clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Draft 2013: Defensive 'Misfits'

Some players entering the NFL Draft don't necessarily have a set position in the NFL.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Every year in the NFL Draft there are a few players who played a certain position in college, but when heading to the next level in the NFL they don't necessarily have a set position. Often called "tweeners" a lot of these players wind up going late in the draft to a team who finds a way to best use their talent.

One great example of a player like this is Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who many viewed as much too big to be a traditional NFL cornerback and would need to be converted to the safety position. In Seattle however, they like certain things and let Sherman do what he did well, which is be physical, and he turned into one of the best press man corners in the NFL.

Here are a couple of "misfits" in the 2013 NFL Draft that could find a home on the Jacksonville Jaguars new multi-look defensive front.

Player School Height Weight Arm Ideal Position
Lerentee McCray Florida 6-2 250 33.38 Standup DPR, 3-4 SAM
Sean Porter TAMU 6-1 229 32.28 4-3 WLB, 3-4 SAM
Datone Jones UCLA 6-4 283 32.68 5-technique
Sanders Commings Georgia 5-11 223 32.08 Press corner, FS
Devin Taylor South Carolina 6-7 266 36.08 5-technique

Lerentee McCray, Florida: McCray is an interesting player who played the "buck" position on Florida's defense, and looks like he was used in a similar fashion that Gus Bradley would use a LEO. Essentially his job was to rush the passer and he did it fairly well in a limited capacity. McCray ended his final season with just 3 sacks on the year, but was someone who seemed to be in the back field often. I'm not sure McCray could be a full-time LEO at the NFL level, but often with the Seahawks Bradley would implement a double LEO front, so McCray is a player you will likely get in the mid-late rounds who can come in and be that pass rusher from the linebacker position or at the other LEO spot in a 3-4 look.

Sean Porter, TAMU: Porter is an interesting linebacker in the draft with decent size and speed, but he has played multiple linebacker positions and roles during his time at Texas A&M. For instance, Porter went from a pass rushing linebacker with near double-digit sacks in 2011 to a weak side 4-3 linebacker in 2012 with just 3.5 sacks. Porter has experience in both fronts in college and could be a type of player who can play both the strong side and weak side linebacker positions in Gus Bradley's defense, which is something the Seahawks really looked for.

Sanders Commings, Georgia: We've already covered Commings a bit in his own draft profile, but he's kind of another "tweener" cornerback that a lot of teams might try to convert to the safety position because of his size. He's a physical player however with great size, so it remains to be seen where his best fit will be.

Datone Jones, UCLA: Jones didn't catch a lot of people's attention until he dominated the week of Senior Bowl practice, but he's be an interesting player for a while who's numbers didn't really match his ability until his senior season. Some teams will look at him as a strong side end in a traditional 4-3 front or even an interior pass rusher at the 3-technique, but in my opinion Jones is a perfect fit as a 5-technique defensive end in Bradley's defensive front.

Devin Taylor, South Carolina: Taylor looks the part at defensive end, coming in at 6'7" and nearly 270 pounds with 36 inch arms, but that doesn't always seem to translate for Taylor on the football field. He doesn't seem to be that big long pass rusher off the edge that most people thought he would be at South Carolina, but after watching him at the week of East-West Shrine Game practice, I think Taylor can settle in as a 5-technique defensive end if he gets stronger. Taylor's sack totals declined each season, despite often playing opposite other pass rushers like Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney. He doesn't seem to have that quick-twitch you look for in a pass rusher and doesn't seem to bend well around the edge or fluid in his movements when pass rushing. Taylor has a good motor and sets the edge well, so if he can commit to adding about 10 more pounds he could find a home as a strong side end.