Pudge's Notes: Scouts usually target athleticism at this position, while it seems to be a better bet to target production. Defensive end is a hard position to draft for. Everyone is always looking for that Julius Peppers or Jevon Kearse-type prospect that will instantly light the league on fire, but those are rarities. Seemingly each annual class has one or two guys, but for the most part ends take time to develop. Teams have also been struggling finding gems on the second day. Like most positions, starters are found in the first four rounds, but afterwards, you are basically looking for depth.
Pros: Has excellent edge speed and burst upfield. Very few can block him. Has tall enough frame that he can put on an addition 10-15 pounds of muscle. Has good speed and range and has the potential to be an excellent outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense
Cons: Lacks bulk and muscle to play the run. Plays too much against the pass, and will get upfield which can take him out the play in running situations. Will need some time to develop if he moves to linebacker.
NFL Forecast: Suggs will probably initially enter the league as a situational pass-rusher until he improves vs. the run. But he should become an impact player just like Dwight Freeney and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila did early in their careers, even if they are not complete. I think Suggs will eventually develop into a solid pass-rusher, even if he never becomes a force vs. the run. He needs to watch out however, since one past Sun Devil fell into the trap of adding too much weight, and never adjusted to it. That player is Erik Flowers, who did literally nothing in two seasons in Buffalo, and is currently working as an outside linebacker in Houston's 3-4 system. I don't see Suggs squandering his abilities like Flowers due to the success of guys like Freeney and John Abraham.
NFL Comparison: Simeon Rice, Buccaneers.
Value: Suggs is as good a pass rusher as any to come out recently in the draft. He is worthy of a Top 5 selection.
Pros: Has a good size and strength, but is a nice upfield pass rusher with an explosive first step. He can use his arms and quickness giving him more moves than traditional college pass rushers.
Cons: Is only average at the point of attack. Despite size and strength, shows that he is not a good run stopper. Does not have a great frame for getting bigger.
NFL Forecast: Although he cannot be confused with being an end that is both good vs. the pass and run, Haynes should immediately be an every-down player. He has good size and strength to improve vs. the run. Once he learns to play with better leverage, he should be more than fine, and may develop into a very good run stopper. He does not have a great frame for adding size, but would be okay playing anywhere in the 270-280 range. Haynes is another one of many recent ends that have emerged from nowhere with big senior seasons. He joins a group that consists of Patrick Kerney, Erik Flowers, and Charles Grant from just the past four drafts.
NFL Comparison: Hugh Douglas, Jaguars.
Value: Haynes is definitely a first round prospect. He is an excellent pass rusher and shows much more upside vs. the run than many of the other elite ends. I would say he's good enough to merit a pick in the Top 15.
Pros: Has good size and plays the run very well, much like a defensive tackle. Has a good motor.
Cons: Lacks great end size, and looks round and soft and much more like a defensive tackle. Lacks a great first step as a pass rusher, and is more of an effort pass rusher.
NFL Forecast: White is the most complete of the top ends, in that he should immediately be an excellent run stopper and quality pass rusher right from the start of his career. He's destined to play left end, although he was shifted a lot at Louisville to promote match-ups. He is good enough vs. the run that he could be a good end in the 3-4. White probably won't be a consistent double-digit sack guy, but with a decent group around him, he could be a Pro Bowl player. It seems many dislike him for some reason. He's definitely not going to break any of Reggie White's or Bruce Smith's sack records, but he's a very good player. I think it may be his frame that people are so turned off by. It would probably be better if he played at no more than 270, but he's good enough to move inside to tackle on third downs.
NFL Comparison: ?.
Value: He had a chance to solidify himself as a top end in this year's class with a good junior year, but failed to do so. But the first round ability is definitely there, and White could definitely end up being the best of this class, if not most consistent.
Pros: Good upfield burst as an edge pass rusher. Has some strength to improve vs. the run.
Cons: Weak at point of attack and lacks great pass-rushing technique.
NFL Forecast: He will basically try to beat you with quickness, and needs to develop more moves. Plays left end at Miami, but will have to be a right end since he is purely an edge pass rusher. Has good upside since he has strength to play better vs. the run, but not there yet. McDougle probably won't have a huge immediate impact on the league some some of the past defensvie ends to come out, but I see him as a solid pro that should be a top pass rusher. As he develops more he should be a solid double-digit sack guy.
Value: Worth a first round pick, but not that great. Would be worthy pick in the 20-25 range of the first round.
Pros: I like Redding's ability both as a pass rusher and vs. the run. Gets good leverage at the point of attack. Also shows a nice first step as a pass rusher and has a good set of arms that keeps blockers away from his body.
Cons: Still has a ways to improve vs. the run, and is not the most explosive pass rusher around.
NFL Forecast: I like the way Redding uses his arms both as a pass rusher and in run support. He's not the best pass rusher or run stopper in this class among the elite prospects, but he's very close to the top in both categories making him a very good all-around player. Redding could probably play anywhere between 265 and 280 pounds and be okay. I like his upside, and believe he should develop into a double-digit sack guy. He may never be a great run stopper, but should more than adequate for an every-down player.
Value: Redding is worth a look in the latter part of the first round. I haven't seen much from him that says he's not a first round pick.
Pros: Has a nice first step as a pass rusher. Also shows that he's functional vs. the run at the point of attack despite his lack of size. Has nice strength there.
Cons: Lacks ability to anchor and get leverage at the point of attack, so he will be blown off the ball by most quality NFL linemen.
NFL Forecast: He bulked up from about 265 to 275 in the off-season, which was a good move on his part. Now as he adjusts to his new weight, I think he is going to make a solid NFL starter. Some liken him as the best Cornhusker pass rusher since Grant Wistrom, which is true. But I think he is more like Kyle Vanden Bosch than Wistrom. Kelsay will be a complementary pass rusher, capable of racking up 5-8 sacks a season on a consistent basis. I see his future at the left end spot, since I think he is going to grow into being a capable run stopper and pass rusher at the same time.
NFL Comparison: Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cardinals.
Value: He is worth a second round pick, but I don't think he's going to be a premier end, just a capable one.
Pros: Has excellent size to play the run and be a formidable challenge for any blocker. Has rare combination of size, quickness, and strength. Upside is off the charts.
Cons: Does not play to potential. Looks like a tackle, and questionable if he will stick long-term there or at end.
NFL Forecast: Moorehead would be the perfect candidate for a 3-4 end. He has great DT size, but has enough quickness to play end. I personally believe he could be a great tackle due to his quickness. Despite his size/speed/strength combo, he is not consistently a force as a pass rusher. Seems to just settle on playing down to his competition. If he put it all together, Moorehead probably has more potential than anyone in this class. He's a tweener, so you have to question where he'll stick long term. He could play left end and be adequate there, racking up some sacks per year and being a good force vs. the run. He could also play inside in the 4-3, and be a good interior pass rusher. He does not play with great strength, so he probably won't be a great run stopper at tackle initially, but should improve over time. Although he has a nice first step, he's not going to blow by most NFL starters. He's going to have use his speed and quickness in combination with his size and strength to become a power rusher.
NFL Comparison: Cornelius Griffin, Giants.
Value: Moorehead's upside would definitely merit a first round pick, but because he's an inconsistent player he falls to the top part of the second round.
Pros: Has good first step as a pass rusher and some nice moves. Very good motor.
Cons: Lacks size and strength and needs to get better vs. the run.
NFL Forecast: Pace plays end in the 3-4 at Wake Forest, so he has experience vs. the run. But he's not there yet. He's not bad there, but is just only average for a player his size. He could bulk up some more (up to 275) and play left end in the NFL, where I feel he is a better fit. Since he lacks a great first step, I think he won't be as good on the right side. But he shows good upside, and has a good motor. Pace should be a good pro, but probably won't be great. He may get one or two Pro Bowl invites in his career, but likely won't be having too many people remember him twenty-five years from now.
Value: Pace is good enough to merit a third or late second round selection. He has a ways to improve overall, but I feel that he will.
Pros: Has quick first step and plays bigger than his size merits.
Cons: Weak at the point of attack and basically a one move player.
NFL Forecast: Wilkerson has good potential, and played around 255 this past season. Bulking up was a good move, but I'm not sure how much strength it gave him. He got by in college solely off his quickness and edge speed, but now will need to develop better moves in the pros. I believe he is going to be a solid starter on the right side, but I'm not sure he will fulfill his potential. His potential is to be up there with the rest of the class in ability and talent.
Value: Wilkerson is worth a third round pick because he's not as outstanding or developed as the rest of the class.
Pros: He has the size and strength to be a force against the run. Shows good leverage when playing the run. Has nice quickness.
Cons: Is a tweener, and plays like an undersized defensive tackle, not an end. Lacks edge speed to really be more than average pass rusher outside.
NFL Forecast: I was thinking that if Brayton bulked up to around 285, then he would make a very good tackle. He has the frame to support more weight, but it's not necessary. At that size, he would make a solid one-gap tackle, that would be effective vs. the run and pass. But unless he adds that weight, he's going to have to stick at end. He lacks edge speed, so he'll only be an average pass rusher at end. He'll be the type of end that consistently racks up to 5 sacks per season. That's good production for a tackle, but not for a starting end. He has the potential as a tackle, but fits better right now at end. He could be a quality starter at tackle, but only a decent rotation player at end.
Value: If teams are planning on moving him inside, then he could merit a late second round pick. Otherwise, he probably falls until the third round because he is a tweener.
Pros: Has good edge speed and has good strength to play the run.
Cons: Smallish frame and not developed yet as a run stopper.
NFL Forecast: Hunt is the makings of a solid pass rusher, but he doesn't have the greatest edge speed. He has good strength and should develop into a capable run stopper, but he's not there yet. He lacks a good frame for added much more weight, and will probably play at 265-270 for the rest of his career. He is going to have get by off his work ethic, because he's not as blessed physically as the rest of the class. I see Hunt being a competent rush end, capable of tallying about 8 sacks per season. I do not believe he will be a premier pass rusher in the NFL.
Value: Hunt is a solid prospect, but is not going to be a great pass rusher, just a solid one. That's why he gets a fourth round grade.
Pros: Has great strength. Nice first step as an interior pass rusher. Plays run well.
Cons: Does not anchor vs. run at defensive tackle and lacks great first step.
NFL Forecast: Like his teammate Moorehead, King is somewhat of a tweener. He has the size and look of a defensive tackle, but he plays more like a miscast defensive end. If he plays tackle, King should be a capable interior pass rusher since he has good quickness for that position. Although he's blessed with great weight room strength, he is not a good anchor vs. the run, and will give up in that area in the pros. If he moves to end, he does not have great edge speed, so he will only be an adequate pass rusher there. I think he fits well into a 3-4 scheme, but it's unknown where exactly he'll fit in the 4-3. Could play either left end or tackle.
Value: Depending on the defensive scheme, King could be worth a fourth round pick, if that team puts more focus on pass-rushing from the DT position than run-stopping or employs a 3-4. But if he is looked at as a traditional LDE, then he's worth an early fifth round pick.
Pros: Has good upfield burst as an edge pass rusher. Has solid frame for putting on more size. Has potential as a rush linebacker.
Cons: Lacks size and strength at the point of attack.
NFL Forecast: Jackson has potential as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, but is more likely to spend the first part of his career as a situational pass rusher in a 4-3 defense at end. Should add more weight and strength to improve his abilities vs. the run. Probably wonít be a great defensive end, but if he improves, could be capable starter that can give you 6-8 sacks per season.
Value: Has good upside, but only worth a fifth round pick. A team could nab him late in the fourth if they believe he can play outside linebacker.
Pros: Good burst upfield and plays well vs. the run. Has a good motor.
Cons: Undersized and plays more like a defensive tackle than end.
NFL Forecast: Williams projects best in the 3-4 scheme, but could play in the 4-3 at left end. He is a good run stopper, albeit not a great one. If he put on a few more pounds and bulked up to 280, I could see him as a solid interior pass rusher at tackle. But for now, he is a solid prospect. Williams does not have a whole lot of potential as he's a "what you see is what you get" type. But what you see is a solid player that shoudl be an excellent rotation player at the least or a quality starter.
Value: Does not have a whole lot of upside, but worth a late fifth round choice.
Pros: Good size and strength to play the run. Has nice quickness as a pass rusher.
Cons: Lacks great first step as an edge rusher and doesn't overwhelm you with his power.
NFL Forecast: Davis projects best as an end in the 3-4. He has good size and is a decent pass rusher, but not likely to rack up more than 3-5 sacks in a season. Has good strength and size to play the run, but is not a great run stopper. Has upside there though. Is somewhat of a tweener, and could possibly play tackle in the 4-3, but could prove to be somewhat of a liability there. Overall, doesn't look like he'll excel as a starter, but has enough ability to be a key part of a rotation.
Value: Has good potential, but not anything special yet. A good value in the middle of the sixth round especially for a 3-4 defense.
Pros: Good strength and ability to anchor vs. the urn. Has nice quickness to penetrate.
Cons: Lacks edge speed and a bit undersized to play defensive tackle.
NFL Forecast: House fits best in a 3-4 scheme. He plays more like a defensive tackle than end. At end, he should be a solid run stopper on the left side, but lacks the edge speed to be anything more than an average pass rusher. If he is employed at tackle, he needs to add some more weight. In a classic 4-3, I think House will make a good rotation player that can play both end and tackle in a pinch. In the 3-4, I see him being a capable starting end.
NFL Comparison: Carl Powell, Bengals.
Value: If picked by a 3-4 team, he could merit a fifth round pick. Otherwise, he should get late sixth round consideration.
Pros: Good combination of size, strength, and speed.
Cons: Lacks explosive first step.
NFL Forecast: I think of him as an undersized left end. He has good strength and anchors well vs. the run, and if he bulked up to around 275, would make an excellent left end. Lacks upfield explosion, and is an effort pass rusher. So you really cannot count on him to be more than a complementary pass rusher. If he bulks up, he will be a good pro. Otherwise, he'll only be a rotation player. I could see him also getting work at linebacker, but lacks really the long speed at that position. Is a work in progress.
Value: Worth a seventh round pick, with nice potential.
Pros: Quick first step and edge speed. Solid frame for adding weight and good motor.
Cons: Lacks strength and a liability vs. the run.
NFL Forecast: Blackmon played on the weakside opposite the tight end at Tulane because he would be totally neutralized against a double team. He also was taken out a lot in running situations. Right now I see him as a solid situational pass rusher until he adds weight and strength. Has good potential if he gets stronger.
Value: If looked upon as a situational guy with upside, Blackmon makes a good seventh round choice.
Pros: Some quickness off the edge.
Cons: A project that lacks strength and ability vs. the run.
NFL Forecast: If Stephen bulked up to around 270, he could make a decent player. Right now he lacks the edge speed really be a top pass rusher. He spent much of his career at Wake Forest as a backup, and probably will spend all of his pro career in the same role. If he works hard could become a solid rotation player, but probably nothing more than that.
Value: Worthy of being brought to camp, but too much of a project to be taken in the draft.
Pros: Has good upfield quickness and first step. Nice effort player with good frame.
Cons: Lacks size and strength. Struggles at point of attack.
NFL Forecast: I find it interesting that McEwan added about 20 pounds of muscle since the season. Before he looked like a decent edge pass rusher that might have had a future as an outside linebacker. Now he looks like he could be a good left end, if the added weight turns into solid muscle. He never racked up big numbers during college, and likely won't do the same in the NFL. He has the makings of a decent rotation player.
Value: He is borderline between late seventh and undrafted status.
Pros: Has good speed and some ability as an edge pass rusher.
Cons: Lacks size and strength to play defensive end.
NFL Forecast: Adams probably will move to outside linebacker in the NFL, although that is not his natural position. Is an undersized defensive end with the build of an end. Doesn't have the frame to support more weight. Lacks the speed and agility you want in a linebacker too. A tweener that does not fit particularly anywhere. At best, he could impress a team enough as a situational rusher to stick on a practice squad. Basically a marginal talent that has enough skill to stick in the CFL, but not likely in the NFL.
Value: Worth a camp invite, but is not good enough to stick.