Longhorn Defensive Prospects in the Draft

Burnt Orange Beat spoke with Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber to get a feel for just how high the Longhorn prospects might go. Steuber was also kind enough to share his thoughts on several draft eligible underclassmen that might be looking to leave Austin early. In part one of a two part series, Steuber breaks down the Texas defensive prospects.

Brian Orakpo

Chris Steuber has Brian Orakpo as his highest rated defensive end and expects him to be a top 15 prospect. Steuber thinks Orakpo compares nicely to current Oakland Raiders DE Derrick Burgess.

"I could see him ending up with a team like the Texans, Vikings or Packers. Those are teams that will possibly be in the top 20 and are in need of a DE. Michael Johnson [of Georgia Tech] could be selected before him due to his potential, but I don't see that happening. Right now, my top three senior defensive ends are Orakpo, Tyson Jackson [of LSU] and Johnson," said Steuber.

Roy Miller

"He's an interesting player, because he does a lot of the dirty work inside that goes unnoticed. It was nice to see him get a sack this past weekend. I think he could be selected in the third round, possibly fourth round."

"He needs to play next to a bigger DT to allow for him to have success. He reminds me a lot of Mike Patterson of the Eagles who plays with a high motor and gets penetration."

Henry Melton

"He's played surprisingly well. He's got good quickness and gets off the ball nicely. He is still raw and you see that in his play, but if he's given a chance to develop he could be a good pro. He will likely be undrafted."

Ryan Palmer

"Although he's a small corner, he's got some skills. He can cover. He's got very good quickness and keeps his head on a swivel. He won't be a high pick, but he could be taken in the sixth or seventh round. He will be a fourth corner on a team if he can perform well on special teams to make a roster."

Sergio Kindle

Steuber compares Sergio Kindle to Karlos Dansby of the Arizona Cardinals and thinks he could be a third rounder after this season.

"He can fly. He's a tremendous athlete and can create havoc in the backfield. He's got a great frame, but needs to add bulk. Kindle is a perfect fit in a 3-4 scheme and could really become a star. I think he should return to school. Next year's draft [2009] is loaded at the linebacker position and Kindle will likely fall down draft boards, because of the talent available. He will be a much higher pick in the 2010 draft, than the '09 draft."

Does the fact that he has only shown great production for one year hurt his stock?

"That can help and hurt you. If you have a standout season, plus a tremendous offseason and blow scouts away with your measurables, you can become an instant millionaire."

Rod Muckelroy

"He should return to school. He's not on the same level as Kindle, but he's a nice player. I want to see how he progresses next year."

For more NFL draft analysis, check out Steuber’s Midseason Mock draft.

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