The word that springs to mind when you watch Damon Webb is “good”. That is, by antithetical definition, not a bad thing but, at the same time, it wouldn’t have me banging down the door to draft him, were I an NFL GM. He is good in coverage, he is a good athlete, he is good in run support – he is not, however, exceptional in any of these areas, which leaves me unsure as to where he fits in the NFL. The corollary from this is that he is probably a fifth or sixth round pick, who can make your team as a third or fourth safety and a special teams player; indeed, his ability to come downhill and fill makes me pretty comfortable with the idea of Webb as a core special teams player. His ball skills are decent but not spectacular, as his career interception tally would indicate. Ultimately, I would probably be happy if my team took Webb in round six; my instinct, however, is that he will be taken a round or two higher than this and that he will only ever be one of those players who is struggling to make the roster at the conclusion of training camp.
The most impressive thing about Hubbard is his body control. When setting the edge, he shows flexibility and intelligence in his use of his hands and feet. He plays with his hand down even more than Lewis but I can see him making the transition to OLB in the NFL more easily than his Buckeye teammate – he looks like a more fluid, albeit less powerful, athlete on tape. He has a good motor and won’t give up on a play but I’m not sure he’s got the strength and leverage to be consistently effective against NFL OTs, should he play as a DE. In the 2016 Oklahoma game, for instance, he lost the majority of his battles against Orlando Brown quite convincingly. He has a good bull rush and good speed but neither of them have looked elite so far, leading me to question how often he will win as a pass rusher in the NFL. He does, however, seem opportunistic on tape and opportunism is often indicative of very good instincts. There is certainly something to work with here and I see Hubbard, at the moment, as a 3rd round prospect, who projects best to the LB position at the next level.
Lewis is an aggressive, powerful edge rusher who shows a relentless streak in his pursuit of the QB. He has played mainly with his hand on the ground at Ohio State although, on occasions, you will see him standing up. He is a much better prospect going forward than he is when he’s asked to read and react; he looks almost lost in space and I have doubts about his ability to project to an OLB role in the NFL. As such, he doesn’t look to me to have much scheme diversity, fitting best as a DE in the 4-3. He sets the edge extremely well and uses his hands very effectively, showing impressive strength and power – he is one of the very best run defenders in this draft class. An underrated part of Lewis’ game is the quickness of his feet, which enables him to change direction quite subtly and, as a consequence, attack half a blocker very effectively. His speed off the edge is good but not great at this point – he doesn’t really have an explosive first step and he will have to add some moves to his arsenal if he is to really thrive at the next level. He is a very productive player, who won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and will should in the mix for national preseason awards. At the moment, I see him as a second round guy but I expect NFL scouts to have him firmly in the 1st round discussion.