Name: Dalvin Tomlinson
Position fit: Defensive interior
Stats to know: Tomlinson had 43 QB pressures and 23 run stops in 2016.
What he does best:
- One of the premier run defenders in the draft class.
- Sheds blockers with ease in the run game.
- Very difficult for just one blocker to move and holds up to double teams well.
- Can play two-gaps with ease as he locks out blockers away from his frame and sheds at will.
- Can knock blockers backward off the snap with an initial jolt.
- Very good playing strength and he plays bigger than even his listed size.
- Uses a club-swim, bull and bull-jerk rush to get pressure on the quarterback.
- Impacted far more passing plays in 2016 than he did earlier in his career.
- Uses his long arms to clog passing lanes and bat down passes (9 batted passes in two years).
- Sound tackler who has only missed three tackles for his career.
- Had an impressive 70 hurries over the last three years but only knocked down the quarterback 11 times (three sacks, eight hits).
- Very reliant on his club-swim move to get pressure, will need to develop more pass-rush moves.
- Only one season of playing at least 50 percent of defensive snaps.
- Surrounded by one of the most talented college defenses in recent memory.
Player comparison: Johnathan Hankins, New York Giants.
Hankins has been a solid run defender throughout his career with one strong years as a pass-rusher (2014). Tomlinson should at least be viable in the run game, capable of winning from multiple alignments, while he’ll have to improve his pass-rush arsenal to made a three-down difference.
Bottom line: Tomlinson is one of the elite run defenders in this draft class. Tomlinson can beat the blockers across from him with quickness, length or strength. Tomlinson has a thick strong lower body which makes him tough to move. He can also keep his opponent at a distance with his arms and locate the ball very well. Tomlinson has the ability to play two-gaps as well as the quickness to be a one-gap penetrator. Tomlinson’s ability to play different positions along the defensive line will help his value in the draft. Tomlinson’s pass-rush production increased in 2016 but the question will be does he offer enough as a pass-rusher to be selected high in the draft. The natural pass-rush ability is there and perhaps it will develop with time making him an even more valuable asset to his team.