A common opinion at this year's NFL Combine in Indianapolis, including one shared by Vikings GM Rick Spielman, is that this is an incredibly deep defensive line class.
NFL Network's Mike Mayock has even shared the sentiment that there will be top-tier talent after the first day because of the amount of quality prospects at the position.
"You could wait 'til the third or fourth round this year and get a defensive tackle that in past drafts was a first or second rounder," Mayock said.
Last year, the Vikings used a third-round pick to upgrade the defensive line, adding DE Danielle Hunter. Hunter, who was the youngest player in the NFL in 2015, was second among rookies with 6.0 sacks in his first season.
Although the defensive line was one of the Vikings strengths in 2015, they might opt to use a later-round pick to add talent to an already strong unit.
Ohio State DE Joey Bosa has no qualms about who the best player in the 2016 NFL Draft is – himself. Bosa, who earned consensus All-American honors as a senior, told people to take his statement with a grain of salt, noting that there's something wrong with a guy if he's considered a top prospect and doesn't think he's the best. After spending his entire collegiate career as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, Bosa said that he's been working on his skills as a linebacker in case a team that runs a 3-4 drafts him and changes where he plays.
Clemson standout Shaq Lawson let everybody in Indianapolis know that he's still working on his craft as a pass-rusher, even though he already has a go-to move. When asked about his technique, Lawson gushed about his inside spin move.
"Deadly. I love that move," Lawson said.
As a member of a team that reached the National Championship, Lawson said that the talent he faced in his final season helped him improve as a player, calling out one player specifically. Facing Notre Dame in the regular season, Ronnie Stanley was his toughest out.
"He helped me be a better play that I am today," Lawson added.
Born to Nigerian immigrants, Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche said his background has him motivated to be the best that he can be. Having spent time where his parents were raised, Nkemdiche told reporters, "Going over there and seeing how it is myself is very humbling."
An off-the-field issue involving Nkemdiche took place last November but he said that the one issue doesn't define who he is, it was uncharacteristic and now he's moving forward.
After measuring with 11¾-inch hands upon arrival at the combine, DeForest Buckner said he wasn't surprised as he's had big hands all of his life.
"Growing up I always had big fans," Buckner said. "My siblings used to make fun of me all the time."
Buckner, who played both inside and outside along the defensive line at Oregon said that the success inside was simple, and had nothing to do with his hand size – he was just much quicker than the guards that he was lining up against.
DE Noah Spence spent the final season of his collegiate career at Eastern Kentucky after starting at Ohio State. Off-the-field questions forced Spence to leave the Buckeyes program, but he's put that past him and was forthright in answering questions regarding the situation knowing that teams will continue to ask.
"I knew it was coming," Spence said. "I'm not tired of answering them."
Spence, who says he's focused his shift in order to help both career and his life, adding, "I just put my focus more on football and school."