Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Many will tell you that Jonathan Bullard, a former defensive end from the University of Florida, is a Michael Bennett type. The same will be repeated during this draft cycle about Joey Bosa of Ohio State. Kevin Dodd of Clemson is another defensive end-defensive tackle hybrid who should generate comparisons to Bennett, the top hybrid player in that mold in the NFL, who was able to finally crack double-digit sacks in 2015.
Somehow, there's only one player in Bennett's style who plays at a high level in the NFL, but there are going to be three of a similar mold to succeed from the same incoming draft class? Comparisons often involve shortcuts. For a while, all tall cornerbacks were compared to Richard Sherman. Now that the public realizes just how talented Von Miller is, look out for people to put undersized pass-rushers side-by-side with a future $100 million outside linebacker.
The true comparison for Bullard, though their body types are different, is Jerel Worthy. Worthy was once considered to be a first-round prospect, as the former Gator is being tabbed today. Unlike Bullard, Worthy was a full-time interior defensive lineman. On the interior, the game is all about quickness, as you're playing in a phone booth between a center and guard or a guard and tackle.
Bullard and Worthy share a fatal flaw as non-edge defensive linemen: The fact that they tend to cheat inflates their quickness. At the college level, it's much easier to anticipate snap counts, as coaches have less time to get all their players on the same page, therefore they simplify some in-game aspects.
When watching film in slow motion, it becomes obvious which defensive linemen have good bursts off the line of scrimmage and which ones are just a step ahead of offensive linemen. Bullard often moves even before the center does, and he often loses whenever he isn't able to get in sync with the cadence.
The cold truth is that Bullard isn't good enough of a space player to be a long-term starter in the NFL as an edge defender, and his first step is average at best, masked by his savvy exploitation of college snap counts. So at the end of the day, you're getting a tweener defensive tackle with average to below-average upside.
Around 20 pounds heavier, Worthy went from being the 51st overall pick in the 2012 draft to bouncing around five different teams in his first four years in the NFL. The snap-anticipator mold doesn't prosper in the NFL, a league that stresses raw explosion and strength.