Standing at a hulking 6'7" and weighing in at 290 pounds, Oregon Ducks' DeForest Buckner is the rare prospect whose college production matches his immense NFL upside. Buckner was selected as the 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. During his collegiate career at Oregon, he accumulated 203 tackles, 33.5 tackles for a loss, 10 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumbles recovered, all while playing on an offensive minded team without the support of top level defenders surrounding him. As a senior, Buckner posted 11 sacks, 12th best in the nation. Buckner has proven himself to be a disruptive pass rushing force and compares favorably to Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl DE Calais Campbell.
Pro Football Focus has published a glowing review of DeForest Buckner to recommend him as a Top 5 pick. Buckner dominated PFF's rankings with a +38.1 grade against the pass, their #1 graded interior pass rusher this season. Buckner, as a well rounded and consistent player, PFF gave him a +27.2 grade against the run this year, their 8th best and a +44.2 overall grade for his junior season. NFL.com list his multiple strengths as natural strength, powerful hands, high effort, improving pad level and quickness off the snap. Similar to the last Oregon defensive lineman the Ravens drafted in the first round, Buckner has the complete package.
Buckner fulfills the Trevor Pryce prototype as a perfect 5-technique defensive end for the Ravens 3-4 scheme from the days when Pryce was on the Ravens roster from 2006-2010. The Ravens already have a strong rotation on their defensive line, including NG Brandon Williams, DT Timmy Jernigan and emerging DE Brent Urban. But as the Ravens decision makers repeated multiple times during their end of season 'State of the Ravens' press conference, the Ravens desperately need more pass rushers to produce a better result in the 2016 season.
Buckner has versatility, he can rotate with Urban on early downs and then kick inside to DT on 3rd down. His great length is a potent weapon to disrupt the rhythm of short passing games. Most importantly, Buckner has elite upside and plays a premium position, the required combination to realize maximum value from a Top 10 draft pick.
The question is not if DeForest is worth the #6 draft pick. The question is - Will Buckner last until #6?