Underrated Combine Invitees: Defense
Obum, Gwacham, Oregon State
A former slot WR who made the move to the defensive side of the ball in 2014, Gwacham shows some real raw ability. He gets off the snap extremely quickly and is tenacious pass rusher. He doesn’t have the functional lower or upper body strength needed, but that can come with time. Gwacham’s athleticism leaps off the tape and he is a late round pick with a ton of upside. If drafted into a 3-4 scheme where he is allowed to work in space, Gwacham could turn into a starter in the NFL.
Leterrius Walton, Central Michigan
Walton is a very good natural athlete who is deceptively quick and often forces interior lineman to backpedal a lot more than they want to. Excellent against the run as he fills gaps and creates traffic for RBs who try to squeeze by him. Walton gets very good leverage and can play as a 5-technique in a 3-4 or a 3-technique in a 4-3. He should be coveted by teams that run hybrid schemes and could go as high as the 4th round.
Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, Maryland
Cudjoe-Virgil walked onto the Maryland team after being at Seton Hill and is an intriguing physical specimen at 6’2 and 255 pounds. He missed most of the 2013 season with a torn pectoral muscle and wasn’t even a consistent starter this year, but has made his way to the NFL Combine. He is the type who doesn’t shine in one particular area but also doesn’t have major weaknesses. He can rush the passer, and primarily did that through his career, but he has good sideline to sideline capability to make plays in the outside run game. Atypical 4-3 OLB who may go late in the draft as a special teamer and role player with potential for more.
Lorenzo Doss, Tulane
An early declarer for the draft, Doss seems to have been forgotten in the conversation with the top corners. He is an incredible playmaker with a nose for the ball. With 15 interceptions over the course of his college career (including two returned for touchdowns,) teams will salivate at his playmaking ability. Doss does more than just intercept the ball as he is very fluid with little wasted movement when turning and running with the WR. Though he is on the shorter and slighter side, at worst Doss will excel as a slot CB who can cover big time weapons. At best, he could become a starter. Doss will be underdrafted on the 3rd day.
Damarious Randall, Arizona State
Randall is undersized, but he possesses both the tackling and playmaking ability to be a versatile safety who can start down the line. At Arizona State, Randall often played close to the line and was a violent downhill tackler with solid technique. When unblocked, he almost always made a play. He led the whole defense in both tackles (106) and interceptions (3) including one interception for a touchdown. Though Randall isn’t as fluid as he should be for his size, he is tough, physical and is excellent at reading the QBs eyes. A fine two way safety, Randall should go in the top 100.
Justin Manton, Louisiana-Monroe
Manton is a draftable kicker with a who profiles as an NFL starter due to how reliable he is. He has experience at both placekicking and punting (which can help out in a pinch). He has routinely kicked field goals of over 50 yards with accuracy and rarely misses inside of 40 yards. If your team needs a starting kicker, Manton is a name to know and one of the more accurate prospects at kicker in this draft.