Rookie Rewind: Senat, Ragnow & More Preseason Trench Play

Photo: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 1 of the NFL preseason coming to a close, we've had the chance to get a good look at most of the 2018 draft class on the field for the first time. For some, like Saquon Barkley, Baker Mayfield and Quenton Nelson, they're already living up to their hype. For others, like Kolton Miller, Ronald Jones and others, those guys left more to be desired in their NFL debuts.

These young guys are learning that this league is a battle, and nowhere is that more true than in the trenches.

On Friday night, we got a good look at a handful of trench players who were picked at a variety of different spots in the 2018 NFL Draft, and with some film in hand (thanks to Brandon Thorn) we've been able to highlight what they did well and what might need some immediate work for more playing time moving forward.

Nathan Shepherd, DT, New York Jets

Coming from DII Fort Hays State, Shepherd's projection to the NFL was a polarizing one. After dominating his competition at the Senior Bowl, he gained the attention of a lot of draft media members and thus gained bit of a following before being selected No. 72 in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

What was alluring about Shepherd throughout the process was that, on tape, he looked like he moved extremely well for a 6-foot-4, 315-pound interior defensive lineman. That showed up right away in his first game with the Jets.

Per reports, Shepherd is already running with the Jets' first-team defense. Athleticism like you see above is why.

Deadrin Senat, DT, Atlanta Falcons

Former USF Bull Deadrin Senat was a small name before showing up in a big way at the East-West Shrine event in St. Pete, FL last January.

Senat's stocky 6-foot, 315- pound frame gives life to the "bowling ball" type defensive linemen you hear coaches talk about. But, where he is smaller in size, he uses it to his advantage with great leverage and push off the snap. As shown above, Senate is doing that well already in the NFL, too.

Frank Ragnow/Tyrell Crosby, OL, Detroit Lions

After being selected No. 20 overall by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, it was expected that interior offensive lineman Frank Ragnow was going to have an impact right away. The question was where that impact was going to come from, as Ragnow can play many spots on the line.

The Lions have plugged Ragnow in at left guard, and as the starter he's been living up to the expectations.

As for former Oregon offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby, his night, as Thorn points out in the tweet above, was hot and cold.

Going from the Pac-12 to the NFL, especially in a spread, speed system in college, is quite the change. Crosby has to learn that if he doesn't bring his mean streak and his leverage on every play that he'll give up too many pressures to be relied upon.

There were some things to like but things to clean up, too, for the Lions' fifth round pick. You like that he's getting the early playing time, though.

P.J. Hall, DT, Oakland

Hall had some crazy stats in college. Two-time first-team Associated Press FCS All-American, 60 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, six sacks and six pass breakups, and that was just his final year.

When you watch Hall's Sam Houston State tape, you can tell the reason why he was able to rack up stats like that is because of effort -- talent, too, but effort with it. On Friday night, in his debut, he got the first sack of his NFL career with just that -- effort.

According to his first NFL game, not much is going to change in the high motor category from college to the pros for Hall. He's is going to give it his all when he's out there. He and fellow rookie Maurice Hurst were running side-by-side quite a bit in the first half of their first game, which could be the Raiders' interior defensive combo of the future.

Written By:

Trevor Sikkema

Chief Digital Officer

CDO & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-Host of the Locked On NFL Draft Podcast.