Here’s a look at how I feel about the 2009 defensive end prospects. Ends and tackles, as well as ends and linebackers, may be used interchangeably due to uncertainty of which position the prospect will play in the NFL. The order may change as draft day nears.
1. Brian Orakpo – Texas
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 260 | 40-time: 4.70
What I like about him: Position for position, one of the most athletic players in the draft. Strong, fast, quick, balanced. He’s got all the physical gifts one needs to excel.
What I don’t like about him: His technique needs a lot of work because he’s still raw, but that will come with coaching. He also could have a durability issue.
2. Everette Brown – Florida State
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 248 | 40-time: 4.73
What I like about him: He’s got good speed and anticipation coming around the edge. Good lower-body strength and uses his hands well.
What I don’t like about him: There’s uncertainty as to whether he’ll play end or linebacker at the next level. Doesn’t have great bulk. Only a one-year starter.
3. Aaron Maybin – Penn State
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 236 | 40-time: 4.88
What I like about him: Good athlete with natural explosiveness who can shed blockers.
What I don’t like about him: Relatively inexperienced after one year as a starter. Needs to add bulk. He’s considered by some to be a linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
4. Tyson Jackson – Louisiana State
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 290 | 40-time: 4.95
What I like about him: Good strength to take on a double-team. Was a three-year starter. Good lateral quickness and can play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme.
What I don’t like about him: His recognition and instincts need improvement. Could use better leg strength.
5. Robert Ayers – Tennessee
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 273 | 40-time: 4.85
What I like about him: Has great strength is very good in run support. Has a deceptively quick burst and has the versatility to line up inside as well.
What I don’t like about him: Some have questioned his work ethic and effort. Only has one year of starting experience.
6. Larry English – Northern Illinois
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 254 | 40-time: 4.70
What I like about him: Good athleticism and a team leader. Tough player who played through injuries. He’s got long arms and strong hands.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have great height or core strength. Needs to improve lower-body strength to avoid getting pushed around by offensive tackles.
7. Paul Kruger – Utah
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 265 | 40-time: 4.80
What I like about him: Shows good leverage and balance. He’s got good instincts and is a versatile player that can drop back in coverage.
What I don’t like about him: Not the most athletic end. Doesn’t have great fluidity. Lacks explosiveness.
8. Michael Johnson – Georgia Tech
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 260 | 40-time: 4.65
What I like about him: Fantastic speed off the edge. Has a quick first step and can turn the corner quickly. His size can enable him to knock unsuspecting offensive linemen backward.
What I don’t like about him: He was just a one-year starter. Needs to sink his hips better. Some question his toughness and durability.
9. Brandon Williams – Texas Tech
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 246 | 40-time: 4.75
What I like about him: He’s a great pass rusher who has a quick, explosive first step. Can run down the quarterback from the back side.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t possess good bulk or strength. Lacks power and struggles to shed blockers.
10. Michael Bennett – Texas A&M
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 261 | 40-time: 4.97
What I like about him: He’s a good athlete with NFL bloodlines. Can shed blocks with his spin move. Good wingspan.
What I don’t like about him: Might have character issues. Could be a ‘tweener without a natural position in the NFL.
11. Cody Brown – Connecticut
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 242 | 40-time: 4.69
What I like about him: Good quickness. He’s got strong hands and he uses them well to create separation. A team captain.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have ideal height. Not a good pass rusher. His recognition skills are questionable.
12. Kyle Moore – USC
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 270 | 40-time: 4.80
What I like about him: Played in top level program. Has decent strength and athletic ability to rush the passer.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t display a consistent effort. Lacks great power and leverage. Doesn’t use his hands well.
13. Connor Barwin – Cincinnati
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 253 | 40-time: 4.64
What I like about him: He’s a good athlete with a constant motor and plays he hard.
What I don’t like about him: Only a one-year starter on defense. Doesn’t have ideal reaction time and needs to work on his technique.
14. Will Davis – Illinois
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 268 | 40-time: 4.88
What I like about him: Moves with fluidity. He’s got good quickness off the edge and solid closing speed. Good motor.
What I don’t like about him: Plays too upright at times. Needs to improve his strength and technique.
15. Lawrence Sidbury – Richmond
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 267 | 40-time: 4.80
What I like about him: Plays with intensity and is always active. Good athleticism. Long arms allow him to separate.
What I don’t like about him: Is not particularly good at either pass rushing or run stopping. Needs to use his hands better. Played against marginal competition.
Brandon Long – Michigan State
Cyril Obiozor – Texas A&M
David Veikune – Hawaii
Derek Walker – Illinois
Doug Slavonic – West Virginia
Henry Melton – Texas
Ian Campbell – Kansas State
Ian Hoskins – Marshall
Jamaal Westerman – Rutgers
Jarius Wynn – Georgia
Josh Gaines – Penn State
Kirston Pittman – Louisiana State
Lamonte Nelms – Cincinnati
Matt Shaughnessy – Wisconsin
Maurice Evans – Penn State
Maurice Lucas – Colorado
Neefy Moffett – Florida State
Nick Santiago – Syracuse
Orion Martin – Virginia Tech
Pannel Egboh – Stanford
Pat Kuntz – Notre Dame
Phillip Hunt – Houston
Rulon Davis – California
Stryker Sulak – Missouri
Tim Jamison – Michigan
Tommie Hill – Colorado State
Zach Potter – Nebraska