2013 NFL Pre-Combine
Top Ten DE Rankings
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CFN Pre-Combine DE Rankings, No. 11 to 25
1. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M 6-4, 255 (Jr.) Proj. 1
Positives: Versatile. Can be a dominant force in any style of defense. He can play outside linebacker if needed or can be a true 4-3 end and be turned loose into the backfield. He’s always going to bring the A game when it comes to getting to a quarterback. … Extremely active against the run. His style and quickness gets him around the ball time and again. It seems like he’s always in on every play. ... Can mix it up in phone booth or he can chase people down in space and make the big stop. He can do it all at a high level, and best of all, he hasn’t reached his potential. He can still get a big bigger and he can refine his technique – there isn’t a fatal flaw that can’t be worked on.
Negatives: He tends to use his athleticism more than he needs to. He has to fight a little bit more against the run and attack the play. He’s better in space, so he occasionally takes the long way to make a play. … Tall, he plays a bit upright taking quick jolts from linemen who get out of their stance in a hurry. … Needs a better repertoire of moves. Often gets by on tools more than technique.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? He might not be the next Von Miller – he’s a different type of player – but he’ll be a big-time star in a different way. Expect regular trips to the Pro Bowl.
2. Alex Okafor, Texas 6-5, 261Proj. 1
Positives: No bust potential. He might not have the high end of some of the other top end prospects, but, other than injury, he’s one of the safest picks in the draft. … One of the tougher run stoppers among the ends. He has a different type of game utilizing more power than speed. There’s nothing flashy and he’s not going to thrill the fans, but he’ll do everything right. … High character. A dependable leader who’ll be the main man for a defensive front.
Negatives: Not a speed rusher. He’s not going to fly from the outside, doing most of his work by overpowering his man. … Just an okay athlete. He’s not going to wow like some of the other great ends in the draft. There’s a hard ceiling. … Might not be for every style. He’s not an outside linebacker in a 3-4 and he can’t be used like an extra tackle. He has to be on the outside in a 4-3.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? No nonsense. He’ll be a good, sound starter for the next decade. He won’t be a star on a line, but he’ll get the job done week in and week out.
3. Bjoern Werner, Florida State 6-4, 256 Proj. 1
Positives: When he’s on, he has all the tools and the skills to be a top three-down defender. An unbelievable athlete who can run, jump and cut like a much smaller player. … Terrifically strong. Beats up blockers and gets tough and nasty at times against the run. … Moves well enough to be used in a variety of ways. A creative defensive coordinator can play around with him.
Negatives: Disappeared way too often. Don’t get fooled by the overall pass rushing numbers – he destroyed Murray State and had a big game against a Florida team that was awful in pass protection. 7.5 of his 13 sacks last year came in two games. … Way too inconsistent. He’s not a full-tilt motor guy and needs to always rise to the moment. … Got by against the mediocre tackles because of his raw skills. Mediocre technique.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? Still emerging, he’ll disappoint as a rookie, show flashes in Year Two, and then he’ll dominate. Eventually, it’s all going to come together and he’ll be a star of a defense. Eventually.
4. Barkevious Mingo, LSU 6-4, 240 (Jr.) Proj. 1
Positives: Unbelievable tools and upside. He’s a workout warrior with special abilities and talents. He’s a rare prospect who could develop into a perennial Pro Bowl talent with the right coaching staff. He has that kind of potential. … Could work as an outside linebacker if needed if he doesn’t flourish as a 4-3 end. At worst, he could be a pass rushing superstar. … A shocking combination of strength and speed. He can handle the power blockers as well as the quicker ones. It’s all there.
Negatives: Do the raw abilities translate into football talent? Looks the part, but there are huge warning signs that he could be a Tyson Jackson-like mega-bust. He needs a ton of technique work. … He has to shed blocks better. Doesn’t fight hard enough when he’s hit and pushed out of a play. … Didn’t progress last year. Was good, but he didn’t grow into an unstoppable force. He needs to prove he’s ready to put in the work needed to be great.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? He’ll grow into a hot-and-cold pass rushing star, but considering his skills, he’s not going to grow into the franchise-maker many are thinking he can be.
5. Cornelius Carradine, Florida State 6-4, 265 Proj. 2
Positives: Everything is there. He has the size, the strength and the athleticism. He was emerging into a star before getting hurt. … Tackle-strong against the power running games. Holds up well when locked on and doesn’t stay blocked for long. … Always moving and always working to get better. The upside is limitless with the athleticism to go along with the drive.
Negatives: Injured. A torn ACL set him back by a year. He’s not going to be able to fully show off what he can do and won’t be able to go full tilt until 2014. … Needs a lot of time and seasoning when he gets back from his injury. Even when he’s healthy, he needs technique work and more at bats. He doesn’t have a ton of experience under his belt. … Past classroom issues. Didn’t get into Illinois and had to go the JUCO route to get to Florida State.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? It’s all about his knee. It’ll be a leap of faith for someone to take him in the first round, but with time and patience, by 2015 the payoff could be gigantic.
6. Sam Montgomery, LSU 6-5, 260 Proj. 2
Positives: Always working and always moving with a terrific motor. Blockers can’t take a play off against him. … A fighter. Seems to relish the big games and the big moments. Wants to take on the best of the best. … Decent power against the run. Holds his own without a problem and is a power pass rusher; he’ll bull his way into the backfield.
Negatives: Not the best of athletes. He’s quick, but doesn’t explode off the ball. … Not a devastating pass rusher. He’ll never put up big numbers and won’t command a double team. … Surrounded by a ton of talent. Was helped at times by having next-level players in the interior taking the heat off. … Little upside. He’s never going to be a perennial Pro Bowl star who’ll take over games.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? A terrific starter who’ll do all the little things the coaches will like, but the fans won’t necessarily notice.
7. Brandon Jenkins, Florida State 6-3, 260Proj. 2
Positives: The only question mark is his health. He was everybody’s preseason All-American going into last year as one of the hottest NFL prospects. He’s still that talented. … Tough against the run and isn’t afraid of contact. He’ll hold up well on all three downs. … A superior pass rusher. Has a great set of moves along with the speed to get around the edge in a hurry.
Negatives: His foot injury. It’s not a career-threatening problem, and he should be able to come back fine, but he needs to prove he’s back to 100%. … Needs better technique and constancy. He runs hot and cold, disappearing at times. … Even when he’s healthy, there’s a hard ceiling on what he can do. He should be a good player, but the elite ability isn’t there.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? A solid starter who’ll be a coach’s favorite against the run while putting up nice numbers as a pass rusher.
8. Datone Jones, UCLA 6-4, 280 Proj. 1
Positives: Moves extremely well for his size. Fluid, moving like a much smaller player with the ability to cut and move on a dime. … The type of guy who can be The Man for a line. He’s a great leader and self-motivator who’ll get everyone around him going. Doesn’t need much of a push. … Can be a pass rusher on the outside or a strong run defender in the interior. Extremely versatile.
Negatives: Plays a bit high. Needs to get the technique right every play; he can’t get by at the next level on tools alone. … Can get popped. He’s strong and good against the run, but he can be shoved. … Not the most creative of pass rushers. He’s not going to bring a vast array of moves.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? It’s going to take a little bit and a little bit of patience will be required, but he’ll eventually be a terrific starter.
9. Dion Jordan, Oregon 6-6, 241 Proj. 2
Positives: A former tight end prospect, he brings excellent size and athleticism on the outside. Moves well for a tall, lanky player. … Great on the move and in space. Great in pursuit with the arms and the frame to reach out and grab his man. … Terrific quickness and cutting ability. He has plenty of interesting skills to play around with. He’s different.
Negatives: Has problems with people around his feet. Gets tied up way too easily and can be chopped down without much of a problem. … Never gets leverage. He has a hard time getting low with his size and plays a bit too upright. Gets popped too easily. … Is he a pure pass rusher? He has the tools and the potential, but he’s not necessarily a speed rusher who’ll fly into the backfield.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? While he’s a bit of a project,
he has a good blend of talents. He’ll become a solid starter with a
10. Ezekial Ansah, BYU 6-5, 274 Proj. 1
Positives: Rare blend of skills. Few players of his size have his athleticism and quickness. The measurables are all there. … Strong. He holds up well when getting pounded on and doesn’t get shoved around. … When he’s locked in, he’s unblockable at times. Great at getting around and through blockers.
Negatives: Is he really a football player? He didn’t really take to the game until late, and while there’s a world of upside, he’s still learning on the fly. … He has miles to go before he gets his technique right. It’s going to be ugly at times before he gets a little more experience. … Major bust potential. If he doesn’t have the right drive, he could quickly regress.
Really, What’s He Going To Do In The NFL? There are huge, glaring red flags and warning signs, but the upside is through the roof. With the right coaching and a little bit of patience, he could be special.
CFN Pre-Combine DE Rankings, No. 11 to 25