Defensive linemen dominate the early rounds of the NFL Draft. Regardless of scheme, teams need a rotation of capable linemen, both at defensive end and defensive tackle, to effectively shut down opposing offenses.
For this portion of the All-Underrated Team, I will find a sleeper at various positions on the defensive line across various schemes. Let's get to it.
3-4 Defensive End
Malik Jackson, Tennessee
Scheme versatility is especially valuable in defensive linemen. Malik Jackson played both tackle and end during his career. His quickness on the inside is impressive, but he is definitely a bit more of a power rusher when playing defensive end. I think he would make an excellent 3-4 defensive end. Considering he could potentially go undrafted, Jackson could be an outstanding value.
Mike Martin, Michigan
A high school wrestler, Mike Martin is going to be an animal inside in the NFL. He gets tremendous leverage and exhibits ideal pad level to get into the backfield. Martin is still a bit raw, but he'll come off the board on the second night of the draft and make an instant impact next fall.
4-3 Defensive End
Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy
After under achieving during his college career, Jonathan Massaquoi has dropped down draft boards. He'll likely be hanging around until the third day of the draft, but I think he presents tremendous upside as a pass rushing defensive end in a 4-3 defense. Some expect him to make a transition to 3-4 outside linebacker,and that's definitely a possibility. But his 270 pound frame will allow him to put his hand in the dirt if a team is willing to take a chance on him.
Who else among this year's group of defensive linemen is underrated? Let us know in the comments.