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NFL Draft Diamonds Interior D-Line Sleeper Spotlight

Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Montell Cozart (2) is sacked by Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive lineman Kevin Wilkins (99) during the second half at High Points Solutions Stadium. Rutgers defeated Kansas 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Diamonds

Draft Sleeper Spotlight by Matt Anzio

Interior D- Line Vol .1

Kevin Wilkins – Rutgers

  • Rutgers
  • Height- 6’ 2     
  • Weight- 305 lbs
  • Awards 2018 East-West Shrine Game Attendee & 2018 Bender Trophy Winner
  • East-West Shrine 2019 Participant
  • Projected Reps at 225 – 34
  • Hometown: Mahwah N.J.

A former Wrestler naturally moves blockers out the way &  can occupy multiple O lineman.

He started 11 games at edge actually for the Scarlet Knights this past season.  

Was watching him in during East-West Shrine Game week.  The East struggled against the West so it was hard to get a great feel during the game. Although thought he had a nice week of practices Wilkins showed good to get off with good power intensity preparing for the game.   Wilkins could add some depth, especially on run downs for a good rotational D line. He had 50 tackle, 6 TFL, 3 PBU & a sack as a Senior this past yr.

As a Defensive end he can tend to start off a bit high at times. Would like to see him work on his bend get as low as possible to use that body mass. Can be hard at almost 6 ‘ 3 to get low but it will benefit his overall leverage.  Good burst very active against the run keeping his eyes on the back shedding 1 or 2 blocks to make the stop. Do see him get contained at time due to leverage but a move inside with the right techniques all can be fixed. Strong punch physical with above-average agility for a D tackle.   Very quick moving feet loose hips flexible for a big man Mayock would call him a “Dancing Bear “. Balance is something he will be working on a lot because once you harness Wilkins strength short quickness even elusive for a 300 plus pound powerhouse. When he gets his hands inside he has the upper body strength to lay them on the turf. Powerful athletic D line prospect with good intelligence seems like a  high character high IQ guy although i do not know him. Have watched several interviews just seems like a genuine human being. Good vision awareness he has everything you look for to develop on an NFL roster. Combine snub should give him a little chip on the shoulder at his Rutgers Pro Day.

DT/ DL  – Zachary  Cannon    

  • Johnson C. Smith  U
  • Height- 6’3 ½     
  • Weight 310 lbs
  • Hand: 9 “  
  • Wingspan: 71”
  • Projected Reps at 225lbs-   29
  • All Star attended: FCS Bowl. Tropical  HBCU Bowl & Charlotte Touchdown Award Winner.  
  • Hometown : Washington D.C.  

Report

Following Cannon since the  Tropical Bowl at the end of January.

Had a chance to go back look at several games ion top of his Bowl & highlight tape.  Really enjoyed what i saw from him out the Nose tackle position in school shedding 0ne or two blockers at times taking the back down in the backfield.   Shows the determination to keep working his legs & arms keeps it moving great hustle.

                Solid stance with good leverage  big upper body with muscular arms steady moving feet for a big physical NT candidate. Can use his body shift his weight to leverage blockers.   Has the ability to extend arms grab & shed making the big tackle behind the line or getting in the QB’s range of vision. Good short burst lateral quickness  to get from side to side close run lanes in a hurry. Have watched his work off the edge although i think he fits better inside on 3 man fronts nice to know he has the experience. Can stunt loop around change of direction is excellent for a interior defender. Has the athletic ability to redirect on stunt or combo blitzes. Gets his hands up in pass rush situations  Has the timing knowledge of the game to excel as a potential every down type of D line prospect. Intuitive instincts seems to anticipate where the back is or gonna be. Takes good angles can shed blocks both with strength & quickness. Has played inside & out has gap control with enough speed to get around OT’s on the edge. Has been used on special teams has made some nice plays blocking FG’s. Can stand up or put his hand in the dirt very versatile D line prospect to watch. Spends a lot of time in the gym & film room to improve his game stay in shape.

DT/ DL – Brandon Vocco

  • School – Clarion
  • Height : 6’0    
  • Weight: 307 lbs
  • Hand – 9 ¾   
  • Projected Reps at 225 lbs –   34
  • Best Games:  vs Gannon 9/22/18  & vs Bloom 11/11/17
  • Bowl Invites: National & Tropical Bowls
  • Hometown: Portage P.A.

Report    

      In your average D line draft a team would at the very least take a late round flyer on a player with Vocco’s resume. Unfortunately because of the depth of quality D line prospects with the fact Clarion is not exactly Alabama when it comes to scouting. Although i think when you get scouts familiar with small school football they know Clarion & players like Vocco. He was sought  after by the smaller school scouts & scouts that have to round out lineups in the NFL or the next tier CFL, AAF or XFL. All those scouts requested to see Vocco at both the National & the Tropical Bowl where he made some new fans as well. On the season Vocco had 62 tackles & 3 sacks but obviously failed to get an invite to the Combine like many of these elite small school players have for many years.  Can tell you this every scout, player coach or friend i talk to that knows of Vocco has nothing but good things to say about the young man. Getting to know him just a little studying his tape i can see why they like the big man outa Western P.A.

Low center of gravity with a very flexible bend in his stance which in turn adds gusto to his burst of the line. Strong hand with good hand placement using leverage getting hands inside the shoulder driving blockers out the way or driving them back into the QB on pass rush. On run plays he strives  ability to shed double teams following the line laterally & the RB with his eyes.Thick lower body bulky upper & lower body. Good gap discipline can navigate his way through holes in the line hunt down the ball carrier. Escaping blocks breaking through text book tackler. Shows lucid hips speed feet has shown the ability to get pressure on the QB. Might not always get home but he is always making things unf]comfortable for opposing signal callers.  Upper Body beastly push to knock O lineman off balance or grab & pull out the way. Enough closing speed to pass rush

NT/ DL –  Warren Powers

  • School : Florida Technical Institute
  • Height: 5’11       
  • Weight: 301lbs
  • Hand: 9”       
  • Wingspan: 75”
  • Projected Reps at 225 – 43   
  • Played in the 2019 Dream Bowl
  • 2 time All Conference 1 time All American & 1 time All regional
  • Best Games: vs West Florida 10/20/18    vs WGU 9/22/18 & vs Newberry 9/8/18   
  • Hometown: Fort Lauderdale Fl     

Report

Powers lives up to his last name in the middle of the line.

Dense sturdy with  a massive strong Wide base body type. Quick get off  the line keeps his eye on the prize. Big frame sheds blocks rapidly locating the backer can disengage with one arm while tackling with the other. Consistently double teamed in college was very difficult to get harness or contain Powers.  Has the leverage monster hand/ arm strength to move blockers knocking them off balance. Amazing long speed for a big Nose Tackle can run backs down from behind. Finds backs in traffic through multiple bodies has the instincts vision to track the back. Has the mobility to pull off stunts both from the NT or DT position.  Has no problem being a role player tacking up a gap or two so his teammates can get pass rush or get home on a run/ pass blitz. Agility with lateral movement skills with the perfect size & vision to go across the face locate & stop smaller elusive backs. While still having the girth upper body strength to tackle the biggest of backs or move some large OG’s or Centers backwards.  Can still be disruptive in the pass game although think he is ideally a run stuffing NT 3 technique. Some taller O lineman could have problems with Powers height, physical stature technique his always moving feet. Has intensity leverages drives big O lineman back by getting his hands in the inside of the pads. Has the athletic ability for stunts can loop around with his movement skills high motor.  Much like most the guys i make an effort to cover Powers follows direction well. Easy going high character with good work ethic with a unique frame. He brings it to play through the whistle. Still raw & would like to see him used in different ways be the physical attributes align with qualities scouts take note of.

DT/ DL   – Elijah Bryant

  • SUNY Maritime
  • Height -6’2  
  • Weight- 320lbs  
  • Hand: 10 “         
  • Wingspan: 77.5 “    
  • Previous School: Monroe College  transferred Fall of last season
  • Projected Reps art 225 –  42
  • Awards Bowl Invites:   HBCU SOA Bowl & The Gridiron BOwl  
  • Best Games: DPOTG   vs Hampton 11/3/18 & Vs Springfield 11/17/18
  • Hometown:  New York, N.Y.   

Report     

Elijah Bryant is a 6’2 320 lb DT that fires out his stance like a Roman Candle on the Fourth of July.

Can explode thru double teams extremely hard to contain. Strong as an OX can bench 225 over 40 times. Gets a solid extend & cut to avoid blockers Powerful lean doesn’t allow blockers to get ahold of him quick body movement. Arms tight to the body on run blitz doesn’t get hung up often. Built sturdy strong upper half with lower body to match. Quick foot plant change of direction off  can run backs down from behind. Controls drives most blockers effortlessly with bull rush power. Far from just a gap spacing Tackle prospect. Bryant has the quickness to get up the field to create havoc behind the line. His ten yard split time should be of interest we have seen it thus far with very fast timed DT prospects at the combine especially quick short are times. Played NT & DT in College. Think he could fit more of a rushing DT then a NTin the Pro’s. Monstrous heavy handed like a battering ram thru the blocks massive push burst both vertically & laterally. Can locate the running while being double teamed shed & contain the runner. Shows enough explosive velocity to even be moved outside incertain odd fronts. Shows that burst on pass rush can get home or in the vicinity of the QB. Locates & locks down with his eyes anyone with the ball in their possession attacks it like a Bull Shark attacks a wetsuit of chum.

Transfer from Monroe College in late Fall started just 7 games & was invited to the Tropical bowL 7 the D 3 Classic. He is now preparing for his pro day looks to translate what we have seen on tape in front of scouts.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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