Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal has the skills to be a top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft but after having a setback his junior year, his draft stock pushed him outside the early round.
Leal’s production at College Station had been promising since the start, but both his run defense and pass-rushing grades took steps backward last season.
Despite the setbacks, there’s no denying that Leal has the skills and size to be productive at the next level.
“Leal was moved all over the defensive line in 2020 for the Aggies defense, which hints at one of his biggest strengths, versatility. His size suggests he will move to an interior role on the defensive line, but he has shown to be proficient in every technique,” NFL Draft Bible noted.
Versatility has been key in this year’s draft, and Leal makes sure he displays it for everyone to see, that he has the size and strength to play inside and athleticism to play on the edge.
The former Aggie finished his junior season fifth in the SEC with 58 total tackles (27 solos), 12.5 tackles for losses, 8.5 sacks, two pass deflections, and one forced fumble.
A gifted athlete at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Leal has good size, desirable arm length, great strength, and speed for the position and it’s why he still managed to put up some numbers.
Leal earned the recognition of being named to the 2021 AP and Coaches’ All-SEC First Team and AP All-American First Team.
“Extremely strong at the point of attack, demonstrates a lot of power in his punch into the chest of the offensive lineman. Explosive get-off out of his stance to drive as much as possible as he makes contact. Hands stay active to attempt to bat passes down when he can’t get to the quarterback. Releases a spin move to the inside that proved to be quite effective to get pressure. Wasn’t tested much as a run defender, but his strength and leverage control at the line of scrimmage suggests he would not be a liability in that area. Flashed ability to catch lineman off guard as a speed rusher off the edge rather than going to the inside,” NFL Draft Bible added.
Leal is a good run defender and a better pass rusher, but if he plans to be an every-down playmaker at the next level, he will need to keep his motor running every play.
Leal’s draft stock might have slipped off the top 10 but he is still in range for the Raiders to draft him in either of the first two rounds of this year’s draft.
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