Round 5, Pick 139: Malik Mustapha, Safety, Wake Forest
Kyle Dugger could potentially leave during free agency along with Jalen Mills. Jabrill Peppers is under contract for one more year so the team needs to address the safety position, and does it in round five, with the selection of Wake Forrest's Malik Mustapha.
Mustapha projects as more of a free safety, standing 5-foot-9 and 212 pounds. He will run a forty-yard dash around 4.30 seconds and boasts a 37-inch vertical. He had 3 pass break-ups and one interception in 2023, and the year before showed a great ability to blitz from the corner, accruing 13 pressures and four sacks.
He has quick powerful hands to disrupt and reroute receivers in man coverage, and he loves press coverage. He has elite closing ability when coming downhill and tackling, which shuts down screens and bubble passes. He gives up a lot of big plays trying to make big plays, but he will win those more than he loses them. He needs to work on technique when playing deep.
Round 6, Pick 182: Marcus Harris, Defensive Line, Auburn
The middle of the defensive line will take hits to shed cap space, and second-round pick Keion White had trouble staying healthy in 2023. In Round 6, the team goes back to Auburn for a defender, and select defensive lineman Marcus Harris.
Harris is an athletic defensive lineman who measures 6'2 and 284 pounds. He started his collegiate career at Kansas, before transferring to Auburn in 2021. In 1,610 defensive snaps there, he created 52 quarterback pressures and logged 12 sacks.
He sets the edge in the run game and displays a strong bull rush. He doesn't have a catalog of moves, and shows no bend when rushing from the edge, so will be best utilized on the interior defensive line.