Round 4: Daylon Mack, Texas A&M
Daylon Mack played all 4 years for Texas A&M. During this time, he had 52 solo tackles and an impressive 27 tackles for loss, which serve as a testament to the levels of penetration that Mack can produce and maintain over several years. At 336 pounds he would be perfect in a 3-4 as a true defensive tackle.
While not as strong as Vita Vea or the previously mentioned Dexter Lawrence, he would be a bargain in the fourth round as a consistent player for years to come. Keep an eye out for Mack when day-three rolls around.
Round 5: Dontavius Russell, Auburn
Playing for four years for Auburn, Dontavius Russell was able to be a consistent contributor on the Tigers’ defense with 153 career tackles. Consistency and size are the name of the game for tackles in the later rounds and Russell possesses both.
Weighing 319 pounds, he has the strength and size to occupy blockers and provide JPP and Carl Nassib an easier path to reach opposing quarterbacks. His athleticism is nothing to write home about, but given his size and technique, he could be an effective lane clogger at the next level.
Round 6: Demarcus Christmas, Florida State
As a player on one of the worst Florida State teams in the last 50 years, Demarcus Christmas and the FSU defense were actually not the root of the abysmal season that befell Willie Taggart in his first year. The FSU defense was better than it had been the previous year, but couldn’t handle the sheer number of defensive reps it had to take when the offense couldn’t stay on the field.
Christmas was a consistent player for the four years that he played, and would serve primarily as a run protector more than a pass rusher. He is slightly undersized at the position in a 3-4, but it is not unheard of for players to put on 10-15 pounds in their first year out of college which would benefit Christmas greatly in the Bucs’ new defense.
Round 7: Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech
Ricky Walker is last on the list, but not from a poor college career. After an injury derailed two years of play, Walker played from the 2016 until the 2018 season, and his numbers do not disappoint.
During those three years he had 118 total tackles and averaged right around ten tackles for loss over that course of time. Although not possessing the size or speed to wow scouts, late round picks such as this are not always made based solely off Combine performance. Sometimes it is better to take a chance on a player that has been proven over the course of several years of play at the collegiate level instead of solely looking at their combine measures.