Pro Football Weekly Draft Prospects DE
This yearís group of defensive ends can really run and has pretty good pass-rush potential. However, almost all the top prospects are undersized, and most have at least one other negative aside from their lack of size.
Florida Stateís dynamic trio of defensive ends probably best fits what I am talking about. Jamal Reynolds can run like the wind, has an explosive first step, plays hard and competes, hustles and chases, has very good balance and a quick change of direction and will lead the Seminoles in sacks this year. However, he is only about 6-3 and 255 pounds, and he really canít hold the point very well and has a hard time shedding blockers if they get their hands on him. He also plays in a defense that really fits him because he is free to fly off the ball and has very little responsibility.
Roland Seymour had two starts and six sacks as a redshirt freshman in 1997 and then started and played very well in í98. However, his play dropped off somewhat in í99, when he missed three games with injuries. Then at the end of the year, he tore knee ligaments in the Sugar Bowl. He missed the first half of this season, came back for the Miami (Fla.) game and has been iffy every week since. When healthy, Seymour is quick and fast, uses his hands pretty well and has good balance. However, like Reynolds, he is undersized and has problems holding the point and shedding blocks.
Coming out of high school, David Warren was rated as the top defensive player in the country by USA Today, but he has not come close to living up to expectations. Warren is undersized at about 6-2 and 245 pounds, but he has rare 4.45-type speed in the 40-yard dash and is very strong for his size. However, unlike Reynolds and Seymour, he relies more on strength and leverage than his great speed to get the job done. Also, big blockers will just engulf him too often. He does not appear to have the instincts to play linebacker and has had disc problems in his back that have slowed him down.
When Rubin Carter played at Miami (Fla.), he was the best nose tackle in the country. However, the Broncos were able to steal him in the fifth round of the í75 draft because he was undersized. Carter had a long and excellent career in Denver and was one of the keys to the "Orange Crush" defense, but he was never given the credit he deserved because he was a superb leverage player who excelled vs. the run and did all the grunt work but rarely got sacks. California DE Andre Carter, Rubinís son, has most of his fatherís positive traits, and he has the speed to rush the quarterback. A three-plus-year starter and the most complete defensive end in the college game, Carter is not as big as scouts would like, but he is a strong player who plays with very good leverage. He has excellent techniques, runs extremely well, hustles and chases and is conscious of his assignments. In fact, one of the raps on him is that he is so assignment-oriented that he does not take enough chances to make big plays. Carterís work ethic is excellent, and if he goes to a game like the Senior Bowl and does well, it would not surprise me if he is the first defensive end taken off the board and a high first-round pick.
Texas Christianís Aaron Schobel is a four-year starter who owns all of TCUís sack records. A speed rusher with a motor that never slows down, Schobel is relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback, uses his hands well and can burst off the edge. However, he is only about 255 pounds and is a rangy sort who seems to lack play strength.
The big positives surrounding Southern Mississippiís Cedric Scott is that he has the size to play the run and the speed to rush the passer. At 6-5 and 275 pounds, Scott has the type of size and speed the pros are looking for. However, while he does give good effort, he is an inconsistent pass rusher who does not come off blocks as well as scouts would like.
One of the biggest enigmas at defensive end is Minnesotaís Karon Riley. An undersized speed rusher who began his career at Southern Methodist, Riley is fast and athletic and will flash big-time pass-rushing skills. However, too often he is the last lineman to come off the ball and may not have the quick twitch and initial explosion most great undersized pass rushers have. While he generally has held his own vs. the run in college, at 6-2Ĺ and 250 pounds, Riley is not exactly built to play the run at the next level. He did lead the Big Ten with 16 sacks as a junior.
If you go off workout numbers, Nebraskaís Kyle Vanden Bosch is almost a carbon copy of Grant Wistrom. He is a 6-3ĺ, 260-pound defensive end with 4.7-type speed in the 40-yard dash, a big motor, smarts and desire. However, Vanden Bosch is not as quick or fast as Wistrom, does not play with quite as much strength and naturalness and is not the disruptive force Wistrom was in college.
Itís hard to evaluate UCLAís Kenyon Coleman because heís missed so much of the season with a left knee injury suffered vs. Michigan. He is one of the bigger ends at 6-4 and 278 pounds and seems to have good initial quickness and OK movement skills. However, he does not have great speed off the edge, lacks a great closing burst and may not be as strong and well-levered in the lower body as the pros would like. He is not really fast enough to be a right end and may not be stout enough vs. the run to be a left end.
Arkansasí Randy Garner is a former outside linebacker who has gotten big enough to play down at 6-3Ĺ and 270 pounds and still has the speed (4.8) to rush the passer. He is quick off the edge, generally will hustle and chase and flashes pass-rushing skills. Unfortunately, like most of this yearís DE crop, he has a hard time coming off blocks and gets wired to the blocker too often.
Wisconsinís Ross Kolodziej is a four-year starter. He is a solid 280 pounds, runs a 4.75 in the 40-yard dash, is one of the top shot-putters and weight men on the Wisconsin track team, tests out as a really good athlete in terms of things such as agility runs, vertical jumps and bench presses and gives very good effort. However, for some reason, he canít come close to getting his workout numbers to translate over to the football field.
Mississippi Stateís Ellis Wyms is sort of a DE-DT tweener at 6-3 and 282 pounds with a 5.0 time in the 40-yard dash. He is a better pass rusher than some of the ends who run 4.75 but canít get their speed to translate over to the football field.