The Opening: Day Two Top Ten Defense

There were numerous top performers on the defensive side of the ball today. In fact, naming ten was a tough task for the Scout staff, but we did with a few honorable mentions as well.

Breiden Fehoko, Defensive Tackle - Honolulu (Hawaii) Farrington
The Red Raider commitment was the most vocal and fierce competitor from the defensive line group at the Linemen Challenge. He was quick in his first step, powerful in driving the blocker towards the quarterback and ruthless in his finishes. When opponents were preparing for his power rush, he showed good technique and lateral quickness for more wins.

Josh Sweat, Defensive End - Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith
Speed, speed and more speed. When he lines up, tackles now his speedrush is coming, and it's still not enough. He even got the better of Scout's No. 1 overall prospect Martez Ivey on three of their four duels. If and when he adds strength, it will be a scary situation.

Terry Beckner, Defensive End - East St. Louis (Ill.)
There are silent assassins, there are talkers and there are guys looking to simply devastate the opponent. Beckner checks in as the latter, and it showed all day long en route to gaudy wins, even against some of the top offensive linemen in attendance. He showed great intensity and motor. Ranked as an end, his growth likely means he'll play inside, but he could be an end in certain systems. Either way, he was extremely impressive.

Daylon Mack, Defensive Tackle - Gladewater (Tex.)
Mack is the type of player who is very dominant when he has a clear idea of what he wants to accomplish, because he beats offensive linemen with his first step and then uses his leverage and power to finish. He gets in to the body of the OL and then finishes.

Byron Cowart, Defensive End - Seffner (Fla.) Armwood
There wasn't a prospect that wanted to compete more than the five-star Floridian. He wants to learn, and apparently does so quickly. He can win with speed or power and did plenty of each when the pads came on. 

Roquan Smith, Linebacker - Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County
Smith was all over the field today. He had two interceptions that he returned for touchdowns and had one other interception. He also made numerous other plays in coverage and broke up passes in the flat. He can run and has excellent ball skills.

Justin Dunning, Safety - Whitehouse (Tex.)
Dunning was quite simply spectacular. Less than one year off of an ACL injury he is running and covering ground like the injury never happened. He had two interceptions and almost had a spectacular third interceptions that just happened to be knocked away from a teammate.

Malik Jefferson, Linebacker - Mesquite (Tex.) Poteet
After a strong day at the Sparq testing on day one he also showed that he is not just a downhill player. He was very solid in coverage and had two interceptions that he returned for touchdowns, showing that he has the abilities to cover in space. 

Derwin James, Safety - Haines City (Fla.)
James is an eraser at safety. He covers ground so well that teams stayed far away from him. He has size, instincts and great athleticism. The Florida State commit, despite being avoided and not making a ton of big plays as a result, is one of the best defenders out there because of his ability to take away whatever part of the field he's in.

Ben Humphreys, Linebacker - Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Humphreys is one of the most instinctual defensive players in this event and had three very good games. He's quick, runs well and made plays all over the field. He's a natural weak side 'backer but is playing more middle in this event and was the most consistent player for a solid MACH SPEED team.

Honorable Mentions: Jaquan Johnson, Kendrell McFadden, Marvell Tell, Tarvarus McFadden, Arthur McGinnis

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