Green Bay Packers 2015 NFL Draft: Breaking down the defensive line prospects

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Southern California Trojans defensive end

Leonard Williams

(94). Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tier One

1. Leonard Williams, USC (6-5, 302)
2. Danny Shelton, Washington (6-2, 339)
3. Malcom Brown, Texas (6-2, 319)
4. Eddie Goldman, Florida State (6-4, 336)
5. Arik Armstead, Oregon (6-7, 292)

The Skinny: Williams is the hands-down top defensive lineman in this year’s class and maybe even the most talented player overall in the draft. I wouldn’t expect him to make it out of the top-five. He can play any position on the line and should be a perennial Pro Bowler in the NFL.

After Williams, there are a few very talented nose tackles in Shelton, Brown, and Goldman, who could all be off the board when the Packers pick 30th overall.

Shelton is the ideal 3-4 nose tackle. He’s a bull to move and has good athleticism for a big guy. He resembles a younger B.J. Raji.

Goldman is another big-time run stuffer who can eat up a lot of space in the middle. He’s a linebacker’s best friend and would fit well in a 3-4 defense.

Brown may be the most underrated of this bunch. He’s very disruptive at the line and can play either nose or end in a 3-4 front. If he slides to the end of the first round, he might be difficult for Green Bay to pass up despite not having an immediate need at defensive line.

Armstead is the toughest player to project out of this group. Some see him as a top-15 talent, while others feel he’ll go in the second round.

Armstead possesses unique measurables and athleticism for the position, but he scares me a bit. In college, he lacked production, and on tape he flashes a little but tends to disappear in the action.

He’s too much of a risk in the first round, in my opinion.

Next: Tier Two