Position: Defensive End
School: Oregon Ducks
DeForest Buckner 2016 NFL Draft Profile
Buckner saw his teammate, and former Oregon defensive end Arik Armstead, selected as the 17th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. While that would be a proud feat for Buckner to accomplish, there is a lot of talk that he is an even better prospect than the former first rounder. With Armstead on the team, Buckner was honored over Amstead as a second team All-Pac 12 performer. In 2014 Buckner recorded more tackles (81), tackles for loss (13), and sacks (4) than did Armstead, who tallied 46 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.
In 2015, Buckner took his recognition to another level and exploded with a tremendous season in which he improved in basically every facet of the game. He recorded improvements in tackles from 81 to 86, and tackles for loss from 13 to 17. However, his most noted improvement had to be in his increased number of sacks (4 to 10.5), which showed that Buckner is a more refined pass rusher than people believe.
- Physically is ready to play in the NFL right away
- Can line up in multiple positions/techniques
- Strong against the run
- Underrated athleticsm for his size
- Still developing as a pass rusher
- Play recognition could improve
- Stands up straight at times
NFL Comparison: Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals
Teams with need at position: New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns
Projection: Early to mid first round
It almost seems unfair to put the Calais Campbell comparison next to Buckner given how successful Campbell has been in the NFL. However, when you look at the attributes of the former Oregon Duck, you see that he is capable of pushing offensive lineman around from anywhere on the defensive line and he can remind you of a young Campbell. Buckner’s improvement as a pass rusher pushed from a possible first-round pick, to a lock to be selected in the top 15 picks. There just aren’t many players with his size, speed, versatility and power. The talented defensive end possesses such a rare combination of skills that him being selected in the top five is not out of the question. There is a good chance that even if he doesn’t meet his ceiling, his floor makes him one of the safer bets in the entire draft.