2009 NFL Draft
The Top Defensive End Prospects
2009 NFL Combine Numbers
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Full Player Breakdowns & Analysis To Come In March
2008 CFN Draft Central
2008 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1. Brian Orakpo, Texas 6-3,
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 1
The Combine was a microcosm of everything Orakpo is, for good and bad.
He was a terror at times running a 4.7, benching 225 pounds 31 times,
and leaping over 39 inches, but he hurt his hamstring raising even more
questions about his durability.
combination of size and speed … Tremendous athlete. Unstoppable pass
rusher with a variety of moves … Great burst. The offenses knew what was
coming and still couldn’t stop him.
Negatives: Durability concerns
… Questions about motor. Great when it’s on. … Good run stopper, but
he’s a pass rusher.
2. Aaron Maybin, Penn State
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 2
Post-Combine Skinny: He was even more rangy then expected,
measuring taller than originally listed. While his straight-line speed
was fine, running a 4.88, he lit it up in the cone and shuttle drills.
The explosion came through in the vertical (38") and broad jump (10'4"),
but the 22 benches was a bit of a concern.
Phenomenal athleticism … Can be used in a variety of ways on the
outside. Tremendous quickness … Can cut on a dime.
Negatives: Not all that big.
At 245 pounds, he might be an outside linebacker … Needs to prove he can
handle himself against power running teams … Needs a few more pass rush
3. Everette Brown, Florida State
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 3
Post-Combine Skinny: A bit of a disappointment when he was measured
smaller than expected, he made up for it with a good workout with solid
numbers all across the board. He was every bit as quick and athletic as
advertised, and the 26 lifts on the bench didn't hurt.
Explosive burst off the line … A tremendous pass rusher when he gets on
a roll … Tremendous athlete. Way too quick for most tackles.
Negatives: Will have problems
shedding blockers at the next level … Needs more moves. Has gotten by on
sheer athleticism …. This is it. He’s not going to get any bigger.
Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech 6-7, 266
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 6
Post-Combine Skinny: Everyone was expected to see a major-league
workout from one of the best all-around combinations of skills in the
draft, and he didn't disappoint with 28 reps, a fantastic 4.75 in the
40, a tremendous 10-8 on the broad jump, and quickness and athleticism
Positives: Has top-five
overall skill set … Dream combination of size, athleticism, quickness,
speed, and strength. He has it all … When the light is turned on, he’s
an unstoppable difference maker.
Negatives: Stunningly mediocre
against the run for a player of his size … Huge questions about his
desire to be elite. Will he pay the price? … If he wants to dedicate
himself to being a killer, he might be the best player in the draft. Few
scouts believe he’ll put it all together.
Paul Kruger, Utah 6-3,
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 5
Post-Combine Skinny: He was fine, but hardly special. It would've
been nice if he showed off a bit more athleticism and quickness, and the
40 (4.86) and bench (24) were decent. No, he didn't do anything to hurt
himself, but it would've been nice to have seen a bit more.
Positives: Excellent producer
at a high level … Always working. Great at getting into the backfield on
want-to, and not just athleticism … Good against the run. Holds up well.
Negatives: Not explosive off
the line. Takes a step or two to get going (but is fast when he gets
moving) … A bit lanky. Could stand to get a bit bigger … Needs a little
work on technique.
Tyson Jackson, LSU
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 7
Post-Combine Skinny: It would've been nice if he was able to show
off his strength, but he didn't lift. He ran well, coming in at under
5.0, and he measured to be every bit as big as expected. However, the
average jump of 28.5" showed a lack of explosion and pop in his legs.
Tremendous size and strength. Can play inside or out, and probably would
fit best in a 3-4 … Good against the run … Ramped up the intensity level
last year, and it showed.
Negatives: Not a pass rusher and won’t put up flashy numbers … Was
considered an underachiever at times in his career … Not explosive.
Connor Barwin, Cincinnati 6-4,
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 15
(as an outside linebacker)
Post-Combine Skinny: More questions came up about his possible
position. Whatever he's going to be, he was impressive in his quickness
and athleticism. He'll either be an explosive and speedy defensive end,
running a good 4.66 in the 40 and blowing through the short drills
better than any other defensive lineman, or he'll be a strong
Athletic, former basketball player and tight end who moved to defensive
end … Tremendous pass rusher. Surprisingly polished … Always working.
He needs a position. Not an NFL defensive end, and not quite athletic
enough to be a star at linebacker unless he’s in the right spot … Needs
more work. Only played defense for one year.
8. Robert Ayers, Tennessee 6-3,
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 4
Post-Combine Skinny: Ayers had a chance to make a major splash, but
he went the other way with a pathetic (for his size) 17 presses on the
bench. He showed good speed in the 40 (4.8) and he he was athletic, but
the lack of raw strength was galling.
Positives: Playmaker in
the backfield … Good combination of size and quickness … Can play in any
A good pass rusher, but not an elite one … Not necessarily a creative
pass rusher … Has to keep the intensity rolling all the time.
David Veikune, Hawaii
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 14
Post-Combine Skinny: He was a bit shorter than expected. That
was the only knock for one of the high-risers on defense. His 4.87 40
was good enough, and his quickness and athleticism stood out in the
short drills, but the real eye-popper was the bench ... 35 lifts.
Fast. Quick. Always around the ball … Could be a superior pass rusher if
he has someone else of note on the other side … Productive
Negatives: An outside
linebacker. He’ll likely have to be an end in a 4-3, otherwise he’s a
3-4 linebacker … Not big and doesn’t have room to get much bigger.
Pannel Egboh, Stanford
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 16
Post-Combine Skinny: Was even bigger than expected but moved
like a much smaller lineman. He shockingly moved through the short
drills without a problem and ran a good 4.9. The broad jump of 9-6 was
also excellent. He really helped himself.
Great when he gets on the move … A fast closer. With a little tweaking,
he could be an unstoppable pass rusher … Long. Tall and big.
Negatives: Not flashy out of
the box. Little explosion … Still needs work. Not refined … Plays too
tall. Has to learn to do more to get down and get under pads.
Matt Shaughnessy, Wisconsin
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 15
Post-Combine Skinny: It was a good weekend for the oft-injured
Badger. He showed the quickness of a smaller player and ran a 4.88. The
24 bench presses were fine. Basically, he proved he can be a regular
contributor, but he's not going to be a star.
A great combination of quickness and strength … Able to play just about
anywhere on the line. Plays bigger than his size … Good worker.
Negatives: Has to get stronger
and bigger, but might not be able to bulk up too much more without
losing his quickness … Injury issues. Tore his ACL and broke his leg …
Not fluid. Not a natural pass rusher.
12. Brandon Williams, Texas Tech
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 10
Post-Combine Skinny: Faster on the field than in the workouts,
but the 4,92 was good enough. He didn't lift, so he didn't show off his
strength, but he was among the quickest and smoothest linemen in the
Fast. Once he gets moving, he’s unstoppable … Is always around the ball.
Has a linebacker instinct for getting to the play … Good array of moves.
Negatives: Not big. Not
strong enough to hold up against the run … Might have to grow into an
outside linebacker depending on the scheme … When tackles lock on to
him, it’s over.
13. Michael Bennett, Texas A&M
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 11
Post-Combine Skinny: With his size, he needed to show he had
the athleticism go along with it. He did. While he wasn't all that great
in the drills, he was under 5.0 in the 40 and he shook a little of the
lack of strength rep with 24 lifts.
Excellent athlete for his size … Looks the part. Has the prototype size
and quickness … Moves well. Could grow into a great pass rusher.
Negatives: No motor. Needs to
have a coach or three light into him … Doesn’t play up to his talent …
Needs to get stronger.
14. Mitch King, Iowa (DT)
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 9
Post-Combine Skinny: Expected to be a tweener, he did nothing to
dispel the notion. Too small to be a regular tackle, he might only be a
3-4 end. The 4.89 in the 40 and the quickness helped, but the 23 reps
were a bit light.
Ultra-productive inside playmaker who was around every play … Nasty.
Plays with a big-time attitude … Uses his leverage well. Lack of height
has been an advantage so far.
Negatives: A tweener. Not fast enough to play end and not strong
enough, or big enough, to be an NFL tackle … Might need the right team
to be productive … Not a closer. He doesn’t get to the quarterback.
15. Will Davis, Illinois
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 12
Post-Combine Skinny: Illinois players always seem to work out
well. Davis came through with a good combination of speed and
athleticism running a 4.88 to go along with 27 bench presses. He still
might be a bit of a tweener, but he's not quick enough to be a
Great athlete … Former wide receiver who’s still growing into his
potential … Can be a dangerous situational pass rusher.
Negatives: Needs a lot of
polish … He’s not a run stopper yet. He needs to keep bulking up … Needs
to be consistent.
16. Kyle Moore, USC
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 13
Post-Combine Skinny: A slight disappointment. He was big and
wasn't stiff, but he didn't do anything special. He needs to get
stronger and he has to show more explosion in short range.
One of the stronger ends … Good athleticism. Good on the move … Has all
the tools. He could blossom in the right system and the right coach.
Negatives: Needs to have a
fire lit under him … Underachieved. Was fine, but wasn’t special … Too
soft. Will get shoved around too often.
Derek Walker, Illinois 6-4,
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 17
Post-Combine Skinny: Known for being a strong defender, the 24
reps was a bit underwhelming. However, he was extremely quick and moved
in the shuttle and cone drills with ease. He helped himself and now
should flirt with the third round.
Positives: Works hard.
Doesn’t just rely on his size … Very strong and very physical against
the run … A good football player. He wants to be good. Always working.
Negatives: Not a natural pass
rusher. Might have to be in a 3-4 … Would be better as a small tackle
than a true end … Decent in all areas. Not elite in any one way.
18. Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 23
Post-Combine Skinny: He needed to come up with a great Combine
to make up for the lack of D-I experience issue. With 28 reps, a 4.64
40, and explosion and quickness in the short drills, he proved he's a
prospect worthy of developing. He did everything he needed to do to be
on the radar.
Positives: Good pass rusher …
Long, athletic body with room to grow … Hits like a ton of bricks.
Negatives: Has to prove he can
do it against top shelf competition … Needs to get bigger and stronger …
Has relied on athleticism so far.
19. Phillip Hunt, Houston
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 19
Post-Combine Skinny: Wasn't At The Combine
An elite pass rusher … Major-league disruptive force … Plays better than
Doesn’t look the part … Held his own in the post-season circuit, but
might have to be a linebacker to make a roster … Needs the right fit and
won’t hold up against the run.
20. Tim Jamison, Michigan
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 18
Post-Combine Skinny: The workout didn't help him. He was
smaller than just about everyone else and didn't show the athleticism of
some of the bigger guys. The 21 reps weren't good and the 5.03 40 was
even worse. He doesn't have a position.
Frame to get stronger. Has the body … Big hitter who packs a punch
… Could be a strong NFL run stopper in any defensive scheme.
Negatives: Not a pure pass
rusher by NFL standards … Not consistent. Can get erased for stretches
by better OTs … Doesn’t have a lot of moves, even though he’s quick.
21. Stryker Sulak, Missouri
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 20
Post-Combine Skinny: He beefed up a bit getting to over 250,
and now he doesn't appear to be as rangy. The 4.77 was excellent and he
was tremendously quick in the cone and shuttle drills. However, if he
wants to be a regular end, he has to get stronger.
Great pass rusher …. Quick off the ball. Can drop into pass coverage
well … Always working. Always moving.
Negatives: Way too lanky. Not
built like an end … Not quite athletic enough to be a regular linebacker
… Will likely have to be a specialist.
22. Nick Reed, Oregon
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 21
Wasn't At The Combine
Big-time pass rusher … Always working. Great motor … Ultra-productive
against everyone in the Pac 10.
Negatives: Too small … Not
quite fast enough to play linebacker, too small to play end … A
specialist. Will need to find the right fit.
23. Ian Campbell,
Kansas State 6-4, 265
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 22
Post-Combine Skinny: He struggled at KSU when moved to
linebacker, but he showed the athleticism to potentially move outside at
the next level. He blew through the drills with as much athleticism and
quickness as most linebackers, much less the ends. He'll have come up
with one more big workout, especially in the weight room, to be assured
of an early second day pick.
Positives: Tremendous pass
rusher if in the right scheme … Always moving. Tries to make every play
… Strong tackler.
Never improved after breakout sophomore season …Didn’t produce in
space when moved to linebacker … Not strong enough.
Rulon Davis, California
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 24
Post-Combine Skinny: A 3-4 end, he was a major disappointment
in the weight room with just 20 presses on the bench. With his size, he
wasn't strong enough to make up for his average quickness in the short
drills. In other words, he didn't come through like he needed to.
Very big and very athletic … Former Marine who goes 100% all the time …
Tough as nails.
While he’ll fight through injuries, he’s always hurt … Major medical
issues … Old. Served in Iraq before going the JUCO route.
Maurice Evans, Penn State
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 8
Post-Combine Skinny: A flat-out disaster. He needed to impress with
his numbers, and didn't. The 17 reps on the bench were horrendous, while
the 5.03 40 wasn't good for a supposed pass rusher. He wasn't quick
enough and wasn't athletic enough, and now, an end considered to be a
possible first rounder at the end of last year might not get drafted
Elite pass rusher … Quick out of the box. Has the potential to make one
big game-changing play per game … Strong. Really strong.
Negatives: Knocked down on
everyone’s draft list after off-the-field issues regarding pot
possession … Needs a little technique work. Not necessarily going to
dominate from day one … Not tall. A bit squatty for a pass rusher.