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TOP NFL PROSPECTS BY POSITION - Defense

May 4th 2014 17:37
TOP NFL PROSPECTS BY POSITION - Defense

Clowney is a freak on paper, but on the field last year he wasn’t impactful and you have to question if he has the trajectory of Jevon Kearse but is already on the downside of that arc

DT – Aaron Donald – Pittsburgh – has great speed and quickness for a defense tackle and although he’s a bit undersized, he has the strength and skills to shed blocks, penetrate and make an immediate impact in the NFL

DT – Ra’Shede Hageman – Minnesota – has big long frame with strength to gain leverage against would be blockers and the former tight end and basketball player has athleticism to wiggle free and get after the QB or ball carrier

NT – Timmy Jernigan – Florida State – doesn’t have the ideal size for the position but does possess the low leverage blocking eating style needed for nose tackle in a 3-4

DE – Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina - He shouldn’t have played last season if he wasn’t going to give full effort when on the field. He should have broke every NCAA sack record in the book. Has freakish speed and athleticism for his size, but could have peaked already in his football development. Things won’t come nearly as easy for him in the pros.

DE – Demarcus Lawrence – Boise State – has great speed and long arms to go with his relentless pursuit skills that should do very well as he gains needed strength and bulk in a pro system

ILB – C.J. Mosley – Alabama – amassed 215 tackles in his last two years for the NCAA’s premier team full of playmakers, that speaks volumes of his skills

OLB – Khalil Mack – Buffalo – stood out against Ohio State and dominated every other opponent as well with speed and precise instincts off the edge and against the run; pursues all over the field and can do it all, the safest pick of the draft

OLB – Anthony Barr – UCLA – former receiver lacks strength needed to shed blocks and plays too upright but he has great speed and athleticism so with the right fit and work ethic can develop into a highly impactful player in time

OLB – Ryan Shazier – Ohio State – extremely productive leader as a Buckeye this NFL ready player makes stops all over the field with speed, ferocity and elite instincts that cannot be taught, the second safest pick behind Khalil Mack

CB – Justin Gilbert – Oklahoma State – Gilbert’s a spirited player who can contribute right away in the secondary and can return kicks. He has great instincts and is always in good position to make a play, a very safe pick.

CB – Bradley Roby – Ohio State – can blitz, is aggressive tackling and ferocious in coverage which makes some character red flag worth the risk for many NFL teams

CB – Darqueze Dennard – Michigan State – Great at out-positioning receivers to make a play on the ball and is a physical and very willing tackler. Has speed & great running ability after a pick.

CB – Kyle Fuller – Virginia Tech – Comes from a family lineage of NFL DBs. Has good measurable, size and speed will go high and be a solid starter.

FS – Calvin Pryor – Louisville – Would be an ideal player for a Cover 2 defense with some blitz responsibilities to use his aggressive nature to best suit the team. Likes delivering the big hits and thankfully uses proper form with his shoulder so he shouldn’t be a injury or penalty risk.

FS – Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix – Alabama – Has above average tackling, awareness and speed but could stand to add more bulk and strength to avoid getting blocked out of plays downfield

SS – Deone Buchannon – Washington State – Pro caliber size, speed and change of direction; four year producer who is versatile and will contribute immediately

SS – Jimmie Ward – Northern Illinois – projects best as a nickel back who can provide run support and show good instinct and a nose for the ball carrier

P – Pat O’Donnell – Miami – a very draftable punter booted for a 47.1 average for Miami last year

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