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2014 Pass Rusher Rankings

May 5, 2014

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Pass Rusher

Prototype in the NFL: Robert Quinn

Best In Class

Best Frame: Kareem Martin                            Best Quickness: Jadeveon Clowney

Best Run Stopper: Scott Crichton                   Best Motor: Morgan Breslin

Best Pass Rusher: Jadeveon Clowney            Best Mean Streak: Khalil Mack

Best Burst: Dee Ford                                          Best Technician: Scott Crichton

 

1. Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina 6’5 ¼ 266 Jr.

Comparison: Julius Peppers

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

40

3

11.5

9

1

0

0

2012

54

13

23.5

5

3

0

0

2011

36

8

12

6

5

0

0

Combine: He wowed with a 4.53 40-best among the 56 DL, ’37 vertical-2nd best, and 10’4 broad-2nd best yet underwhelmed on the bench (21 reps-below average) and in the 3 cone (7.27-11th best among 56 DL). I also loved his ’34 ½ arms, ’10 hands and 6’5 ¼ 266 lb frame with no fat on it. His 3 cone was the only measurement that he wasn’t elite in. He for no reason given decided to skip the position drills and then shut down his private workout regime for individual teams, both again looking like he did the least possible work he could.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6052

266

34.5

10

4.53

21

37.5

1004

 

7.27

Strengths: #1 on ESPN 150 for 2011. Called the best HS prospect since Da’Quan Bowers in 2008. He looked like the real deal in the first game I watched of him and looks far ahead of uber DE prospect Da’Quan Bowers was when he was a true freshman. He will almost surely be a 1st rounder in 3 years 10/12/11. He’s easily one of the 5 greatest athletes I’ve ever graded at the pass rush position with the only comparables being Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, Vernon Gholston, DeMarcus Ware and Dwight Freeney. That is over the past 14 drafts which shows just how rare it is to find an athlete like him. Runs his wind sprints with the backs. Listed as the #3 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. Listed as the #1 player on my Top 100 Board in the middle of the 2012 season. Listed as the #1 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2013 season. All this is to show that he’s been an elite player in my eyes for years. Ranked as the #1 athlete in college football by Bruce Feldman going into 2013 season after testing out with a 4.54 40 at 274 lbs. He’s the rare non-skill position player that captures an audience’s attention. He will put butts in the seats for whomever drafts him. 1st Team SEC in 2012 and 2013 though he didn’t deserve it in 2013. He had a dominant game against Tennessee and Antonio Richardson in 2013. In his final game (bowl game vs. Wisconsin) he really came to play as he had numerous tackles in the trail position, a few pressures and a play on 4th and 1 avoiding a cut block and pushing away from the LT to get a deflected pass which resulted in an INT. He has elite speed (4.53-one of the fastest 40’s ever by a DL), elite explosion (’37 ½ vertical and 10’4 broad) and an elite frame at 6’5 ¼ 266 with ’34 ½ arms. His arm length isn’t talked about enough as you never get guys with that arm length who are also great athletes.

Weaknesses: He sometimes flashes with an incredible play but is quiet the rest of the game. That occurred in the 2012 bowl game vs. Michigan and Taylor Lewan when I wrote, “He had two big hits for TFL and a FF on run plays (2012 Michigan) but overall was very quiet as Lewan was quick enough to avoid his speed rush and strong enough to handle his power. I still love the kid but it does worry you a bit when he’s #1 Overall on the board and largely neutralized by an OT I give a mid 1st grade in Lewan. Everyone loved his big hit but other than that he was quiet.” Joe Connolly, the team’s strength and condition coach, said he’s finally become a dedicated worker (red flag), “He’s always been an average worker. But when you see ‘The draft before my draft is now done’ he’s kind of flipped the switch.” He had a terrible 2013 season statistically (3 sacks, 11.5 TFl and 1 FF all being career lows). He hasn’t given great effort at anytime at South Carolina yet in 2013 it was downright bad. He isn’t a hard worker and it was noticeable that even the SC strength and conditioning coach gave him a backhanded compliment stating that the offseason going into the 2013 season was the first time he really worked hard in the weight room, he takes a lot of plays off and seems content to make the wow play and unwilling to commit to setting the edge and trailing aggressively from the back side on runs away from him, he’s very immature and doesn’t seem to take care of himself (in the 2013 season opener he ran out of gas essentially as he didn’t eat anything before the game so against Georgia the DL coach actually sat and watched him eat his entire fried chicken meal to make sure it didn’t happen again-lack of trust in him doing the right thing), despite his elite speed the majority of his sacks and big hits seem to come on inside rushes making me think his speed rush is a bit overrated.

Overall: Jadeveon Clowney has the highest upside of any pass rusher I’ve ever graded with the exception of Julius Peppers. Peppers was 6’6 290 and Jadeveon is 6’5 265 (will likely play at 275) so they aren’t the exact same in style but I still compared Clowney to Peppers due to his uncanny natural ability and questionable motor. Clowney doesn’t give an all out effort EVER and often times doesn’t even give a good effort which will drive his future coaches crazy. He could have been be the best run stopper in the nation at his size, strength and quickness yet he treated the job like a chore and seemed to bide his time until a pass rushing moment arrived. He gets winded quickly, doesn’t take care of himself (as evidenced in the season opener when he played about half the snaps due to not eating his pre-game meal), isn’t the hardest worker in the weight room and isn’t tough. His combination of size, speed, length and agility is rare but he never was statistically the best pass rusher in the nation and that’s when he was facing guys who, most of the time, weren’t considered NFL prospects. In 2012 he faced Taylor Lewan and was quiet, in 2013 he faced James Hurst and only got a few pressures and in 2013 he faced Justin Britt (Missouri-late round type) and had no sacks. In 2013 he faced Antonio Richardson (a player I think will be a RT not a LT) and had a good game (5 tackles, 0 sacks but numerous pressures) and in 2012 and 2013 he faced Brandon Thomas (a player I think will be an OG not an OT) and had a great game in 2012 (7 tackles and 4.5 sacks) and a solid game in 2013 (3 tackles and 1 sack). When he faced NFL talent his production noticeably declined, especially if you take out Brandon Thomas which is fair as Thomas will be an OG not an OT at the next level. Watching him at the Combine was infuriating as he didn’t take part in position drills, told reports he was about to jump in and then decided against it for no real reason. Later in the interview session he lied on numerous questions and continued to paint the picture that he’s a hard worker but the media was just trying to create a story. No one with any intelligence can watch the North Carolina, Georgia, UCF or Arkansas games in 2013 and tell me with a straight face that he tried his hardest. Yet for all of the frustration he will cause NFL coaches and for all of the missed potential he will have, Clowney will still be an elite pass rusher and will be a Pro Bowler numerous times. His best seasons will likely be in contract years and after down years when the media will be on him for his apathy in numerous situations but the production will be there. Julius Peppers has played 12 seasons for a, soon to be, three franchises and has accumulated 119 tackles and 8 Pro Bowls in that time. There were some ups, his 2008 season when he had 14.5 sacks and 5 FF, and there were some downs, his 2007 season when he had only 2.5 sacks, yet in the end the production was there. Clowney has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time but I doubt he ever reaches that level. He’ll likely end up with a career similar to Peppers as an inconsistently great player that was a pain in the butt to deal with on a day in and day out basis. Top 5 as my #1 Pass Rusher who has all the talent in the world and needs to go to a team and coaching staff that will maximize it 5/4/14.

2. Khalil Mack Buffalo 6’2 5/8 251 Sr.

Comparison: A longer, more athletic Navarro Bowman

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

100

10.5

19

6

5

3

2

2012

94

8

20

4

4

0

0

2011

65

5.5

20.5

13

5

1

0

2010

68

4.5

14.5

8

2

0

0

Combine: He aced the Combine with a 4.65 40-4th best among 35 LBs, ’40 vertical-2nd, 10’8 broad-2nd  and elite quickness drills. His 4.18 shuttle was 4th best for linebackers which is just unfair as his 251 lbs was 6th heaviest so he was one of the biggest yet also one of the quickest guys in the LB group. An elite athlete. He had the 2nd fastest 10 yd split (1.56) of the 35 LBs. Very quick in shuffle/lateral quickness drill. He lacks great flexibility but he still looked so explosive in the drill. Solid in 4 bag drill. Good hands in backpedal drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6025

251

33.25

10.25

4.62

23

40

1008

4.18

7.08

Strengths: One year of HS football and reason he only had 2 football scholarships (IAA Liberty and Division I Buffalo). He became great through sheer hard work and perseverance which is exciting to know for any team that is going to draft him. He has 75 TFL and 16 FF in his career which both tie for the NCAA records. His ferocity and power is obvious and the reason why his FF are so high. He can do it all as if you run at him he can set the edge, if you need him to drop into coverage he has quick feet and is agile, if you need him to rush the passer he’s flexibile and can bend as well as is fast and powerful or if you run away from him he will track you down with speed and hustle. He could play any of the LB positions in a 3-4 or SLB in a 4-3 or DE in a 4-3. He has good instincts and awareness as he understands where double teams are going to come from and how an offense is going to attack him.

Weaknesses: Is he just a glorified 3-4 ILB? If he is his stock will plummet as I can’t value an ILB any higher than a Top 10 grade (the two highest grades I’ve ever given an inside linebacker are Top 10 to Patrick Willis in 2007 and Luke Kuechly in 2012). He’s agile and flexible but is no Robert Quinn by any means. His 33 ¼ arms are short for a pass rusher as you prefer at ’33 ½ is generally my cutoff and ’34 arms or higher is the preference. He was double teamed constantly but it’s still a red flag that his career high is only 10.5 sacks if a team is taking him in the Top 5 as a pass rusher.

Overall: Before his bowl game vs. San Diego State I had never seen Khalil Mack. 4 ½ months later he’s a clear cut Top 5 pick on my board as he does everything well and quite a few things great. Mack set NCAA records for TFL and FF in a career and it’s obvious why as he’s so big, so fast and so violent that the ball naturally separates from the body of a ballcarrier. I think his best fit value wise is as a 3-4 OLB as he has the flexibility, strength and athleticism to be a very good pass rusher but the player he reminds me of the most is Navarro Bowman (Willie McGinest made the same comparison at the Combine). The reason is because of his frame that bulges outward with muscle and just how violent he is in playing the game. I know I’m repeating myself but I honestly can’t remember a more violent, explosive player that I’ve ever graded than Mack. Khalil will immediately be a team leader due to his work ethic and the way he plays the game. He will immediately be a dominant run stopper, no matter the system, and he will immediately be an impact defender. I’m unsure if he will be an elite pass rusher as his length is poor for those positions but if put in the right system I suspect he’ll eventually become above average. A 3-4 OLB that gets you 8-12 sacks a year while being your team leader and being the best edge setting, run stopper at his position in the league is worth a Top 5 pick. Top 5 as my #2 PR who is much safer than Clowney but lacks the upside as he’ll probably never be an elite pass rusher 5/4/14.

3. Stephon Tuitt Notre Dame #7 6’5 304 Jr.

Stats: Independent

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

49

7.5

9

13

1

1

1

2012

45

11

11

9

1

0

0

2011

30

2

3

5

0

0

0

Combine: He didn’t work out due to an injury.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6050

304

34.75

10

 

31

 

 

 

 

Strengths: Elite blue chip prospect out of HS. #90 on ESPN 150 for 2011. He has an elite size/speed ratio as he moves like a DE but is built like a DT. Elite agility and flexibility for a player his size. When he’s focused and in shape he reminds me of a Mario Williams/Carlos Dunlap type. He might have the athleticism to be a 4-3 SDE which would be amazing at +300 lbs. His ’34 ¾ arms are incredibly long and give him the ability to stack and shed OL. He’s extremely strong and can bull rush most OTs. He has the perfect dimensions for a 3-4 DE if a team chose to use him in that way. He has great versatility as he could play one or two positions in a 4-3 or 3-4 which would allow teams to move him all across the line to exploit matchups.

Weaknesses: He was injured so he missed the Combine and at the Pro Day he was still in a boot (stress fracture) so teams will not have an official 40 time for him. He was shut down vs. Taylor Lewan in 2013. He probably doesn’t have the athleticism to play DE in a 4-3 but does he have the strength to hold up at the POA as a 4-3 DT? If he only plays 3-4 DE is he worth spending a 1st round pick on considering that position usually does not rack up statistics? He has a questionable motor and took plays off during his career. The stats are somewhat comparable but I don’t think his 2013 season was nearly as good as his 2012 season. In the 2013 Rutgers game (bowl game) he was called for PF when he went unprovoked after a player with the play over. In the 2012 BCS Championship he struggled mightily against DJ Fluker as he wasn’t quick enough to get around him and Fluker was the rare collegiate player too strong for him at the POA (he was pancaked numerous times).

Overall: Stephon is an elite prospect with one of the highest ceilings in the draft. His versatility is incredible as you could make the case that he’d be a great 4-3 SDE, 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT. His frame at 6’5 303 with nearly ’35 arms is rare and almost never is combined with such athleticism. My favorite part about him though is his agility and flexibility for a player his size as I can’t think of another player that is very similar to him. The closest is Mario Williams or Carlos Dunlap yet both of those are more athletic yet also taller and skinnier players. Tuitt has the thickness of a DT yet he looks like a 4.8 40 type athlete on film. I honestly don’t have an answer for where he fits best but I know that with his versatility and array of skills he should be able to be a good to great player in any scheme. He has had issues with the Notre Dame coaching staff over not always playing hard and he could be a handful at times in the locker room but there’s only so far I’m willing to drop a Top 5 talent like Tuitt. Mid 1st as my #3 PR who has Top 5 ability but doesn’t always play his hardest and doesn’t perfectly fit any one position or scheme 5/4/14.

4. Anthony Barr UCLA 6’4 7/8 255 Sr.

Comparison: Dion Jordan

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

66

10

20

2

6

0

0

2012

82

13

21

4

4

0

0

2011

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2010

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: He measured in taller (6’4 7/8) and bigger (255) than I expected so it’s no surprise that he also clocked in slower (4.66) than expected. His overall Combine was good but it confirmed what I had thought before which is that he’s a good not great athlete. A mid 4.6 40 to go along with a ’35 vertical and 9’11 broad are all very good but a step below the elite athletes like Mack, Clowney and Shazier. He also only had 15 reps which was the worst of any LB and even worse considering he was the 2nd heaviest player in the position group. Maybe his best measurement was that he had the 2nd fastest 10 yd split (1.56) of the 35 LBs. Average in shuffle/lateral quickness drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6047

255

33.5

9.38

4.66

15

34.5

911

4.19

6.82

Strengths: 1st Team Pac-12 in 2012 and 2013. He has spectacular flexibility with a great ability to dip his shoulder and get small when turning the corner on an OT. He only played LB for 2 seasons as he initially was a RB at UCLA. He has great height, solid length (33 ½), great speed (4.66) and good explosion and quickness. He was extremely productive in his two seasons at LB with 23 sacks and 41 TFL. His best stat though might be his 10 FF as it’s rare to see that high of a total in just two seasons and shows he’s a forceful tackler. 

Weaknesses: He only played LB for 2 seasons. Yes that is also in the strengths column as you can look at it both ways. He has a higher upside as he’s only been a LB for 2 seasons but he’ll be very raw and could struggle as a rookie due to only been a LB for 2 seasons. He was shutdown by Andrus Peat vs. Stanford in 2013 and seems to really struggle if he faces an OT that can keep the edge against him. He’s very much a one trick pony (speed rush) at this point of his career. He’s extremely weak (his 15 reps were the worst in the LB group and he really should be in the DL group!) and it points to not giving a great effort in the weight room.

Overall: For most of the 2013 season I had a Top 5 grade on Barr yet the Stanford game as well as a few other games really proved to me that Barr isn’t ready for the NFL. He only played 2 seasons at LB and is raw as can be for a pass rusher. I think he is going to have a terrible rookie season if not put in the right situation as he is a one trick pony when it comes to rushing the passer (he only has a speed rush), he lacks the strength to be an effective run stopper (cannot hold the edge) and he seems lost in coverage. I see him as an extremely high upside project type and I can’t give a Top 10 grade to those let alone Top 5. Mid 1st as my #4 PR as he has Pro Bowl potential but will likely struggle early in his career until he gains strength and improves his almost non-existent technique 5/4/14.

5. Marcus Smith Louisville 6’3 3/8 251 Sr.

Comparison: Justin Tuck

Stats: Big East

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

42

14.5

18.5

12

4

0

0

2012

29

4

7

2

2

1

0

2011

12

5.5

6.5

0

2

0

0

2010

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

Combine: He had ’34 arms, ’10 hands and ran a 4.68 40. He also was very explosive in the vertical and broad jump but was below average in the 3 cone. Overall it was a very good day for one of the most productive pass rushers in this year’s draft class. Very good in his backpedal drill. Quick feet but a bit tight in 5 bag drill. Good but not great in LB drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6033

251

34

10

4.68

23

35

1001

 

7.48

Strengths: He has a body type almost identical to Justin Tuck except he has longer arms than the T-Rex clone. Incredibly productive in 2013 with 14.5 sacks (2nd in nation) and 18.5 TFL (19th in nation). AAC DPOY in 2013. In the 2013 Miami game (bowl game) he had his two sacks and a FF. That gave him 24 sacks and 8 FF for his career with both being very impressive in a 3 year span. I watched Scott Crichton a few nights before and Smith looked much faster and more agile than Crichton. He dominated Xavier Nixon in the 2012 bowl game vs. Florida. At the Combine he surprised me with enough agility to stand up as a 3-4 OLB if a team wanted him to. He has very good arm length at ’34, big hands at ’10, a very good 40 at 4.68, good explosion with a ’35 vertical and elite production with 14.5 sacks in 2013. Why is this guy not a consensus 1st round pick?

Weaknesses: 2013 was the first year where he was more than just a pass rush specialist. In 2011-2012 he had 9.5 sacks and 4 FF but only 43 tackles. He has a skinny frame and needs to bulk up. He isn’t a good run stopper and is definitely more of a pass rusher than run stopper both in terms of body style and mentality. He isn’t that tough and he sometimes seems a bit soft in his play.

Overall: Smith is my pick for the most underrated pass rusher in this draft. He has everything you want in a prospect with good height (6’3 3/8), very good length (’34 arms), very good speed (4.68), very good explosion (’35 vertical, 10’1 broad) and elite production (14.5 sacks in 2013). He isn’t extremely strong and is a somewhat finesse rusher but I feel that both of those are minimal red flags on him as a prospect. When I compare him to “the next tier” of pass rushers I think Smith is by far the best as he’s longer, more athletic and/or more productive than Lawrence, Crichton or Kealy. I’m unsure exactly why Smith hasn’t risen up draft boards but to me he’s almost a mid 1st rounder and looks like one of the steals of the draft as I’ve heard no buzz about him as a 1st round possibility. Top 20 as my #5 PR 5/4/14.

6. DeMarcus Lawrence Boise State 6’2 7/8 251 Jr.

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

72

10.5

20.5

1

3

0

0

2012

48

8.5

13.5

2

4

1

0

2011

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: He surprised me with a 4.8 40 as I saw more speed on film. He had a good vertical and broad but was bad in the bench (20 reps) and average in the quickness drills. He definitely didn’t test out as an elite athlete. In the backpedal drill he looked tight but explosive. Very good in the 5 bags drills-somewhat tight but very quick feet. Explosive in double bag pass rush drill. Very explosive in LB drills.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6027

251

33.75

11

4.80

20

34.5

905

4.31

7.46

Strengths: His ’11 hands for a guy measuring under 6’3 made me do a triple take as I’ve never EVER seen anything comparable to that. His ’33 ¾ arms for that height are also impressive. He had two very good seasons statistically with at least 48 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 13.5 TFL and 3 FF in each of them. That consistency is rare for an underclassman. He has a great frame, good quickness and good strength with that combination allowing him to attack in numerous different ways. He has a noticeable burst and plays faster than his 4.80 40. He doesn’t always try hard but he’s a very tough nosed player and has no issues with contact. This is extremely important as he often will be an undersized guy in the NFL but teams shouldn’t be worried that he will play soft.

Weaknesses: He too often seems bored and doesn’t always give an all out effort. He was invisible in a number of games I scouted (Fresno State in 2013, bowl game in 2013 vs. Oregon State) but then had huge games to make his season stats not portray the whole story (5.5 sacks in 2 games in 2013, 4.5 sacks in 2 games in 2012). He missed the 2012 bowl game due to breaking team rules. He often settles for just going wide around an OT and with 4.8 speed that isn’t his best plan of attack. He has a narrow frame and I suspect that he will struggle against the run if put in a 4-3 scheme. If he’s moved to a 3-4 scheme he’ll be playing on his feet for the first time. I got the feeling that he wasn’t a well liked person at that program. He’s very raw and I don’t think he really understands the game yet.

Overall: Lawrence is a unique physical specimen as it’s rare to see a 6’3 guy with nearly ’34 arms and I’ve NEVER seen a 6’3 guy with ’11 hands. Those hands were bigger than any of the 50 OL at the Combine this year and there were dozens of guys who were 6’6 or taller. Combine that rare size and length with impressive quickness and strength and you have a unique player that rushes the passer different than most guys. He reminds me a little of Ezekial Ansah in that he doesn’t really have a plan of attack yet is so physically talented that he’s successful anyway. His statistical output the past two years (120 tackles, 19 sacks, 34 TFL and 7 FF) is elite but considering he did it against solid competition AND didn’t use great technique shows the kind of upside this kid has. He’s raw and, as such, he has a higher chance of being a bust than say a Scott Crichton, but his upside is so much higher that I’d be willing to roll the dice on greatness with him than play it safe with Scott. I compare the two because they end with very similar grades despite being very different in style and risk/reward outlooks. Early 2nd round as my # PR who has a very high ceiling due to his unique skill set but has some bust potential as well 4/28/14.

7. Dee Ford Auburn #95 6’2 1/8 252 Sr. 

Comparison: Barkevious Mingo without the elite frame

Senior Bowl: Day 1: He dominated Day 1 and Day 2, being the defensive star of the week.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

29

10.5

14.5

17

2

0

0

2012

34

6

6.5

8

1

0

0

2011

7

1

2

4

0

0

0

2010

11

2

2

4

0

0

0

2009

12

1

2.5

7

0

1

0

Combine: Goes by Dee. He didn’t work out due to the NFL medical staff’s advice.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6021

252

32.88

10.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: In the 2012 LSU game he beat RT on inside move and had good TFL despite being held by RT, good hit on QB after RT cut him-pressure, elite burst off edge hitting QB at 3 sec despite RT and chipping RB going after him-split them, offsides. Nicknamed “rocket.” In the 2011 Utah St. game had a great burst blowing past LT and forcing QB out of the pocket (9:42 3rd).

Strengths: He has the best burst of any pass rusher in this draft. His pure speed is elite and causes a lot of good tackles to have problems as they are immediately put on the defensive. In the 2013 Texas A&M game he was quiet but had a HUGE sack on 4th and 13 on Manziel to seal the win. He had a dominant Senior Bowl as he was the best defensive player there and went entire days without an OT consistently blocking him. He had a great Pro Day with a 4.59 40, 29 reps on the bench, ’35 ½ vertical and 10’4 broad.
Weaknesses:
Going into the 2013 season I had a 3rd round grade on him. He’s never had more than 34 tackles in a season and is already somewhat of a pass rush specialist. In the 2012 Texas A&M game he went up against OTs Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews yet was invisible with no pressures or sacks. He was never considered a 1st round candidate until his dominance in 1×1 drills at the Senior Bowl yet no one seems to be factoring in the fact that the smaller, quicker guys always look better in the 1×1 drills. Ezekial Ansah looked terrible in the 1×1 drills last year yet had a great rookie season. For all of his “elite pass rush skills” he only had one season of double digit sacks and since he’s getting you no tackles in the run game that number is too low for my preference.

Overall: I like Ford I really do but every year there are a few guys that vault up multiple rounds during the draft process due to All-Star events or Combine workouts and sometimes I just don’t buy it. This year’s example is Dee Ford who had a 3rd round grade from me at the end of last year and now is being talked about as a mid to late 1st rounder. Mayock has him as his #3 pass rusher and his rankings have been set. NFLdraftscout.com has him as their #29 overall player (late 1st) and with the supply/demand element relating to pass rushers the #29 overall player could easily go in the top 20 picks. I think it’d be a mistake though as Ford looks like a future pass rush specialist or 3-4 OLB and doesn’t appear to have elite upside at either position. His burst in uncanny and if used in the right matchups he could pay dividends for a franchise but I just can’t wrap my brain around spending a 1st rounder on a guy that won’t be on the field on 1st and 2nd downs. Ford is going to be a good pass rush specialist but won’t be on the field enough to get double digit sacks consistently and will be a non-factor in every other facet of the game. Early 2nd round as my #7 PR 5/4/14.

8. Aaron Lynch South Florida 6’5 249 Soph

Comparison: A shorter armed Aldon Smith

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

29

5

11.5

4

0

0

0

2012

RS

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

33

5.5

7

14

1

0

0

Combine: He had ’34 arms and ’10 ¼ hands which are both elite for a DE. He only did the bench (18 reps-bad) due to injury.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6050

249

34

10.25

 

18

 

 

 

 

Strengths: #15 on ESPN 150 for 2011.  Early enrollee. Extremely tall, thin player who has made an impression immediately for the Irish as a true freshman. Reminds me of Aldon Smith with his elite height and ability to move inside to DT and dominate as much if not more than outside at DE. Had 3 sacks halfway through his true freshman year showing the promise everyone sees. Freshman All-American in 2011. Listed as the #55 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. Listed as the #58 player on my Top 100 Board in the middle of the 2012 season. Statistics didn’t do his true freshman season justice as he looked like a future 1st rounder and most scouts agreed. He played his best in his team’s biggest games with a big game in 2011 vs. Florida State and in 2013 in their bowl game vs. Rutgers. 1st Team AAC in 2013. An argument can be made that his numbers were poor last year due to rust as he had 4 of his 5.5 sacks in his final two games and they also were the two games with the highest tackle totals. I scouted the Rutgers bowl game and wrote, “He still looks like an elite player to me but I think they are using him wrong as he’s more of an Aldon Smith type who can rush the passer from DE or DT so for him to cut weight and move to LB is a stretch.” He has elite arm length and very good strength with it being abnormal for his weight as he regularly threw around +300 lb OL. He ran a 4.64 40 at his pro day with even the Combine equivalent (4.74) being solid, especially considering he’s coming off a pulled hamstring and couldn’t prepare for it extensively like most draft prospects.

Weaknesses: Transferred in spring 2012 to South Florida. Waiver denied by NCAA so he will sit in 2012. An explanation of being closer to his family was given but rumors swirled that it was due to friction with the coaching staff. He had a down year in 2013 and didn’t look fully comfortable as a 3-4 OLB. He didn’t work out at the Combine due to an injury (pulled hamstring) and couldn’t participate in any All-Star functions due to his underclassmen status. He has absolutely no buzz leading up to the NFL Draft.

Overall: Aaron Lynch is putting on a clinic in what NOT to do leading up to the NFL Draft. First he mysteriously transferred from Notre Dame to South Florida, quickly going from the highest profile program in the country to the lowest. Then his lie about moving for family reasons didn’t work so he missed all of 2012 since he was forced to sit out. Then he started the 2013 season slowly, likely due to rust from missing so much time, and seemed uncomfortable as a LB in their 3-4 scheme. Then he left school early and, since he was an underclassmen, he couldn’t play in the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine game. Finally he had an injury and missed the Combine. This kid at one time looked like a good bet to be a 1st rounder and now has such little buzz around him that it wouldn’t shock me if he went undrafted. I haven’t forgotten his former greatness though and still have him with a high grade as he’s so tall, long, quick and explosive that he reminds me of Aldon Smith. Aldon also had his issues in college, only played in 23 games and left for the NFL Draft as a redshirt sophomore, but when he was fully healthy it was obvious that the kid was an elite talent and the 49ers surprised many by taking him in the Top 10. As GM I’d surprise people too with how high I’d be willing to take Lynch as guys with his talent don’t come around often and the position he plays, pass rusher, is so valuable in today’s NFL. Lynch has his red flags but I’m comfortable enough with them to give him an early 2nd round grade as my #8 PR who I think will end up as one of the steals of this draft 4/28/14.

9. Scott Crichton Oregon St. 6’2 7/8 273 Jr.

Comparison: A poor man’s Anthony Spencer

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

47

7.5

19

1

3

0

0

2012

44

9

17.5

1

1

0

0

2011

74

6

14.5

0

6

0

0

Combine: He was a mixed bag as he came in short (6’2 7/8 with only 32 ¾ arms) and slow (4.84 40) but he came in big (273 lbs), strong (24 reps) and quick (4.29 shuttle and 7.19 3 cone are very good for that size). He also had a good 10 yd split (1.62).I continue to question whether he has the athleticism to be anything more than an average DE and the Combine didn’t answer that question one way or the other. Mayock compared him to Chris Long which makes some sense as he’s a hustler who will be a SDE with mediocre sack totals. Solid but not great bend in double bag pass rush drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6027

273

32.75

10.13

4.84

24

31.5

900

4.29

7.19

Strengths: A thick, physical DE that looks like an NFL player. I’ve noticed him in games since 2011 as he’s been a solid player for Oregon State for quite awhile. His 3 seasons of 44 or more tackles for a DE is rare production. His 10 career FF is elite and shows that he is a jarring tackler. He has a great motor and very good strength with him being a good fit as a 4-3 SDE. He has good hand technique and the coaching staff raves at how he doesn’t stay blocked. He’s very good at stacking and shedding with his run support being his biggest strength.

Weaknesses: Redshirted in 2010 so even though he’s leaving early he’s not a young prospect. He gets cut a lot and it’s because the tactic is very successful against him. He lacks flexibility and quickness so often times cutting him ends the play for him right there. He is tightly built and can’t bend the corner. He has good quickness but poor agility as his initial move is quick but moving laterally is not his strong suite. He cannot play LB and must stay at DE. In the 2013 regular season game against USC he was very quiet as a pass rusher. In the 2013 bowl game vs. Boise St. he did nothing when matched up against Charles Leno and made all of his plays against the overwhelmed RT. He reminds me a little of Alex Okafor who did nothing as a rookie in the NFL in 2013. In 3 separate games I scouted I ended with something along the lines of, “a mediocre athlete who has great hustle and strength but will never be more than an average starter in the NFL.”

Overall: Scott is a low upside, very safe prospect as he’s an elite run stopper and has a great motor that will net him a decent number of sacks but he lacks the speed, quickness, length or flexibility needed to ever be a good, let alone great, pass rusher. He will fit well as a 4-3 SDE across from a pure speed rusher much like Anthony Spencer did for years across from DeMarcus Ware. Unfortunately, just like Spencer, he will rarely have  a double digit sack season and the team that drafts him needs to understand they are getting a #2 DE not a #1. I like Crichton but I consider pass rusher the 2nd most important position in football so I want to stock it with two elite pass rushers and he will never reach that level. As such he’s lower on my board than on others as I suspect he will hear his name somewhere late in Round 1. 2nd round on my board as my #9 PR who is a low upside but low risk prospect that excels more as a run stuffer than as a pass rusher 4/28/14.

10. Kony Ealy Missouri #47 6’4 273 Jr.

Comparison: Derrick Morgan

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

42

8

14

7

3

1

1

2012

37

3.5

10

5

1

0

0

2011

16

1

3

0

0

0

0

Combine: He was another mixed bag as he came in tall (6’4), long (34 ¼ arms), big (273 lbs) and quick (6.83 3 cone-1st among 56 DL) yet he also had a terrible 40 (4.92 40) and was mediocre in the vertical and broad jump. His 40 looked bad with the naked eye too as he was extremely slow out of the gates, his 1.72 10 yd split was bad and it was obvious for all to see (same 10 yd split as DT Timmy Jernigan). His Combine makes me worried. Powerful but not that agile as he ran into the bag instead of knocking it down to get around it in double bag pass rush drill. Average in LB drills.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6040

273

34.25

9.5

4.92

22

31

906

 

6.83

Strengths: 2nd Team SEC in 2013. He has a great frame at 6’4 273 with ’34 ¼ arms. He has good flexibility which is rare for a bigger pass rusher like him. He’s a big part of their run defense as well as their pass rush as he’s stout at the point of attack and is very agile at wading through the lines to get trailing tackles. He has the size to be a 4-3 SDE and battle with right tackles. Statistically his best game of his career came against Wesley Johnson (NFL LT prospect from Vanderbilt) as he had 2 sacks and forced a holding call.

Weaknesses: He isn’t an explosive athlete. His 4.92 40 was terrible for a 1st round possibility like himself. He has the size to be a 4-3 SDE but he isn’t an incredibly strong guy like you’d prefer over there. He likely will never have more than 6-10 sacks in a season. He isn’t a slacker but he does take plays off and sometimes just stands up at the snap of the ball and shadows a QB. He reminds me of Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan who only has 16.5 sacks in 4 seasons in the NFL and has been a borderline bust as a Top 10 selection.

Overall: Kealy is a big, long and agile player but one who lacks the strength and tenacity to be a dominant 4-3 SDE or the speed and explosion to be a dominant 4-3 WDE. At DE the most important job they have is consistently getting pressure on the quarterback and I just don’t see him being able to do this. He looks like a guy that will be an average starter at best in the Derrick Morgan mold of getting single digit sacks every year. I like Kealy’s flexibility, quickness and long arms so I might be proven wrong but to me he just doesn’t fit the bill as a 1st round caliber talent. Late 2nd round as my #10 PR who is one of the more overrated players in this draft 5/4/14.

11. Kareem Martin North Carolina 6’5 7/8 272 Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

82

11.5

21.5

14

3

0

0

2012

40

4

15.5

8

1

0

0

2011

40

4

7

5

0

0

0

2010

16

0

1.5

2

0

0

0

Combine: He had ’35 arms which is elite for a DE. He had a solid 40 (4.72) and borderline elite explosion drills (35 ½ vertical, 10’9 broad-best among 56 DL) as well as good quickness drills. He tested out as a very good athlete and one with an elite frame (6’5 7/8 272 with ’35 arms and ’10 hands). He made a lot of money today. All arms and legs in the backpedal drill showing good explosion but a long strider.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6057

272

35

10

4.72

22

35.5

1009

4.33

7.20

Strengths: Big frame that is perfect as a SDE. He beat out heralded prospect Donte Paige-Moss for the starting duties in 2011. Versatile as they line him up at DT at times as well. He has ’35 arms and ’10 hands which both are elite. He was a noticeably better player in 2013 than he was previously. He was one of the most productive defensive ends in college football this year with 82 tackles (elite), 11.5 sacks (very good), 21.5 TFL (elite) and 3 FF (elite). He also had one of the better Combines of any pass rusher in this year’s draft with a 4.72 40, ’35 ½ vertical and ’10’9 broad. A guy that is basically 6’6 270 shouldn’t be that explosive. He had elite production and has elite measurables, what am I missing?

Weaknesses: Gets good penetration on a number of run plays but rarely finishes the play for a TFL. Lacks a noticeable burst. Doesn’t bend well and is very tight.  Every time I scout him I see him as a career backup or #3 DE. He doesn’t have a plan when he rushes and too often just runs straight into an OT as fast and hard as he can? I was actually shocked when I saw his production for this year as he just didn’t pop on film in any game I put on. He’s much more run stuffer than pass rusher. He doesn’t play the game like a 4.72 athlete and on tape looks more like a 4.80-4.85 guy.His best position might be as a 3-4 DE after he gains 15 lbs.

Overall: Going into the 2013 season I had a 5th round grade on Martin as he was more “frame than game” with his elite 6’6 270 lb body just not really amounting to all that much. This year was different though as he looked quicker and more aggressive. He still didn’t show great awareness or technique but with his long arms and solid athleticism he was all over the field as a run defender and pass rusher. He’s a tough prospect to grade as high upside is extremely high due to his body (6’6 270 with ’35 arms!) yet where do you play him and in what system would he fit best in? I have him as a 4-3 SDE but think his best fit long term might be to bulk him up and have him be a 6’6 290 lb 3-4 DE. Others might disagree and could look at his 4.72 40 and 7.2 3 cone and say he has the athleticism to be a 4-3 WDE. In the end Martin gets a good grade due to his upside not his actual tape as he still worries me with his lack of flexibility, non-existent technique and questionable intelligence. Early 3rd round as my #11 PR who has one of the highest upsides in this draft but still a guy who I worry about 5/2/14.

12. Carl Bradford Arizona State #52 6’0 ¾ 250 Jr.

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

61

8.5

19

5

3

1

1

2012

80

11.5

21.5

1

3

1

0

2011

12

1.5

3.5

0

0

0

0

Combine: He had a mixed bag as his 40 was solid but underwhelming (4.76) yet his vertical (’37 ½) and broad (10’2) were elite. At 6’0 ¾ 250 with 30 ¼ arms he’s definitely a tweener though and those short arms probably sunk any chance he had at being a 1st round pick. Below average in shuffle/lateral quickness drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6006

250

30.25

9.5

4.76

23

37.5

1002

4.30

7.25

Strengths: 3rd team Pac-12 in 2012. #16 on Bruce Feldman’s freak athlete list for 2013 due to squatting 641 lbs, power cleaning 385 lbs, a vert of 35 ½, and a 10’2 broad. He’s extremely explosive with his ’37 ½ vertical and 10’2 broad. Todd Graham called him the most explosive player he’s ever coached. He has a great motor and is a very emotional player. He has good strength and can set the edge against the run.

Weaknesses: He’s extremely short at 6’0 ¾ as 6’2 is short for a pass rusher and he’s sub 6’1. Making things worse is the fact that he has short arms even for that height as his 30 ¼ arms are T-Rex like and that is a GIGANTIC red flag for me. He lacks great long speed and coupled with his short stature and tiny arms I just don’t think he has any chance to be a 4-3 DE so he’s scheme specific as only a 3-4 OLB.

Overall: If he was 2 inches taller I’d give him a Top 10 grade but at 6’1 245 I just don’t know what to do with him. I think his best position is 3-4 OLB where he can explode off the edge as a rusher but I have my doubts that he’ll ever be a dominant pass rusher. Late 1st 12/30/13. That’s what I wrote at the end of last season yet since then nothing has gone right for him as he came in short (6’0 ¾) as expected but was given a double whammy by measuring even shorter arms (30 ¼) than was assumed for his short stature. Then instead of dominating the Combine he was very good in the explosion drills but average to below average in everything else. By the end I felt foolish for considering this player a mid to late 1st for the past year. I still think he has the potential to be a very good pass rusher if put in a 3-4 scheme and given juicy matchups but his frame is so bad I had to drop him out of the 2nd round, let alone the 1st. 3rd Round as my #12 PR who has great tape and is every explosive but is just so short that I wonder if he’ll be able to continue his dominance as a pass rusher 5/4/14.

13. Jackson Jeffcoat Texas 6’3 247 Sr.

Comparison: Sergio Kindle

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

82

13

19

15

2

1

0

2012

28

4

9.5

5

2

0

0

2011

63

8

17

7

0

0

0

2010

13

1.5

3

1

0

0

0

Combine: He measured out great with 33 7/8 arms, 4.63 40-4th best among 56 DL), ’36 vertical, 10’3 broad-3rd) and a 6.97 3 cone-2nd). Compare his numbers to Clowney and you’ll be impressed. He was extremely tight and was pretty bad in the 5 bags drills-quick but straight up and no bend at all. Average in double bag pass rush drill. Tight but fast in change of direction drill-his MO is tight and explosive as that is what I saw in basically every drill. Solid in LB drills.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6030

247

33.88

9.63

4.63

18

36

1003

4.18

6.97

Strengths: He was the #1 DE and #2 Overall Player coming out of HS in 2010. #2 in ESPN 150 for ’10. Blue Chip Recruit out of HS and the #1 player in the nation on alot of recruits boards. Freshman All American in 2010. Listed as the #45 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. Listed as the #35 player on my Top 100 Board in the middle of the 2012 season.1st team Big 12 in 2013. He ended his career on a high note, personally at least, with a 13 sack season as a senior (doubling his previous 3 years output COMBINED!) and getting 6 of those sacks in his final 3 games. Statistically he was one of the 2-3 best defensive players in the nation as his stat line of 82 tackles, 13 sacks, 19 TFL, 15 QB Hurries, 2 FF and 1 INT is hard to beat. He tested out as one of the top athletes in this year’s draft. He’s only 22 years old and maybe expectations were a little out of whack for him but he’s still young enough to change his career path.

Weaknesses: Top heavy frame that makes his lateral quickness VERY subpar. He is extremely tight and I don’t see any ability to bend or dip which is an important trait for a pass rusher. He rarely impressed me in big games and seemed to get a lot of his sacks at points in the game that weren’t pivotal (1st quarter or late stages of a blowout). He only averaged 6.5 sacks a season in his 4 year career and, while 26 sacks is very solid, as the #1 HS player in the country I expected more. It also wasn’t due to lack of opportunity as the team moved him around all the time letting him pick his matchup on the DL and his secondary with Vaccaro, Diggs and Byndom has been good during his time their. I watched 15-20 Texas games during his 4 year career and he was invisible in most of them. He was never a leader for the program and was one of many blue chip HS prospects that seemed to have their own agenda which resulted in the UT football program having a very bad 3 years from 2011-2013.

Overall: Jackson is a good example of how scouting isn’t just numbers. If you were to tell me that I could draft a 6’3 247 pass rusher with nearly ’34 arms, 4.63 speed, elite explosion numbers (vertical/broad), elite quickness numbers (shuttle/3 cone) and who is coming off an 82 tackle 13 sack season at a major university in a Top 4 Conference I would say “sign me up.” Yet Jackson has been such a disappointment for so long that I can’t help but be biased against him. To me he was the poster child of all that was wrong with the Texas program the past few years as they had elite HS prospects showing no heart, no leadership and generally underperforming. Will he be rejuvenated by leaving the program and become a new player or will he be a huge draft bust like Alex Okafor, Sergio Kindle and other former UT “star” pass rushers have been recently. I think it’ll be the latter as he doesn’t have a good motor, he isn’t tough, he isn’t a leader, he didn’t maximize his talent while at UT, he’s extremely tight and struggles to bend on his rushes and he’s undersized. He could become a good pass rusher in a 3-4 scheme, and his athleticism will give him numerous second chances to prove me wrong, but I expect Jeffcoat to be a draft bust. 3rd round as my #13 PR who is a high risk/high reward type that I wouldn’t bet on 4/28/14.

14. Jeremiah Attaochu Georgia Tech #45 6’3 252 Sr.

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Beat Jay Prosch easily in pass pro drill. He couldn’t get around or through Arthur Lynch. Good win vs. Jerrick McKinnon off quickness. He was beat easily by Antonio Andrews on arrow route.

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

45

12.5

16

3

1

0

0

2012

69

10

12

1

1

0

0

2011

59

6

11.5

0

2

1

0

2010

23

3

4

1

0

0

0

Combine: He didn’t work out due to an injury.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6030

252

33

9.88

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strengths: 2nd team ACC in 2013. He is one of the few pass rushers in this draft class with two seasons of double digit sacks. He had a great Pro Day with a 4.57 40, ’37 ½ vertical and 9’3 broad. He is very instinctual and understands concepts. He has good explosion and overall athleticism. He has a great motor and is extremely tough. He will battle for you all day long. He’s a relentless rusher and often has been the lone NFL caliber player on his defense. Due to his offenses game planned for him yet he still was very productive and kept his motor in every game I watched of his.

Weaknesses: He has a linebackers body but a defensive ends game. He fits well in a 3-4 scheme as an OLB but lacks elite height, arm length or pure speed. He had great stats but I’m nervous as to how he will translate. He might end up being just an average starter and, at such a valuable position, that likely would get him replaced.

Overall: Attaouchu has been an early to mid round guy on my board for awhile due to his good athleticism and great motor and toughness. I love Attaochu’s tape as he’s been their best defender the past 3 seasons and was productive despite being constantly double teamed. Unfortunately he is a good athlete not a great one and with his undersized, stocky frame he’d have to be a great one to ever translate as an elite pass rusher in the NFL. Against NFL caliber OTs he rarely was able to get a consistent rush so he projects as an average starter at 3-4 OLB. His best fit long term could be as a SLB in a 4-3 but at Georgia Tech he was used mostly as a pass rusher so 3-4 fits him best at the moment. Late 3rd round as my #14 PR 5/4/14.

15. Chris Smith Arkansas 6’1 266 Sr.

Comparison: Chris Carter

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

36

8.5

11.5

6

0

0

0

2012

52

9.5

13

12

1

0

0

2011

31

3.5

6

2

0

0

0

2010

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: He impressed with a very good 40 (4.71) including a great 10 yd split (1.57) and kept it up with good explosion drills. His 3 cone was bad for a PR as it was beat by some DTs. I hated that he measured in at only 6’1 but he made up for it with shockingly long arms for that height at ’34 1/8. Solid in his backpedal drill. Good flexibility in 5 bag drill. Very smooth and much better than Michael Sam in every drill-they were right next to each other in order.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6010

266

34.13

9.5

4.71

28

37

1001

 

7.55

Strengths: Great anticipation of the snap count and initial burst. He showed elite explosion at the Combine with a ’37 vertical and 10’1 broad. He had two good season statistically as a pass rusher. He has had little talent around him so defense have been able to key on him yet he’s still been productive. He’s short at 6’1 but has shockingly long arms for that height at ’34 1/8. He showed good agility and flexibility in the LB drills which makes me think he could be a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 SLB.

Weaknesses: He never had a double digit sack season at Arkansas. At 6’1 he’s extremely short for a pass rusher. His 4.71 40 was good but not great and his 7.55 3 cone was just bad. His athleticism is good but not great and his on field production is good but not great so there’s a very good chance that in the NFL he’ll just be an average starter as he doesn’t seem to be elite in any one area as a prospect.

Overall: Chris has shown himself to be a good but not great pass rusher the past few seasons in the SEC. He’s very short but makes up for it with incredibly long arms, good overall athleticism and great snap anticipation. At his height he won’t be able to be a full time DE but could be a pass rush specialist or 3-4 OLB. I think his best fit is at LB as he really impressed me in the LB drills at the Combine with his agility and flexibility. He was one spot after Michael Sam each time and, while Sam was tight and slow, Smith was fast and agile. I think his home is as a 3-4 OLB and he projects as an average to above average starter. Early 4th round as my #15 PR 5/4/14.

16. Trent Murphy Stanford #93 6’5 250 Sr.

Comparison: Paul Kruger

Senior Bowl: Day 3: Couldn’t get around or get any movement vs. Zach Martin, no rush at all vs. Martin on 1×1 drill, couldn’t win edge vs. Brandon Thomas for run around QB no rush,

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

62

15

23.5

5

2

1

1

2012

56

10

18

6

1

1

1

2011

40

6.5

10

0

0

0

0

2010

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

Combine: Trent Murphy-His Combine showed his strengths and weaknesses perfectly as he came in tall (6’5), skinny (250), quick (6.78 3 cone was elite) and explosive (’35 ½ vertical was elite) yet also very slow (4.86 40-4th worst among 35 LBs). Labored and not quick enough in shuffle/lateral quickness drill. Terrible in 4 bag drill but I did notice his long arms (’33 7/8). Not bad in backpedal and turn drill but then looked terrible trying to catch ball.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6050

250

33.88

11.13

4.86

19

35.5

910

4.20

6.78

Strengths: 1st Team Pac-12 in 2013. He led the nation in sacks in 2013. His two year run was elite with 25 sacks, 41.5 TFL, 3 FF, 2 INT and 2 TDs off those interceptions! He has a long frame with long arms ’33 7/8 and MASSIVE hands (11 1/8). His hands are in the Top 3 biggest of any prospect in this draft. He’s a solid run stopper and can set the edge. He played their joker role and was moved all over the field, giving him a chance to show his versatility.

Weaknesses: He really excels against weaker competition and is invisible against elite talent. This causes his sacks to come in bunches and he goes quite awhile between sacks ((he had 10.5 sacks in 5 games and 0.5 sacks in 5 other games this season). He was dominated by Zach Martin in 2013 and wasn’t very noticeable against UCLA in 2013 or against Michigan State (Rose Bowl) in 2013 until the starting LT left and he was able to battle with the backup. He is a solid run stuffer but he needs to improve his strength as he isn’t elite in this area and it will be important he is great at it as he’ll never be a dominant pass rusher.

Overall: I’ll be curious to see where Murphy gets drafted at as to me it’s obvious he isn’t an elite talent, he just put up elite stats. His stats are impressive when looked at cumulatively but when you break even that down it makes you pause as he struggled against top talent and feasted on inferior competition. In November 2013 I had a 3rd round grade on him and in late January I had an early 3rd round grade on him yet since then his stock has declined even more as he was invisible at the Senior Bowl and mediocre at the Combine. He reminds me of Paul Kruger and one can only hope he’s half that successful as he lacks the speed, quickness or explosion to be a great pass rusher. A team that takes him will be hoping he gains strength and becomes a dominant run stopper and an adequate pass rusher (6-10 sacks a year). I doubt he even gets to that level of success in the NFL as the more I watch him the more I think I’m looking at the next bust. Early 4th round as my #16 PR who is highly overrated 5/2/14.

17. Ethan Westbrooks West Texas A&M 6’3 ½ 267 Sr.

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

43

7

19.5

10

 

 

 

2012

60

19.5

28

19

3

0

0

JUCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: He was below average in most drills including the 40 (4.90) which was just flat out bad. He did show good size at 6’3 ½ 267 with okay arm length ’33 ¼. It’s too bad too as a good Combine could have really vaulted him up after his great East-West Shrine game performance-Defensive Player of the Game. He has a tattoo on his face, Tyson style! Tight and slow in his backpedal drill. Definitely not a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 SLB. Tight with below average feet in 5 bag drill. Below average in LB drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6034

267

33.25

9.63

4.9

19

29

902

 

7.3

Strengths: He had the most sacks in the nation in 2012. He was 1 sack away from tying the Division II sack record so his elite stats are borderline historic. He had a great East-West Shrine game as he had two sacks and was the Defensive Player of the Game. He has great strength with heavy hands and a ferocity to him. He’s almost 270 lbs at 6’3 ½ with both being very NFL like measurements. He isn’t just a good pass rusher as he can really set the edge well with his strength.

Weaknesses: He played two years in JUCO and two years at West Texas A&M (Division II) so he’s had 4 years against poor competition. Sorry but people who tattoo their face aren’t mentally sane. He had an average Combine in most drills but his 40 was terrible at 4.90. His stats went down dramatically due to defenses keying on him as he was unable to adjust.

Overall: Westbrooks was a player I had never heard of before the East-West Shrine game yet by the end of it he was one of my favorite sleepers in this draft. I had a 4th round grade on him and was very anxious to see him work out at the Combine. Unfortunately he didn’t do too well there as his 4.90 40 was flat out bad and his other drills were just mediocre. I’m not lowering my grade on him though as to me he has NFL talent with his heavy hands, non-stop motor and solid athleticism. His best fit is as a 4-3 SDE since his strength, tenacity and size (267 lbs) all fit better there than at WDE which accentuates athleticism. He projects as a #3 DE who could become a starter down the road. 4th round as my #17 PR who likely will go much lower in the draft due to his poor Combine and small school roots 5/2/14.

18. Morgan Breslin USC #91 6’1 3/8 240 Sr.

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

15

4.5

8

3

0

0

0

2012

62

13

19.5

0

1

0

0

JUCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: Not invited

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6013

240

 

 

4.60

26

35.5

906

 

 

Strengths: He played in one of the 4 best conferences in the nation and had 17.5 sacks in 18 career games! He led the nation in sacks in 2010 and 2011 in the JUCO ranks. That level of production, no matter the level of competition, is rare and shows that he just gets the job done. He is very strong for his size and shouldn’t be considered just a pass rush specialist as he’s very solid against the run. He has an elite motor as he never stops working. He came to USC when the program was in a bunch of turmoil yet he was productive and never made any headlines for the wrong reasons.

Weaknesses: He had a hip injury in 2013 that limited him to only 5 games. He wasn’t invited to the Combine which was shocking to me. He went JUCO so he only has two seasons of major college experience and one was cut in half by injury. The team went 2-3 with him and 8-1 without him. It’s a flukey stat but it’s still a stat. He doesn’t have an elite burst and, for a pass rusher of his size, that is huge red flag. He isn’t extremely flexible. He has a linebackers body but wouldn’t fit well as a linebacker so it’s either pass rusher or bust for him. There are very few pass rushers below 6’2 250 and he hits neither of those measurements.

Overall: Morgan is an undersized player with mediocre athleticism to go with a frame that scream “undraftable,” yet I have him as a mid round guy because of his elite motor and his elite production. He is a player that will never stop hustling and that skill translates well to the NFL historically. Also his sack a game production for his career (17.5 sacks in 18 games played) is rare to find. I’ve never been a huge fan of his as he lacks flexibility and a burst but, due to his injury plagued season, he’s actually dropped completely off the radar with many media types considering him undraftable. That is far too harsh for a player with his motor, production and strength as I see him as a pass rush specialist who could even start games as a 4-3 WDE due to his underrated strength. He won’t wow a team but he’d be a solid pick for a team seeking a hard nosed, lunch pail type at 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB. 4th round as my #18 PR 5/2/14.

19. Will Clarke West Virginia 6’6 1/8 271 Sr.

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Beat Seantrel Henderson on 7×7 with inside move, pancaked by Jack Mewhort in run drill. Day 3: Beat Mewhort on bull rush, no rush as bull rush didn’t work at all on Brandon Linder,

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

50

6

17

5

1

0

0

2012

26

1.5

6.5

4

0

0

0

2011

35

2.5

5.5

0

0

0

0

2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: He came in tall (6’6 1/8) and long (’34 5/8 arms) as expected. He ran a mediocre 40 (4.77) as expected but surprised me with good explosion drills (vertical and broad were near the top) and a very good 3 cone (7.26-10th best) which is quite impressive for an angular guy like Clark. Average in double bag pass rush drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6061

271

34.63

9.88

4.77

22

32

904

 

7.26

Strengths: He’s a tall, long athlete with solid athleticism and strength. His combination of frame and athleticism can be very tough to handle for a lot of OTs. He was one of the best defensive players at the East-West Shrine Game and parlayed that into an invitation to the Senior Bowl where he was solid. He’s a complete DE as he’s very good at stopping the run and projects as a 4-3 SDE who can excel against the run and the pass.

Weaknesses: His career high is only 6 sacks for a season which is rather sad. He isn’t a great athlete and seems to feast on lesser competition but be invisible against top level talent. He’s a good run stopper but I wonder just how good he has to be to have teams overlook the fact that he likely will never have a 10 sack season. Will he just be a platoon player?

Overall: Will Clark was one of my favorite Rangers baseball players of all time but I digress….Clarke has an elite frame and is a good run stopper but that is about it. He lacks the athleticism to get a consistent rush against NFL caliber OTs and isn’t strong enough to be considered a run stopping force like a JPP or JJ Watt. Possibly he will add strength and weight to his frame and become more of that type of player but until then he’ll be stuck as a tweener type who doesn’t have one great skill. His best bet is to add 10 lbs and embrace being a 4-3 SDE who excels at battling a RT on run downs while giving a team 4-8 sacks a year. In this scenario he would be platooned with a Bruce Irvin type pass rush specialist and together they would provide the run stuffing and pass rushing skills to get the job done. Will would work well in that kind of system and projects as a solid role player at a premium position. Late 4th round as my #19 PR 4/28/14.

20. Larry Webster Bloomsburg 6’5 ¾ 252 Sr.

Combine: He had an amazing Combine as he measured in at 6’5 ¾ 252 with a 4.58 40-3rd best among 56 DL, ’36 ½ vertical-4th and a 10’3 broad-4th. He’s one of the fastest risers in this draft class as he put on a show at the East-West Shrine game and then dominated the Combine. He played football in HS but went to Bloomsburg for basketball (Conference DPOY in 2012) yet 2 years ago decided to go out for football and set the school’s single season sack record. He had 13.5 sacks and 15 TFL in his first season in football since HS 4 years ago. He sounds like just an uber athlete who can be good at whatever he sets his mind to. Somewhat tight but quick feet in 5 bag drill. He tripped and looked bad overall in his LB drills even dropping an easy throw-supposed to be a TE prospect? Solid in LB drill but again looked to have poor hands.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6056

252

33.5

10.13

4.58

17

36.5

1003

 

7.29

Strengths: He’s one of the 5 best athletes in the pass rusher group this year. His 40, vertical, broad and 3 cone were all elite for a player his size. His 10 1/8 hands are huge and his overall frame (6’5 ¾ 252) is that of a perfect pass rusher (he could just use slightly longer arms). His father played 11 seasons in the NFL. He played 4 seasons of collegiate basketball and did it at a high level (Conference DPOY in 2012). His rawness makes you assume that his upside is quite high. He was extremely productive in his first season of football in 4 years.

Weaknesses: He’s an older prospect at 24 years old. He’s somewhat tightly built and doesn’t have elite arm length so he isn’t a perfect specimen. He’s only played football for 2 years since HS yet now will be against the best football players in the world so a learning curve should be expected. Why did he choose basketball over football to begin with? It’s unlikely that football is his first love and, if it isn’t, is he still going to put in the extra effort to get better?

Overall: Larry Webster is a 1st round athlete who wasn’t even playing football 3 years ago. These conversion types (former basketball player) are usually at TE but his hands make me think he couldn’t play that position successfully. I like Webster as a pass rusher as his frame is elite and I think it could add 15 lbs easily to where he was a 6’5 ½ 270 lb DE. He will need time to develop his technique and body but he has the chance to be a very solid starter with elite athleticism and that is worth waiting for. Early 5th round as my #20 PR who is a project with a very high upside 5/2/14.

21. Kasim Edebali Boston College #91 6’2 253 Sr.

Comparison: Alex Brown

Stats:

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

68

8.5

14

3

4

0

0

2012

59

1.5

7.5

0

1

0

0

2011

27

0

0.5

1

0

0

0

2010

13

0

1.5

0

0

0

0

Combine: He was below average in his 40, terrible in his bench (19 reps) and short (6’2 with 32 ¾ arms) yet he was above average in his vertical, broad and quickness drills. Bad in LB drills.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6020

253

32.75

9.5

4.79

19

34.5

907

4.35

7.20

Strengths: Todd McShay says he’s one of the best snap anticipators in this draft and I agree as he’s VERY quick off the ball. 2nd Team ACC in 2013. 38 career starts. He hustles and really fights hard for his team. He has good initial quickness and can get himself in a good position before an OT has really set up.

Weaknesses: He wasn’t productive until his senior season (15 TFL, 9.5 sacks and 3 FF in 2013 only 7.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks and 1 FF in previous 2 years). He was part of a BC team that had an ACC low 6 sacks in 2012 (as a team!). He has great snap anticipation and good quickness (7.20 3 cone was 8th best among 56 DL) yet he lacks great speed. He has a low ceiling and at best he’ll be an average starting DE who gets you 8-10 sacks a year. He is short and has small arms so if his initial burst doesn’t give him an advantage he will get stuck as he lacks the pure speed, length or strength to do anything else. He’s very much a one trick pony. His 19 reps were very poor and insinuate he could struggle at the next level. He will either be a 4-3 pass rush specialist or a 3-4 OLB as he can’t hold up against the run.

Overall: Edebali has one elite trait, his snap anticipation, that combines with his good initial burst/quickness to make him an NFL player. Everything else from his collegiate production (only 1 season and not great even in that one season), his height (6’2), his arm length (32 ¾), his strength (19 reps), and his pure speed (4.79) is below average so overall I’m not a huge fan of his. Yet guys like him tend to stick around as there are 32 teams in the NFL who would like 3 good pass rushers on their roster and there aren’t 96 good pass rushers to go around so guys like him can carve out niche like careers. He reminds me of Alex Brown in style as both are mediocre athletes with a good burst and great snap anticipation. Brown had a superior burst but an inferior motor so with Edebali at least you’ll get a guy who tries his hardest on every play but I suspect they both have similar careers as #3 defensive ends on teams seeking a pass rush specialist. 5th round as my #21 PR 4/28/14.

22. Adrian Hubbard Alabama 6’6 257 Jr.

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Couldn’t beat Antonio Andrews in pass pro drill either time he went against him. Good coverage vs. Jerrick McKinnon on wheel route for INC.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

33

3

5.5

4

0

0

0

2012

41

7

11

4

3

0

0

2011

9

0

1.5

1

0

0

0

Combine: He had a very good Combine at 6’6 257 with ’34 ½ arms and a 4.69 40.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6060

257

34.5

9.25

4.69

 

38.5

909

 

 

Strengths: He’s a very good run stopper. He’s a disciplined player and understands schemes and defensive concepts. He’s very flexibility and can bend around a corner. He was coached by Nick Saban

Weaknesses: His stats in 2012 were good but not great and they were by far his best for his 3 year career as his 2011 season he barely played and his 2013 season was mediocre. Why exactly did he come out early? He had a great 40 (sub 4.7) but doesn’t play that way as he lacks a burst and isn’t a consistent pass rush threat. I’ve never seen a wow play from him and he projects as an average starter at best.

Overall: A lot of people are fans of this kid and I just don’t see it. He lacks great athleticism and his stats were very mediocre in 2013 so I just don’t see why he’s generally considered a 3rd round talent. He went to the Senior Bowl and made no impact whatsoever as he struggled to even get a consistent pass rush against running backs. I left him at pass rusher since that is where everyone else has him but I think he’ll be a huge bust if left there. As a SLB in a 4-3 I think he has a chance to stick to a roster as an average starter since he has enough quickness and speed to cover in zone and could be a solid blitzer. No matter where he is played though his upside is extremely limited and I still can’t figure out why anyone would take him on the first two days of the draft. Late 5th round as my #22 PR who is one of the more overrated players in this draft 5/2/14.

 

Late Round Types:

23. Julius Warmsley Tulane #92 6’2 270 1st team C-USA in 2013. In the 2013 UL-Lafayette game he went unblocked for a huge hit/TFL on QB when he kept it on a read option look, he battled through a lazy block for a 4 sec sack-good strength, and he got another TFL on a read option with the QB-he’s just so quick I think he surprised the QB each time. They moved him from DT to DE all night and looked good in both positions. He impressed me with his strength for a DE and quickness for a DT. He’s definitely a tweener type and might get lost in the shuffle but he has NFL talent in my eyes. 6th round 12/22/13.

24. Howard Jones Shepherd 6’2 ½ 235 Sr. He rivaled Jadeveon Clowney for the best workout among the pass rushers as he had a 4.60 40-3rd best among 56 DL, 40 ½ vertical-best and 10’4 broad-best. He is all legs and is a long strider. He struggled in the 5 bags drills due to his long legs and mediocre feet. Stiff in double bag pass rush drill. Slow and stiff in 3 bag drill. Tight but fast in change of direction drill. He has great speed but I just don’t like how he’s built. He reminds me of Dontay Moch which is a bad thing. Bad in LB drills. Howard is a severely undersized pass rusher that makes up for his lack of size with elite arm length (’34 1/8 on a 6’2 ½ guy is rare) and elite overall athleticism. His 40, vertical and broad all were comparable to Clowney (who did outweight him by 31 lbs but still) and I could see him making sense as a pass rush specialist off a team’s bench. 6th round as my #24 PR who I’m not a fan of because he reminds me of recent draft bust Dontay Moch but who is an elite athlete 4/28/14.

25. Jadon Gayle Virginia Tech 6’3 ¾ 259 Sr. 2nd team Big East in 2012. In the 2012 Rutgers game he showed an outstanding burst getting around OT and forcing RB to help out which gave his blitzing teammate an easy sack, beat RT on quick inside move for TFL getting RB at handoff. He has a great frame and solid quickness but overall I didn’t see more than a few flashes in this game. His frame and burst intrigue me though so I hope to catch him again at an All-Star game because right now it’s too hard to grade 12/30/12. #18 on Bruce Feldman’s freak athlete list for 2013 due to a 39 ½ vert, 400 bench, and a 4.6 40. Combine: He had a good 40 (4.70), good bench (26 reps), elite vertical (’37), elite broad (10’2) and very good quickness drills. Overall he measured out as one of the 5 best athletes in the DL group. Mayock said he’s a lunch pail type who gets a lot of sacks via hustle. He looked tight and was way too tall in the 5 bags drills. Tight in double bag pass rush drill. He had a good but not great 2013 season (44 tackles, 6 sacks, 10.5 TFL and 21 QB Hurries). His extremely high QB Hurry to sack ratio shows he was around the action a lot but lacked the ability to close the deal which makes sense as he was very tight in his movements which is synonymous with having poor agility in tight spots like a crowded backfield. His elite Combine put this high motor type from free agent grade to late round flier status. 7th round as my #25 PR 4/28/14.

26. Michael Sam Missouri 6’2 261 Sr.

Comparison: Jeremy Beal

Senior Bowl: Day 3: He dominated the RBs but was held in check by Jacob Pedersen in blocking drills. Pancaked by Zach Martin on 1×1 drill as he couldn’t get edge and then lost balance, no rush vs. Michael Schofield as again couldn’t get edge.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2013

48

11.5

19

5

2

0

0

2012

22

4.5

7

4

2

0

0

2011

29

1.5

3

4

0

0

0

2010

24

3.5

7

2

2

1

0

Combine: He had a bad Combine as he came in short (6’2), small (9 3/8 hands), slow (4.91 40) and extremely tight (7.80 3 cone-worst by far among the 26 PR and only 0.01 faster than 334 lb DT Justin Ellis!). Very tight but was explosive with his backpedal drill. He’s extremely tight in all of the drills. His Combine was that of an undraftable player. Tight and below average feet in 5 bag drill. Tight and cradle caught the ball in LB drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6020

261

33.38

9.38

4.91

17

25.5

906

 

7.8

Strengths: 1st Team SEC in 2013. He has a good burst on film. He was a very productive player in 2013. He was the DPOY in the best conference in the nation. He is very good at causing fumbles as shown by his 6 career FF. He is a thickly built guy.

Weaknesses: A short, squat player who lacks length or flexibility. I don’t know if he’d make a great LB due to how bulked up and inflexible he is. He has poor recognition skills and is painfully slow at times to react to a naked bootleg. That increase my wariness of moving him to LB where instincts and recognition are vital. He had a terrible Combine as a 4.91 40 for a pass rusher is a HUGE red flag. He also has shorter arms and that combination of lack of length, speed or flexibility makes me really concerned. He will get engulfed as a run stopper so at best he’s just a pass rush specialist. He only had one season of _30 tackles, +5 sacks or +10 TFL. His defenders point to him winning DPOY in the SEC but he reminds me of Jeremy Beal who was a draft bust after he was DPOY in the Big 12. Being a great college player means nothing in the NFL. He’s gay. That in itself isn’t necessarily a negative but the publicity it will cause, the distractions it will bring and the possible issues other players on the team could have all make it an obvious negative.

Overall: Due to the circus that will surround him in his rookie season, coupled with the fact that I see him becoming only a mediocre pass rush specialist, I want nothing to do with him and would be very comfortable taking him off my draft board as an NFL GM. In my rankings though he does still have some value so he settles out as a 5th rounder as my # PR 3/23/14.  I wrote that 1 ½ months ago before I watched his atrocious Combine. Since then his stock has dropped even more to the point where he no longer is in the section of my draft book to get a bio (1st-5th rounders only get bios), I wrote one anyway since he’s such an important prospect in this draft but in the end I’d recommend not drafting the kid. He’s short, slow, was only productive for one season, has terrible flexibility and has short arms. I honestly can say that he doesn’t deserve to be rated any higher than the 6th round and that’s without factoring in his sexuality. He looks like a future draft bust to me who will only be famous for breaking the barrier of being the first openly gay player in the NFL. 7th round as my #26 PR who isn’t nearly talented enough to be worth putting up with the media blitz that will join him as a rookie 5/2/14.

 

Free Agents:

Lawrence Virgil Valdosta St. #92 Sr. In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he impressed as one of the best DE on his squad. He has violent hands and shows some pass rush skills but is definitely a power rusher and might even be able to play a little DT. He had 48 tackles, 8.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks in 2013 which is good but hardly great numbers for his lower level of competition. Free Agent 1/19/14.

Tony Washington Oregon #91 6’3 244 Jr. 2nd team Pac-12 in 2013. In the 2013 UCLA game he beat the RT for a FF-went for the ball not the sack. He looked long and lean so I was surprised to see he was only listed at 6’3. Free Agent 5/2/14.

Johnathan Rainey New Mexico Sr. 6’2 245 DE Kiper 11/3/09, “former basketball player who didn’t start participating in football until his junior year of high school. In a three-point loss to the Aztecs, Rainey showed some nice pass-rush moves. He displayed impressive physical and lateral pursuit ability. And he also proved to be a physical tackler. For the season, he leads the conference with 12.5 tackles for loss and has 7.5 sacks.” Free agent  5/2/14.

Cassius Marsh UCLA 6’4 252 Sr. Hendricks Award Watch List in 2012. In the 2012 Rice game I never noticed him. In the 2012 Baylor game he beat LT on inside move for sack. In the 2013 Stanford game he was too quick for pulling OG getting into hole for TFL. In the 2013 Virginia Tech game (bowl game) he was offsides. He played 3-4 DE but lacks the frame and weight to stay there in the NFL yet also isn’t athletic enough to be a 3-4 OLB. His best fit is as a SDE in a 4-3 but he projects to be a run stopping, role player type at that position. Free Agent 1/23/14. He showed great quickness with a 4.25 shuttle and 7.08 3 cone both of which were elite. That was the high point for him though as he ran a bad 40 (4.89), had the worst bench of any of the 56 DL (14 reps) and had sub ’33 arms (32 ¾) at 6’4 252. With his great quickness and marginal size he might be a better fit as a 3-4 OLB. He has full sleeves on both arms. He left the East-West Shrine game after the week of practices, skipped the game, despite not having an injury? In the backpedal drill he looked agile with great bend but also he was slow. Very quick feet but not pretty upright and again he’s just slow. Good bend in double bag pass rush drill. Good in 3 bag drill. Smooth in LB drills. Marsh has good quickness, instincts and body lean but lacks the pure speed to be a consistent threat as a pass rusher and probably makes more sense as a SLB in a 4-3. With his 4.89 40 though I don’t really know if he has the speed for LB and coupled with his off the field issues, I doubt he gets drafted. Free Agent 4/28/14.

Ikemefuna Enemkpali Lousiana Tech 6’0 ¾ 261 Sr. Combine: He had a 5.01 40 which at 6’0 ¾ 261 lbs makes him not draftable. I liked his tape but wow this was the worst Combine of anyone in the DL group. Too high and tight in double bag pass rush drill. Good ankle bend in change of direction drill. Good in LB drills. He has good tape but his measurables were so bad that I think 80% of NFL teams will have him completely off their draft board. Free Agent 4/28/14.

Ben Gardner Stanford #49 6’4 1/8 262 Jr. In the 2012 USC game he pushed the LG back 5 yds forcing RB outside then tracked him down for TFL-elite run stopping play (1:30 1st), beat LG again this time going by him and not through him for TFL, good 4 sec sack making LT Audrey Walker whiff on him by doing a swim move, shot past RG for TFL. An elite 3-4 DE who I want to see more film on 9/29/12. In the 2012 Oregon game he had QB Marcus Mariota in sights and missed badly on spin move, knocked away TE and then got really low on RT to get TFL on run at him despite double team-will be a great SDE or 3-4 DE as a run stuffer. In the 2012 Notre Dame game he threw away backup TE for 4.5 sec sack and FF which was jumped on by teammate for TD. 2nd team Pac 12 in 2012. In the 2012 Wisconsin game (Rose Bowl) he stacked and shed LT Rick Wagner for no gain tackle on run at him, beat C Travis Frederick on snap but recovered and pancaked to side, too quick for Wagner beating him inside for TFL on 4th and goal from 1 (earlier caused hold negating 8 yd TD run-too quick for him), pancaked by Wagner on inside move. Weaknesses: He lacks the explosiveness and pure athleticism that you want as an edge rusher. I don’t think he can be a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE at the next level unless you are content with getting only 3-5 sacks a year out of those positions. He will need to bulk up into a 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT if he’s to be a starter in the NFL. He was a Combine snub yet now I know why as at his Pro Day he ran an abysmal 5.03 40. It’s confusing though as his quickness drills (4.24 shuttle-good, 6.98 3 cone-elite) and explosion drills (’39 ½ vertical and 10’2 broad) were elite. He looks like a run stuffing 3-4 DE who will be able to provide a little pass rush. Free Agent 5/4/14.

Julius Forte South Florida #54 Jr. 3rd DE in 2011 who is a pass rush specialist. In the 2011 Notre Dame game had a nice bull rush to get 4.5 sec coverage sack backing RT Taylor Dever right into QB (4:00 2nd).

Devon Kennard USC 6’3 255 Sr. In the East-West Shrine game he looked mobile enough to be a 4-3 SLB but just barely, he beat Donald Hawkins on speed rush for pressure showing quickness-looks like a poor man’s Nick Perry with his body type. Free Agent 5/2/14.

Rakim Cox Villanova Sr. In the 2013 NFLPA game I noticed his rare arm length as it looked ’34 at least. He stayed home on a naked bootleg and had batted ball as QB tried to get it around him-again long arms. Free Agent 5/2/14.

Zachary Moore Concordia 6’5 ½ 269 Sr. He was a mixed bag as he came in tall (6’5 ½) with very good explosion numbers (vertical and broad) and impressive quickness yet he only had ’33 ¾ arms (somewhat short for a guy his height) and ran a bad 40 (4.84). Tight as he couldn’t bend at all with his backpedal drill. Tight in LB drills and looks like a DE not 3-4 OLB. He had an embarrassingly bad drop-looked like he’d never seen a football before. A player who I didn’t scout but who looks like a good candidate to bulk up a bit and use as a 4-3 SDE. Free Agent 5/2/14.

Jacques Smith Tennessee #55 Jr. In the 2011 Florida game he shot through the line very fast to hit RB Jeff Demps as he got handoff for TFL on 2nd an 1 as they were trying to run out the clock (8:01 4th), another great TFL this time on RB Trey Burton’s 3rd and 2 run showing elite quickness to get into backfield just after handoff (4:00 4th). In the 2011 Georgia game he had a very nice TFL too quick for TE on edge jumping inside and throwing down RB (13:06 4th). In the 2012 North Carolina St. game he showed average strength but very good quickness (3-4 OLB?) as he was pushed back on edge but then flew at RB and tackled him for short gain on run at him. Was very active in game. Free Agent 5/2/14.

Ryan Mueller Kansas St. #44 6’2 245 1st team Big 12 in 2013. In the 2013 Michigan game (bowl game) he looked severely undersized. He will have to move to LB as he doesn’t have the length or the weight to stay at DE. Camp invite due to poor size 5/2/14.

Frank Clark Michigan #57 Sr. In the 2012 Ohio St. game he went untouched for a huge hit and sack on QB-Braxton Miller stayed down quite awhile, outstanding strength hitting Miller with one arm as he went by for TFL-saved 5 yds probably. 3rd team Big 10 in 2013. A thick, strong DE that is good at anchoring vs. the run. He was a safety in HS and has only been playing DE for 2 years as of the 2013 season. N: He’s a shorter DE and lacks the burst or quickness to be a legit pass rusher in the NFL. Free Agent who projects as a 2 down DE in a platoon setting 5/2/14.

Hau’oli Kikaha Washington #8 6’3 250 He’s built like a LB but has DE size and actually his two best plays came when he stacked the LT and shed him to give a big hit to the RB. He flashed on film regularly and looks like a possible 3-4 OLB or WDE in a 4-3. Free Agent 5/4/14.

Junior Onyeali Arizona St. 5’11 233 Jr. In the 2011 Missouri game he showed great athleticism on QB read option covering both players for TFL (7:00 1st), very nice speed rush getting edge vs. LT and sort of held but not called settling for flushing QB from pocket, good trail play on 0 route by WR helping tackle for 1 yd, okay in coverage as they dropped him on zone blitz and nearly batted ball on in route (14:22 3rd), nice spin move vs. LT Justin Britt getting inside easily but fell down in move, great strength on bull rush vs. Britt getting pressure but QB already sacked (13:27 4th). In the 2011 Cal game he had a very good TFL throwing down the QB on a failed option left after stringing it out from his DE spot (4:18 2nd), had PF on late hit of QB that was valid, great job on end around staying home then fighting off QB block to tackle WR for 5 yd gain trying to strip the ball the entire time. In the 2012 Colorado game he had nice speed rush around RT for tipped pass-hit QB as he threw (great leverage as RT had him but still worked around edge), Todd Graham said he’s been a model citizen with a 3.0 GPA in spring 2012 after almost getting kicked out of the program. In the 2012 Missouri game he had nice TFL on zone read. Started as a true freshman. Freshman All American in 2010 with 18 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 11.5 TFL. Also was named Freshman Pac 10 POY in ’10. Listed as the #64 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. In the 2012 Illinois game he barely was noticed by me as he had few pressures, a sack that was the coverage variety, and just looked small out there. Dropping him out of my Top 100 9/11/12. Todd Graham said he’s been a model citizen with a 3.0 GPA in spring 2012 after almost getting kicked out of the program. He got into a fight with his girlfriend and smashed in her driver’s side windshield. He didn’t return to the program after that incident and ends his career with 13.5 sacks in 3 seasons. He could have been a legit NFL prospect but now is just a camp invite 5/4/14.

George Rainey Northern Illinois #46 6’2 222 Jr. In the 2012 Kent St. game he beat LT Brian Winters inside twice one time for pressure and the other time for a 4.5 sec sack (6:35 3rd). He was the only one to get a good rush against Brian Winters yet at his weight he isn’t really a prospect. Camp invite as his film was good but his measurements are atrocious 5/2/14.

Jibreel Black Michigan #55 Jr. In the 2011 Notre Dame game he showed very good athleticism staying close enough to RB Cierre Woods to grab his jersey and throw him down for a short gain on a quick shovel pass play (9:52 1st), great recognition of RB screen ruining play (10:10 2nd). In the 2012 Alabama game he battled RT DJ Fluker much of the night, sealed by Fluker on goal line run at him. In the 2012 Ohio St. game he had pressure forcing no gain tackle by teammates-ruined run play. In the 2012 South Carolina game he blew by RG for sack from DT spot. He was always on my radar but he never took that next step to become a legit prospect. Camp invite 5/2/14

James Boyd UNLV #96 6’5 255 Jr. Came into program as a QB but switched to defense and has an elite frame for a DE. In the 2012 Washington game he had a solid power rush sack in 5 sec (partially a cov sack). Camp invite 5/2/14.

Kerry Wynn Richmond 6’4 7/8 266 Sr. He played DT in college but played DE in this game (East-West Shrine game0 and showed off a nice burst. At the East-West Shrine game he looked out of place and was terrible against Charles Leno Jr. on numerous encounters. Combine: He came with incredibly short arms (’31 ¾ at 6’4 7/8? T-Rex style!) and didn’t help himself any by running a very bad 40 (4.97) but wasn’t helped by having to pull up near the end. His 10 yd split was solid so that is what most will go on. His Combine likely causes him to go undrafted. Camp invite 5/2/14.

Roosevelt Nix Kent St. 6’0 240 Jr. True freshman who was dominant in ’10. Freshman All American in 2010 with 43 tackles, 10 sacks, 20 TFL, 4 FF, 8 QB hurries, and 2 blocked kicks. 1st team Mac and Defensive POY being the only true freshman to ever win the award! 1st team MAC in 2012. In the 2012 Arkansas St. game he read QB’s eyes and batted ball at LOS, looks like an ILB not a DL. Camp invite due to atrocious measurables 1/7/13.

Tevin Mims South Florida 6’4 260 Sr. A tall, undersized DE with a great frame. In the 2012 Rutgers game he had a nice spin move inside forcing pressure and throw away. Combine: He was bad across the board with a 4.95 40, 17 reps, ’27 ½ vertical and 9’1 broad. All were in the bottom 5 at his position. I didn’t know who he was before this and now I don’t care to bother finding out. I was very impressed with his backpedal drill. Undraftable 4/29/14.

Jake Metz Shippensburg #97 6’7 255 Sr. 1st Team Little All-American in 2013. Bill Polian said he was impressive in the NFLPA practices. In the 2013 NFLPA game he got near the QB and hit the arm as he threw it for an INC and almost an INT, he plays with poor leverage due to his rare height and doesn’t bend well. I didn’t see anything worthwhile in him in practice or the game. Undraftable 1/19/14.

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