College football has always been known for its passionate fan bases and how there is the potential for an unforeseen upset every weekend. So far this year, one of the biggest upsets has to be the unranked Texas A&M Aggies taking down the No. 1 ranked team Alabama Crimson Tide. While this game was littered with NFL prospects, there was one guy that continues to show how dominant he truly is.
Texas A&M defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal put on a dominant performance, racking up seven tackles and multiple quarterback pressures that seemed to impact and disrupt the Alabama offense for the entirety of the game. There is no doubt that his dominant performance was a key piece to the Aggies pulling off an epic upset of the No. 1 team in the country. Leal not only put up a dominant performance against Alabama, but he is putting together a great resume for his junior year NFL draft campaign. Eight games into the season, Leal already has 35 tackles and 5.5 sacks, which is proof that he puts on dominant performances week in and week out.
When watching Leal, the first thing that stands out is his overall body mass, measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds. While he possesses a very big frame, he also has elite athleticism for a guy of his size. This athleticism allows him to play multiple positions across the defensive line. Watching the tape, you will see Leal use his power to bull rush offensive linemen to collapse the interior of an offensive line on his way to sacking the quarterback. And you will also see him lined up as a defensive end and utilize his quick first step to gain leverage on offensive tackles and blow right past them for the sack. The ability for any prospect to do this is special but for a 300-pound prospect like Leal, this is flat out rare.
So far this year, Leal has lined up at DT, DE, and as a stand-up edge rusher—making him the definition of positional versatility. This versatility will eliminate any concerns that any NFL franchise may have about his ability to play in multiple schemes. His ability to play any position along the defensive line will make him an instant impact starter for any team. Leal has the talent to become a core piece of a championship team.
Oftentimes, people associate championships with quarterbacks. But ask the Kansas City Chiefs how important Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones is to their team, or ask the Los Angeles Rams how important All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald is to theirs. Defensive tackles are not a position that the casual NFL fan focuses on, but they have proven to be very important pieces to championship teams. If Leal plays up to his potential, we could be mentioning his name with the other game-changing defensive line greats like Donald and J.J. Watt.