2016 NFL Draft: early look at Oregon’s DeForest Buckner


Oregon’s DeForest Buckner is an extremely gifted athlete who has the potential to be an impactful NFL player. However, he’s just a flash player at this point in his career only showing glimpses of his talent. Buckner needs to play with more consistency and make more impact plays if he hopes to come off the board early in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The first things that standout with Buckner is his size and arm length. When at his most effective, Buckner uses both these traits to hold at the point of attack and stuff the run. His arm length allows him to create space and keep blockers off his frame.

He shows quick hands that help him slip past the block and make plays away from his frame.

However, this is only true when he plays with leverage and gains inside hands. His tendency to slowly fire out of his stance and raise his pad level hurts his effectiveness.

These types of plays appear to frequently in Buckner’s tape. He just doesn’t show the tenacity needed to be a dominant player. Buckner needs to show more commitment to exploding off the ball, gaining inside hands, rolling his hips to deliver a jolt and playing with a nasty streak.

His best fit in the NFL appears to be as a five-technique in a 4-3 defensive alignment. He has the size and shows enough ability to set the edge to find success in this role. However, his overall upside at this position is limited because of his lack of pass-rush skills.

This clip is an example of Buckner failing to quickly get off the snap, raising his pad level and generating no pressure on the quarterback:

Buckner is on the draft radar because he has the physical talents to be a good NFL player. However, the more inconsistent tape he produces the more evaluators will realize his limitations. It’s tough to justify an early pick on a player who only flashes play-making ability.

Current Draft Position: 2nd Round