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A&M's DeMarvin Leal Is A Bright Spot In An Otherwise Unremarkable 2022 Interior DL NFL Draft Class

Leal is one of just two interior defensive linemen ranked inside PFF's top-32 overall prospect rankings

There's not much to be excited about for NFL franchises in need of an upgrade at the interior defensive line position with regard to the NFL Draft beginning on April 28.

Pro Football Focus graded out the best interior defensive linemen in the draft and came up with just two potential first round picks. 

Georgia's Jordan Davis ranked at No. 28 on PFF's big board while Texas A&M's DeMarvin Leal was No. 22, ranking as the highest interior defensive lineman coming out of college.

PFF did have some concerns about Leal's game, however:

Leal was a top-10 player on the preseason draft board but sadly didn’t take the next step we were hoping for. In fact, he saw both his run defense and pass-rushing grades take steps backwards in 2021. He’s a gifted athlete for a 6-foot-4, 290 pounder, but that lack of development is worrisome

Chaulk up Leal's lack of improvement to inconsistency. Not necessarily in his play, but in where he played. 

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Leal started his first season and a half at the edge, moving inside only on obvious passing downs. But in 2021, due to injuries and suspensions, as well as a desire for other players to gain more playing time on the outside, Leal played much more on the inside.

Being asked to move around the line so much clearly affected his progression. Had coach Jimbo Fisher kept Leal in one spot the majority of the season, his draft stock would be higher.

But Fisher has commented that with Leal's intelligence and background, he has every opportunity to make himself even more valuable during the interview process with NFL teams before the draft.


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