Defensive Lineman Pre-draft Watch List

2004 NFL Draft wish lists are popping up. You normally end up with one pick per round and this can create as much anxiety as the players you think you want to replace. <br><br> "So many pedestrians, so little time."

There are always some trainable athletes out there you never heard about and these players normally rear their heads at the combine. Others, for some reason or the other, never get the attention or "press" necessary for you to consider.

These are my day two cliff-hangers, they might be there, they might not. So, after the first two rounds have been wasted on frills and pip-squeaks, this may serve as a short list of whom to look for to deepen our shallow defensive line. The list is so bountiful, I have decided a day two Aaron Smith type steal will be available.

The first place I look for a DE playing for the 3-4 defense is at DT. The roles are so similar and run defense so critical for the player to fit the scheme, I consider it an act of common sense.

My current DT rating going into the 2004 draft

1. Randy Starks Jr.Maryland6-4305
2. Vince Wilfork Jr. Miami (Fla.)6-2345
3. Darnell Dockett Sr. Florida State 6-4285
4. Tommie Harris Jr. Oklahoma 6-3290
5. Tim Anderson Sr. Ohio State 6-4290
6. Marcus Tubbs Sr. Texas 6-4325
6. Marcus Tubbs Sr. Texas 6-4325
7. DeMarco Neil Sr. Auburn 6-1305
8. Brandon Kennedy Sr. North Texas 5-10335
9. Tommy Kelly Sr. Mississippi State 6-5300
10. Rodney Leisle Sr. UCLA 6-3290

These are my senior DT's to watch for after round two

Brandon Calton - East Tennessee State #55 - 6-4 290 4.9
Lead East Tennessee linemen in tackles for the past two years and has a nose for the ball.
70 tackles, 14 TFL, and 4 sacks.

Chad Lavalais - Louisiana State #93 - 6-3 292 5.1
He's already 25 so he may drop some, but an unreal athlete that has a passion for the game.
He can add a little finesse to a dime rush.
His production at tackles slid to 40 but his time in the opponents' backfield increased with 12 TFL and 6 sacks.

Aaron McConnell - Pittsburg State #91 - 6-2 295 5.1
A consistent and productive player over the past three years, I like this "local" talent.
49 tackles, 21 TFL, and 6 sacks this year. I do like him in a 4-3 better.

Sean Mulcahy - Connecticut #99 - 6-5 295 4.9
Quick for such a big man, he may flourish under the coaching of Johnny Mitchell and can hold a lot more on that frame. Can't help but wonder how he would do at DE.
37 tackles, 10 TFL, and 4 sacks.

Jeremy Williams - Washington State #95 6-4 290 5.1
He is a consistent performer with 36 tackles, 9 TFL, and 4 sacks this year.
Williams is a four-time All-Academic Pac-10 First Team selection with a 3.56 grade average in Communications.
"Jeremey is not only a good student, but a solid person," coach Bill Doba said. "He leads this team in grace before we eat, normally. He's on our players' committee, and I really value his opinion. ... He's sharp. I'd like to buy some stock in him. Someday he'll be very successful."

Dwan Edwards - Oregon State #98 6-3 305 4.9
37 tackles, 7 TFL, and 2 sacks.
Was more productive when playing next to Eric Manning last year with 50 tackles. He continually has become stronger, bigger and faster increasing his vertical jump by two inches over last years' 27" mark to 29", his 40 time from 5.1 to 4.9. Dwan entered OSU with a 3.75 grade average.

Most people are sitting down when they read, but I figure when you read this…

Faaifoaoolelagi 'Ifo' Pili - Brigham Young #95 6-3 325 5.2
He is beyond a doubt this year's "Name Guy" for Myron Cope.
36 tackles and 5 TFL, hey what do you expect for a legitimate NT?
Had the bone in his thumb sheered straight off and has played the last two games with it all wrapped up.
He will have it re-broken and set very soon. The more I read about him, the better his character.

Isaac Sopoaga - Hawaii #97 6-3 336 5.2
Not quite as productive as last year and needs some coaching on how to better utilize his hands.
38 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks.
Very strong and, as you would suspect, an outstanding run stopper. He actually has an effective bull rush without his hands…hmmm, willing to lead with his face.

I also have a list of Jr's that may or may not come out. I would have them wait.
These juniors may very well push themselves into the draft after combine results.

Anttaj Hawthorne Wisconsin 6-3 297
Shaun Cody Southern Cal 6-5 285
Donnell Washington Clemson 6-6 320
Igor Olshansky Oregon 6-6 305
Albert Means Memphis 6-4 350
Santonio Thomas Miami FL 6-4 308
Lorenzo Alexander California 6-3 295

This page contains 25 DT's to keep tabs on come combine time.

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