Category: Defensive End

LB Davin Bellamy, Georgia

6’5” – 255 lbs. – 4.80e

Profile:

  • Redshirted, then rotated into the defense over ten games the following season. Started two of ten games played the following year, but injured his knee and missed the remainder of the season. Started eleven of thirteen games played as a junior, then fourteen of fifteen as a senior to conclude his career.

Positives:

  • Very tall, well-built outside linebacker with good length. Has experience playing out of both two- and three-point stances and could potentially project to either spot at the next level. Has the size and natural power to develop into a two-gapping edge-setter. Stays patient in backside contain when left uncovered. Has some pop as a hitter. Pretty high-motor player. Not the most explosive or creative pass-rusher but had decent production there at the SEC level over the past two seasons. Flashes a slap move that has some effectiveness. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes. Predominantly a pass-rusher, but also took snaps in zone coverage and will occasionally line up over slot receivers. Size may convince teams he can be groomed into a coverage option for less athletic inline tight ends.

Negatives:

  • Athleticism is just average overall; doesn’t really have an explosive element to his game. Needs to play with more discipline when setting the edge. Doesn’t get the most of his length; should be able to lock opposing blockers out of his frame but lets them into his body too frequently. Instincts are very raw, especially in coverage. Often loses track of his man when playing in zone, or gets sucked in and is caught out of position, creating easy completions for opposing quarterbacks. Struggles to bend the edge when rushing. Doesn’t always have a clear plan and has too much wasted motion to his game. Hand use is marginal. Not as physical as expected for a player with his size.

Summary:

  • Essentially a player who will be drafted by a team that’s willing to take a chance on his size, and length; as it stands right now, instincts and technique leave a lot to be desired. However, ceiling will be constrained by his athleticism, which is nothing special. Consequently, might be more of a late-round pick who could potentially develop into an “elephant” linebacker in a two-gap odd front similar to the scheme he played in at Georgia, or potentially a left end in an even front.
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DE Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, Toledo

6’1” – 284 lbs. – 4.83

Profile:

  • Redshirted, then played sparingly as a reserve the following season. Became a full-time starter on the edge as a sophomore, then enjoyed a highly productive junior campaign before declaring early for the draft.

Positives:

  • Thickly-built edge rusher who has experience as both a traditional defense end and a stand-up rush linebacker. Violent, high-energy game is very appealing. Plays with explosiveness and aggression; gets up to speed quickly and can convert his speed to walk back opposing offensive tackles with a powerful bull-rush. Fires out of his stance low and does a good job of winning the leverage battle against opponents who tend to be at least a few inches taller than him. At his best, looks like a heat-seeking missile who closes well on opposing passers. Can disrupt opponents with chip blocks and has some experience carrying running backs into the flats. Has made limited drops into zone coverage as well, though usually as a spy. Gives some jolt on contact in the run game. Pretty disciplined as the read man.

Negatives:

  • Has a somewhat strange frame for a pro pass rusher; height is on the fringe of what’s acceptable, and has pretty short arms as well (31.75”). Was allowed to pin his ears back and get upfield, making it somewhat difficult to evaluate how he’d function in more of a read-and-react scheme. Gives good effort, but range in pursuit is somewhat limited. Tackling radius is constrained by lack of length. Can struggle to absorb chips on his way into the backfield. Plays a little bit out of control and some balance issues crop up in his game. Looks a little bit linear and game is predicated on firing out low and using his power to bull-rush opponents instead of bending the edge back to the passer. Workouts were a little bit of a mixed bag, which could be important given that he plays for a relatively minor program.

Summary:

  • It will be interesting to see where he goes, given his borderline height/length and iffy athleticism, but looks like he’s worth mid-round consideration as an explosive, high-energy pass-rusher who plays with leverage and power. Won’t be a fit for every scheme and needs to play with more discipline, but is the type of player it’s easy to fall in love with and that counts for a lot.

DE Chad Thomas, Miami (FL)

6’5” – 281 lbs. – 4.92

Profile:

  • Played sparingly as a reserve in his true freshman season, then started eight games the following year in a relatively unproductive campaign. Saw his production escalate in the two subsequent seasons, starting twenty-five games over that span to conclude his collegiate career.

Positives:

  • Really looks the part. Tall with an athletic frame and good musculature. Arms measured 33.5” at the Combine, with big 10.25” hands. Gives a good effort on a play-to-play basis. Pretty physical at the point of attack, with active hands to shed blockers. Very good athlete. Didn’t run well in Indianapolis but looks fast in pursuit on tape; gives good effort and can make tackles from the backside or down the field. Patient when left open as the read man. Flashes the ability to fire out, dip his shoulder, and make a smooth arc. Good closing burst in pursuit. Has some experience sliding inside and knifing through gaps on obvious passing downs, and will also take snaps out of a two-point stance (albeit in an obvious rush capacity). Can use his length to bat passes.

Negatives:

  • Frame is a little bit linear. Doesn’t always get the most out of his length; needs to extend his arms more consistently to keep opponents out of his frame. Get-off at the line of scrimmage lags behind some of his teammates. Can get stuck on blocks and doesn’t seem to have a lot of counters to deploy in those situations. Seems a little bit slow to diagnose/find the ballcarrier when playing in the run game. Will take himself out of some plays by flowing down the line and opening up cutback lanes. Can be knocked off-course too easily when gap-shooting. May not have much of a role in an odd front. Production was solid this past season but didn’t fully live up to the hype he generated as a recruit. For a prospect whose physical/athletic gifts are his calling card, didn’t blow anyone away with his workout in Indianapolis; 4.92 in the 40, 29” vertical leap.

Summary:

  • Unlike many gifted prospects whose production didn’t quite match their tools, is a likable prospect who gives good effort on a snap-to-snap basis and clearly has the potential to develop into a starter if he can learn to diagnose in the run game and use his length to his advantage. Those are coachable, but didn’t really materialize over four seasons at a major program. Looks like a possible second-day pick.

DL Kentavius Street, North Carolina St.

6’2” – 280 lbs. – 4.87

Profile:

  • Rotated into the defense as a reserve during his freshman season, then started ten of thirteen games as a sophomore. Started every game over the past two seasons to conclude his collegiate career.

Positives:

  • Has experience playing both inside and outside, so may have the most value for a team that’s looking for a jumbo defensive end who can slide inside on passing downs. Lines up in different techniques, sometimes even in a two-point stance. Workout warrior who has a thick frame and a lot of power. Physical player who is able to dig in at the line of scrimmage in the run game, or fire out low and with some explosiveness, using his bull-rush to reset the line of scrimmage. Has heavy hands to ragdoll opponents, shedding blocks effectively. Thudding hitter who can help set the tone defensively. Has some discipline when working as the read man. Gives good effort as a pass rusher, with some ability to convert speed to power; mixes up his rushes. Good hips to turn the corner, with some ability to dip his shoulder and make a smooth arc. Above-average closing burst for his size and was able to record some wins on the outside.

Negatives:

  • Arms are shorter than average, preventing him from keeping opponents out of his frame. Instincts are lagging behind his athletic ability; seems a little bit late to diagnose what’s going on and doesn’t end up around as many plays as his physical and athletic attributes would indicate. Has trouble dealing with cut blocks. Better at handling power directly and can be put on skates when trying to scrape down the line. Recorded just eight sacks over three seasons as a starter (3.5 last season). Sort of a ‘tweener who may need a specialized role/the right defensive fit in order to succeed. Tore his ACL during the pre-draft process, which should drop him a round or two below where he would have otherwise gone.

Summary:

  • An interesting prospect who has some rare tools and the versatility to potentially contribute in a variety of different ways. Diagnostic skills are raw for someone who has as much starting experience as he does and arm length can be an issue, but could still come off the board in the mid-rounds as a surprisingly explosive and flexible pass-rusher for his size, and as a player who could eventually be a solid run defender.

DE Tyquan Lewis, Ohio St.

6’3″ – 265 lbs. – 4.80e

Played in over two-hundred snaps as a freshman, then earned a starting role the following season, which he retained as a junior and as a senior. Achieved consistent production over each of his three years in the starting lineup. Team captain who generally plays on the end on first and second down, then slides inside and serves as an interior rusher on passing downs, including some snaps as a zero-technique nose tackle. Has a thick build with a solid combination of size and length. Comes out of his stance with some explosiveness and generates enough power with his bull-rush to generate push, even against opposing interior linemen; strong player. Has power in his hands and flashes the ability to shed blocks. A pretty good mover for his size who complements his athleticism with a solid motor. Length gives him a solid tackling radius. Frame is that of a potential edge-setter, although he doesn’t do that on a consistent basis. However, instincts can leave something to be desired; struggles to locate the ball, possibly because of balance issues. Has a tendency to bend at the waist and lower his head. Doesn’t always keep blockers out of his pads and can get stuck on blocks for too long; has the physical attributes and strength to two-gap but negates some of that. More of a pressure-generator in the passing game than the sack artist his production would suggest. At his best, can convert his explosiveness into power and use his heavy hands to ragdoll opponents, but doesn’t present a major threat on the edge. Lacks counters and is somewhat predictable. Can be pushed past the pocket by opponents more often than he should because of his balance issues. Given a clear path, exhibits the closing burst to finish his rushes. When he doesn’t make it to the quarterback, is pretty consistent about getting his hands up to contest passing lanes. Has even made limited drops into zone coverage on occasion. Not one of the sleekest or quickest defensive line prospects, but one who offers a combination of bulk, strength, and versatility, spending a lot of his time rushing from the inside. Those traits, combined with his collegiate production in a major conference, should be enough to get consideration in the middle rounds, although he may never be a dynamic pass-rusher. Somewhat resembles former Carolina Panthers second-round pick Kony Ealy.

DE Arden Key, Louisiana St.*

6’5″ – 238 lbs. – 4.70e

Started nine games at defensive end as a freshman, then enjoyed a highly-productive sophomore campaign the following year. Was limited to eight games this past season due to injury before declaring. Tall, long-limbed edge rusher who takes snaps on both sides of the defense and often rushes out of a two-point stance. Has added over thirty pounds of bulk since his freshman season; was playing at close to 270 pounds this past season, over thirty pounds more than in his more successful sophomore campaign. Covers a lot of ground with his first step and is able to sink his hips and use his suddenness to generate pressure on the quarterback. Best when he’s dipping his shoulder or using rip moves around the edge. Pretty fluid athlete who can smoothly bend back to the passer and finish his rushes. However, is more gifted than polished at this point. Has some ability to convert speed to power but rarely gives opposing linemen much trouble with his bull rush. Doesn’t have many effective counters at this point; gets stuck on blocks if his initial move is unsuccessful. Has some experience dropping into short zones in coverage and carrying opposing running backs out of the backfield and into the flats. Suddenness out of his stance allowed him to blow some rushing attempts up in the backfield when using inside moves. Willing to get pretty physical at the point of attack in the run game. Has the length to extend his arms and lack out opponents. Has the lower-body strength and discipline to set an edge. Patient in backside pursuit. Length gives him an impressive tackling radius. However, can be a little bit of a pile-inspector who delegates to teammates in the area. Doesn’t give the same effort in backside pursuit that he does when rushing the passer. Can get preoccupied with blockers and struggle to shed at the appropriate time. Durability may be a question after undergoing surgery on his shoulder and pinky this past season and missing time with a knee injury. Took time off from football this past February. Comes with questions about his motor, consistency, polish, and durability, but has a desirable combination of size, length, and movement skills which could allow him to develop into a primary pass-rusher with further development; furthermore, put together a dominant sophomore campaign in college football’s premier conference, which should assuage some concerns. Boom-or-bust prospect who may slip into the second day.

DE Bradley Chubb, North Carolina St.

6’4″ – 269 lbs. – 4.65

Began his collegiate career as a linebacker, contributing on special teams as a freshman. Transitioned back to defensive end, his high-school position, and started the next thirty-eight games of his career, sitting out the team’s bowl appearance this year. Highly-productive team captain who plays with an excellent motor. Has a prototypical build for a defensive end prospect, carrying his weight well and with impressive length; added nearly thirty pounds of bulk from his freshman to senior season. Rushes from both the right and left ends of the line, sometimes out of a two-point stance, and more often out of a four-point stance. Limited snaps as an interior rusher. Played out of a lot of wide alignments to maximize his athletic gifts. Has a very explosive first step and covers a lot of ground when using his speed to win the edge. Very smooth, natural mover who can bend the edge back to the quarterback. Gets good extension with his arms and has some power in his hands; relies much more on his explosiveness to win with speed than on his power. Go-to move is the swim, but can also slap an opposing tackle’s hands away, and will work in inside moves, swims, or bull-rushes on occasion as well. Overall hand use is very active, but didn’t need to develop many counters at the college level because he could often win the edge at will. Has the speed and burst to close effectively when rushing on stunts and twists. Has the presence of mind and length to go for strip-sacks when generating pressure from the backside, and will also get his hands up to contest passing lanes. Athletic enough to carry opposing running backs into the flat. Solid run defender who gets good extension with his arms to lock out opposing linemen. Has a respectable anchor; doesn’t tend to reset the line of scrimmage with his power, but is able to hold his ground. Patient in backside contain, and also exhibits impressive instincts to use inside moves to blow up rushing attempts in the backfield. Rangy player who can pursue opponents to the sidelines. Has just about everything teams look for in a primary pass-rusher, whether physically, athletically, or temperamentally, and that should cause him to be one of the top players selected in this year’s draft. Hasn’t taken many snaps in coverage, but could potentially play in either a three- or four-man defensive front.

DE Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama

6’4″ – 297 lbs. – 4.83

Rotated into the defense over nine games as a freshman and sophomore, then played more regularly over the past two seasons of modest production. Has a thick, slightly top-heavy build which makes him a little bit of a ‘tweener who could either add or lose weight depending on how a pro team envisions his role. Most frequently played the five technique in Alabama’s two-gap, 3-4 defensive front but also took snaps at some other techniques, including sliding inside at times. Plays with a physical on-field temperament. Effective two-gapper who is able to stack and shed successfully in the run game. Has active, heavy hands with lots of power for a player of his size; flashes the ability to ragdoll blockers at times. Bull rush is strong enough to walk back opposing linemen and reset the line of scrimmage. Length gives him an effective radius, with good grip to tackle, including some ability to make tackles when engaged. Has good eyes and doesn’t get caught out of position too much. Not a particularly rangy player; gives good effort, but doesn’t really have the athleticism to pursue to the sidelines. Also has some minor balance issues which can crop up when defending the run. Not as dynamic in the passing game. Reaction time to the ball being snapped is somewhat slow, although he fires out of his stance with some explosiveness once he gets going. Doesn’t appear to always have a plan when rushing the passer, although he can do a little bit of everything. At his best as a bull-rusher, but often makes inside moves as well; can create pressure with his rip move when doing so. Not a major threat around the edge, but has some ability to dip and can redirect back to the passer in an arc. Closing burst is pretty impressive for a big man, but is more of a pressure generator than a sack artist. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes when he’s not able to make it to the quarterback. Has some medical questions, having missed a few games this past season with an MCL injury. A well-built prospect who plays with the discipline, physicality, and strength characteristic of players coming out of Alabama’s program, but who might be more of a rotational player at the next level, working into the defense on first and second down before rotating off the field.

DE Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas*

6’4″ – 257 lbs. – 4.87

Started the last five of his twelve games played as a freshman, then spent the past two seasons as a full-time starter (being significantly more productive as a sophomore) before foregoing his senior season to declare for the draft. Typically plays left end, even on three-man lines; also slides over to the right side on occasion. Usually works out of a four-point stance. Tall with long limbs and a well-built frame; really looks the part of a pro pass-rusher. Does a good job of using his length to keep opposing linemen off of his pads. Has a decent get-off at the line of scrimmage. Typically relies on speed rushes to get around the edge, but isn’t really a consistent pressure-generator. Some ability to slap down an opposing tackle’s hands, with an effective dip and good closing burst to finish. Works in a decent inside move on occasion. Balance can be an issue when trying to turn the corner. A clear project who needs to develop more moves and counters; pretty straightforward and predictable at this point. Has the size length to potentially develop into a two-gapper but is not a very good run defender at this point. Anchor is just average and can struggle to hold up against power. Instincts are a work in progress; struggles to locate the ball and isn’t a very good decision maker when defending the read-option. Gets sucked in by misdirection and could play with more discipline when working in backside contain. Tendency to try and win the edge can cause him to create holes for opponents to run through. However, looks athletic in pursuit, and gives good effort to chase ballcarriers toward the sidelines. Length gives him an impressive tackling radius, and likes to get physical with opposing runners. An example of a prospect who “looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane”; offers a tantalizing combination of size and length, as well as above-average movement skills. However, at this point he is a very raw player who doesn’t have much of a pass-rushing repertoire and who will need to add bulk and improve his instincts in order to avoid being exploited in the run game. Would have been well-served by returning to school and trying to improve his game; instead, will need to hope a team falls in love with his potential.

DE Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest

6’4″ – 264 lbs. – 4.75e

Redshirted as a true freshman, then played over three-hundred snaps the following season. Missed five games due to injury the following season but still managed over four-hundred snaps. Became a full-time starter the following season in what was his most productive season, then reprised his role as a starter this past year. Long-limbed, thickly-built defensive end, if somewhat top-heavy. Takes snaps from both ends of the defensive line, often out of a four-point stance. Aggressive pass-rusher with an excellent motor. Has a varied approach to rushing the passer, with active hands and some power. At his best when he’s generating pressure on the inside, often by using a violent spin move, but uses swim, rip, and swipe moves with some effectiveness as well. Flashes the ability to generate push with his bull-rush as well. Struggles more when he’s asked to win the edge. Doesn’t really have the first step, bend, or dip to be a major threat around the corner. Also has some struggles with balance and struggles to absorb chip blocks. Ends up on the ground more often than he should. However, when he is able to find a clear lane to the passer, has the closing burst to finish. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes. Looked good in coverage over a few snaps, making drops into zone coverage and carrying running backs into the flats. Pretty good run defender who flows well to the ball in an attacking one-gap defensive front. Has strong instincts and can make inside moves to blow up attempts in the backfield. Patient in backside contain, and can also defend the read option well. Gives excellent effort in pursuit; will chase to the sidelines and pick up some second-effort tackles. Can struggle to break down at times but has a wide tackling radius and what looks like a strong grip. Gets arm extension, but because of his slightly less-developed lower body and balance issues, may not be a great fit for teams which prefer their defensive ends to two-gap and set the edge. Only played one full season, so his medical checks may be important. May not be a major threat around the edge, but is a likable prospect with an excellent motor and a deep repertoire of moves, something which should smooth his learning curve.