I’ve covered the offensive side of the ball, now it’s time to cover the best side of the football. The defense. Defensive Ends are some of the quickest guys on the field. They can be used in so many ways. The wide nine technique, they can stunt and they’ll do whatever it takes to be disruptive. Let’s take a look at some of the top prospects at the position in this draft.
1. JaDeveon Clowney (South Carolina)– So many have said he doesn’t have a great work ethic. JaDeveon Clowney is a top three player in this draft and will make a name for himself in the NFL. He’s a star in the making. I’ve seen a lot of good defensive ends over the years but none quite like this kid. He has top-notch speed for the position. He has the ability to chop down any block and get to the ball carrier with ease. He can stunt, contain, disrupt plays and he displays various pass rushing moves. The NFL draft has put out some good pass rushers over the last two years. J.J. Watt, Von Miller and Aldon Smith are a few. JaDeveon can be mentioned with those guys in due time.
2. Kony Ealy (Missouri)– I saw a few of his games last season and the one thing that jumped out to me immediately was his athleticism. Kony shows great initial quickness off the snap, he can turn the corner quickly and power past a usually bigger and slower offensive lineman, he can play all over the defensive line and can even line up as a linebacker. Another plus to Kony’s game is his ability to knock passes down when he’s unable to get to the quarterback. He has long arms and uses those to his advantage.
3. Scott Crichton (Oregon State)– He can time himself well off the snap. He’s very good with his hands and he can swim through blockers and can rip through opponents, he can hold up well in the running game using his quickness to get to the ball carriers and can move from sideline to sideline. Scott also displays a relentless motor on the field.
4. Dee Ford (Auburn)– Dee could be another star in the league if put into the right system in the NFL. He’s a very fluid athlete meaning he can move all around and can use his speed to his advantage. He normally lines up in a three-point stance but he can also drop back into coverage and defend the pass which is an advantage to his playing style. He possesses long arms and can knock passes down if he’s blocked up and can’t get to the quarterback. He is still able to be a disruptive force.
5. Trent Murphy (Stanford)– He was a key piece on one of the best defensive units in the country last season under David Shaw. Trent is a 6’5, 252 pound end that can drop back into coverage and run with receivers, has great burst and a good first step out his three-point stance, he uses his hands well in all situations whether it’s to use a swim move to get to the quarterback or bull-rush and be a dominant force. He plays with a toughness and a chip on his shoulder.