2011 CFN All-Americans & Top Players - DEs
Kent State DE Roosevelt Nix
Kent State DE Roosevelt Nix
Posted Aug 11, 2011

CFN 2011 All-Americans and Top 30 Players - Defensive Ends

Preview 2011 - Defensive Ends

All-Americans & Top 30 Players

2011 CFN All-Americans & Top 30 Players
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Tight Ends
- Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers

- Defensive Ends | Defensive Tackles | Linebackers | Safeties
- Cornerbacks | Kickers | Punters | Kick Returners | Punt Returners 

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Note: This isn't a ranking of the top pro prospects. This is based on the seasons we think the players are going to have.


1. Brandon Jenkins, Jr. Florida State
The breakout star of the entire program last season was the 6-3, 258-pound Jenkins, who went from backup to All-American in the span of a year. He added considerable weight, yet remained a flash off the snap, notching 63 tackles, 21.5 stops for loss, and 13.5 sacks. A candidate to leave early for the NFL at the conclusion of the season, he'll warrant the kind of attention that makes those around him better.

2. Quinton Coples, Sr. North Carolina
No one stepped up or was more opportunistic last season than the 6-6, 285-pound senior Coples, who could have easily parlayed his breakout year into early entry into the NFL Draft. Despite playing tackle, he still racked up 59 tackles, 15.5 stops for loss, and 8.5 sacks, constantly harassing quarterbacks. From the long arms and good feet to the power and versatility, he has it all in a defensive lineman, including a shot at all kinds of national individual honors.


3. Vinny Curry, Sr. Marshall
Curry was so good last season that he gave serious consideration to leaving early for the NFL before deciding to return for his senior year. An outstanding pass rusher, he's also tough against the run, making 94 tackles, 18 stops for loss, a dozen sacks, and 16 quarterback hurries. Now up to 6-4 and 252 pounds, he has both the quickness and upper body strength to beat his man and get into the backfield. Even better, he plays with maximum intensity on every down, wearing down opponents in the second half.

4. Bruce Irvin, Sr. West Virginia
About as fast as he gets around the edge, the 6-3, 236-pound Irvin burst on to the scene in his debut out of Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) Community College. Without a single start, he finished second in the country to Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers with 14 sacks, landing on the All-Big East team. Ready to become an every-down player, he needs to tap into his inner Von Miller, using his freakish athletic ability to become more than just a situational defender.


5. Ronald Powell, Soph. Florida
The 2010 Florida recruiting class was considered to be truly special, and Powell was the crown jewel. The 6-4, 250-pound sophomore was expected to be all-timer special right out of the box, and he wasn't all that bad as he tried to get his feet wet making 25 tackles with a sack and three tackles for loss. Of course, that's not going to cut it this year for a player of his speed and athleticism. A potential pass rushing terror at the hybrid Buck position, he has the 4.5 speed and the burst off the ball to grow into a dominant performer.

6. Devin Taylor, Jr. South Carolina
With all the attention paid to the addition of Jadeveon Clowney, it'll be easy to overlook 6-7, 248-pound junior Devin Taylor, a power forward who just so happens to be a phenomenal defensive end. With a great first step and terrific closing skills, he became one of the SEC's newest superstars with 7.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss, along with 46 tackles. Not just a pass rushing specialist, he did a little bit of everything up front including eight broken up passes, but while he's tough to throw over and he's good against the run, he's a pass rushing terror who's always in the backfield and always disrupting things.


7. Roosevelt Nix, Soph. Kent State
While he was only, technically, a reserve, Nix might as well be considered a returning starter after a MAC Defensive Player of the Year performance. While he's a short end, at 6-0 and 255 pounds he's built like a linebacker but can fly with an incredible burst off the ball. Dominant throughout the year, he finished with 43 tackles with a MAC-leading ten sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and with eight quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles. As good as he was, though, he was keyed on over the second half of the year and came up with just one sack in the final five games. He destroyed Akron with three sacks and Bowling Green for two, and while he didn't get in the backfield as much over the final month he was still active and still freed up the rest of the line with so much attention paid his way.

8. Jonathan Massaquoi, Jr. Troy
The star of the defensive front, and the likely the entire D after a First Team All-Sun Belt campaign, will once again be Massaquoi, a 6-2, 250-pound speed rusher who finished third on the team with 76 tackles while also cranking out 13.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. While the former JUCO star isn't built like some of the great Troy defensive line stars of the past, he did beef up a bit and could project to be an outside linebacker at the next level if used the right way. He's more like a pumped up linebacker or a huge safety, but he has the speed, quickness, and athleticism to bust into the backfield in a hurry. The brother of former Georgia star and current Cleveland Brown wide receiver, Mohommed, has the athleticism to make up for the lack of sheer bulk.

9. Brandon Lindsey, Sr. Pitt
When Greg Romeus suffered a crippling back injury, the 6-2, 250-pound Lindsey seized the opportunity and made the most of it. An explosive pass rusher off the edge, he was named All-Big East second team in his starting debut, making 51 tackles, 17.5 stops for loss, and 10 sacks. He's ideally suited to play the new "Panther" position, a hybrid that blends the rush skills of a defensive end and the athleticism of a linebacker.

10. Alex Okafor, Jr. Texas
Okafor moved over from defensive tackle to the end and dominated at times this offseason. The 6-4, 260-pounder started eight games inside last year making 30 tackles with 2.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and 13 quarterback pressures, and while he might not be a speed rusher, he has the hustle and the quick burst off the line to get into the backfield on a regular basis. No, he's not Sam Acho or Brian Orakpo, but he'll be disruptive.

11. Vince Browne, Sr. Northwestern
12. Adrian Robinson, Sr. Temple
13. Nathan Williams, Sr. Ohio State
14. Chandler Jones, Jr. Syracuse
15. Brad Madison, Jr. Missouri
16. Shea McClellin, Sr. Boise State
17. Jackson Jeffcoat, Soph. Texas
18. Cam Johnson, Sr. Virginia
19. Matt Broha, Sr. Louisiana Tech
20. Damontre Moore, Soph. Texas A&M
21. Travis Long, Jr. Washington State
22. Donte Paige-Moss, Jr. North Carolina
23. Nick Perry, Jr. USC
24. Jesse Joseph, Jr. Connecticut
25. Jake Bequette, Sr. Arkansas
26. Jabaree Tuani, Sr. Navy
27. Frank Alexander, Sr. Oklahoma
28. Ethan Johnson, Sr. Notre Dame
29. Broderick Binns, Sr. Iowa
30. Cordarro Law, Sr. Southern Miss

2011 CFN All-Americans & Top 30 Players
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Tight Ends
- Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers

- Defensive Ends | Defensive Tackles | Linebackers | Safeties
- Cornerbacks | Kickers | Punters | Kick Returners | Punt Returners