Draft Prospect Outlook:
Strong, power edge-rusher / defensive tackle hybrid. High-energy player who can convert speed to power but isn't quick around the edge, mainly due to his weight. Displays effective swipe move and can anchor and disengage on run plays. Unspectacular but solid prospect.
Speaks was a four-star recruit out of Callaway High School in Jackson, Mississippi, who signed with Ole Miss in the 2014 class. He was redshirted in 2014, but made a splash when he hit the field in 2015. He played in every game and made two starts, recording 32 tackles, 5.5 TFLs and a sack.
His sophomore season in 2016 saw a slight decline in production (28 tackles, one sack, 1.5 TFLs), but he bounced back with a junior campaign in which he earned second-team All-SEC honors with 67 tackles and seven sacks. As Speaks' junior season progressed, there was no doubt he planned to leave the program a year early. He declared for the NFL Draft in January. -- David Johnson