Options: Day 1
If Dorsey feels he must get an edge rusher on day 1, he’ll have options. Its likely that several boom-or-bust options will be available around pick No. 28. Noah Spence may be the most talented edge rusher in this draft, but he carries the most baggage too. Dorsey and Reid were comfortable with Marcus Peters’ baggage a year ago. Spence could fall to the late 1st round.
Leonard Floyd is thought by many to go in the teens, but his production may gives general managers pause. Floyd could be there too. Emmanuel Ogbah is an edge rusher with explosion and some power. He is capable of converting speed to power, much like Justin Houston does. He has the tools to bend the corner better than Ford, but need better attack and consistency.
Options: Day 2
Dorsey could wait until Day 2 if he’s comfortable with Dee Ford and Tamba Hali as the starters, depending on whether he has a third round pick or not. Then he could have player to choose that would come in as rational backups that could grow into starters.
Shilique Calhoun is a very good fit at 3-4-OLB. He showed good pass rush skills at Michigan State. Though not as explosive as Ford, he shows very good short area quickness. He can set the edge on the left side to the defense. Kamalei Correa is another light defensive end that will have to stand up in the NFL. He rushes with speed and power, but needs to convert better. Correa has secondary pass rush moves, but has to use them better. He has also shown an ability to drop into coverage.
Jordan Jenkins is a working man’s pass rusher. Another Georgia bulldog, Jenkins lined up at 3-4-OLB, and rushed at end in a four-man front. Explosive, but not overly powerful; Jenkins gets the job done with effort. He uses his hands well in pass rush.
Waiting until Day 2 offers a couple of things to like. It gets the team some relief/injury insurance for Ford and Hali. It gives Dee Ford starter snaps he can grow from. Ford did better in 2015 as he gained on-field experience. He still has a lot of potential that starting in 2016 could help him reach.
It also leaves room for Houston’s return, if he can make it back of part of the 2016 season. Dorsey won’t have to worry about having two 1st-round picks sitting the bench. And who knows, he just might make it back. Houston with have the final say. I wouldn’t count him out.
Pro Days are continuing. Look for my upcoming ‘Draft Science’ series as we get closer to draft day.