Combine Preview: Defensive Ends

There are a million collegiate defensive ends, but it takes a specific build to play end in a 3-4. Of the 42 ends invited to the Combine, we tell you which ones could fit what the Packers will be looking for — including the possible first-round pick.

The NFL's ultimate job interview, the Scouting Combine, began on Wednesday in Indianapolis, with the first on-the-field workouts started on Friday.

Packer Report gets you ready for the Combine with a position-by-position look at the 329 players on the invitation list.

Defensive ends

State of the Packers

With Cullen Jenkins and Johnny Jolly as the starters and B.J. Raji as the do-it-all reserve, the Packers have a good rotation. Jolly's legal troubles, however, are problematic, and the jury is out on sixth-round pick Jarius Wynn. Even if this group returns intact, the Packers need some pass rush.

Combine guest list

(Note: The Combine groups players under the assumption they'll be playing in a 4-3 scheme. Thus, many of the players listed below will play outside linebacker in a 3-4. Some of the Packers prospects listed under "Who to watch" fell under the category of defensive tackles from our story on Thursday night.)

Rahim Alem, LSU

Tyson Alualu, California

Kevin Basped, Nevada

Alex Carrington, Arkansas State

Antonio Coleman, Auburn

Jermaine Cunningham, Florida

Dexter Davis, Arizona State

Hall Davis, La.-Lafayette

Brandon Deaderick, Alabama

Carlos Dunlap, Florida

Junior Galette, Stillman

Clifton Geathers, South Carolina

Thaddeus Gibson, Ohio State

Brandon Graham, Michigan

Everson Griffen, USC

Greg Hardy, Mississippi

Jerry Hughes, TCU

Carl Ihenacho, San Jose State

Sergio Kindle, Texas

Jammie Kirlew, Indiana

Austen Lane, Murray State

Brandon Lang, Troy

Erik Lorig, Stanford

Albert McClellan, Marshall

Greg Middleton, Indiana

Koa Misi, Utah

Arthur Moats, James Madison

Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech

Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida

Ricky Sapp, Clemson

O'Brien Schofield, Wisconsin

George Selvie, South Florida

Cameron Sheffield, Troy

Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Wash.

Adrian Tracy, William & Mary

Lorenzo Washington, Alabama

C.J. Wilson, East Carolina

E.J. Wilson, North Carolina

Lindsey Witten, Connecticut

Corey Wootton, Northwestern

Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech

Willie Young, N.C. State

Who to watch


THIS SERIES
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Wide receivers
Tight ends
Offensive tackles
Interior offensive line
Nose tackles

— Tyson Alualu, California: At 6-foot-2 and 291 pounds, Alualu doesn't have that classic 3-4 frame. But the scouts loved him with his nonstop motor, quickness and strength during Senior Bowl week. He started his final 38 games and posted 7.5 sacks as a senior. Could go second round.

— Alex Carrington, Arkansas State: Perhaps nobody helped their draft stock more during Senior Bowl week than Carrington (6-5, 284), who could be a target for the Packers at the end of the second round. The small-school star has ideal height for the position. Sturdy against the run, he'll only get better once he adds another 20 pounds.

— Hall Davis, La.-Lafayette: Davis (6-5, 272) is another player who has the frame but not the bulk. Davis met with Packers general manager Ted Thompson at the Texas vs. The Nation all-star game. He entered school weighing just 220 pounds. He posted 6.5 sacks during his two seasons as a starter. Day 3 pick.

— Brandon Deaderick, Alabama: Deaderick (6-4, 296) has a ready-made 3-4 body. Want tough? He played five days after getting shot in the arm during a robbery attempt. He's stout against the run and tallied seven sacks for his career with 31 starts. Late Day 3.

— Carlos Dunlap, Florida: Dunlap (6-6, 290) is the best pure 3-4 defensive end prospect in this draft and has a chance to be on the board at No. 23 — in large part because he was arrested for DUI just days before the SEC title game. He has rare size and athletic ability. His 19.5 sacks rank 10th in school history, even though he started only 15 games in his three seasons.

— Clifton Geathers, South Carolina: The 6-foot-7, 281-pound brother of Bengals defensive end Robert Geathers started just 13 games and left school early despite not being an early-round prospect. He's raw but has a lot of potential. Late Day 3.

Arthur Jones, Syracuse: At 6-3, 295, Jones is a playmaker who could play end and maybe even grow into a nose. He posted a whopping 38.5 tackles for losses in his career. Injuries are a bit of a concern. He was slowed early in the year by an offseason weightlifting injury (torn pectoral) and missed the final three games (knee). He played nose in college and is familiar with dropping into coverage on zone blitzes. Could go late Day 2.

— Greg Middleton, Indiana: Middleton (6-3, 284) posted a stunning 14 sacks as a sophomore but just four in 2008 and three in 2009. Plagued by inconsistency. and will go late Day 3.

Mike Neal, Purdue: Neal (6-3, 293) did well at the East-West and Senior Bowl. He's as strong as an ox — relying on it too much — and faced double team after double team with the Boilermakers. Finished with 13 sacks and 26 tackles for losses during career. Could sneak into Day 2.

Jared Odrick, Penn State: If the Packers are concerned about Jolly, then Odrick could be the first-round pick. At 6-5 and 301, Odrick has every trait you want in a 3-4 end. He talked to the Packers at the Senior Bowl, where he was mostly dominant. He's quick, strong and has a good bull rush. Tallied seven sacks as a senior.

Vince Oghobaase, Duke: At 6-5, 305, he certainly looks the part but hasn't lived up to the billing. Missed all of 2005 (knee) and part of 2009 (leg). In 2008, only Raji had more sacks among ACC defensive linemen than Oghobaase's six. Fell back to 2.5 sacks in 2009, in part because of the injury. Could sneak into Day 2.

Corey Peters, Kentucky: At 6-3, 295, he's a little shorter than the ideal but the Packers have shown they aren't in love with the numbers. A quality three-year starter, Peters saved his best for last with four sacks and 12 tackles for losses as a senior. Probably middle of Day 3.

Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska: Suh, who got Charles Woodson's vote for the Heisman Trophy, is the potential No. 1 overall pick of the draft.

— Lorenzo Washington, Alabama: Washington (6-4, 288) was lost in the massive shadow of Terrence Cody. He started all 14 games as a senior, with two sacks and eight quarterback hits. Late rounds or undrafted.

— C.J. Wilson, East Carolina: Wilson (6-3, 284) was Conference USA's defensive player of the year and performed well in the all-star games. He finished with 27 sacks in his career — logging 37 consecutive starts — and showed his athletic ability by blocking an extra point and returning it 90 yards for two points. Probably a fourth-rounder.

— E.J. Wilson, North Carolina: Wilson (6-3, 289) was a three-year starter who tallied four sacks as a senior. He's an intriguing late-round or undrafted prospect but he has some skills against both the run and pass.

Al Woods, LSU: The perfect body for a 3-4 end at 6-foot-4, 312 pounds but didn't become a starter until his senior season, when he recorded one sack. You can't coach size, though, and he's certainly got the tools to become a good rotational player. Anywhere from fifth round to seventh.

— Corey Wootton, Northwestern: Wootton (6-6, 280) is an interesting prospect. He's got the height to grow into a 3-4 end. He's got the athletic ability to potentially develop as an outside linebacker. Teams that run a 4-3 will love him at end. Had he not torn his ACL in a 2008 bowl game, he would have been off the board by No. 23. Now, he'll last into the second round. He picked off four passes and had 19.5 sacks in his career.

Doug Worthington, Ohio State: Worthington (6-5, 288) started 21 games over his last two seasons. Not overly productive and a DUI in 2008 will concern scouts, too. But he'll get drafted because he's got the build and he can stop the run. Late-round possibility.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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