It was to be assumed that there would be very few Virginia Tech players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. The fact that the Hokies and head coach Brent Pry received so much retention—some players could have been picked and returned for 2024—is a major factor in this.

Along with the retainment, Pry also added three significant players through the transfer portal; one of them is already on a top list for the 2025 NFL Draft even though he hasn’t played a snap for Virginia Tech.

Aeneas Peebles named Top IDL to watch for the 2025 NFL Draft

Duke transfer Aeneas Peebles has yet to play a game for the Hokies, but his performance with the Blue Devils has already landed him on a Top 10 list of interior defensive linemen to watch for the 2025 NFL Draft.


Sep 23, 2023; East Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Duke Blue Devils defensive tackle Aeneas Peebles (16)

“Peebles has no issues getting after the quarterback. His 90.1 pass-rushing grade at Duke in 2023 was second among FBS defensive tackles, only behind Byron Murphy II, who was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the 2024 draft. Peebles also ranked fifth among all interior defensive linemen with a 16.2% pass-rush win rate.

Peebles excels at penetrating gaps in the run game, as shown by his 77.0 run-defense grade in 2023. However, his 6-foot-1, 286-pound frame sometimes makes him vulnerable to double teams. He is projected to perform best as a three-technique at the next level,” said Max Chadwick.

Last season, Peebles recorded 44 tackles for Duke, including 13 solo tackles and five sacks. These numbers are likely achievable again on a robust defensive line in Blacksburg. The North Carolina native, standing at 6-foot-1, joins a group featuring Kelvin Gilliam, Kemari Copeland, and Khurtiss Perry, with Antwaun Powell-Ryland and Josh Fuga also returning.

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