Check out our Vine page for some more DeForest Buckner analysis.
-Length. Lots of it. Buckner uses every inch of his 6'7 frame to shrug aside offensive linemen and he just looks like a man among boys when he's on the field.
-Violent hands. Buckner packs a punch and when ripping defenders, the combination of strength and speed of his hands leaves opponents on the ground wondering what happened. They are always active and lineman have trouble keeping Buckner engaged for more than a second.
-Block shedding. Buckner is so good at absorbing lineman on running plays into his frame and using their natural momentum against them, shedding them to the side and squaring up the runner. He makes it look effortless most of the time.
-Motor. Buckner will give up on a play if he knows he won't physically catch up to a running back on a pitch or a screen, but as long as the quarterback has the ball in the pocket, Buckner will fight like hell to try and collapse it and affect the play any way he can.
-Production. Buckner had 83 tackles, 17 TFLs, and 10.5 sacks in 2015 rushing from the interior defensive line - an eye-popping amount. This is the type of production you would like to see from fellow classmate Robert Nkemdiche that just never materialized.
-Agility/Lateral movement. This is no suprise when you are 6'7 300, but if you are going to ask Buckner to line up on the outside of a tackle and bend the edge, you will be disappointed with some stiff hips. Since he rushed the passer predominantly from the interior at Oregon, this did not affect him often. If a running back gets outside of him, there is no chance Buckner will run him down.
-Above-average athlete. I list this in the weaknesses because as a potential Top 5 pick, you would want to see some more quick-twitch athleticism a-la Robert Nkemdiche, but that's not where Buckner wins. He will use his length, power, and hands to get into the backfield, but at 6'7 300 lbs, he's no stick in the mud, either.
-Vanished vs. top-level competition. Watching Buckner go up 1v1 versus Taylor Decker in 2014 and Jack Conklin in 2015, two likely first round OTs in this class, he was largely ineffective. In fact, I would venture to say that Conklin bodied Buckner this year and totally eliminated him from the game save for one play. This is something to keep an eye on at the NFL level, but Buckner's frame and hands will be best suited to attacking guards from the 3-4 spot.
-From watching interviews, Buckner seems like a quietly confident and mature guy that has his priorities in order. In the clip below, Buckner is being interviewed immediately after losing the 2014 National Championship game and despite being disappointed by the defeat, gives each media member a polite, well-thought out answer, unlike Cam Newton. You can tell he is passionate about football.
-Buckner chose to return for his Senior year despite assurances of being a first round selection in the last draft and he was named MVP of the Defense by his teammates, which speaks volumes.
-Buckner was named the 2015 Pat Tillman PAC12 Defensive Player of the Year following a 10.5 sack season. He was also a Ted Hendricks Award finalist and member of multiple All-America squads this season (First Team USA Today, Second Team AP).
-Buckner is from Waianae, Hawaii, and attended Punahou High School in Honolulu where he also played basketball. Will he be making future visits to his hometown for the Pro Bowl?
GRADE: 84 OVERALL
For information on our grading system, click here.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON: Calais Campbell
40 YARD TIME: 4.89 (reported)
BENCH PRESS: TBD
3 CONE DRILL: TBD
SHORT SHUTTLE: TBD
VERTICAL JUMP: TBD
BROAD JUMP: TBD
BEST TEAM FITS: Chargers (LDE), 49ers (RDE), Bears (RDE)
PROJECTION: Top 10
DEFOREST BUCKNER CAREER STATS
A special thank you to www.draftbreakdown.com for the footage.