Round Two, Pick 14 (46th overall) – DT Breeland Speaks, 6’3″, 283 pounds, Mississippi
Speaks finished strong in his final year in Oxford, sacking the quarterback six times in the team’s final six games from the defensive end position. He started all 12 games for the Rebels in 2017, posting 67 tackles, eight for loss which included seven sacks to garner second-team All-SEC by league media. The Jackson, Mississippi native and four-star recruit was a defensive tackle initially, redshirting in 2014 and then starting two of 13 games played the following year (32 tackles, 5.5 for loss, one sack, two pass breakups). Speaks played in every game again as a sophomore, starting seven, making 28 tackles, 1.5 for loss, and a sack.
Round Three, Pick 11 (75th overall) – DT Derrick Nnadi, 6’1″, 317 pounds, Florida State
Listed at 6-foot-1, 312 pounds, Nnadi is not the largest nose tackle in front of scouts during the 2017 season. Few will outwork him, however, as he was named a third-team All-ACC selection, compiling 56 tackles, 10 for loss, and 3.5 sacks in 13 starts. ACC coaches named him first-team all-conference in 2016 after earning the team’s Defensive Most Improved Player award in the spring. Nnadi started 11 of 13 games played, fighting through an early-season ankle injury to be credited with 49 tackles from the middle, 10.5 for loss, and six sacks. He collected third-team all-conference accolades from league media as a sophomore, starting every game (45 tackles, two sacks), following a true freshman campaign that saw him on the field for nine games (18 tackles, six against Georgia Tech’s triple-option rushing attack in the ACC Championship Game). Despite his lack of height, Nnadi was considered a top 10 defensive tackle prospect nationally after amassing 33 sacks in his final two years of high school ball.
Round Three, Pick 36 (100th overall) – OLB Dorian O’Daniel, 6’1″, 223 pounds, Clemson
Athletic linebackers like O’Daniel are earning high marks from NFL scouts because they need to cover the middle of the field in passing situations. ACC coaches recognized O’Daniel’s talent in 2017, naming him second-team all-conference after he led the Tigers with 103 tackles, including 11.5 for loss and five sacks, as well as three pass breakups in 14 starts. One of the top outside linebacker recruits in the nation after an excellent high school career in the Washington, D.C. metro area (all-state in Maryland with 1,307 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns as senior, 16.5 tackles for loss, five sacks as junior). O’Daniel redshirted in 2013, and then got into the action regularly as a freshman, starting once and leading the team with 13 special teams tackles (had 31 total stops, sack) in 12 games played. He once again paced the team with 19 special teams stops in 2015, and was credited with 32 total tackles in 15 games as a reserve. Given a chance to play more on defense as a junior (10 starts in 15 games), O’Daniel used his quickness and tenacious nature to make 60 stops, 10 for loss, and 2.5 sacks.