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Old 05-17-2012, 09:42 AM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Default 2013 NFL Draft Defensive End Rankings and Reports

I recently lost all of the information on my hard drive but I'm going to start the process of re-scouting some of the top pass rushers in this class. Enjoy!

Barkevious Mingo, Louisiana St.* (6'4”, 240, 4.55)

Positives:


• Height and length are ideal for a defensive end or outside linebacker prospect
• Violent, active hand use prevents offensive linemen from being able to lock on
• Initial burst off of the snap is perhaps the best in the entire draft class; elite quickness
• Plays with a great deal of aggressiveness and has a motor which is always running
• Bend off of the edge is outstanding and can regularly win outside positioning
• Closing speed is elite and finishes with consistency due to hit power and tackling form
• Straight line speed is very impressive and showcases an outstanding pursuit range
• Excellent pad level allows him to win the leverage battle more often than not
• More stout as a run defender than expected given his lack of bulk; keeps legs churning
• Remembers to get his hands up to bat down passes when unable to reach the quarterback
• Mixes up his rush strategies in order to generate constant pressure on the quarterback
• Has played on both the left and right sides of Louisiana State's defense effectively
• Even lined up on some coverage units for Louisiana State and was effective there
• Appears to be more than athletic enough to develop zone coverage skills as a linebacker
• Has considerable upside considering he will only be entering his junior season in 2012

Negatives:

• Severe lack of bulk means he will have to show that he can handle considerable weight
• Ends up on the ground a little bit too often because he gets overly aggressive or too low
• Initial punch can be absorbed by offensive tackles and has some trouble winning with power
• Can get stuck on blocks when offensive linemen are able to lock onto his thin frame
• Plays a little bit out of control and can be run at when he commits to winning the outside
• Was mostly used as part of a rotation with Louisiana State's other quality pass rushers
• Was rushing out of a three-point stance far more often than he was standing up last year
• Only has one year of production in college so far; must continue to impress as a junior

Grade: First round


Alex Okafor, Texas (6’4”, 260, 4.65)

Positives:

• Has a sturdy build along with the height and bulk to play in either a 4-3 or 3-4
• Long arms are effective at creating separation from offensive linemen
• Powerful style of play; can drive blockers back and shed blocks to get to the ball
• Tackling fundamentals are sound; wraps up with proper form and hits forcefully
• Change-of-direction is impressive; can bend the edge in order to get to the quarterback
• Motor is more than adequate; gives effort against the pass as well as the run
• Uses a few different pass rush moves in order to create pressure; active hand use
• Anchor is solid; avoids getting driven back too often by keeping his feet moving
• Does a nice job of scraping down the line in order to make plays against the run
• Has rushed out of both two and three-point stances in college (more effective from three)

Negatives:

• Inconsistency must be addressed in the 2012 season (week-to-week play)
• Must improve his initial quickness off of the snap; lags behind his teammates
• Recognition skills will require some work; ends up out of position a little bit too often
• Overly focused on winning the outside at times and surrenders inside (overaggression)
• Played the left end in college rather than the more reassuring right end position
• Pad level gets a little bit high when he rushes from a two-point stance
• Has not been an incredible finisher; six sacks in 2011 was a career high (10.5 total)
• Character will be investigated after being arrested in a bar this month

Grade: First round


Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas* (6'4”, 250, 4.65)

Positives:


• Ideal height for a pass rusher; has the arm length to shed blocks and bat passes
• Often rushes out of a two-point stance from the right side of the defensive line
• Gets off the snap is a hurry and can win battles with his initial burst a;pme
• Very active motor especially when rushing the passer; will not give up after initial move
• Can bend the corner, reroute, and challenge blockers with a surprising punch
• Bull rush is surprisingly effective considering his bulk; has an effective rip as well
• Keeps his feet moving after contact in order to compensate for lack of bulk
• Has been utilized in zone coverage out of a two-point stance in Texas' defense
• Gets his hands up in order to swat down passes at the line of scrimmage
• Was very effective as a sophomore in college; has a ton of room for improvement

Negatives:

• Would need to add a significant amount of bulk in order to play defensive end
• Relies more on his speed than his power; does not anchor especially well
• Inconsistent leverage; sometimes has trouble getting himself low enough to win battles
• Often takes poor angles in run support; sacrifices lanes by overemphasizing pass rush
• Plays with a bit of a narrow base and can be a bit slow to react laterally
• Ends up in the ground a little bit too often; can be knocked off balance with punch
• Will need to improve his coverage drops in the NFL; looks choppy in his backpedal
• Previous ankle injury will have to be medically examined at the NFL Combine

Grade: First round


Sam Montgomery, Louisiana St.* (6'4”, 250, 4.60)

Positives:


• Height and length are ideal for a defensive end or outside linebacker prospect
• Bulk should already be adequate for some NFL teams looking for 3-4 outside linebackers
• Burst off of the snap is impressive and can sometimes win because of quickness alone
• Bend is above-average and can redirect effectively in order to reach the quarterback
• More effective than expected as a run defender; maintains gap responsibility well
• Uses hands in order to prevent blockers from locking on blockers and swat down passes
• Can rush with either speed or power in order to create pressure on the quarterback
• Healthy motor and is active in pursuit against the run as well; plays sideline-to-sideline
• Plays with leverage and knows how to shoot gaps by getting low and skinny
• Was extremely productive as a sophomore in 2011 (named to the All-SEC first team)
• Room for improvement is considerable after only one year as a starting defender

Negatives:

• Will need to add some bulk in order to play defensive end in most 4-3 schemes
• Winds up on the ground fairly often (could be a result of either strength or bulk)
• Too often blocked by tight ends because of his lack of playing strength; must churn legs
• Not as fluid or disruptive as Barkevious Mingo; gathers himself to change directions
• Instincts are fairly raw and must locate the ball and recognize plays more quickly
• Must demonstrate the ability to win the outside more often while rushing the passer
• Limited experience rushing out of a two-point stance; may show more in that area in 2012
• Really benefited from playing on Louisiana State's loaded defense and saw easy matchups
• Has only one year of starting experience and must continue his success next year

Grade: First round


Brandon Jenkins, Florida St. (6'3", 265, 4.70)

Positives:


• Height and bulk are adequate for defensive end and ideal for outside linebacker
• Rushed from the right side in college despite playing with other quality rushers
• Shows a strong burst when getting off the line of scrimmage; closing speed is excellent
• Excellent bend when rushing from the edge; can swing back to the quarterback easily
• Creative use of varied pass-rush moves in order to catch blockers off guard
• Very active hand use is effective for preventing defenders from locking on
• Plays with a stronger initial punch than expected; compensates for relative lack of size
• Tenacity and motor are impressive on passing downs; loves to get after the quarterback
• Gets his hands up when he is unable to reach the quarterback (three batted passes)
• Highly productive over the previous two seasons in college and decided to return to school

Negatives:

• May end up being shorter than listed at the NFL Combine (Everette Brown three inches shorter)
• Almost exclusively rushed out of the three-point stance; didn't look as effective standing up
• Takes questionable angles in pursuit (too narrow/direct); could be an issue in coverage
• Overly focused on getting to the quarterback and could play the run more effectively
• Instincts when playing the run are too tentative; can be caught out of position or slow to react
• Ends up on the ground too often; ferocity sometimes leads to slipping on the field
• Somewhat of an inconsistent tackler who generally needs a direct path to make the stop
• Junior season was a bit of a step back from his sophomore year (13.5 sacks soph., 8.0 junior)

Grade: First or second round


Margus Hunt, Southern Methodist (6'7”, 290)

Athleticism: Incredibly strong and athletic; reportedly runs a 4.7 and has a 36” vertical leap.
Block Shedding: Long arms are extremely useful in this area; can assume two-gap responsibilities.
Burst: Has a surprising burst off of the line of scrimmage given his size; can win the edge off the snap.
Character: No known character concerns, but is overaged (will be a 25 year-old rookie.)
Durability: Has appeared in 40 games over three years at SMU; recently underwent shoulder surgery.
Experience: Did not begin playing football until 2009 but has extensive collegiate experience.
Hand Use: Active and uses his hands effectively in order to prevent blockers from locking on.
Instincts: Gets off of the snap quickly but is susceptible to misdirection plays at times.
Motor: Plays with a high motor and is aggressive in pursuit against the pass as well as the run.
Production: Only 16.5 career tackles for loss and just 7.5 career sacks; has blocked ten kicks.
Rush Moves: Must add more rush moves; overly relies on his strength and athleticism (bull rush.)
Size: Massive (6'7”, 290), long-limbed lineman with an 82” wingspan; could potentially add bulk.
Strength: Very strong for a 4-3 defensive end; reportedly has benched 225 pounds 35 times.
Tackling: Effective, forceful hit-and-wrap tackler who uses his long arms to his advantage.
Versatility: Primarily a right end, but has also blocked 14 kicks on special teams units.

Summary: Hunt's combination of size, strength, and athleticism will pique the interest of coaches looking for projects with high ceilings. Plays like a first-rounder at times, but his production has never matched his physical tools. Style of play and physical tools recall 2007 first-round pick Adam Carriker.

Ideal Fit(s): 3-4 defensive end, 4-3 defensive end

Grade: Second round


Devin Taylor, South Carolina (6'7”, 260, 4.75)

Positives:


• Height and overall length are elite; physically resembles Bengals DE Michael Johnson
• Added considerable weight from his sophomore year to junior year; room for more growth
• Plays with an active motor and snap-to-snap effort is not a concern; fights through whistle
• Can win the outside with his initial burst and quickness; above-average bend back to QB
• Very aggressive, violent hitter who has a knack for picking up intimidating sacks
• Backside contain is sound; does not abandon gaps or fall for misdirection plays often
• Lined up in both two and three-point stances in college and looked comfortable standing up
• Frequently used in coverage (both man and zone); big and athletic enough to cover tight ends
• Has a very impressive spin move which has been used to create pressure; uses swim as well
• Intercepted one pass in each of the past two seasons; both picks were returned for touchdowns
• Has two years of college production already; one of the most accomplished rushers in the draft

Negatives:

• Frame could use some additional bulk in order to improve anchor as a 4-3 defensive end
• Leverage can be a problem due to his height; also rises too high out of his stance
• Balance must be improved; sometimes slips around and looks like he's playing on skates
• Does not possess an elite closing burst to the quarterback; more of a smooth accelerator
• More of a finesse player than a power player; primarily relies on quickness and moves
• Overall consistency is a concern; looks great one play and awkward on the next snap
• Did not have the junior campaign that many were expecting; looked better as a sophomore
• May not have the upside of some of the underclassmen; extensive on-field experience already

Grade:Second round


Bjoern Werner, Florida St.* (6'4”, 275, 4.80)

Positives:


• Possesses the bulk necessary to remain at defensive end in the NFL
• Motor is the first thing that stands out on tape; very aggressive, tenacious player
• Plays with power and uses the bull rush to challenge offensive linemen
• Tackling technique is sound; hits and then wraps to make the stop
• Has a powerful anchor and is effective at shedding blocks in order to make plays
• Gets off of the snap fairly quickly and is adept at finding the ball fast
• Has handled some two-gap responsibilities when defending against the run
• Has some experience playing right end and defensive tackle in addition to left side
• Potential for improvement remains due to relative inexperience with football

Negatives:

• Height and arm length could both leave a little bit to be desired (may only be 6'2”)
• Closing burst is average; does not show a second gear when chasing the quarterback
• Lacks elite bend when rushing the passer and generally relies on his power
• Stiffness could limit him to teams running 4-3 schemes; may struggle in coverage
• Range is a little bit lacking against both the pass and the run; not the best athlete
• Could add to his repertoire of pass rush moves; mostly just a bull/rip rusher
• Plays primarily on the left side at Florida State because of Brandon Jenkins
• Only has one year of production under his belt and may benefit from staying in school

Grade: Second round


Upcoming scouting reports:

William Gholston, Michigan St.*
Dion Jordan, Oregon
John Simon, Ohio St.
__________________

Last edited by Matthew Jones : 06-17-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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