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NFL draft preview: Rating the defensive linemen

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Tyson Alualu, California

6-2 3/8, 295, Round 2: Has been shooting up draft boards as scouts have seen how effective he played despite regular double teams. “He’s a goin’ machine now,” one scout said. “A good football player. I could see him sneaking up the draft charts. He’s about 6-2, 295, but he stood up, played down, three-technique, end, nose guard, linebacker, sort of a neat guy. Grounded, family guy, all the great intangibles. Really respect and like him.” Had 13½ sacks and 22½ tackles for loss the last two seasons. Tested great — 4..95 seconds in the 40, 35½-inch vertical, though only 21 bench-press reps. “The best (defensive) guy in the (Pac-10),” another scout said. “He’s good, has a high motor, brings it every down, gets after it. He’s a guy I wouldn’t bet against.”

Brian Price, UCLA

6-1 1/8, 303, Round 1: Junior entry with a hard-scrabble background in Los Angeles, has big-time talent but lacks maturity. “First game I watched of him was Tennessee, and he was a first-round draft choice,” a scout said. “Explosive, he could fit in a lot of schemes, just an explosive guy that could go. The more you watched, the more you say I don’t know which guy I’m getting. He’s got two brothers that were killed in the streets, and I don’t know about bringing him in to this city, I’m just not sure. But he’s a really talented dude. Doesn’t play very well, and they had to keep their thumb on him all the time out there.” Better suited for a 4-3 defensive tackle than 3-4 end, but could do either and maybe even play some nose. Had 11½ sacks as a defensive tackle the last two seasons combined. Ran the 40 in 5.16 seconds and did 34 bench-press reps. “You have to be careful with him,” another scout said. “The reason I say that, he’s got one kind of patented move and he’s had some success with it, he just uses a swim move at the line of scrimmage.He’s got very good initial quickness. But when you start running the ball a little bit, he kind of checked out.”


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