Three 2018 Draft Prospects to Watch: Defensive End Part Two

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Three 2018 draft prospects who might suit the Lions’ needs at defensive end…


The Lions still need help at defensive end. Ziggy Ansah is in a contract year and hasn’t been all that effective the past two seasons. He has four sacks this year, three of which came against Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers who isn’t known for being able to block anyone. Last season he had two sacks, one coming against Flowers.

Even if the Lions decide to bring back Ansah they still need another talented player to bolster the pass rush.

2018 Draft Class-Defensive End Part Two

We already took a look at three defensive ends in the first edition of this series. This draft class is shaping up to be deep at the end position.

The three that will be looked at this time are North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb, Kansas’ Dorance Armstrong Jr., and Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard.

Bradley Chubb- North Carolina State

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Chubb has the look of an NFL defensive end at 6’4” and 275 lbs. The senior had a breakout year last season, totaling 57 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. So far in 2017, he has 37 tackles, 13 for a loss and six and a half sacks. Some think he could have been a first-round pick if he came out last season.

He combines strength and quickness to make life difficult for opposing blockers. He explodes into gaps before lineman have a chance to stop him. One of his better moves is his bull-rush, using his strength to disrupt opposing quarterbacks. Chubb has shown the ability to rush the passer from the interior as well. When he has a lane to the quarterback he closes quickly.

He’s also a pretty decent player against the run as well. Chubb has a nice rip-move that he uses to shed blocks pretty effectively. Also, he can hold the edge pretty well although he’d be better if gets stronger in his base.

Chubb’s stock has been rising this season. If he can keep up his high level of play he will be a first-round pick.

Dorance Armstrong- Kansas

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Kansas isn’t exactly known for pumping out NFL-quality players. Armstrong is different. He had a great year in 2016, collecting 56 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He only has six tackles for loss and one sack so far this season.

Armstrong is a special athlete. He has top-notch athleticism for a defensive end, he has great speed and a very quick first-step. Once he gets around the edge he closes on the quarterback as fast as anyone. He’s also a smooth athlete in space.

The downside with Armstrong is his frame. He’s 6’4” and 246 lbs. His lack of strength hurts him as a run defender. If he can bulk up he could be a high-level player at the next level.

Sam Hubbard- Ohio State

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Hubbard hasn’t seen the same level of production in his career as the other players on this list. He had 46 tackles, eight for a loss and three and a half sacks. So far in 2017, he has 19 tackles, five for a loss and two sacks.

He isn’t a flashy player but Hubbard consistently gets the job done pretty well. Hubbard does a little bit of everything, he has decent speed, power and has a motor that doesn’t stop. He wins as pass rusher using his burst off the ball and using power to get to the quarterback.

Although Hubbard can rush the passer he’s probably at his best as a run defender. His strength allows him to hold the point of attack well and he has the ability to shed blockers to make plays on the runner. Also, he never quits on plays, Hubbard runs to the ball no matter where it is.

You would like to see someone with Hubbard’s ability to have shown more production up to this point. That may worry some teams but it doesn’t mean that he’s not a good player and won’t be good when he gets to the next level.

I really hope you enjoyed the article! Follow me on twitter @CHayes95 and join the discussion on the Lions subreddit!

 

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About the Author

Cory Hayes
I attend Central Michigan University, I am majoring in Journalism and minoring in Sport Management. I am a junior. I am from Marysville, MI. I love following sports, both professional and collegiate. I follow the Lions, Pistons, and Tigers very closely, and the college team that I choose to cheer for is Ohio State.