NFL Draft watch: Defensive end
Ranking: The Loganville (Ga.) Grayson standout was the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2013 class.
Recruiting: Nkemdiche waited until National Signing Day to announce what everyone sort of expected by then -- that Ole Miss was the school for him. LSU was also a finalist, but with his brother at Ole Miss and his mother's wishes that they play together, the Rebels always seemed like the top team in his recruitment.
Overview: Nkemdiche has 16 tackles with 4.5 for loss so far this season, though eight Ole Miss players have more tackles at this point. The former top-rated prospect can play end or tackle and he's also blocked a kick this season. He also has four touches as a fullback that have resulted in two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown of 31 yards. The Rebels are holding opponents to 3.4 yards per rush.
Farrell's Take: You can't be ranked any higher than No. 1 in the country and it was clear to all that Nkemdiche was going to be a star. We have him at defensive end even though he plays defensive tackle because he's so versatile for any scheme and he can be an end in a 3-4 defense or even a 300-pound stand-up hybrid guy. I honestly think his skill set would be wasted inside in the NFL -- he's just so quick in space.
Ranking: Nassib was not ranked by Rivals.com.
Recruiting: Nassib, from West Chester (Pa.) Malvern Prep, went to Penn State as a preferred walk-on and was granted a scholarship prior to the 2013 season.
Overview: One of the bigger surprises this season in college football, Nassib has recorded 23 tackles (10 for loss) with eight sacks in five games this season. Known for his non-stop motor, he also has an interception and three forced fumbles. Nassib had one sack in Penn State's win over Army last weekend.
Farrell's Take: The tall walk-on being snubbed by the world to dominate at the college level and beyond? Sounds familiar. Yhe comparisons to J.J. Watt are quite premature, but this kid has the length, get-off and work ethic to be a dominant NFL player against the run and as a pass rusher. Syracuse, where his brother and cousin played, has to be kicking themselves that they didn't land the most talented player in the family.
Ranking: Ogbah was rated as a mid-level three-star prospect in the 2012 class.
Recruiting: Ogbah committed to the Cowboys without visiting campus in early September and did not take a trip to Stillwater until January. Coach Joe DeForest, now at West Virginia, was his main recruiter and he left for Morgantown before Ogbah took his official in January, but Ogbah stuck with his commitment after seeing Oklahoma State with his parents.
Overview: Ogbah finished with six tackles (three for loss) including a sack and two quarterback hurries in Oklahoma State's 36-34 win over Kansas State to remain undefeated. So far this season, Ogbah has 25 tackles (10 for loss) including 6.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries in five games.
Farrell's Take: Ogbah was a solid player in high school but didn't excel at any one thing. He had a tall, skinny frame that he has obviously filled out and his quickness and strength were OK but not great. He's an example of a late bloomer who picked the right system to succeed in and made himself a much better player than projected. And he plays angry and physical, so you have to love that in a defender.
Ranking: Oakman was rated as the No. 18 strong-side defensive end and No. 241 overall in the 2011 class. The Lansdowne (Pa.) Penn Wood standout was eighth in the Pennsylvania state rankings.
Recruiting: After signing with Penn State, Oakman was kicked off the team after an off-the-field incident and transferred to Baylor. In the recruiting process, Oakman picked the Nittany Lions in the summer before his senior season over offers from Connecticut, N.C. State, Pittsburgh and Temple.
Overview: Oakman had three tackles and one quarterback hurry in Baylor's 63-35 win over Texas Tech last weekend.
Farrell's Take: Oakman has the freak factor NFL scouts love and when he dominates the combine and his Pro Day, he has the potential to be a top 10 pick. You could argue he has the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft, but just like out of high school, he is raw with his technique and hasn't played up to his physical prowess. He flashes at times and looks like Jadeveon Clowney, but he doesn't do it enough.
Two to watch
Overview: In four games, Lawson has 20 tackles (8.5 for loss) with 2.5 sacks. He finished with seven tackles, 3.5 for loss, in Clemson's 24-22 win over Notre Dame last weekend. As for Bullard (pictured above), he had five tackles (1.5 for loss) and 0.5 sacks in Florida's upset win over Ole Miss this past weekend. For the season, Bullard has 26 tackles (9.5 for loss) with 4.5 sacks. The Gators are giving up less than three yards per rush.
Farrell's Take: I love the upside of both players. Lawson was close to being a five-star and Bullard was a five-star coming out. Lawson is coming into his own this year and dealing with more attention but in high school and prep school he was too quick off the edge and too strong holding the edge to handle. Bullard was a late bloomer in high school as a hoops kid who had amazing athleticism. He could play inside or outside at the next level, something scouts love.
National Recruiting Analyst
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