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Alabama Football 2019 NFL Draft: DL Isaiah Buggs

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In 2018, all the pieces of the game came together for Buggs. Will the motor follow in the NFL?

SEC Championship - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Measurables: 6’3”, 306

Speed/Strength: 5.15/40, 20 Reps

Hops (vert/broad): 24.5”, 96”

Mobility (3-cone, shuttle): 8.01, 4.83

Best Traits: Hands, power, violence, setting the edge, sure tackler

Worst Traits: Lacks elite athleticism and particularly lacks a burst rushing the passer, doesn’t appear to give complete effort on every play

Isaiah Buggs, the Louisiana JuCo who came to Alabama following the diaspora of line talent in 2015-2016, was a very capable two-year starter for the Tide. His game strengths project best to the NFL on the inside, though he manned the SDE for the Tide. He is violent player and a sure tackler, particularly in the running game. And, though he lacks elite athleticism or refined pass rushing skills, he does have the patience to wait for the pocket to collapse and clean up on the play: his sacks are a testament to that, even if his lateral quickness would not suggest it.

The lack of consistent effort that even Saban has questioned before will be a problem: with his strength and hands he can get off blocks, but sometimes it seems he wants to take a breather out there. That won’t fly in the NFL when everyone is after the money in your pocket. Given that nearly every tackle he will face is better than most he saw in college, Buggs’ role as a pass-rusher on the outside is limited — that’s just not his game at this level.

His production in 2018 shows that he grew up a lot and refined his game in almost every way between year one and year two. He defended three passes, forced two fumbles, recovered another one, logged 9.5 sacks, and 13.5 TFL en route to a second-team All-SEC season. His future is probably as a rotational interior lineman providing some violent interior push and getting his mitts on running backs. If he plays within himself and works on his motivation, he could be one of those guys that sticks around for several years with a few different teams: the NFL always needs linemen.