2021 NFL Draft Sleepers: Defensive Linemen, Edge Rushers And Linebackers

We are about two months from the NFL Draft. You have seen my first mock draft and some names Ravens fans should start to get familiar with as we get closer to an actual pick.

Let’s look at my favorite sleepers in the NFL Draft by position. These players will mostly be third-day picks or even undrafted free agents. We started with the offensive skill position players and the offensive line. Let’s look at defensive linemen, edge rushers and interior linebackers now.

Defensive Linemen:

• Darius Stills, West Virginia: Man, I like this kid. Plays mean! Very quick and strong. Could be a steal late in the third round or the fourth round. He is the son of former Ravens linebacker Gary Stills. (Read more about Still here.)

• Tedarrell Slayton, Florida: Leverage and power is his game; will fall due to some balance issues at times but if that gets fixed, he could be a 0- or 1-technique starter.

• Khyiris Tonga, BYU: Looking for a run stuffer? This is your late-round guy.

Edge Rushers:

• Shaka Toney, Penn State: He is undersized and needs to add weight and strength. That is the knock. (He came in at 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds at the Senior Bowl.) All I know is when I watched Penn State two years ago to look at Jayson Oweh and a year ago to look at Yetur Gross-Matos, all I saw was TONEY. Kid made plays the past three years!

• Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina: Questions about competition level are there, but he jumps off the film. I truly see a player who seemingly has it all and just needs the reps against better competition. Solid prospect.

Interior Linebackers:

• Paddy Fisher, Northwestern: He is a two-down linebacker, so he will drop. An asset in the run game and has a high football IQ — but may struggle in the new NFL

• Tony Fields II, West Virginia: Transfer from Arizona who will be a MIKE or WILL at the NFL level. Rarely out of position; very athletic; finds the ball.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Coastal Carolina University Athletics

Ken Zalis

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