David Seigerman
Author

Preseason Top 10 Draft Prospects: Big Ten

Jul 11, 2014 4:21 AM EST

2. Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State


I'm not sure Calhoun has the upside as a pass rusher that Gregory does, but that's not a knock. He's still my No. 4 overall prospect on my preseason Big Board, one spot behind Gregory. At this point, Calhoun looks more like a left defensive end than a right end, which means he'd not likely be an NFL team's primary pass rusher. Instead, he'd be asked to hold the edge on the strong side of the offense, and Calhoun would be well qualified to do that.

At 6-4, 257, he's bigger than Gregory, but it's more than just measurable -- it's apparent. He looks bigger and sturdier, and seems to be more an imposing force than his Cornhusker counterpart. Gregory never stops working to find a way beyond his blocker; Calhoun seems content to bull his way into the backfield.

Calhoun's long arms help him keep blockers at bay and also make him a threat to bat down balls at the line of scrimmage. He won't post the pressure numbers that Gregory does or TCU defensive end Devonte Fields will, but Calhoun is a presence on the field.

One thing that won't factor into his evaluation is the notion that he's a defensive touchdown waiting to happen. True, Calhoun did score three touchdowns in the 2013 season -- he returned fumbles for touchdowns against Western Michigan and South Florida, whom he also returned an interception against. But that's more fluke than forecast. It does speak to his playmaking skills, but that's not something he's likely to replicate, either this season or at the next level.

No, Calhoun will make his impact in less gamebreaking ways. And while more pure pass rushers are going to get more attention, his will be a name atop the wish lists of a lot of 4-3 defenses.