2017 NFL DRAFT

DeForest Buckner, DE

School: Oregon  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Waianae, HI
Height/Weight: 6-7 / 291 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
621

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
5.052.96-- 32-4.477.51
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
5.002.961.77- 329'8"4.477.51

Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Player Overview

Oregon's defense struggled in 2015, but that was no fault of Buckner's. He decided to return for his senior season and continued to stand out, starting all 13 games and finishing with 10.5 sacks, 17.0 tackles for loss and 83 total tackles despite facing a steady stream of double- and triple-teams.

"The first thing that DeForest really improved on was his pass rushing," Don Pellum, Oregon's defensive coordinator for two years before recently getting demoted to linebackers coach, told The Register-Guard in January. "His hands got better, his hips got better, and I think that's one of the reasons he started to become a dominant force. Secondly, he took charge. A year ago when DeForest said he was coming back, I said, 'OK, we're going to put this defense in your hands. So if it's going great, we're going to pat you on the back. If it's not, we're going to come to you.'

"We may miss that more because he was so good at getting guys going. If a guy was not doing what he was supposed to be doing DeForest said, 'I got it coach.' He was so good at being that guy."

Buckner led the Pac-12 in sacks in 2014, but said he "wanted to prove myself" in returning for his senior season. He also promised his parents he would get his degree, and Buckner earned his undergraduate degree in general social science while putting together a Pac-12 defensive player of the year season.

"When I made my decision, a bunch of people were thinking I should have gone. Even some of my teammates were like, 'Damn Bro, you're crazy,'" Buckner told The Register-Guard. "People were saying I was going to be a top-20 pick last year, and it was a personal decision. I thought it was a really smart decision on me and my family's part."

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Looks the part with a tall, long frame and growth potential to add bulk. Massive wingspan and uses his length to unglue himself from blocks or create spacing at the point of attack, locking out, setting the edge and preventing angle blocks.

Quickly stacks and sheds, using pop in his hands to work off contact. Fluid lower body and athletic footwork to move laterally and break down in tight spaces. Plays low for a man his size with good bend, making it tough for blockers to attack his chest.

Good chase skills and hustle to catch ballcarriers in pursuit. Uses his upper body and initial momentum to generate push off the snap. Rarely met by single blocks, attracting double-teams or chips. Uses his length to swallow ballcarriers as a tackler and drive them backwards.

Long-limbed to obstruct passing lanes (10 career passes defended). Quiet, reserved personality off the field, but warrior mentality on the field, giving full-go whenever he steps on the field. Versatile experience, lining up inside and outside in Oregon's multiple fronts.

WEAKNESSES: Leverage can be an issue at times due to his height. Struggles to recoil and reset himself after his initial move stalls. Still learning how to set up his pass rush sequence and counter moves. Only average snap anticipation.

Needs to know his limitations as a pass rusher and not sacrifice the edge. Still learning how to use his hands and consistently convert speed to power - more of a reactor as a pass rusher. Inconsistent tackler on the move, losing balance in space and not timing his hits. Want to see more of a killer instinct on each snap.

COMPARES TO: Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals - With monstrous body types and vines for arms, Buckner is built very similar to Campbell and he has the upside to develop into a similar player.

IN OUR VIEW: Buckner played primarily as a defensive end in Oregon's 3-4 base, lining up as the four-, five- or six-technique, but also saw snaps inside in the A-gap or at nose tackle. He plays with explosive movements and terrific body control for his size, flashing heavy hands and initial power to be a disruptive force, although he's still learning how to use his hands and string together rush moves.

Buckner showed steady improvement at Oregon and became more of a consistent playmaker as a senior - perhaps Stanford head coach David Shaw described Buckner best when he said: "If you're building a defensive lineman, that's what you build."

He should get even better with NFL coaching and has potential to be a long-term pro starter, projecting better than his former teammate Arik Armstead (17th overall pick to the 49ers in the 2015 NFL Draft).

--Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) (2/16/16)

 
 
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