In citing comps for some interior defensive line prospects in the 2022 draft, a writer has offered Ndamukong Suh for one of them.
Many would say his tenure with the Lions ended too soon. But Ndamukong Suh was going to take the first opportunity to leave and he did so, for a big contract with the Miami Dolphins. Still, he was a dominant (and times line-crossing) force in Detroit, earning four Pro Bowl selections and three first-team All-Pro nods in five seasons as a Lion.
Suh is no longer that young interior dominator. He’s now 35 years old, but he has remained productive and he has not missed a game since his second NFL season (two games missed in 2011). Incoming 2022 defensive line prospects should aspire to have as long a career as he has.
JB Butler of The Draft Network has offered comps for a few of the incoming crop of interior defensive line prospects.
Jordan Davis–Vita Vea
Devonte Wyatt–Maliek Collins
DeMarvin Leal–Ndamukong Suh
Perrion Winfrey–Fletcher Cox
DeMarvin Leal=the next Ndamukong Suh?
Here’s what Butler wrote in comparing Leal to Suh.
"Leal was a three-year starter for Texas A&M after being one of the first big recruits for Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. He is a rare combination of size, athleticism and strength, and he used all of those traits to have a productive 2021 campaign, racking up 12.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He is strong enough to wreak havoc from the inside of defense and has enough speed to rush off the edge.Looking at his film and production level throughout his collegiate career, Leal reminds me of former second overall pick Ndamukong Suh. Though those are high standards, Leal is young and has the athleticism and potential to grow into one of the most dominant interior linemen in the league."
It’s immediately obvious on tape that Leal is (6-foot-4, 290 pounds) is not as massive as Suh, who pushes north of 300 pounds and looks every bit of it still. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com sees a bit of a tweener in Leal–not sudden enough to be dynamic coming off the edge at the next level, but also not powerful enough to be an interior force. Take a look at the video below.
I don’t agree with the Suh comp for Leal. Two very different players. Even now, at this late stage of his career, Suh rarely if ever gets pushed around on the inside the way Leal did against tougher competition in the SEC. But Leal is a solid pass rusher and edge setter against the run away from the bigger bodies on the inside, with the look of a 3-4 defensive end at the next level.