Where’s The Beef? Breaking Down Mid-Round Interior Defenders

Texas A&M defensive back Brian George (16), Texas A&M defenisve lineman Bobby Brown III,and Texas A&M defenisve lineman DeMarvin Leal (8) celebrate during a game between Tennessee and Texas A&M in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.

Hey Mr. GM good to see you again; it’s round three and you’re VERY defensive-minded head coach is mad that he didn’t get to take that corner he liked so much in round one. Seriously, he wants a corner in round one every year, guy needs to get a grip….. ANYWAYS back to the board. That EDGE that we liked went a pick or two earlier than expected. If there is one thing that is going to help the back end of our defense (yeah coach we know.. the corner would have…. I am hanging up.) it’s some beef in the middle of the line. If we can stop the run and force them to be one-dimensional, we can drop more in coverage and let the athletes on defense do their thing. Let’s look at the big fellas still on the board and see what block eaters are still around. 

Bobby Brown

Texas A&M 6’4 325 pounds Bobby is a monster. Look at the size here, has shown the ability to routinely make plays against double teams. His upper body matches his lower body. He had a down year in 2020 vs what he saw in 2019 when he graded out at 82.3, there was some turnover on the line next to him that allowed the offense to focus more on him. The tape shows better than the grade, he did have a boost in sacks and hurries this year that is encouraging. Effort is the main worry for Mr.Brown. He has a tendency to churn his feet on reps that he is…less interested in. He needs to be on a team that demands effort and has a strong locker room. Baltimore? Cough cough. 

Tyler Shelvin

LSU 6’3 346 pounds. You asked for beef right? Rumor has it Tyler was up to 375 at one point last fall. He opted to sit out in 2020. The last time we saw him in 2019, he was immovable. If you want to solidify your interior line, this is a great place to start. He has shown the ability to eat two blocks one down, and run an absolutely absurd stunt the next He plays with leverage you cannot teach. He will be an early-down specialist in the league, limited rushing the passer, and workload could be an issue. Just like my doctor tells me, diet and exercise will be a big part of his success. 

Khyiris Tonga

BYU 6’4 321 pounds. Here is an example of lean beef, sirloin if you will. Tonga doesn’t have a lot of fat on him, he is gifted physically and it shows. He may turn into a three-technique in the league vs a pure run stopper, but hey who doesn’t love big man athletic plays amirite? Dominant on slants, with strength in his upper body unmatched by his competition, it is worrisome he wasn’t more dominant vs the lower level of teams he faced. He will have to work on his leverage in the league, stays a little high in his bull rush, and needs to develop a few additional moves to keep opposing OL on their heels. The tape and his pass-rush grade of 76.5 show the potential is there with the right fit he could have a strong start to his career. 

Ta’quon Graham

Texas 6’4 294 pounds. Graham is a tweener, he will probably go in the fifth round. He has two strongly graded seasons at 81.2 and 77.5 respectively. I picked him even though he is a bit further down on the list because of the measurables. Really long arms at 35 inches, great hand size, and his NFL-ready first step. His career could fizzle, or if you told me in three years he was signing some huge deal I would believe you. He will need help with his lower body, he is a bit undersized and is late to pickup ball carriers at times. His two-gap potential will get him reps in the league. 

Alright Mr. GM, I have a coach on the line that is still complaining about a cornerback… what’s that? You will call him back? Got it. Best of luck with the pick. One thing is for sure, it would be an honor to walk into a Golden Corral with any of these gents.