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Draft position breakdown: Defensive line


ARM LENGTH:33 5/8 inches- HAND SIZE:9 3/8 inches
40: 5.00 seconds- BENCH PRESS:21 reps
SHORT SHUTTLE:4.50 seconds- THREE-CONE DRILL:7.49 seconds

Allen is a dominant force up front who swept through the major awards a defensive lineman could win and finished in the top 10 in the Heisman Trophy voting last year. He played a role similar to that of Derek Wolfe in the Broncos' defense, working inside in sub packages and at defensive end in the base alignment. He was equally disruptive in both positions and against the run and the pass, making 53 plays behind the line of scrimmage (sacks plus tackles for loss) in the last two seasons -- an average of 1.77 per game.

His power, performance and experience in a pro-style defense ensure that he should have minimal problems making the transition to the NFL. His short learning curve gives him a chance to be the most productive rookie at any position in this year's class.

Allen played through some issues with his left shoulder and underwent rotator-cuff surgery two years ago, but he did not miss a game in his final three seasons.


ARM LENGTH:32 5/8inches- HAND SIZE:10 inches
40: 4.97 seconds - BENCH PRESS:26 reps
SHORT SHUTTLE:4.75 seconds- THREE-CONE DRILL:7.55 seconds

The first truly outstanding player in the recently launched Charlotte program, Ogunjobi provided consistent disruption despite not having much around him. He racked up 49 tackles for loss over his four years with the 49ers and started all 46 games in which he played.

Ogunjobi isn't spectacular but is quietly, persistently effective. Watching him in games where the 49ers struggled -- including the season opener at Louisville last year -- his constant effort jumps off the screen. He continually pushes and plays at full speed, no matter what the scoreboard says. Other interior D-line prospects are quicker and stronger, but none play with more effort.


ARM LENGTH:34 1/8 inches- HAND SIZE:10 1/2 inches
40: 4.84 seconds- BENCH PRESS:23 reps
SHORT SHUTTLE:4.55 seconds- THREE-CONE DRILL:7.08 seconds

A versatile lineman with the ability to play inside and outside, Wormley notched 23.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks the last two seasons. He does a good job using his hands and his length to break free of opposing offensive linemen, and he can quickly accelerate to get to the quarterback.

Worley is consistent in his effort and performance and versatile in his usage. He isn't a specialist; he will bring something positive on every down.


ARM LENGTH:34 3/4 inches- HAND SIZE:10 1/2 inches
40: 4.85 seconds- BENCH PRESS:23 reps
SHORT SHUTTLE:4.53 seconds- THREE-CONE DRILL:7.69 seconds

The questions around McDowell do not center around his peak performance level. When he's at his best, he's a terror on the inside, capable of not only drawing double teams, but creating penetration through them. Even at 295 pounds, he has the quickness necessary to work in a stand-up alignment in a 3-4 scheme.

But at times last year, McDowell appeared to give less than his full effort. At the Combine, he defended himself by saying that he had "a lot of stuff going on this past year, health reasons, just body stuff." But amid reports that McDowell did not interview well with teams, the character and effort questions persist. If he proves that the concerns were false, he will be one of the best value picks of the draft.


ARM LENGTH:32 inches- HAND SIZE:9 3/4 inches
40: 5.14 seconds- BENCH PRESS:21 reps
SHORT SHUTTLE:4.62 seconds- THREE-CONE DRILL:7.66 seconds

Individual numbers don't tell the tale for Brantley, who notched 2.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss last season. It's about how he sets up players around and behind him to make plays. Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone both developed into playmaking linebackers against the run because Brantley was one of the nation's best defenders at occupying multiple blockers.

There's nothing fancy about Brantley's game. Against the run, he prevents carries up the middle. He is also a strong interior pass rusher who consistently flushes quarterbacks out of the pocket. In the NFL, he could be an edge rusher's best friend.


  1. Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama
    1. Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova
    2. DeMarcus Walker, Florida State
    3. Nazair Jones, North Carolina
    4. Jaleel Johnson, Iowa
    5. Tanzel Smart, Tulane
    6. Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA
    7. Vincent Taylor, Oklahoma State
    8. Montravius Adams, Auburn
    9. Carlos Watkins, Clemson

Derek Wolfe is the only constant in the starting lineup, as the Broncos targeted the line in free agency by signing nose tackle Domata Peko and defensive end Zach Kerr to add bulk and power to the line.

"Those guys are huge," OLB Von Miller said. "Peko, he's athletic. We were working out [last week] and I was like, 'Yeah, he's going to be great for us.' Just by looking at those guys, you can already tell they're going to be able to feel and correct some of those weaknesses that we had last year."

Their arrivals should allow Jared Crick to assume more of a pass-rush specialist role. But the Broncos still need to see more from last year's second-round pick, Adam Gotsis. Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar told the Georgia Tech product he needs to get stronger in the weight room. If he can do that, he will be more effective at the point of attack against the run.


Five times in the last 10 drafts, the Broncos have used a first- or second-round pick on a player who would be a defensive lineman in a 3-4 alignment. Of the 10 defensive linemen selected in that span, five played out the full extent of their first contract: Marcus Thomas, Robert Ayers, Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson and Sylvester Williams.

2007:Tim Crowder, Texas - Round 2, No. 56 overall; Marcus Thomas, Florida - Round 4, No. 121 overall
2008:Carlton Powell, Virginia Tech - Round 5, No. 148 overall
2009:Robert Ayers, Tennessee - Round 1, No. 18 overall
2011:Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma - Round 7, No. 247 overall
2012:Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati - Round 2, No. 36 overall; Malik Jackson, Tennessee - Round 5, No. 137 overall
2013:Sylvester Williams, North Carolina - Round 1, No. 28 overall
2015:Darius Kilgo, Maryland - Round 6, No. 203 overall
2016:Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech - Round 2, No. 63 overall

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