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2010 NFL Draft - Defensive End Rankings
Greg Hardy, Brandon Graham, Derrick Morgan
Greg Hardy, Brandon Graham, Derrick Morgan
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 9, 2010


It's not a good class of defensive ends with few sure things, but there are some decent pass rushing prospects like Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan, Michigan's Brandon Graham, and Greg Hardy from Ole Miss. Check out the CFN ranking of the top DEs along with the most overrated and underrated prospects.

2010 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Defensive Ends


By Pete Fiutak

2010 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Results
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs 

2010 NFL Combine
- Offensive Winners  
- Offensive Losers 
- Defensive Winners 
- Defensive Losers

This Class Is … Lousy. There isn’t a sure-thing pass rusher in the bunch and the top prospects could be mediocre if Jason Pierre-Paul isn’t great. There are several boom-or-bust players like Carlos Dunlap, Everson Griffen and Greg Hardy, but there aren’t a lot of sure things.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … Alex Carrington, Arkansas State
Most Underrated … Kevin Basped, Nevada
Most Overrated … C.J. Wilson, East Carolina
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Junior Galette, Stillman

1. Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech 6-3, 266
The raw skills are there with excellent speed, good quickness, and nice size. With a long frame he could still add at least ten pounds without losing much, and with his strength he could fine in anywhere up front in either a 3-4 or a 4-3. Always the No. 1 focus of every blocking scheme, he still produced at a high level. However, he can be erased at times by top offensive tackles and will disappear for stretches. There are some who might be thinking about moving him to outside linebacker, but that would be a mistake; he’s an end. The key to his career will be adding more to the repertoire as a pass rusher since a lot of the big plays he came up with in college won’t translate; he’s not necessarily a speed rusher at an NFL level. While he might not be a dominant sackmaster, he’ll be a very, very good all-around defender for a long time with the drive to get better. There’s almost no bust factor.
CFN Projection: First Round

2. Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida 6-5, 270
It could be argued that he’s the biggest X factor in the entire draft. There isn’t a big body of work to go on, he was a JUCO transfer who only did it for one year at USF, but the raw skills are Hall of Fame level even if they don’t match his ability as a football player. Very big with the prototype look, he’s also extremely fluid moving around the short drills at the Combine like a safety and running a solid 4.64. Able to fly off the ball, he has the skills to become an elite pass rusher while also showing the upside to do far more. If he hits the weights hard he could become even better as he has to get his weight room strength up a bit. A major, MAJOR risk, there’s mega-disaster potential if he’s taken high and eats up a ton of salary cap dough.
CFN Projection: First Round

3. Brandon Graham, Michigan 6-1, 268 (OLB)
After destroying everyone in the Senior Bowl and the practices leading up to the game, he stepped up even more in the Combine with 31 reps on the bench and a nice 4.72 40. Always working and always looking to crank out the big play, he’s explosive, has great closing ability, and is all over the field. He’s not an elite athlete and is a bit of a tweener, and there will be times when he gets erased by talented tackles. While he worked out well, he’s an even better football player even though he’s not as tall as many would like and he doesn’t have the perfect look.
CFN Projection: First Round

4. Everson Griffen, USC 6-3, 273
A slight disappointment, he was always good, but he wasn’t an elite performer. The strength and size are there, running an excellent 4.66 40 and lifting 32 reps of 225 pounds, but his raw skills have never been a question mark. Now he needs to get his butt in gear and play up to his talent on a regular basis. There will be moments when he’s special, and then he’ll disappear for long stretches. Someone will fall in love with him on the workouts alone, but it’ll take a great coach to get the best out of him.
CFN Projection: Second Round

5. Carlos Dunlap, Florida 6-6, 277
On talent and skills he might be a top five talent. The epitome of the million-dollar-talent, ten-cent head cliché, he has the size and the explosive quickness to become a devastating NFL pass rusher, but can he get the engine revved up to play full-time? A ghost way too often on the field, and with some issues off of it (including a DUI), there’s major bust potential. Not helping his cause were, according to several insiders, a poor showing in various interviews. However, he’s a tremendous all-around talent with Pro Bowl skills, and there’s a chance he could be far better in a pro setting than a college one. Of course, when it comes to having a fire lit under him, if Urban Meyer couldn’t get it done …
CFN Projection: Second Round

6. Alex Carrington, Arkansas State 6-5, 285
Very tall, very long, and very hard working, he’s a silky-smooth 285-pounder with the strength to match his quickness. Able to play either end position, he’s cut, tough, and can get off the ball in a hurry. He’ll need to learn to play up to his tools a bit better and he needs to put together a better group of pass rushing moves to count on, but he was more than great in offseason workouts and should be a rock-solid long time pro. There isn’t a high ceiling, but there’s little bust potential.
CFN Projection: Third Round

7. Greg Hardy, Ole Miss 6-4, 281
One of the bigger boom-or-bust prospects among the defenders, he plays fast on the field, even if he timed poorly in offseason workouts, and is a top-shelf, athletic closer when he gets a beat on a quarterback. As a pure pass rusher, he might be the best in the draft and if you’re asking for one or two big plays a game, he should be able to provide them. However, he’s always dinged up, extremely flaky, and he gets erased against the run way too easily. If he’s not asked to do too much and if a team isn’t counting on him for a full season, he could be a game-changer a few times a year.
CFN Projection: Third Round

8. Corey Wootton, Northwestern 6-6, 270
With outstanding size, great length, and a fantastic physique, he’s an intimidating force with the quickness to match the measurables. There’s still a sense of unfinished business on what he can become as he was just coming into his own before suffering a devastating knee injury, and he wasn’t quite back to his old self last year. Very candid that he didn’t work nearly hard enough early in his career, he has the fire and the fight to reach his potential. Can he get back the quickness and explosiveness? Someone will have to take a chance on him without fully knowing what he’ll be a few years from now.
CFN Projection: Third Round

9. Lindsey Witten, Connecticut 6-4, 250 (OLB)
A true tweener, he’s a good athlete with a high motor, but he’s a linebacker who plays on the end. The problem is his lack of size for the line and his average quickness and athleticism as a linebacker. A great pass rusher who worked to make himself better, he’s strong for his size and he has the room to get bigger. Explosive off the line, he should be able to get up to around 265 pounds and not lose a thing. However, there’s little upside, he’ll be beaten up by bigger NFL linemen, and he’ll need to be a situational pass rusher early on and likely won’t be able to hold up on first downs.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

10. C.J. Wilson, East Carolina 6-3, 290
A big 3-4 end who cranked out an impressive 32 reps on the bench at the Combine. Athletic for his size, he can move well and could be used just about anywhere with some of the most versatile raw skills in the draft. He’ll never be a top pass rusher and he’s not polished, but he’s tough, won’t be out of the lineup without something major happening, and could be an interesting and safe mid-round flier.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

11. Jermaine Cunningham, Florida 6-3, 266 (OLB)
His stock has dropped off the map after being considered a possible first rounder not all that long ago. The size is there, the athleticism and talent are undeniable, and he has produced at the highest of collegiate levels, but he’s a tweener who isn’t quite an outside linebacker and is a bit thin to be a regular end in a 3-4. He’s a hard worker and a battler, but he benefitted greatly from having a lot of great players around him.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

12. Clifton Geathers, South Carolina 6-7, 299 (DT)
An phenomenal physical specimen, he’s huge, long, athletic, and strong enough to be moved to tackle at times if needed. A prototype 3-4 end measurable-wise, he looks the part and has unlimited potential. However, he was a mediocre, disappointing college player who plays too high and gets knocked around way too easily. Not a tough tackler, he’ll struggle to wrap up a bit too much and he’s an unrefined pass rusher. If someone wants to go through the work of trying to mold the wad of clay, there could something special down the road.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

13. George Selvie, South Florida 6-3, 252 (OLB)
After dominating at a high level, he had a disappointing final season and was overshadowed by freakish lineman Jason Pierre-Paul. While his stock has dropped as no one can quite figure out what he is, he’s a good football player with the potential to be a much better pro than a collegian. He’s not quite big enough to be a regular defensive lineman, and he’s not necessarily an outside linebacker, he’s fluid, strong, and is a fantastic pass rusher who plays better than he times. While he’ll play tough, he just won’t have the bulk to not get buried at times.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

14. Willie Young, NC State 6-5, 251 (OLB)
Very tall with the frame to get bigger, he could be a far more interesting pro than a collegian if he’s able to fill out his frame. He can play in any scheme with good enough athleticism to work as an outside linebacker and just enough strength to be a decent end, but he doesn’t have an elite skill set and there’s a hard ceiling on what he can do. Old, he’ll be 25 at the start of the season and will have to bulk up in a hurry to maximize his potential. A pure pass rusher, he’ll have to add more to his game to be a three-down defender and to be involved against power running teams.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

15. Hall Davis, Louisiana-Lafayette 6-4, 271
Not really a speed rusher, he’s a great athlete with the work ethic to camp out in a weight room and make himself far stronger. He’s a bit too light to be a 3-4 end and even with his athleticism he’s not quick enough to be a dominant outside linebacker. He’s already maxed out on his size bulking up to get to his current weight, and with his raw skills he can be a versatile defender who’ll get used in a variety of ways. His production in Sun Belt play didn’t match his talent, and he’ll have to show he can become a football player and not just a top prospect.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

16. Brandon Lang, Troy 6-4, 266 (OLB)
Fluid, he moves extremely well and blasts off the ball. He might not be all that fast, running a disastrous 4.96 40 at the Combine, and his 20 reps on the bench weren’t nearly good enough to overcome the concerns about his lack of bulk. While he’s a better player than a workout warrior, the raw skills just aren’t there to think he can be anything more than a decent backup unless he gets a lot bigger and a lot stronger.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

17. Austen Lane, Murray State 6-6, 276
A small school dominator who needed a great Combine to generate a buzz, and he didn’t come up with one running a pedestrian 4.83 40 and came up with a mere 20 reps on the bench. Quicker on the field than he was in workouts, he has a decent combination of skills to go along with his size, and he’s a worker who’ll try to get much better. However, he got shoved around too much at the lower level and he needs to be coached up to show he can play in the NFL. Not necessarily a rock against the run, he’ll be eliminated by any blocker with strength.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

18. Kevin Basped, Nevada 6-4, 258
A superior college pass rusher who gets off the ball in a hurry, he has the motor and he has the want-to to become a specialist. He’s not polished in any way, he’s a bit too small, and he’s not much of an outside linebacker prospect. Good against the mediocre WAC teams, he disappeared against the better tackles and he has a hard ceiling on his NFL potential. With the right coaching he can be a third-down terror who becomes a major sack artist.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

19. Rahim Alem, LSU 6-3, 251
A tweener who runs well and has decent balance, he’s an all-out defender who’s always active plays tough. He worked his way into becoming a good player and doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of the typical LSU athlete. A great tackler, he wraps up and doesn’t miss a play. While he doesn’t have an NFL position and wasn’t nearly as big a playmaker as he needed to be in college, he could find a niche as a pass rushing specialist.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

20. Daniel Te’o Nesheim, Washington 6-3, 263
While he looks like a linebacker and doesn’t have the bulk or size to be an end, he’s quick, fast, and strong with the look of a speed rusher in the short drills. A great college producer on some bad teams, he had to do everything himself at times and still came through. The problem is his ceiling; he might have hit it already. The character is a plus and he could be turned loose in the right defense that wants to maximize his skills, but he’s not for everyone.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

21. Junior Galette, Stillman 6-2, 257
A burgeoning star at Temple, he was suspended from the team for a violation of team rules and he bolted. A top athlete who moves extremely well and slips his way past blocks, he could be more than just a pass rusher even though he’s not all that big. The knucklehead factor took him from a possible third round selection to a late flier, but he’s a versatile talent with just enough talent to warrant a look.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

22. Lorenzo Washington, Alabama 6-4, 291
Very big, he’s a 3-4 end who has no hope of ever becoming a regular pass rusher. At his size he could be a 4-3 tackle with the quickness to move well against the run, and he can play anywhere along the line when needed. A smart, tough player who held firm against the line but didn’t do much stat-wise, he has to learn how to play up to his size. He plays like a finesse end in the body of a slow tackle.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

23. Greg Middleton, Indiana 6-3, 268
With good explosion and a nice burst, he’s quick and big. A few years ago he was an elite college pass rusher and was among the nation’s top ends leading the country in sacks, but he dropped off the map. He doesn’t have a high-revving motor and didn’t maintain his production over the course of his career failing to improve or advance his game. There’s a chance the light could go on and he could be a decent NFL specialist.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

24. E.J. Wilson, North Carolina 6-2, 286
Very thick, but more of a tackle than an end, he doesn’t have special skills and doesn’t have elite strength to overcome his lack of athleticism. A try-hard type who’s reliable and gets a push into the backfield, he won’t run around anyone and he’s not a closer. There isn’t really a spot for what he does if he’s not a 4-3 end, but he’s just big enough to see time in a camp as a potential run stopper.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

25. Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Kansas State 6-4, 286
He was growing into a star at Virginia before getting booted for plagiarism, and while he showed flashes at Kansas State, he struggled. Slow, banged up, and not as productive as he was expected to be, there are a ton of warning flags to keep him from being drafted. However, he’s big with the potential to get bigger and stronger, and he could grow into a whale of a 4-3 tackle with a little time. He’ll bust his tail to get better, but there could be a hard ceiling on what he can do if he can’t find a niche right away.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

26. Albert McClellan, Marshall
27. Brandon Sharpe, Texas Tech
28. Alex Daniels, Cincinnati
29. Danny Batten, South Dakota State
30. Jason Lamb, Baylor
31. Lawrence Wilson, Ohio State
32. Jammie Kirlew, Indiana
33. George Johnson, Rutgers
34. Chris McCoy, Middle Tennessee
35. James Ruffin, Northern Iowa