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2013 3-4 DE Rankings

April 24, 2013

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3-4 Defensive End

1. Margus Hunt SMU #92 6’8 1/8 277 Sr.

Comparison: A raw, less agile JJ Watt

Senior Bowl: Day 1: 1×1-Got push vs. David Quessenberry but couldn’t get edge (-2). 11×11-got edge vs. Rick Wagner causing hold. Day 2: Quick move inside vs. Quessenberry for slight win (1), couldn’t get edge vs. David for no rush (-4), bullrushed David for no movement and pancake (-4). Day 4: Beat Justin Pugh on up and under (3.5). In the 2012 Senior Bowl game he started at DE, no rush at all vs. Lane Johnson-toyed with at times, immovable in run game though (3-4 DE), ole’d Lane for inside run tackle, battled through Oday Aboushi for pressure, barely couldn’t get edge vs. Terron Armstead, sucked in on reverse allowing big play to his side, sucked inside for misdirection toss-poor discipline 2x now for big gains. He lacks the burst to play 4-3 DE or the discipline and continues to prove to me that he needs to gain 20 lbs and be a 3-4 DE. Early 2nd round as there is just too much potential to drop any further despite a poor showing here 2/13/13.

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

31

8

11.5

11

2

1

0

2011

28

3

7.5

0

0

0

0

2010

45

2

6.5

1

0

0

0

2009

8

2.5

2.5

1

0

0

0

Combine: Going to be 26 yr old rookie. No fat on his 6’8 frame. Had 38 reps! 1.62 10 yd split! Outstanding in hip drill-wow for a 6’8 guy! Very quick feet but no bend in bag drill.     

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6081

277

33.75

 

4.6

38

34.5

1001

4.51

7.07

Notes: From Estonia who only has been playing football for 2 years. Won gold medal in the shot put and discus at the 2006 Junior World Championships (only person in history to do that). In the 2011 Texas A&M game had a blocked extra point with it being his 11th career block (2:16 1st), had another blocked extra point this one being less about his amazing height as he got skinny and shot through the line being nearly to the kicker by the time it was kicked with it hitting him in the shoulder pads (1:05 2nd). Only been playing football for 4 years. Won gold at shot and discus world championships for 18 and under. Honorable mention C-USA in 2011. 14 blocked FGs in 3 years at SMU (4 in ’11, 3 in ’10, 7 in ’09). In the 2011 Pittsburgh game he had a great 4 sec sack getting between LG and LT and fighting through a hold of his jersey for an impressive sack (9:10 1st), shed LT Greg Gaskins on run play, won edge vs. Gaskins but held-no call, good closing speed of QB on scramble after 5 sec yet missed in kill zone, good close on QB rollout forcing INC otherwise would have been 4 sec sack, elite 3 sec sack blowing through Gaskins and throwing down QB when he grabbed him at his shoulder pads (0:30 3rd), beat Gaskins again on edge by speed and strength with nice burst to gain edge and strength to arm fight through OT for 3 sec sack-his potential is of a top 5 pick! (7:45). Unequivocably looked like the best player on the field on either team as he’s not just tall (6’8) but is big (295 lbs), fast (rumor has it he runs a 4.6), and is already producing (3 sacks in game, 14 blocked FGs in past 3 years) despite being raw (only played football for 4 years). He has the potential of a top 5 pick yet most likely will be taken in the late rounds. An absolute steal who has Pro Bowl potential. Reminds me of JJ Watt. 4th round 1/7/12. In the 2012 Texas A&M game he blocked an extra point setting an NCAA record for career blocked kicks. He also had a sack and was impossible to move in the run game being a lone bright spot on a terrible defense in a 48-3 loss. Listed as the #40 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. Listed as the #43 player on my Top 100 Board in the middle of the 2012 season. Has an 82 inch wingspan. In the 2012 Fresno St. game he went right through OL for hit on QB forcing throw away-great burst for DT, I catch him not always going 100% and is hardly an aggressive player, opponents cut him regularly and he struggles against due to his height, gained edge often against RT but the quick passing game kept him at bay early on yet he finally got one as he showed good bend and just clobbered QB for 4 sec sack and FF-TO (13:20 2nd), shot through gap to cause QB to scramble into sack by outside rusher-can rush inside and outside, beat RG on outside edge for 4 sec sack and safety-took over the game (10:55 2nd), went right by RT on inside move to hit RB at handoff for FF-TO, from DT spot he raced around the outside for pressure to force throw away-legit 4.7 speed, split RG/RT to get pressure-missed in kill zone but ruined play. He has the flair for the moment with 5 sacks, 2 FF, 1 safety in his past two bowl games. He never took the next step this season like I expected but he still has elite measurables and with his lack of football experience I still think he has Pro Bowl potential at 4-3 DE, 3-4 DE, or even 4-3 DT though 3-4 DE is his best fit. Late 1st round 12/29/12.

Overall: Hunt is a rare physical specimen as his frame is absurd at 6’8 277 and yet somehow he actually is quick and fast at that gigantic size with a 4.60 40 that was faster than Johnathan Banks 4.61 despite Hunt outweighing him by 92 lbs! The sky is the limit for Hunt yet the question is what to do with the uber athlete. In my opinion it’s 3-4 DE as he lacks the burst to consistently turn the corner on tackles when lined up outside at 4-3 DE but is too talented to just put inside as a lane clogger and run stuffer. At 3-4 DE he could use his athleticism to get pressure from different angles but would do it more from the inside out which his body would be best suited fro. Hunt has improved by leaps and bounds in his 4 seasons at SMU and it should only accelerate once he’s able to focus on football full time. He’s extremely raw and is an older prospect, will be a 26 year old rookie, so he has his worts but his upside is too high to keep him out of the 1st round. Late 1st round as my #1 3-4 DE 4/23/13.

2. William Gholston Michigan St. #2 6’6 ¼ 281 Jr.

Stats: Big Ten

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

59

4.5

13

5

1

0

0

2011

70

5

16

3

1

0

0

2010

13

0.5

1

5

0

0

0

Combine: Elite frame (6’6 ¼ 281 with 34 arms) and no fat at all on it. One of the better frames. 1.73 10 yd split. Good in bag drill. Not good in double bag drill-tight.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6062

281

34

 

4.96

23

28.5

902

4.59

7.2

Notes: Cousin of Vernon Gholston. In the 2011 Michigan game he jumped on the pile late for cheap shot, threw a punch at the LT after he was pushed into the ground after the play was basically over-called for PF but not thrown out (0:07 3rd), great strength setting edge vs. RT then grabbing QB Denard Robinson and throwing him down (13:43 4th), barely blocked on should be 4 sec sack but missed in kill zone on Robinson (12:55 4th), great strength again bull rushing RT into QB for sack as he had fumbled the snap (12:50 4th), noticed him again on rush barely not getting to QB on inside rush as RB at the last second took him out. Seems similar to his cousin with elite athleticism but not very intelligent. William though is taller and heavier than his cousin so he is more of a true DE than a 3-4 OLB/DE tweener. Future top 3 rounder at least as his athleticism just jumps off the screen at you 10/21/11. Suspended for 2011 Wisconsin game for punch. Came back from suspension with the right attitude and was dominant vs. Nebraska and Minnesota with 29 tck, 3 TFL, and 1.5 sacks. In the 2011 Iowa game he didn’t get good rushes against LT Riley Reiff early in the game and most of the rest of the game he was on the other side. Did show good hustle nearly sacking QB on other side of field after +6 sec, great play on inside stunt pushing and beating the crap out of the RG then getting away to dive at QB barely missing a sack then getting up and going after scrambling QB to hit him hard 1 yd downfield-showed strength, hustle, and aggressiveness (4:40 4th), called for blatant hands to the face which he seems to do a lot-worse off is it was 4th and 8 so essentially saved Iowa a turnover (4:30 4th). In the 2011 Georgia game he had a great game with a pressure that wasn’t a sack only due to a nice juke by the QB, big hit on sack spinning off RG for coverage sack (8:20 2nd), did get blocked surprisingly easily by TE Orson Charles a few times on run plays, huge hit on inside stunt leveling QB and nearly causing fumble-called INC (6:51 4th), beat LG on edge for 4 sec sack-pushed FG 5 yds farther and they missed for MSU win (3 OT). He looked like an absolute freak all game long with his long, angular frame and his burst and strength. Mid 1st 1/19/12. Listed as the #5 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. Listed as the #25 player on my Top 100 Board in the middle of the 2012 season. In the 2012 Notre Dame game he beat RT on spin move for pressure, good diving tackle for short gain on RB forcing 4th and 1-great length. In the 2012 Boise St. game he had batted ball at LOS-avoided cut block by LT, clearly wasn’t giving full effort on toss away that turned into trick play that he could have affected if he had been hustling, good arm around move but hit QB at 5 sec showing lack of burst in closing on QB, beat LT Charles Leno Jr. on edge and turned for would be sack but ball out quickly, split RG/RT for pressure. Overall he had a quiet game and I noticed his lack of burst again but his frame is elite and still intrigues the hell out of me 10/23/12. In the 2012 TCU game he gained edge on LT but showed poor bend getting pushed past QB, batted ball at LOS, good close on QB during scramble diving but barely missing TFL, right by RT for TFL on read option. He has an All Pro frame but just lacks the burst to be a dominant 4-3 DE. He could be an adequate 4-3 SDE but I’d prefer to see him gain weight and be a dominant 3-4 DE. Early 2nd round 1/14/13.

Overall: William at one point was a Top 5 prospect on my board as his frame was shocking the first time I saw it. At 6’6 280 with ’34 arms he’s a massive man and with 5 sacks and 16 TFL in 2011 as a true sophomore I thought he was on the verge of being the most dominant defender in college football. That never happened as he has a spectacular frame but isn’t a great athlete and because he doesn’t have a motor that runs full blast all the time. Due to these issues he was less productive across the board in 2012 compared to 2011 and then surprised me by leaving school early. Midway through last season I realized he lacked the athleticism to stay outside and decided his best bet was to bulk up and be a 6’6 295 lb 3-4 DE. At that spot he would be able to use his elite frame and size to stop the run but could also use his quickness against overmatched guards. The only problem I see with this scenario is that Gholston doesn’t have the best motor and the 3-4 DE spot is all about working hard and being the unpublicized worker in the background. That doesn’t fit Williams’ character and I could see him rebelling. Overall he’s an early 2nd round talent that projects as a top notch 3-4 DE with decent pass rush skills but a player who lacks the work ethic and persona usually associated with the blue collar position. As such I wonder if he will accept the best scenario for him and might demand to be a 4-3 strong side defensive end despite him fitting far less naturally at that spot. 2nd round as a high upside player I can’t completely figure out what to do with as my #2 3-4 DE 4/23/13.

3. Nick Williams Samford 6’4 ½ 309 Sr. Combine: Had a 4.84 40 which is spectacular for his size! Also had 28 reps, ’33 vertical, and a 9’3 broad so he’s an all around elite athlete. 1.63 10 yd split. Terrible in movement drill. Played basketball for most of his life and only recently switched sports. He’s a unique physical specimen but is built tightly and comes from a small school background. I like him as a 3-4 DE due to his elite speed for his size and think he’s good as a mid to late round project type. 5th round as my #3 3-4 DE 4/23/13.

4. Lawrence Okoye No College

Combine: Regional Combine

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6052

304

 

 

4.84

30

36

1007

4.65

7.42

Notes: Never played football but was an Olympic caliber hurler and gave up the sport to try and become a DT in the NFL.

Overall: Every year there is a prospect or two that puts on a show at the Combine and gets overdrafted or comes out of nowhere to get drafted late despite minimal production. This is a similar situation except Okoye really came out of nowhere since he never even went to college and has never played a down of football. He’s a former hurler that put up spectacular numbers at the Combine with his combination of size (6’5 304), speed (4.84), and explosion (’36 vertical) being uncanny. I put him at 3-4 DE as it’s an easy position to play and allows him to trail a play a bit more than the standard 4-3 DT position. His elite speed is probably his best asset and as such I think he could very early on become a rotational 3-4 DE with his job being “find football, get football.” I don’t expect much out of him but he has an amazing upside and if a team can get him to become a rotational player by year 2 then he’d be worth keeping on a roster to see if he can develop into something even better. 6th round as my #4 3-4 DE 4/21/13.

5. Damion Square Alabama #92 6’2 ¼ 293 Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

33

3.5

4

9

0

0

0

2011

32

1

7

3

0

0

0

2010

27

3

7

1

0

0

0

2009

1

0

0.5

1

0

0

0

Combine: Not invited

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6022

293

 

 

5.23

 

 

 

4.87

7.99

Notes: Has the quickness, strength, and frame to be a perfect 3-4 DE. In the 2011 Penn St. game had a batted pass getting in the passing lane of the WR screen on his quick burst upfield (12:00 1st). In the 2011 Florida game he had good bull rush hitting QB hand for INC as he threw it (8:42 2nd). In the 2011 Auburn game he showed good athleticism getting 4 sec sack shucking LG away (12:02 1st). In the 2012 Michigan game he wasn’t noticeable at all. Listed as the #70 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. Listed as the #90 player on my Top 100 Board in the middle of the 2012 season. In the 2012 Tennessee game he had a late pressure showing good closing to QB to force INC.

Overall: Square is an Alabama player and therefore he likely will be overdrafted but when scouting him I have to say I was hardly impressed. He flashed occasionally (7.5 sacks in 3 seasons isn’t bad actually) on tape but more often than not was just a big guy that clogged up lanes and occupied blockers. He has decent athleticism so possibly he could develop into more than that but at this point he projects as a late round rotational 3-4 DE with a bit more pass rush skill than the average player at the position. Late 6th round as my #5 3-4 DE 4/21/13.

6. Spencer Nealy Texas A&M #99 6’3 285 Sr.

Stats: Big 12 (’09-’11), SEC (’12)

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

42

2

7.5

2

0

0

0

2011

45

1.5

8

2

1

0

0

2010

20

0

2.5

2

0

0

0

2009

19

1

3

0

0

0

0

Combine: Not invited

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6030

285

 

 

5.27

25

28

901

4.51

7.55

Notes: Has the frame of a 3-4 DE. In the 2012 Mississippi St. game he had a nice batted ball at LOS. In the 2012 Oklahoma game (Cotton Bowl) he had a big TFL throwing down RB on run outside, consistently beat backup C in the game and got a lot of pressures forcing runs outside. In the 2012 Alabama game he beat C Barrett Jones inside for big TFL-got edge and rode advantage right into RB.

Overall: Nealy is a player that flashed a lot in 2012 and has experience as a 3-4 DE and a 4-3 DT. His best fit to me is as a 3-4 DE due to his size as 6’3 285 is perfect for that spot and as such I see him being a rotational type player in that role. He’s nothing fancy but is a 2 year starter and 4 year player with a good blend of size, quickness, and tenacity. 7th round as my #6 3-4 DE 4/21/13.

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