Though he’s not expected to be picked highly — if at all — defensive end Garrett Sickels has the skillset to carve out a career in the NFL. His numbers weren’t spectacular, but should be good enough to get him picked when paired with his tape.
Take a look at three possible day three suitors for Sickels at the next level:
NFL.com Scouting Report:
Plays at the same pace throughout the game and finds his way into the backfield with a non-stop forward charge and some rush talent. Sickels’ play strength at the point of attack is a big concern and he may be forced into an outside linebacker role in order to keep tackles off of him. Sickels projects as a backup who could eventually find the field in pass rush situations.
San Francisco 49ers
The pass-rusher needy 49ers invested heavily in the defensive line over the past two drafts, selecting former Oregon teammates Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner in consecutive years in the first round. Behind the pair is talent discrepancy — with Ronald Blair serving as an exciting young prospect.
Sickels could find a home competing for a role along San Francisco’s line in a reserve role as he learns the nuances of the NFL game. Special teams could be a good starting point for Sickels, who could be available for the team near the sixth or seventh round after going after top-tier talent like Solomon Thomas of Stanford.
Similarly to the 49ers, the Jaguars have invested heavily in the defensive line in an effort to get younger and more productive. Major free agent scores like Calais Campbell this offseason and Malik Jackson the one prior have the unit headed in the right direction. Whether or not the unit takes the next step hinges on the development of former No. 3 overall pick Dante Folwer Jr. — something that remains to be seen as he enters his second full season of action.
Here’s another spot where Sickels could create some more depth behind rising star Yannick Ngakoue and carve out a situational role — especially for a team with a penchant for drafting Nittany Lions in the past. Sickels has the tools to compete, and given his team-leading 12.5 TFL and Big Ten leading 43 quarterback pressures, there’s no reason why the pass-rusher needy Jaguars shouldn’t take a flier in the later rounds on a player like Sickels.
Other Potential Candidate: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have talent on the interior portion of its line with Johnathan Hankins anchoring the middle, but little talent on the outside. Margus Hunt is spotty consistency-wise, and Kendall Langford isn’t getting any younger. Drafting Sickels makes perfect sense for a team that could benefit from adding young defensive line talent.