Last year it was Arik Armstead, now its DeForest Buckner. Oregon looks to be producing another massive first round defensive linemen, and this one is arguably better. Buckner is listed at 6’7 300 lbs and just recently was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Not everyday do we see a football player with such size, athletic ability and production.
+ Buckner is surprisingly quick off the ball for his size. His first step quickness is quite alarming for a man that big, you’ll see him on almost every other play pounce off the ball quicker than his fellow defensive linemen.
+ He has a strong bull rush that pushes offensive linemen on their heels. His long arms allow him to extend and control offensive guards/tackles. Buckner uses the bull rush more than any other move in his limited arsenal. His size makes it nearly impossible for a typical linemen to hold him back and prevent him from making the slightest of impacts. From day one in the NFL Buckner will be able to bull rush linemen and have success.
+ His size really sets him apart from the normal 3-4 defensive end. At 6-7 300 lbs he is tough assignment for just one linemen. He will draw constant double teams at the next level and if not, good luck.
-As a pass rusher, Buckner is raw pass rusher who has no moves outside of a typical bull rush. He totaled 9.5 sacks this season with essentially no pass rushing moves. If a coach can tap into his potential and teach him a swim move or something effective he could produce in any scheme. -He is a prototypical 5 technique in a 3-4 which limits him from getting drafted by multiple teams. A team running a 4-3 will not be able to put Bucker in from day one and expect him to be effective, in due time maybe but not from day one. -Due to his height, Buckner has an issue of playing too high at times which prevents him from getting good leverage on linemen. Playing too high causes him to get pushed back or stay in a standstill with an opposing linemen.
Buckner is a better prospect in my opinion than his former Oregon teammate Arik Armstead. Buckner has some weaknesses but I think he has the ability to be a very productive defensive end in a 3-4. If drafted in the right scheme Buckner will be able to step in and produce immediately. I gave him a first round grade and is my 18th rated player as of now.