Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Five Top Defensive Linemen To Watch For At The NFL Combine


The Redskins' coaching staff could be watching these specific linemen, a position of need this offseason, at this week's NFL combine.

The Redskins' defense had a tough time stopping the run in 2016 and also keeping healthy bodies rotating in and out of their defensive front. With a new defensive coordinator, the Redskins could look to help bolster their defensive line at the NFL Draft.

At the NFL Combine, the coaching staff could have their eyes on these defensive linemen to see which one, or ones, will impress them enough to become a selection in April.

Check out these photos of Stanford defensive end, Solomon Thomas.


Solomon Thomas, Stanford

Solomon Thomas is a prototypical defensive lineman who can play the run as well as rushing the passer. The Stanford product was a first-team All-Pac 12 selection, and his final year as a Cardinal he garnered 61 total tackles and 14 of them went for negative yards.

He is explosive at the point of attack and also has the quickness to slide in the gap to disrupt the flow of a play. His footwork is good and he has uncanny pass rusher moves, with 8.5 sacks in 2016 to show for it. He has the size and athleticism to fit in any defensive scheme and can be used in all scenarios.

Check out these photos of Michigan defensive end, Taco Charlton.

Taco Charlton, Michigan

First-team All-Big Ten selection Taco Charlton out of Michigan was noticeable on every single play in his last year as a Wolverine. He has a rare combination of size and athleticism what allows him to be a three-down lineman.

Charlton can take on a double team to free up linebackers or use his Dwight Freeney-like spin move to beat pass blockers. He has the speed to pursue stretch plays.

Charlton had 10 sacks last season and has the arm length to knock down throws at the line of scrimmage.


Caleb Brantley, Florida

Caleb Brantley is a powerful defensive lineman that plays with a ton of passion. The Florida product goes all out on every play and uses his initial pop to punish blockers. He is a tad undersized for an interior lineman but can take on double teams and is rarely knocked to the ground.

Brantley has the hand strength that allows him to grab on and slow down backs while engaged with a blocker. He is a very talented football player who also has a ton of confidence in his approach to the game.

Check out these photos of Michigan defensive end, Chris Wormley.

Chris Wormley, Michigan

At times Chris Wormley almost seems too athletic for his size. The 6-foot-5 defensive end was a handful for Big Ten offenses all season in 2016. He is aggressive from the time the ball is snapped and plays through the end of a play. He can overpower a blocker or beat them with ease using his foot quickness.

His frame extends his tackle radius and is able to chase down running backs in open space. He has a high football IQ and always stays within his assignments.

As the leader of the Wolverine defense, he finished with 36 tackles and 5.5 sacks in his final collegiate season.

Check out these photos of Michigan State defensive tackle, Malik McDowell.

Malik McDowell, Michigan State

Malik McDowell is a long, athletic and possesses a lot of raw talent. As a junior at Michigan State, he had seven tackles for losses and 1.5 sacks. His numbers aren't flashy but he was a rock on the defensive front all season.

His natural strength allows his to push around interior blockers and has good lateral movement to chase down outside plays. McDowell has a ton of potential and could become a great playmaker in the NFL.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content