2004 NFL Draft Defensive End Top 10

Heading into the final week before the draft, as the Pro-Days closed out, here's an updated ranking and scouting reports of the top 10 Defensive Ends for this years draft class.

Name: Kenechi Udeze School USC Year 4Jr
Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 275 40: 4.75 Pos: DE

Bio: Totaled 56/26/16.5 last season as a junior after posting 44/16/7.5, intercepting one pass and blocking a field goal as a sophomore. Moved into the starting lineup as a freshman and registered 35/9/4.

Positives: One of the nation's top pass rushing terrors the past two seasons. Plays with balance, explosion and tough to knock off his feet. Easily stays in his angle of attack, rushes the edge with speed and discards blockers on his way to the ball carrier. Makes plays in every direction with the ability to drop off the line and play in space. Plays hard even if the outcome of a game has already been determined.

Negatives: Not always quick locating the ball and lacks the top instincts off the line. Engulfed by big, mammoth offensive tackles.

Analysis: A rare specimen with a tremendous combination of speed, explosion and natural strength, Udeze is poised to be a very early selection in April's draft. His production and propensity to make plays in the opponents backfield will make a sought after commodity early in the draft's first round

Name: Will Smith School Ohio State Year 4Sr
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 268 40: 4.68 Pos: DE

Bio: Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year last season, chosen as both an All Conference and All American pick. Totaled 49/20/10.5 in '03, also breaking up 4 passes. Junior numbers included 59/12.5/5.5 which came off the heels of a sophomore campaign when he registered 47/9/4. Recently ran 4.55 during private workouts.

Positives: Explosive defender and versatile lineman productive in a variety of areas. Plays low with good pad level, explodes off the snap and displays speed off the corner or pursuing from the backside. Agile, fluid changing direction and sensational making plays out to the flanks. Rarely off his feet and creates a lot of havoc in the opponents backfield. Effective in space covering tight ends. Deceptively strong, holds his ground against blocks and defends the run. Also smart and quick to diagnose the action or locate the ball.

Negatives: Lacks natural bulk and size. Has difficulty with big offensive lineman and pushed from his angle of attack. Gave consideration to entering the '03 draft but was injured and would not have been physically prepared to perform for scouts.

Analysis: Possessing a rare combination of speed, explosion and athleticism, Smith is a complete defensive lineman that impacts the game. An outstanding prospect and excellent value after the eight slot in April's draft.


Name: Marquise Hill School LSU Year 3Jr
Ht: 6-6.5 Wt: 305 40: 5.21 Pos: DE

Bio: Two year starter who totaled 40/10.5/6 as a junior after 58/4.5/3 the prior season. Originally wavered on whether or not he would enter the 2004 Draft early, yet signed with an agent which forced his hand. Did not perform well at the Combine.

Positives: Big, powerful defensive lineman that dominates the opposition when focused on the task at hand. Plays with good lean, gets push up the field and strong at the point of attack. Tough to move off the point, throws opposing lineman to the ground and easily occupies two gaps. Forceful in all his actions and effectively defends the run.

Negatives: Sluggish off the snap and at times looks both lethargic and lackadaisical. Cannot immediately alter his angle of attack nor is he effective off the line of scrimmage in space.

Analysis: A naturally strong athlete, Hill can be a force at several positions on the defensive line. Ultimately may grow into a defensive tackle yet could also be lined-up in a two-gap system. Coming off an average junior campaign and must start to rely on more than just natural abilities.


Name: Travis LaBoy School Hawaii Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 263 40: 4.69 Pos: DE

Bio: 2003 Defensive Player of the Year in the WAC after recording 76/22/13. Also intercepted 2 passes and broke up 3 more. Junior totals were 65/17/7 after 52/11/4 as a sophomore when he moved into the starting lineup. Performed well at the Combine running under 4.7 in the forty and completing 35 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Positives: Productive lineman that's been a pass rushing terror on the collegiate level. Athletic, plays with excellent pad level and adjusts off the initial block to make a play on the ball. Smart, immediately diagnoses the action then shows excellent speed from the backside. Redirects well, displays good hand technique and makes a lot of athletic plays.

Negatives: Only marginal skills in run defense and handled at the point of attack by opposing tight ends. May not have much more growth potential.

Analysis: A high motor player that constantly disrupts offenses, LaBoy has made his presence felt the past two seasons. A solid prospect as a pass rushing end in a conventional four-three defense.


Name: Bobby McCray School Florida Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-5.5 Wt: 255 40: 4.69 Pos: DE

Bio: Started eight of twelve games as a senior and posted 50/11.5/9.5. Started five games as a junior and finished with 45/4/2.5. Ran well at the Combine posting a pair of forties in the 4.7 range and completing 27 repetitions on the bench press.

Positives: Top athlete that dominates the opposition when focused. Rushes the edge with speed, or pursues the action from the backside. Moves well laterally yet forceful up the field. Quick to locate the action and adequate skills playing in space.

Negatives: Neutralized at the point or easily slowed by blocks. Marginal competitiveness and does not always play with a sense of urgency.

Analysis: A defender with tremendous underlying abilities, McCray is a natural pass rusher who could develop into a run stuffer as his body matures. To his credit got better as his senior year proceeded and seemingly had a change of attitude. Needs to hit the weight room hard and consistently play until the whistle blows to be a productive NFL defender.


Name: Jason Babin School Western Michigan Year 4Sr
Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 260 40: 4.65 Pos: DE

Bio: MAC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior after posting 115/32/15. Broke out as a junior with numbers of 94/26/15 when he was originally named the best defensive player in the conference.

Positives: Explosive pass rushing prospect that's been a complete defender on the college level. Breaks down, plays with leverage and quickly gets off the snap. Fast off the edge, immediately alters his angle of attack and pursues from the backside with speed. Outstanding range and makes plays in every direction. Smart, locates the ball and known as a player that spends a lot of time studying film. Deceptively strong and puts up good numbers in the weight room. One of the fastest defensive ends at the Combine and turned in a great workout.

Negatives: Slow shedding blocks or handled by ordinary lineman. Neutralized at the point in run defense.

Analysis: Super productive the past two seasons, Babinhas has constantly been a disrupting force on the field. Grades highly in the areas of character, competitiveness and athleticism and very much a prospect in the mold of a Dan Klecko or Teddy Bruschi; the type of prospect whose tenacity will be infectious.


Name: Antwan Odom School Alabama Year 4Jr
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 274 40: 4.76 Pos: DE

Bio: First team All Conference selection last season after totaling 40/9.5/8 which came off the heels of a breakout campaign as a junior when he posted 42/4/10.

Positives: Athletic defensive end that makes a lot of plays up the field. Agile, quickly alters his angle of attack and immediately redirects the ball handler. Breaks down well and rarely off his feet. Top athlete with terrific range and the ability to make plays in all directions. Flashes explosion, forceful and wedges between blocks. Can drop off the line and effectively play in space.

Negatives: Has a thin build and handled at the point or knocked off the ball by opposing fullbacks. Lacked a sense of urgency last season and unwilling to make plays if the ball was not in his immediate vicinity.

Analysis: An outstanding pass rusher that can be tough to handle, Odom possesses the physical abilities that warrant a first round selection. Yet with that he is not a prospect that goes hard on every snap. Should have stayed in school one more season and needs to quickly pick up the tempo in almost every aspect.


Name: Nathaniel Adibi School Virginia Tech Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 255 40: 4.58 Pos: DE

Bio: Second team All Conference choice as a senior after numbers of 45/8/5.5. Junior totals included 55/15/9 41/2/1 as a sophomore in eight starts.

Positives: Speedy, athletic defensive end that makes a lot of plays up the field. Quick off the snap, plays with good pad level and immediately alters his angle of attack in pursuit of the action. Possesses a closing burst of speed and flashes on the scene. Effectively uses hand technique to stay off blocks, agile and makes plays in every direction in the field.

Negatives: Driven off the line or handled at the point. Did not have the senior campaign expected and lacked a sense of urgency in his play. Flashed skill at the Senior Bowl but did not show much consistency.

Analysis: one of the better pass rush specialists in the country coming into the season, Adibi has watched his stock slip after a marginal senior season Can still be effective at the next level in a conventional defense at right defensive end if he builds upon his junior campaign.


Name: Dave Ball School UCLA Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 272 40: 5.07 Pos: DE

Bio: Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Year in '03 after leading the nation in sacks posting 54/20.5.16.5. Second team All Conference choice as a junior after totaling 36/15/11.5.

Positives: Fiery leader on defense that makes a lot of plays in the opponents backfield. Athletic, quick off the snap and moves in every direction with speed. Plays with balance, body lean and rarely off his feet. Quick changing his angle of attack and chases to get involved in the action. Intelligent intense but plays under control.

Negatives: Gives effort defending the run but not effective and driven off the line by opposing tight ends.

Analysis: Coming into the season Ball was considered a late round choice but is now looked at as a legitimate pass rushing threat from the right side. Understands the position and knows how to exploit opponents but has limitations.


Name: Shaun Phillips School Purdue Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 255 40: 4.84 Pos: DE

Bio: Four year starter that's played every game at defensive end during his Purdue career. Posted 58/23/14.5 as a senior after junior totals of 50/8.5/6. Productive sophomore campaign included 72/15/6.

Positives: Explosive pass rush specialist also effective off the line of scrimmage. Breaks down well, plays with terrific pad level and rarely off his feet. Quickly gets off the snap with a nice first step, plays sideline-to-sideline and shows excellent pursuit speed. Good hand technique and fights to stay off blocks. Can drop off the line and covers a good amount of area in space.

Negatives: Undersized, easily knocked from his angle of attack or handled by opposing tight ends. Known as a defender that pins his ears back and goes after the opposing quarterback rather than defending the run.

Analysis: A tremendous athlete that brings a lot of speed to his game, Phillips plays much faster than his forty time. Could be effective in a variety of ways at the next level if he rounds off his game and learns to become a complete defender.

2004 Defensive End Rankings

Rank Round Full Name School Year
1 1A Kenechi Udeze USC 4Jr
2 1A Will Smith Ohio State 4Sr
3 2A Marquise Hill LSU 3Jr
4 2A Travis LaBoy Hawaii 5Sr
5 2B Bobby McCray Florida 5Sr
6 2B Jason Babin Western Michigan 4Sr
7 3A Antwan Odom Alabama 4Jr
8 3A Nathaniel Adibi Virginia Tech 5Sr
9 3C Dave Ball UCLA 5Sr
10 3C Shaun Phillips Purdue 5Sr
11 4A Darrion Scott Ohio State 4Sr
12 4A Isaac Hilton Hampton 5Sr
13 4B Bo Schobel TCU 5Sr
14 4C Greg Taplin Michigan State 4Sr
15 5A Antonio Smith Oklahoma State 5Sr
16 5B Claude Harriott Pittsburgh 5Sr
17 5C Kevin Emanuel Florida State 5Sr
18 5C Andrew Shull Kansas State 5Sr
19 6A Gabe Nyenhuis Colorado 5Sr
20 6B Roderick Green Central Missouri State 5Sr
21 6C Reggie Torbor Auburn 5Sr
22 7A Raheem Orr Rutgers 5Sr
23 7A Trevor Johnson Nebraska 5Sr
24 7B Larry Stevens Michigan 4Sr
25 FA Jared Allen Idaho State 4Sr
26 FA Robert Geathers Georgia 3Jr
27 FA Constantin Ritzmann Tennessee 5Sr
28 FA Khaleed Vaughn Clemson 5Sr
29 FA Howard Hodges Iowa 5Sr
30 FA Kalen Thornton Texas 4Sr
31 FA Shawn Johnson Delaware 5Sr
32 FA Nautyn McKay-Loescher Alabama 4Sr
33 FA Robert Pollard TCU 5Sr
34 FA Ronald Jones Southern Mississippi 4Sr
35 FA Darrell Lee Florida 4Sr
36 FA Quinn Dorsey Oregon 5Sr
37 FA Michael Spicer Western Carolina 5Sr
38 FA Alain Kashama Michigan 4Sr
39 FA Thomas Houchin Kansas State 5Sr
40 FA Omar Nazel USC 5Sr
41 FA Kevin Nesfield Purdue 5Sr
42 FA Khreem Smith Oklahoma State 4Sr
43 FA Derrick Strong Illinois 4Sr
44 FA Brian Montesanto Arizona State 5Sr
45 FA Josh Thomas Syracuse 4Sr
46 FA Frank Ofili Toledo 5Sr

 


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