It seems like the 2020 NFL Draft just happened, but we move fast here at The Draft Network.
Currently going through summer evaluations for the 2021 NFL Draft class, our scouting team of Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino, Jordan Reid, and Drae Harris are meeting up every day to discuss prospects, traits, and concepts. New to TDN is a daily scouting roundtable where we go through and identify the most important points of conversation from that day’s meeting.
On Friday, we talked about a few impressive defensive linemen, including Pittsburgh’s Jaylen Twyman and Duke’s Chris Rumph II.
Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke
An energetic, explosive pass-rusher for the Blue Devils, Rumph II checks nearly every box. Whether it be his bloodlines (his dad is the Houston Texans’ OLB coach), first-step quickness, or pass-rush variance, he has it all. Just one thing is missing: size.
“Man, I wish he wasn’t 225 (pounds) because his game is so good,” Marino initially noted while describing Rumph’s impressive film. “He plays a lot bigger than 225, but I don’t think he’s bigger than 225, which is unfortunate. If he was 255 (pounds), we’re talking about a first-round pick.”
Thankfully, size issues aren’t what they once were in today’s day and age, but a diminutive frame hurts nonetheless, which Marino made sure to make clear while discussing his evaluation. Still, the positives far outweigh (pun intended) the negatives for Rumph II, and Marino added as much, noting that he’s “as polished as they come.”
“The thing is, you can always add weight,” Harris added. “You typically don't become a greater athlete or mover, but weight is a lot easier to fix.”
Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh
Another beast of a prospect, Twyman is one of the more well-known names in this class. After Marino sat down to watch the tape, he let the scouting staff know that the current hype is fully warranted.
“He plays relentlessly on every single snap,” Marino first noted when plugging on the film. “(Twyman) has a dynamic pass-rushing skill set and knows how to attack the pocket. He’s exactly what the league is looking for in terms of penetration-style 3-techniques.”
Garnering 10.5 sacks in essentially his first collegiate season in 2019, Twyman and the entire Pittsburgh defense was a dominant force, with his impressive traits serving as a main catalyst for the entire unit.
“You think about the foundation that he has in terms of quickness, bus hands, and flexibility—that’s a nice start for him.”
Yes, he’s a tad undersized for his position (roughly 6-foot-2, 290 pounds), but it’s clear from Marino’s current evaluation that Twyman offers tantalizing upside even with some warts (like size) that are present in his current game.
“He has a chance to be one of the first defensive tackles off of the board,” Marino concluded.
Tedarrell Slaton, DL, Florida
Moving away from two undersized prospects at their positions, Slaton is anything but. Hovering at right around 360 pounds, the Gators prospect carries his weight exceptionally well for his large frame.
“He’s a true 0-technique. That’s the only scheme you can fit him in,” Reid noted. “I don’t want to say he’s dominant, but (Slaton) is just a guy who does his job.”
A preseason All-American, Slaton has plenty of fans in scouting circles and it’s easy to see why. Despite not offering much as a rusher (only two sacks throughout his entire Florida career), Slaton is a dependable presence who can hold down gaps and allow his other teammates to make plays. A former high school offensive lineman, he’s also relatively new to the position, which means he still has a good amount of untapped potential.
No, as the definition of a two-down run stuffer Slaton’s traits aren’t admittedly all that valuable, but excelling at a role—even a devalued one—is still extremely important.
“He’s not the athlete of a Marvin Wilson or a Tyler Shelvin, but he’s a poor man’s version of that which you can take in the third or fourth round,” Reid concluded.