NFL Draft: Breaking Down the Top Defensive Line Prospects

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Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97). Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft is only a few weeks away, and as we inch closer, I will continue providing my position rankings for the draft and discuss which prospects the Green Bay Packers may consider selecting come draft day.

I have already provided my rankings for safety, tight endinside linebacker, and wide receiver. Click on the links if you’d like to check these outs.

This year’s draft offers an unique group of defensive linemen. South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney is unquestionably the most physically gifted player in the draft.

Pitt’s Aaron Donald, Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan, and Missouri’s Kony Ealy are other explosive athletes who could go in the first round.

The Packers may not draft a defensive lineman in the first round for the second year in a row, but this class has depth and Green Bay may take advantage of that fact and add another big body to their defense on the second or third day of the draft.

Here are my top 30 defensive linemen for the 2014 NFL Draft. I grouped the players into four tiers.

Tier One being potential impact players at the next level.

Tier Two being players who could be solid starters or make contributions as a rookie.

Tier Three being developmental prospects who have some upside but may not be ready to contribute immediately.

And Tier Four being role players who could offer depth on the roster.