2013 NFL Draft - Defensive Ends

Posted Apr 18, 2013

From a college football perspective, the analysis of the top defensive end prospects.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Defensive Ends

By Pete Fiutak
Follow Us ... @ColFootballNews 

2013 NFL Draft Analysis
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers
- 2012 Defensive  End Rankings

- 2013 Defensive Ends - No. 11-25

2014 Top DE Prospects
1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (Jr.)
2. Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
3. Aaron Lynch, USF (Jr.)
4. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame (Jr.)
5. Morgan Breslin, USC
6. Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State (Jr.)
7. Kony Ealy, Missouri (Jr.)
8. Devonte Fields, TCU (Soph.)*
9. Scott Crichton, Oregon State (Jr.)
10. Giorgio Newberry, Florida State (Soph.)
11. Will Sutton, Arizona State (DT)
12. Ray Drew, Georgia (Jr.)
13. Ryne Giddins, South Florida
14. Marcus Rush, Michigan State (Jr.)
15. Jeoffrey Pagan, Alabama (Jr.)
*Not eligible until 2015
2012 CFN Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DTs
- ILBs | OLBs | CBs | Ss

2011 CFN Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | FBs | WRs
- TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs 
- OLBs | ILBs | DTs | DEs
- CBs | Ss  

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs
This Class Is … wishing it was next year when Jadeveon Clowney will be eligible.

The top prospects likely to go off the board either need work and time – Ezekial Ansah of BYU – or are living off of inflated stats – Bjoern Warner of Florida State. There are going to be some gigantic misses and more sleeper hits with fewer sure things and far less talent than at tackle.

It's a tremendous boom-or-bust class hurt by injuries and concerns. Florida State's Cornellius Carradine is probably the most talented all-around end in the draft, but he's going to need a year to come back from a torn ACL, as will Western Kentucky pass rushing star Quanterus Smith and Notre Dame's Kapron Lewis-Moore. FSU's Brandon Jenkins could be the best pure pass rusher in the draft, but he's still trying to come back from a knee injury.

There aren't any must-have prospects who can change around a defense and a franchise right away, but down the road, at least two of midrange prospects are going to seem obvious after the fact. Good luck trying to figure out which ones those two will be out of this bunch.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … Cornellius Carradine, Florida State
Most Underrated … Quanterus Smith, WKU
Most Overrated … Ezekial Ansah, BYU
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Travis Chappalear, NW Missouri State

1. Cornellius Carradine, Florida State 6-4, 276
In a boom-or-bust draft for defensive ends, and without a sure-thing future Pro Bowler, there's no one with more upside or potential – if there aren't any sure-thing superstars, go for the home run.

Yes, there was a time not all that long ago when Carradine wasn't even the third best end on his own team, but that changed once he got a shot to show what he could do, proving to be far steadier than Bjoern Werner and a far more active run stopper than Brandon Jenkins.

A JUCO superstar, "Tank" stepped in at Florida State and immediately became one of the team's best all-around defensive players with tremendous size, phenomenal speed and athleticism to go along with the willingness and drive to get to the ball and make the tough tackles. Tackle-strong against power running games, he doesn't stay blocked and is always moving and always working. But there's one major problem – he tore his ACL late in the season.

Selecting him requires taking a chance on greatness considering he needs at least a year to get back to form, but in a way the time off could be a blessing in disguise. He needs technique work and he'll need plenty of fine-point tweaking, so a redshirt year to get acclimated to a pro environment could be a step back initially to come out roaring two years from now. If it wasn't for the knee injury he'd be a sure-thing first rounder, and he could play up to that level in a big hurry once he works his way back into form.
CFN Projection: Third Round

2. Alex Okafor, Texas 6-5, 264
For all those looking for the rock-solid, totally safe, no-bust, defensive producer, Okafor is it. He might not have the high-end talent of several of the prospects in this draft, but you know exactly what you're going to get. Well built, he has decent size and strength against the run with the quickness to be a decent pass rusher from a variety of ways and angles. He's never going to fly into the backfield, but he's creative, sound and disciplined – the Texas run defense was a problem last year, but it wasn't his fault. He knows exactly what he's doing and he's always going to bring the effort as a potential leader and main man for a defensive front, even if he's not the best player on a line. There's not going to be anything special about what he'll do as either an outside linebacker or an end, and he'll never put up big sack totals, but get him on a line and he'll start and be sound from Day One.
CFN Projection: Second Round

3. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M (Jr.) 6-5, 250
While he's not going to be Von Miller, he's an extremely talented pass rusher who flies off the ball with tremendous athleticism and a quick burst. Forget about the disastrous 40 time that hovered near the five-second mark; he plays fast when the lights are on and he's active at getting around the ball when he needs to. Instinctive, he finds a way to be one step ahead of everyone else and he's always coming up with the big play. The problem is his tools – they aren't there at a high level. Miller was unbelievable in offseason workouts when he came out, but Moore isn't nearly in the same class. Athletic on the field, he had a rough Combine and won't be able to fly into the backfield like he did in college, but as long as he's producing during games and if he's a part of a good D and not the focus, he'll be fine. This is going to be one of the toughest and diciest picks in the draft because of his upside and disruptive ability – he could be the best pass rushing end – but he's hardly a sure thing and could bust out if he struggles to get to the quarterback right away. He still needs to mature into his body and his game, but there are too many good parts to let him slide too far after the first round.
CFN Projection: Second Round

4. Datone Jones, UCLA 6-4, 283
Very big and very fluid, he moves well for a player of his size with the ability to play anywhere on the line from outside in a 4-3 or tackle in the right system. Able to cut on a dime, he can get the edge as a quick speed rusher at times or can rise up and stuff the run and hold his own against the stronger interior blockers. While he plays a bit high and gets chopped down a bit too easily, and he might not have a set position as a jack-of-all-trades, the tools are impressive enough to find a job for a long time once it all comes together. It might take a little bit of time and patience, and he has to make sure his motor is cranked up to 11 at all times, but he's a terrific all-around football player who'll turn into a solid starter.
CFN Projection: Second Round

5. Bjoern Werner, Florida State (Jr.) 6-3, 266
Way overhyped and way overrated, he came up with a huge game against a Florida offensive line that couldn't pass block – see the Louisville's performance in the Sugar Bowl – and with four of his sacks and five of his 18 tackles for loss coming in the opener against Murray State. Throw in the production against Savannah State and the big game against Wake Forest, and other than the Gator day, almost all of his big plays came in the first three weeks of the season. Erased by too many decent tackles and surrounded by tremendous talent on the Seminole front line, there are big concerns for a possible top ten overall pick. However, with the fight and motor to always be working, he'll occasionally get in the backfield on want-to. He was a disappointment in offseason workouts after playing faster and quicker than he actually timed – that's not necessarily a bad thing – but he'll bust his tail to become a good NFL starter who could put up nice numbers with one big play a game.
CFN Projection: First Round

6. Brandon Jenkins, Florida State 6-3, 251
A much stronger prospect before he got hurt at the beginning of last season with a foot injury, he's still trying to come back and has been knocked down a few pegs because he hasn't been able to show what he can do in workouts. He's not as big as you'd like for a full-time defensive end, but he's athletic enough to see time as an outside linebacker in the right system. A superstar pass rushing prospect before the injury, he holds up well against the run and cuts and moves like a much smaller playmaker. Silky smooth and extremely crafty, when he's right he has all the ability to become a Pro Bowl caliber pass rushing specialist. Consistency has been an issue in the past and there's a hard ceiling on what he can become without getting a lot stronger, but he could be a sensational value pick. Before getting hurt he was considered a first rounder as another possible Von Miller, but he'll slide.
CFN Projection: Third Round

7. Sam Montgomery, LSU (Jr.) 6-3, 262
A better football player than a tester, he doesn't move quite as well as you might like and doesn't explode off the ball as a pure pass rusher, but he makes things happen. He's a fighter who'll beat up his man and held up well against the best of the best SEC blockers showing decent power against the run and a good motor. While there might be some concerns after a rocky time at the Combine, and he might need a coaching staff to keep on him and keep pushing him to improve, he's one of the most complete ends in the draft. He might not do any one thing extremely well, and he might not have Pro Bowl tools with little upside, but he'll be a longtime starter who'll be far steadier than spectacular.
CFN Projection: Third Round

8. Ezekial Ansah, BYU 6-5, 271
Right out of central casting, he looks exactly like you'd want an NFL defensive end to be with the size, body frame. Throw in the athleticism and quickness, and on raw tools he's an almost perfect prospect in terms of measurables. Still just scratching the surface, he didn't take to football until late after starting out his career on the track team. Everything kicked in quickly as he became great against the run last season and started to put it all together as a pass rusher. His offseason workouts got everyone all hot and bothered, but he's going to be way, way, WAY overdrafted with major bust potential. He still has to learn how to play and do all the little things right, and he doesn't have nearly enough polish to be ready right out of the box. With his athleticism and skills he can be molded into something special, but if he's not getting to the quarterback right away, he's not going to be worth the lofty pick.
CFN Projection: First Round

9. Margus Hunt, SMU 6-8, 277
An athletic marvel, he's huge, fast and athletic enough to be the type of rare playmaker who can transform a defense. Built like an NBA power forward, he uses his size extremely well and is impossible to get around. With freakish tools as a former track star in the discus and shot put, he has the athleticism and the speed to become a devastating pass rusher and disruptive force. Fast off the ball and with a great fire to come up with the big play, he could turn into a dominant pass rushing force who could change games by himself. But how much time does he have in the league? Turning 26 this season, there's not much room for growth and tweaking – what you see is what you'll get. Not polished in any way, he'll be asked to get into the backfield, and that's it. He'll be wildly inconsistent and will disappear for painfully long stretches, but when he takes over from time to time it'll be something special.
CFN Projection: Second Round

10. Mallicah Goodman, Clemson 6-4, 276
Extremely strong, he's one of the better run stopping ends in the draft with the build to be a 3-4 end or be used like a tackle. He's not an athlete and he's never going to fly into the backfield and be an elite NFL pass rusher, but he has the prototype body and he fights to make plays behind the line. Cut, he doesn't need any work with a strength and conditioning coach and carries his weight well. Now it all needs to translate to the field by playing stronger and dominating on a regular basis. It's not like hyped up Clemson linemen have taken the world by storm, and he's not going to be a star to build a line around, but he'll be a solid producer who'll hold his own.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

- 2013 Defensive Ends - No. 11-25