Jatavis Brown/Google Images

The Combine Report: A Year To Remember 2018 – Defense

Since the start of the NFL Regional Combine platform, defensive standouts carried the stage with excellence. And despite the success of the offensive pioneers from the platform, the defense continues to represent the RC as a high standard.

The 2018 NFL season was compiled with a few familiar names. But, for the most part, many players made a name for themselves and secured their careers.

Out of the 82 RC participants who are in the NFL, 35 players contributed to bringing the pain.

There were several first time situations for players, which means 2018 was just the beginning.

 

LINEBACKERS

 

Jatavis Brown/Google Images

Jatavis Brown/Google Images

 

The Los Angeles Chargers were one of the teams that turned it up defensively. In the middle of the attack, linebacker Jatavis Brown was a load.

Brown does not garner the attention and bright lights like several of his teammates, but his leadership as the quarterback (on-field playcaller) for the defense is greatly appreciated.

“He (Brown) has versatility,” stated Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, according to ESPN. “He plays Mike (linebacker), he plays Will (linebacker). He comes in and plays nickel, he plays dime.

“He knows the defense very well and we were very fortunate to have someone like him on our team when Denzel (Perryman) went down, and we could just plug a guy in.”

After a promising rookie season in 2016, as the Chargers’ team leader in tackles, Brown was on the radar as one of the young rising stars in the NFL.

However, when Gus Bradley signed as the Chargers defensive coordinator in 2017 and switched the defensive back to a 4-3 scheme, Brown struggled with the system

What a different a year makes.

Once appeared to be an afterthought, Brown prospered in Bradley’s 4-3 defensive scheme and became a major player this season.

“I think another year in a system you’re seeing him (Brown) play faster,” said Bradley. “… He’s always been fast, but the ability to recognize and react quicker than he has in the past, I think that’s really been evident for him.”

 

Jatavis Brown/Google Images

 

Brown finished the last two seasons with 76 tackles. This season, the 2016 RC participant had a career year with 97 tackles (third most on the team), including a sack, a forced fumble and five passes defensed.

“Just getting that full year under my belt in studying myself last year, it really helped,” said Brown. “I feel more comfortable and know what to anticipate because I know the system.

“Everybody has a full year under this system, so everybody is playing at a much higher level right now.”

And it showed.

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill did not compile the numbers like Brown, still, he had a solid year as a captain of the defense.

“It kind of honestly caught me by surprise a little bit,” voiced Grugier-Hill to KHON2’s Rob DeMello. “The coach handed out sheets and asked for the team to vote, and for my teammates to vote me as a captain, man.

“It’s just truly humbling and just knowing that they trust me is just a huge thing for me, because I go out there every week and play for those guys and play for my family and just knowing that they play for me and we just play for each other is awesome.”

Grugier-Hill registered 45 tackles, a forced fumble and his first career interception, which came against the New York Giants in Week Six.

Clearly, Grugier-Hill is on pace to be one of the best in the league.

 

Brandon Copeland/Google Images

 

New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland made a strong case for his NFL career. The 27-year old Maryland native had his best season as a pro, racking up 35 tackles, including five sacks. After paying his debts as a special teams specialist, Copeland proved that he can be a staple for a defensive unit.

Just as Copeland, Buffalo Bills linebacker Julian Stanford paved his way through the league via special teams to having a solid output this season with career bests across the board. He finished 15 tackles, including his first career sack which came against the Chicago Bears in Week Nine, and a forced fumble.

Eagles linebacker B.J. Bello finished with two tackles.

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS

 

Among the defensive backs, Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II was the cream of the crop for the 2018 NFL campaign.

 

Kenny Moore II/Google Images

 

Moore II was consistence all season as he was physical against the run and in zone coverage, and covered well over the middle.

“Kenny (Moore II) is just, he’s just so tough,” said Colts head coach Frank Reich. “This guy is mentally tough. He just grinds it out. He takes every rep in practice, he just works hard. He represents everything we want in our team.”

“He is a gritty, tough, scrappy corner and that’s exactly what we are looking for really in all of our defensive backs and our defensive players,” echoed Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.

Following his stint with the New England Patriots in 2017, Moore II found a home in Indy.

“The transition from there (New England) to here was extremely fast and it was a learning point where I got to play on special teams all year and then got my chance on defense,” said Moore II. “I really tried to increase the trust they had in me within the system and within the organization. To be here from where I was a year ago, I knew it was in the cards, but I didn’t know I would be starting right now.

“I told myself just to continue to work hard, and leave it up to God and the people that run this organization.”

Moore II led the Colts with 77 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and three interceptions, and 11 passes defensed.

Teammate Chris Milton, Jacksonville Jaguars safety Cody Davis and New Orleans Saints cornerback Chris Banjo finished with 10 tackles each.

Banjo went on to record two interceptions, a career-high for a season.

Cornerback Quinton Dunbar started the season off strong for the Washington Redskins. At one point in the season, Dunbar was ranked as the seventh-best corner in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

 

GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 9: Cornerback Quinton Dunbar #23 of the Washington Redskins tackles tight end Ricky Seals-Jones #86 of the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter at State Farm Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

 

Toward the mid-part of the season, Dunbar got banged up, which led him to finish his year after Week 13. The converted wide receiver amassed 39 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defensed.

Atlanta Falcons veteran safety Kemal Ishmael continues to be a smash mouth player. Despite a diminished role, Ishmael still registered 21 tackles and a pass defensed.

Bills cornerback Denzel Rice earned his first NFL interception, which came against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Nine. Rice, along with Chargers cornerback Jeff Richards, finished with five tackles.

C.J. Goodwin finished with a tackle.

 

DEFENSIVE FRONTS

 

Quietly, Arizona Cardinals defensive end Benson Mayowa was relentless, always on an attack. The Cards did not have their best year, but Mayowa had a solid season. Mayowa finished with 38 tackles, including four sacks and a forced fumble.

 

September 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws under pressure against Arizona Cardinals defensive end Benson Mayowa (91) during the second half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

 

For the Chicago Bears, defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris played a major factor in the trenches, which allowed the likes of Khalil Mack and Danny Trevathan to play freely. Mack nearly ended the Green Bay Packers’ season before it started when he took down quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Week One.

Robertson-Harris played with more confidence this season, and is looking to do more to help improve the Bears’ defense next season. He finished with 22 tackles, including three sacks.

“I definitely feel more comfortable than I did a year ago,” said Robertson-Harris. “OTAs a year ago, preseason, I was still trying to get used to the defense. (Having) played a whole year in the defense, I know what I’m doing. At this point, I’m just working on technique stuff to be in the best position to make plays and be a part of a good defense.”

The UK was well-represented this season with several players who ventured through the NFL International Player Pathway program. And Carolina Panthers defensive end Efe Obada proved the value of the international platform.

Obada is the first player from the IPP program to make a 53-man roster and he made the most of his opportunity. In the 10 games he played, Obada recorded eight tackles, including two sacks, and an interception.

Obada made headlines in Week Three when he blitzed the Cincinnati Bengals for a sack, forced fumble and an interception. Due to his performance. Obada earned his first game ball.

 

Efe Obada/Google Images

 

“This is just the beginning,” said Obada after the Panthers’ contest against the Bengals, according to the Riot Report. “I’m filled with adrenaline right now and I’m happy, but you know this is just the beginning. I have to be consistent, I have to keep going.”

After battling injuries and time on the practice squad, Miami Dolphins defensive end Jonathan Woodard finally had his coming out party. His decent performance allotted him 10 tackles, including his first career sack.

Rookies in Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Justin Lawler and Bills defensive end Mike Love played well when the opportunities were presented. Lawler finished with six tackles, while Love had five stops.

The defensive standouts continue to make this platform a great tool to filter out NFL talents, and it is just getting started.

55 Comments

  1. Johnie Koshy

    Mr.s Fister, this code is your next piece of info. Immediately contact the agency at your convenience. No further information until next transmission. This is broadcast #5109. Do not delete.

  2. Car insurance in Redlands california Dmv services

    741088 214641Attractive portion of content material. I basically stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I will likely be subscribing to your augment and even I success you get admission to constantly quickly. 795381

  3. oprol evorter

    This website can be a walk-through for all of the information you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  4. pyjama dbz

    244436 664076Fairly uncommon. Is likely to appreciate it for men and women who include community forums or anything, internet internet site theme . a tones way for the client to communicate. Exceptional job.. 507360

  5. tamil rockers.com

    219759 29119Right after study some of the websites along with your internet internet site now, i really as if your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet site list and will likely be checking back soon. Pls appear at my website likewise and figure out what you believe. 662130

  6. https://speedo.warszawa.pl/

    516274 502884Usually the New york Weight Loss diet is undoubtedly less expensive and flexible staying on your diet scheme intended for measures however quick then duty keep a nutritious every day life. weight loss 954959

  7. Bassett Caterers

    888400 707172Usually I dont learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up really pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great post. 540274

  8. famous footwear

    434200 843759Nice to be visiting your weblog once a lot more, it continues to be months for me. Nicely this post that ive been waited for so lengthy. I want this post to total my assignment within the university, and it has very same subject together along with your post. Thanks, terrific share. 221503

  9. xembongdatructuyen

    175828 943758Couldn?t be produced any greater. Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this report to him. Pretty certain he will possess a great read. Thanks for sharing! 107415

  10. ANPR LED

    403209 405228Wow, incredible weblog format! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make running a weblog glance straightforward. The full glance of your website is fantastic, as smartly the content material! 751511

  11. m88a

    960924 446224Thanks for this superb. I was wondering whether you were planning of writing similar posts to this one. .Maintain up the superb articles! 136773

  12. http://tinyurl.com/ut8m5z6

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?

    I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would love to
    have you share some stories/information. I know my
    audience would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely
    interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

  13. đăng nhập m88

    335342 620869Excellently written write-up, doubts all bloggers offered the identical content since you, the internet has to be far much better spot. Please stay the best! 522185

  14. ps4 games

    you are in point of fact a just right webmaster. The website loading pace is incredible.
    It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece.
    you have performed a magnificent task in this topic!

  15. pelangiqq

    767782 171136Aw, i thought this was quite a great post. In concept I would like to devote writing such as this moreover – spending time and actual effort to produce a fantastic article but exactly what do I say I procrastinate alot by no means manage to get something done. 798947

  16. BQEssentials, LLC

    449234 162330Take a peek at the following tips what follows discover ideal strategy to follow such a mainly because you structure your small business this afternoon. earn cash 285429

  17. ps4 games

    I am no longer positive the place you are getting your information,
    but great topic. I must spend some time learning more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for fantastic info I used to be on the lookout for this info for
    my mission.

  18. ps4 games

    We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with helpful information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive job and our entire
    community might be grateful to you.

  19. ps4 games

    Great blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What web host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish
    my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  20. how to get help in windows 10

    Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like
    what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise.
    I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a tremendous website.

  21. sling tv

    Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old
    daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell
    someone!

  22. http://tinyurl.com

    I think this is among the most vital info for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D.
    Good job, cheers

  23. sling tv

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better!

    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post
    to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  24. sling tv

    Normally I do not learn article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very
    compelled me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me.
    Thank you, quite nice article.

  25. sling tv

    I am not sure where you are getting your info, but great
    topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

  26. sling tv

    Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work
    on. You have done a wonderful job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FOLLOW @lockerreport100 INSTAGRAM