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4th Round: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor


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Billings was already a big name around Waco before he even agreed to play for the Bears, dominating on the high school football field (266 pancake blocks in his junior and senior years) and setting a state record in power-lifting with 2,010 total pounds at the state meet (805 squat, 705 dead lift, 500 on bench). Despite the high expectations, he somehow lived up to his billing. After contributing as a true freshman (two starts, 29 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss), Billings came into his own in 2014, receiving consensus first-team All-Big 12 notice with 37 tackles, 11.5 for loss. The league named him co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2015, leading Baylor with 15 tackles for loss and tying for the team lead with 5.5 sacks as he heard his name mentioned on several All-American squads. The fact he led the Bears in tackles for loss and sacks shows the athleticism and aggressive nature of his game.



40-yard dash: 4.96 seconds 
Short shuttle: 4.77 seconds 
3-cone: 7.77 seconds



 Elite power with a weight­lifting background. Generates booming power from hip explosion and when his leverage is on point, he can be menacing. Moved from offensive line to defensive line in college and is getting better by leaps and bounds each year. Drops his pad level even lower when splitting double teams and charging through gaps. Uses violent, powerful swats and slaps to free of opposing hand placement. Instant reaction time makes it difficult to cross his face. Gets arm extension into blocker and stays clean as he pursues laterally. Ridiculous closing burst to the sideline for a big man. Dominates single blocks and is a sure­fire tackler when he gets hands on a running back. Improving pass rusher with an effective bull­ rush.


 Top heavy. Powerful but short. Once he gets going in a direction, struggles to slow down and change directions. Recovery athleticism is average. Plays with good initial effort but an average secondary motor. Still learning techniques for the position. Raw as a pass rusher relying on power over a plan. Extremely young to play professionally. Will need positive locker room leaders to guide him as he matures.


 Round 2


 Chris Baker


 Billings won't turn 21 until March of 2016, but he has the overwhelming strength of a full­-grown NFL defensive tackle. With elite power and unusual closing speed for a big man, Billings has a chance to become something we rarely see ­-- a playmaking nose tackle with the ability to dominate at the point of attack. Teams will decide through research and interviews whether Billings can handle the NFL life at such a young age, but if he can, he has all-­pro potential.


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STRENGTHS: A load in the middle with brute power to engage blockers and toss them aside. Tough to block due to his blend of power and quickness. 


At his best when he keeps his pad level low and rolls his hips at the point of attack to carry his momentum into the pocket. Has a motor that is always revving and effort isn't an issue.


WEAKNESSES: Needs to improve backfield vision and pre-snap anticipation. Relies on forward lean, leading to him overextending and ending up on the ground. Has room to improve his patience and ball awareness. Lacks ideal range to consistently make plays outside the hashes. 


IN OUR VIEW: If the technique and discipline catch up to his natural brawling strength and mentality, Billings flashes dominant qualities. A scheme-versatile prospect, he will be valued as a nose tackle by odd fronts and a one-technique tackle by even fronts.


COMPARES TO: Bennie Logan, DT, Philadelphia Eagles - Similar to Logan, Billings isn't the most physically impressive lineman, but he is built low to the ground with a powerful base that will fit both even and odd fronts.


--Dane Brugler (2/10/16)

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1 hour ago, HoosierCat said:

Remember Billings just turned 20. I like him too but am glad we don't have to rush him. Peko isn't going anywhere yet, if only because Mikey don't play that. But yeah, down the road...

Yeah, I expect Peko to be here and probably start unless pushed by Thompson.  The Bengals have proven pretty reliable about including a large number of players in their D-line rotations though so he'll get his chances.

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3 hours ago, HoosierCat said:

Everybody happy now?

YES !!!

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Well, Geno is safe. Peko almost certainly as well. He's been a loyal guy and the FO rewards loyalty. They will let him play out his deal.

They won't keep both Sims and Thompson. IMO Sims' age (31 this November) gives Thompson the edge. No guarantees for Thompson, tho, I could see both getting cut.

So that leaves us with Hardison, Billings and DeShawn Williams. Worst case I could see them carrying Billings through the year inactive like they did with Hardison last season. Williams could still go to the PS. Hardison probably under a little pressure to show something.

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I was tracking Andrew Billings heading into this draft because I have a buddy of mine that lives in Waco and hits up many Baylor games.
He would constantly tell me about this kid and how "stupid strong" he was.  Said he works through double teams and is constantly in the backfield.
He said he always appeared to be a man among boys.

While he maybe on the shorter end of what prototypical looks like, I can't help but think about the future with him and Atkins in the middle.
His game looks VERY similar to what you see from Atkins and think, if given the opportunity in spite of Peko, he's going to be special for us.

He's easily the pick I'm most excited about to see come the preseason games.

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