DeForest Buckner NFL Draft 2016 Cover

2016 Scouting Report: DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon

DeForest Buckner was a four-star recruit from Punahou HS in Honolulu, Hawaii. Rivals ranked him as the 17th strongside defensive end prospect in the 2012 class. Buckner received offers from multiple PAC-12 schools such as Washington, California, and UCLA, but ultimately chose the University of Oregon. He enters the 2016 NFL Draft as one of the top defensive line prospects.



DOB 1994 Bench (225 lbs) DNP
Height 6’7” Vertical Jump 32″
Weight 291 lbs Broad Jump 9’8″
Arms 34.375 in 20 Yard Shuttle 4.47 sec
Hands 11.75 in 3 Cone Drill 7.51 sec
40 Yard Dash (10 yd split) 5.05 sec (1.77 sec) 60 Yard Shuttle DNP


Stats and Awards

University of Oregon (2012-2015)
2015 – 83 tackles (17.0 for loss), 10.5 sacks, 5 PDs All-American, PAC-12 Def Player of the Year, First-Team All-PAC-12
2014 – 81 tackles (13.0 for loss), 4.0 sacks, 4 PDs, 1 FF Second-Team All-PAC-12
2013 – 39 tackles (3.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FF
2012 – 29 tackles (2.5 for loss), 1.0 sack


Scouting Report

  • Huge body, very tall and intimidating frame, but makes him an easier target to aim at by double teams
  • Versatility on defensive line. Experience at 5-tech strongside defensive end, 1-tech taking on double teams, 3-tech in certain packages.
  • Shows excellent effort in backside pursuit on run plays.
  • When double teamed on passing plays, he typically attempts to split gaps by swim moving through them
  • Constantly got double-teamed against Michigan State.
  • Doesn’t know his identity in pass rush – seems to want to swim, run, and spin around blockers as opposed to using brute strength and power. Occasionally it’s fine, but Buckner should primarilly be attacking using his strength advantage.
  • Shows a second level effort after first being blocked to fight through blockers.
  • Consistently pushes pocket backwards in pass rush when directly bullrushing at an offensive lineman.
  • Comfortable running stunts at Oregon.
  • Gets good initial push on bullrush but can stall if the blocker sets feet and anchors. Needs counter move (bull-jerk) to finish blockers after the initial hand punch.
  • Consistently, beat his blockers to first punch using his superior length.
  • Can control blocker in a 2-gap if he maintains good pad height and squares shoulders.
  • Doesn’t have speed nor ability to dip shoulder around edge. Would rahter see him inside at 3-tech or even 1-tech in certain packages.
  • Tackle-reading when plays at 5-tech, slows potential in pass rush, but has good jump after he sees initial movement.
  • Not the quickest reactor when switching from attacking blocker to slipping off his blocker to make plays in run defense.
  • Turns shoulders while attacking blockers instead of staying squared up to his man. Not good for outside stretch runs.
  • Great tackle radius and typically a good finisher using his long arms to bring down the ballcarrier.
  • Stays low for his huge size to attack blockers
  • Main moves are bull rush and swim move between gaps.
  • Uses swim move way too often. Probably relied upon that growing up since he was always taller and longer than everyone. Be careful about using that in Pros as it leaves your stomach/chest open for a good punch.
  • Great at getting hands up to deflect passes or shut down throwing lanes.
  • Sometimes seems gets lost in attacking blocker, where he’s late identifying his read.
  • When there is movement like an outside run, he tries to run towards it but often can’t disengage properly. This leaves him exposed to poor leverage and getting thrown to the ground. Happened far oto often.
  • Does a surprisingly good job of avoiding cut blocks based on his height.

Film Study

DeForest Buckner is a tall, intimidating player who shows versatility on the defensive line. He mainly lined up opposite the left tackle in a 4-technique, but also has experience rushing as a nose tackle and as a 3-technique defensive tackle. In my opinion, his best fit is at 3-tech in the NFL or as a strongside defensive end in a 3-4 defense. Overall, Buckner is a powerful defender who typically has good knee bend and pad height when he attacks the offensive lineman.

Pass Rush

His main moves in pass rush are his bullrush and his swim move. Occassionally, Buckner used a rip move, which if he’s rushing inside as a 1-tech or a 3-tech I want to see this move used more.

He does an excellent job of controlling his blocker initially, but needs to learn to disengage quicker with a bulljerk if he attacks the tackle in a 2-gap scheme or when pass rushing.

My favorite part about his character is his relentless effort when he gets double-teamed, and his second level pass rush attack when he gets initially blocked.

While a man of his size (6’7″) can use a swim move in the college ranks, his size even though large is not nearly as distinguishing in the Pros. With this in mind, he tends to rely on his swim move far too often when I’d rather see him bully an offensive lineman with pure power. It’s almost as if he doesn’t know his identity in pass rushing, when I want to see him maul more blockers dead on and pair it with a counter push-pull to throw them out of his way.

In Oregon’s defense he performed a variety of stunts as the looper and the penetrator, and also played both 1-gap and 2-gap in their scheme. Buckner, also, was great at getting his hands up to swat passes out of the air.


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Samuel Gold

Sam founded NFL Breakdowns after working his way through the journalist farm system and is enjoying life in the big league. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Sam didn’t choose the Redskins, the Redskins chose him. Out of a love for the game and an insatiable curiosity to determine why his beloved team was underperforming, Sam turned to studying film in NFL Breakdowns.