The interior defensive line class is the most talented and deepest group in this draft. There could be up to 10-12 interior defensive lineman who garner first-round grades. In five years, who knows, we could look back on this group and marvel at it.
So, what do the players themselves believe sets them apart from the others?
DeForest Buckner, Oregon: "This season I really had a lot of success from the inside and I think it's because I'm pretty quick on offensive guards and it really gives me that advantage to set me apart from the other interior lineman here."
Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss: "My skillset and my explosiveness. My football IQ."
Sheldon Rankins, Louisville: "I just bring so much to the table. I feel like I'm versatile enough to play in any scheme. I feel like I'm versatile enough all up and down the defensive line. I feel like I'm intelligent enough to grasp just about any defense. And I feel like I'm dynamic enough to stay on the field all three downs."
Jarran Reed, Alabama: "Definitely the versatility I have along the defensive line. The ability to move from five technique, three technique, play zero (technique). I think it's what sets me apart."
A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama: "My strength, power and the way I use my hands. My athleticism. I'm just trying to show those things off."
Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech: (Note: Butler is considered to be among the top tackles, but has not yet spoken at the Combine.)
Andrew Billings, Baylor: "For me it's my explosiveness off the ball. Coaches see the explosiveness I have and the motor I run with and that sets me apart."
Kenny Clark, UCLA: "I feel comfortable doing everything, I don't have a favorite (technique)"
Adolphus Washington, Ohio State: "There's not many guys that can play the run and pass rush. I can play multiple positions. Most of these guys are just run stoppers, I think that sets me apart, my versatility." Chris Jones, Mississippi St.:"I'm versatile. I can play defensive end, defensive tackle in the NFL. I can move around. I can also play nose guard. I can be useful in many situations."
Austin Johnson, Penn State: "The way I run to the ball."