2013 NFL Draft - Defensive Ends No. 11-25

Posted Apr 18, 2013

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

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings

DEs - No. 11 to 25

By Pete Fiutak
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- 2013 Defensive End Rankings

11. William Gholston, Michigan State (Jr.) 6-6, 281
Can he get past the family name? His cousin, Vernon, was one of the biggest busts of the last decade, but he isn't the same player with a tall, lean frame and the perfect look. With an impossible frame to throw over, he disrupts passing lanes and screws things up. With a variety of moves and pass rushing tools, he does a little of everything right to get into the backfield and makes things happen. Tough, he's nice against the run and engulfs everything that comes his way. However, he gets blocked way too easily and goes bye-bye from time to time. When he's in a groove he's fantastic, but he doesn't have a full-tilt motor and he's not going to be the type who demands a double team and makes offensive coordinators worry, but he'll be a decent part-time starter who'll find a role.
CFN Projection: Third Round

12. Quanterus Smith, WKU (Jr.) 6-4, 250
While he's a one-trick specialist, he could be phenomenal at that one thing. A pure pass rushing prospect who gets off the ball in a hurry, he's a tremendous athlete who cuts well and could carve out a long career as a playmaker into the backfield. First, through, he needs to get healthy after suffering a torn ACL late in the season and missing a chance to show what he could do in offseason workouts. While he got by in the Sun Belt by being more athletic than everyone else, he didn't do all the little things right and still needs seasoning. He needs to use his rehab time to transform his body and get stronger to hold up against the run, but he'll be used to do one thing right. It's going to take a year to start working on what he can become, but he'll be worth the wait.
CFN Projection: Third Round

13. Michael Buchanan, Illinois 6-5, 255
If he gets with the right team and the right coach, he could be one of the biggest steals of the draft if he falls outside of the third round – he could be just scratching the surface. The talent has always been there to become an elite pass rushing end, but he still hasn't been able to put it all together. With good quickness and athleticism, he could work as an outside linebacker or a smallish end and he has all the basics to become a pass rushing terror with a little bit of time. Keeping weight on could be a problem after having a hard time staying up over 250 on a regular basis after his jaw was wired shut, and it showed as he got shoved around way too easily. He'll never hold up against the run and he needs a lot of work to come up with a slew of moves, but he has the upside to become a dangerous specialist.
CFN Projection: Third Round

14. Corey Lemonier, Auburn (Jr.) 6-3, 255
With good enough quickness to get by, he has the potential to become a top pass rushing specialist with a little bit of time. Creative, he has a nice repertoire of moves and is able to find a way to be disruptive even when nothing else is working. There isn't much more room to get bigger, already rocked up and in fantastic shape, he's strong and looks the part in workouts. Throw in the great motor, and he has the basics to do a little of everything right as an end or an outside linebacker. He's not going to be a run stopper and he's going to get bullied by anyone who locks on, and he's not quite athletic enough to make up for the other issues. He'll probably be taken at least a round too early, but he's worth a mid-round flier.
CFN Projection: Third Round

15. Devin Taylor, South Carolina 6-7, 266
With a huge frame and a great wingspan, he has the NFL look to go along with tremendous athleticism and quickness. A high school track star, he brings the speed and special tools to the field to go along with great hitting ability and good fight. The tools are rare and special, and while he was decent in college, he could be phenomenal with a little more time and seasoning. The problem is figuring out exactly what he'll do at the next level, getting chopped down way too easily and having a hard time when blockers get into him off the ball – he doesn't shed well. Getting stronger is a must and adding another 15 pounds of hard muscle wouldn't be a bad idea, but with his athleticism, he could be special with the right tweaking.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

16. Joe Kruger, Utah (Jr.) 6-6, 269
Extremely big and with a great frame, he's excellent at using his length and is tough to get around. Still growing, still learning and still maturing, there's a world of potential with the ability to add another ten pounds on his frame without a problem to go along with decent pass rushing skills. Now he needs to get stronger against the run with his length a problem against power blockers who are able to chop him down. There's not enough athleticism to become a pass rushing specialist, and he still needs a whole bunch of work and coaching to come up with NFL moves that work. He's a project, but he should be a cheap late prospect.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

17. Stansly Maponga, TCU (Jr.) 6-2, 256
Extremely active, he's always working and he always has the switch turned on. While he's not really built for an NFL position – too small to be an end and not fast and athletic enough to be an outside linebacker – he's simply a good football player beyond the raw numbers. He has a big man's game without the big man's body, likely to get beaten on by the more physical blockers and without the raw speed to fly into the backfield. However, he's extremely strong and should be able to hold his own more often than not, and there's upside once a coaching staff figures out where he's playing.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

18. Tourek Williams, FIU 6-3 260
Really, really fast, he has terrific straight-line speed with a great motor and desire to make plays. A great leader and well respected, he's the type of playmaker who others follow by example, and he delivers on the field. He's not going to hold up against the run and he's going to be a specialist as either a 4-3 end or an outside linebacker, but he could be a terror with his fight and burst. He might only be a one down defender, but there's a chance to be devastating on that play.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

19. David Bass, Missouri Western State 6-4, 262
An extremely durable, very experienced pure pass rusher, the D-II stats and production were phenomenal. With his size and quickness, if he was coming from Missouri instead of Missouri Western State, on looks alone he might be a top 75 pick, but there's still a big question mark about his functional strength and next level athleticism, and he got by at the lower level by being far better and far more skilled than anyone he faced, but he didn't advance his game because he didn't have to. There's a good chance he could turn into a good all-around end or linebacker with a little bit of time and a lot of hard coaching, but he'll be able to handle it. He'll do whatever a coaching staff needs and he'll work his way into a rotation.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

20. Lavar Edwards, LSU 6-4, 277
Long with a huge frame, he looks the part and is impossible to get around. Extremely athletic, he has the raw tools to go along with the size to become a pure pass rushing specialist in just about any system. He needs ton of technique work and he's not going to hold up against the run, but there's a chance a defensive coordinator could to a little bit of tweaking and then turn him loose on third downs. The athleticism and straight-line speed are too impressive to pass up.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

21. Kapron Lewis-Moore, Notre Dame 6-3, 298
When will he be ready to go? After suffering a torn ACL in the BCS Championship to make a horrible day a total disaster, he's going to need at least a year on the shelf to get healthy again and maybe even more time to get back to form, but there's a payoff. With a tall, long body, he's a perfect 3-4 end who can even move out a bit more and become a forceful, brutish pass rusher. He's not a great athlete and his burst is going to be even more of an issue after his latest knee problem, but he'll work to get back and should be a nice part of a puzzle in a few years. At the very least, he'll be a decent swing backup who could be used in a variety of ways.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

22. Armonty Bryant, East Central 6-4, 263
Extremely athletic with cut-on-a-dime quickness and tight end straight line speed, he has a rare skill set with pure pass rushing upside. Yes, is was against a lower level of competition, but he was unstoppable coming up with 26.5 sacks and forcing offenses to adjust their gameplans. Always working and always moving, he combines his basic talent with the hustle to close hard and not let a sack get away. He'll slip in the draft because of past off-the-field problems – he was arrested and suspended after getting caught selling pot – but he came back roaring. Even so, he bounced around schools and has a ton of red flags, and while he has limitless upside as a pass rusher or an outside linebacker, he's not going to be worth the risk until late.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

23. Abry Jones, Georgia 6-3, 313
Not really and end and more like a tackle, he's built for a 3-4 with a massive frame that's tough to get around and the fight and want-to to be better. He'll make himself into a player by his work effort, giving a coaching staff everything it wants. Now he needs to transform his body and drop about 25 pounds of bad weight to improve his speed and quickness. Not much of a collegiate pass rusher, he needs to find a role right away as a versatile option and a swing backup.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

24. Travis Long, Washington State 6-4, 249
It's all about his health and upside after tearing his ACL late in the year. With fantastic straight line speed and the energy to always be working and always pushing his way behind the line, he has just enough athleticism to go along with the desire to make big plays. Tough, he'll fight through everything to do what he must, but he's not an elite athlete and now he has to come back from his injury. Is he good enough to wait around a year or two for? Considering his potential as an outside linebacker and pass rushing upside as a 4-3 end, if he can use his time off to bulk up and get to about 260, he could become a nice developmental prospect.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

25. Walt Stewart, Cincinnati 6-4, 246
Can he physically play? There's a big concern about a back issue that kept him out of the Combine, and while he's supposedly okay, he's going to be a red flag on several draft boards. If all is fine, he looks the part with an excellent speed burst and tremendous pass rushing skills and tools to go along with the fight to work on his craft, but he's built more like a rangy outside linebacker and might have a shelf life of around ten minutes because of his health issues. He's worth a look in a camp, but he's a mega-risk.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

- 2013 Defensive End Rankings