There's good news, potentially, for teams looking to improve on defense in the wake of the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history. That was a recent theme on the NFL Network's coverage from Mobile, Ala., during Senior Bowl week.
"Absolutely, it is a defensive draft," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah. "That's reflected with all these underclassmen and all their talent."
A record 135 players who have been granted special eligibility or fulfilled their degree requirements with eligibility remaining will be among those available for selection in the Draft, April 25-27, in Nashville. Among them, Jeremiah emphasized, are "a whole bunch of defensive linemen.
"If you want explosive players that can get to the quarterback, you're going to enjoy this one," Jeremiah added.
Jeremiah's Top 10 list of prospects in advance of the Senior Bowl included eight defensive players:
Ohio State DE Nick Bosa (No. 1), Alabama DT Quinnen Williams (No. 2), Kentucky DE Josh Allen (No. 3), Michigan DE Rashan Gary (No. 4), Mississippi State DT Jeffrey Simmons (No. 5), Clemson DT Christian Wilkins (No. 7), Houston DT Ed Oliver (No. 8), and LSU LB Devin White (No. 10).
Pass rushers have seemingly always been in demand and will be again this year, perhaps more than ever.
"It's not just the edge guys anymore," NFL Network analyst Charles Davis maintained. "Those inside guys, everyone realizes pushing the pocket in the quarterback's face, that's a big way to go."
Added NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks: "Everybody's excited about the pass-rush class. In this league it's all about quarterbacks and guys who can affect the quarterback."