate degree in Geography/Environmental Studies (was enrolled in the Transformative Coaching and Leadership graduate program in the School of Education right before he left for the NFL). Ogbonnia is one of the youngest listed DTs in the draft (8/25/2000, will have just turned 22 when the 2022 NFL season begins). Played under HC Chip Kelly (4th season) and DC Jerry Azzinaro (4th season).

Projection:

Otito Ogbonnia is a high ceiling, low floor (extremely raw) Developmental Backup with traits who could potentially develop into a Rotational Starter you can win with down the line. He projects best as a 0-2i NT in a 3-4 who could excel in spurts v Run (especially 2-Gapping and shouldn’t be considered as a 1-Gap penetrator) while also flashing some pass rush at times with ankle flexibility. Ultimately, inconsistent v R/P right now. Needs to heavily reconstruct his UOH and develop his FBIQ/block recognition to find success.

Highly developmental player who struggles with coordination/body control but has the AA, frame/size, and youth to perceive that there could make significant strides at the next level under the right direction. Need to question if he truly loves Football.

Full Scouting Report

More Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Lists:

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles |Interior Offensive Line | Edge Rushers | Interior Defensive Line | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties