2018 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Defensive Line

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Defensive lineman Vita Vea
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Defensive lineman Vita Vea /

The defensive line position has several 2018 NFL Draft prospects who project as extremely disruptive players.

Over the years the defensive line has become more about occupying space and shooting gaps. We don’t see a lot of traditional defensive ends any more and that trend continues here in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Those defensive end prospects can be found on my edge rusher rankings. However, there are still plenty of pressure players among this defensive line group.

Below is my top 2018 NFL Draft Defensive Line Prospects:

1. Vita Vea, Washington

Big Board Rank: No. 12

Vea has a rare combination of size and quickness which makes him a nightmare in the trenches. Opposing teams will have a tough time establishing a running game with Vea in the mix.

2. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama

Big Board Rank: No. 38

Payne is more of a projection than a finished product. He flashed big-time potential while at Alabama, but was also plagued with inconsistencies.

3. Harrison Phillips, Stanford

Big Board Rank: No. 39

Phillips is a naturally powerful player who is tough to move off the line of scrimmage. He excels at occupying blockers and absorbing double teams.

4. Taven Bryan, Florida

Big Board Rank: No. 55

Bryan has a lot to learn, but his natural ability jump off the screen.

5. Derrick Nnadi, Florida State

Big Board Rank: No. 63

Nnadi was one of my top 15 overall prospects to begin the season. He had an inconsistent year, but he is still a dominant run defender with some pass rushing upside.

6. Rasheem Green, USC

Big Board Rank: No. 70

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Green is a versatile piece who can work off the edge and bump inside to defensive tackle. He is just scratching the surface of his potential.

7. Maurice Hurst, Michigan

Big Board Rank: No. 74

Hurst is a penetrator who could develop into a disruptive force in the NFL.

8. Tim Settle, Virginia Tech

Big Board Rank: No. 94

9. R.J. McIntosh, Miami

Big Board Rank: No. 100

10. Trenton Thompson, Georgia

Big Board Rank: No. 102

11. Justin Jones, NC State

Big Board Rank: No. 103

12. Andrew Brown, Virginia

Big Board Rank: No. 109

13. B.J. Hill, NC State

Big Board Rank: No. 110

14. Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama

Big Board Rank: No. 126

15. Nathan Shepard, Fort Hays State

Big Board Rank: No. 149

16. Deadrin Senat, USF

Big Board Rank: No. 169

17. Lowell Lotulelei, Utah

Big Board Rank: No. 172