Tom Marino: Scouting the Defensive Ends

Get the scoop on this year's DE crop from an NFL scout with over 35 years experience.

THE BEST

1. Chris Long, DE, Virginia
40: 4.81v Ht: 6030v Wt: 272v Rating: 1.11
Quality individual and player. Finishes everything. Great playing character, tenacity and toughness. Good initial get off, sees things quickly, reacts, and shows excellent play range. Rare backside effort. Wasn't as nifty as I expected (bend and trim the edge). Great bend and core strength. More of a self made player then a natural talent. Great leverage meeting and playing off blocks. The ultimate team guy. Top defensive player in the country.

2. Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
40: 4.89v Ht: 6045v Wt: 271v Rating: 1.135
Smooth athletic player with excellent speed, get off quickness and impressive edge rush skills. Like his stride length, hand quicks, counter moves and close. Effectively worked down inside and get to the ball. Run down player who can drop his base and stack. Seldom on the ground and on the rare occasion that he was bounced up quickly and got back into the play. Didn't see much I didn't like or can't be improved. The real deal. Slam dunk # 1

3. Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
40: 4.59v Ht: 6030v Wt: 266v Rating: 1.151
Great physical presence. Has blacksmith arms, broad shoulders and thick muscular torso, but even with 14 sack and rare speed, I don't consider him a natural pass rusher (paper production). Not an edge rusher (not nifty and lacks hand moves). A power rusher with a motor that doesn't always run on high. Disappointing in space. More of an inside type, but is never going to have the mass to project.. Rare numbers, but I wouldn't draft with my 1st selection.

4. Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn
40: 4.57v Ht: 6030v Wt: 259v Rating: 1.175
Has had some off field issues which will need to be addressed. Former OB. Lean looking cut up athlete. Has a hot and cold playing motor. Undersized to factor as down linemen full time (not good match up) and needs space to operate, but has rare take off skills and the ability to close on the ball. Excellent playing range. Can retrace his steps and run down the ball carrier from the backside. Was run at some. Late 1st round consideration.

5. Calais Campbell, DE, Miami (FL)
40: 5.01v Ht: 6076v Wt: 290v Rating: 1.182
Has lots of skills, play strength, initial get off quickness, but has a tendency to lose his focus. Has good COD and can really close on the ball. Very good inside counter move as a pass rusher. Huge wing span will pose a major problem for QB's within the league. Very nimble big man, but is not there yet. Top round draft potential.

6. Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
40: 4.80e Ht: 6042v Wt: 276v Rating: 1.19
More physical vs the run then I expected. Liked his intensity. Disruptive. Good range and versatility. Showed a tendency to play to high, but I loved his motor, quickness, toughness and the ability to finish. Good backside effort and playing range. Locates the ball on the inside. needs better point strength. Could have some nickel inside pass rush potential with maturity. Round # 1

7. Chris Ellis, DE, Virginia Tech
40: 4.76v Ht: 6042v Wt: 263v Rating: 1.245
OVA transfer. I liked this players athletic ability, direction change and potential as a edge pass rusher in a 3-4 scheme. Good stride length to top of the rush and bend and use of hands to alter course and finish. Active within the running game showing both range and instincts. Good wrap up tackler. Possible end in 4-3 scheme. Competition level is a concern, but this is a talented high ceiling player. Round 3-4.

8. Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
40: 4.86v Ht: 6042v Wt: 271v Rating: 1.275
Saw him as somewhat of an under achiever, but he has the skills to become a factor as a 4-3 pass rusher. Has good range, quickness. Has natural pass rush skills (quick hands, gets small at the top of the rush and the ability to close on the ball). Vs the run, will need to improve his overall body strength. Was run at with some success (got his pads up). Wouldn't pull the switch too quickly with this player. Late 2nd mid 3rd consideration.

9. Cliff Avril, DE, Purdue
40: 4.63v Ht: 6027v Wt: 251v Rating: 1.335
A 3-4 outside backer prospect who overall was somewhat disappointing. Got stuck on blocks and wasn't particularly effective in his movement away from the ball. More of a "Sam backer" prospect and nickel rusher. Did show some short area pop when meeting blocks and the ball carrier. Has some natural leverage. Looks to have strong contributing back up potential within the league. Round 3 to 4 consideration.

10. Darrell Robertson, DE, Georgia Tech
40: 4.75e Ht: 6037v Wt: 255v Rating: 1.355
A very good athlete who played on his feet and covered a great deal of range. I liked his leverage and use of hands when meeting blocks. Good feet and balance (plays with bent knees). Got moved around by big people but didn't stay blocked. As a pass rusher, really came hard on the outside (gains ground). Does not convery speed to power at this time, but with maturity should develop. Has strong 3rd to 4th round draft potential.

11. Kenneth Iwebema Jr., DE, Iowa
40: 5.00v Ht: 6040v Wt: 274v Rating: 1.442
A talented player but something appears to be missing. Way too up and down. Showed good initial quickness and used his hands well, but seldom finished anything. Can converts speed to power, but too often just hung on blocks. Would like to have seen more consistent pad level. Has ability but needs further skill refirement and consistency. Late 3rd consideration, but is more likely a 4th round playing talent.

12. Marcus Howard, DE, Georgia
40: 4.51v Ht: 6004v Wt: 239v Rating: 1.465
Undersized rocked up DE. Highly explosive & the speed to pose a real problem for a lot of tackles in nickel. Questionable instinctive & playing background, but there is no doubt what he can do on 3rd & long (nickel rusher). Physical explosive tackler. Vs the run, got covered up & was generally ineffective. Plays fast and is very tough, but can never be an every down guy. Good teams potentiial. A Robert Mathis clone.

13. Bruce Davis, DE, UCLA
40: 4.83v Ht: 6025v Wt: 252v Rating: 1.483
Undersized player who was a pass rusher first and foremost. I felt he was a very good athlete who can run and close as a outside speed rusher. Disappointing effort and competes within the running game. I didn't think his motor always ran on high when chasing backside . Proved tio be ineffective in a two point stance. A one dimentional player who should warrent mid round draft consideration (4 - 5).

14. Jeremy Thompson, DE, Wake Forest
40: 4.77v Ht: 6043v Wt: 264v Rating: 1.545
A three year starter predominately on the right side. Has the quickness you look for when engaging blocker defending the run, but I also thought he got his pads up, thus negating his power. Didn't always finish or chase backside. Has potential as a pass rusher (good hand use, stride length and closing speed, but unless he beat people off the go, lacks the necessary body strength to defeat big people at this time. Round 5 - 6 consideration.

16. Chris Harrington, DE, Texas A&M
40: 4.86v Ht: 6043v Wt: 264v Rating: 1.581
A little bit of a tweener. Is a good worker who played with a good deal of energy. As an outside pass rusher came off the ball (good stride length), but lacked the bend at the top of the rush (far more effective as a junior). Vs the run, was not a stout physical player. Was marginal to get off block and make plays. Has some athletic ability and quickness, but is more of a back up player at the next level. Round 5 - 6 draft potential.

17. Kendall Langford, DE, Hampton
40: 5.01v Ht: 6054v Wt: 287v Rating: 1.66
Showed initial quickness on his get off, but does not play with a lot of power and or strength. Sharted each game viewed with a lot of energy, but had a tendency to run out of gas (stamina and conditioning)? Has particularly small hands, no hips or butt. Just feel if he can't beat you off the go, will have a difficult time. Should be given strong late round draft (6 - 7) consideration.

21. Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan
40: 4.80v Ht: 6052v Wt: 273v Rating: 1.701
Is a former tight end who was moved to a defensive tackle position at the midpoint of the 04 season. Looks like a basketball player. Needs to play outside. Is a very raw player who had a tendency to get his pads up off the go. Limited use of hands to shed (gets stuck on blocks). Has skills and was not out of place at the Senior Bowl workouts, but is no better then a developmental player at this time. Late selection but more likely a PFA.

22. Curtis Johnson, DE, Clark Atlanta
40: 4.78v Ht: 6025v Wt: 242v Rating: 1.71
Quick side end with good speed and playing range. Needs a great deal of work with his technique (use of hands). Effective edge rusher who can trim the edge effectively. I really liked his competes and the way finished. Perfect fit as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme. Needs refinement, but has tools and intensity to play. aLooks like a contributing back up within the league who should be able to add bulk and strength to his frame. Round 6 -7 consideration.

25. Johnny Dingle, DE, West Virginia
40: 4.98v Ht: 6013v Wt: 265v Rating: 1.735
Originally signed with Florida but was a non-qualifier and transferred. Is a undersized player with athletic ability who flashed skills as an edge rusher. Comes hard. Gets upfield, trims the edge, and showed a closing burst. Was just inconsistent in this area, and was in my opinion a non entity defending the run. Motor doesn't always run on high. Just when you are about to give up on him will make a "wow" play to get you excited. 7th or priority free agent.

27. Chase Ortiz, DE, TCU
40: 4.93v Ht: 6020v Wt: 249v Rating: 1.767
Outside backer in a 3-4 look. Plays with a good motor and had some adequate backside chase and outside pass rush potential. A straight line guy who doesn't have the hips and COD to project to linebacker. Too small to line up at as a 4-3 end. Gets muscled on the inside by big people. Looks like a steady back up prospect with second day (5th to 7th) round draft potential.

28. Louis Holmes, DE, Arizona
40: 4.89v Ht: 6035v Wt: 263v Rating: 1.775
Highest rated Has size and a great deal of natural talent, but has made some highly questionable off the field decisions which can't be overlooked. Said to be very immature and inconsistent as a player. Not a high motor guy but when he wants to has more then enough playing skills to impact a game. A club could well hit big with this player, but I really don't know he can be counted on over the long haul. Has 7th round or free agent potential.

29. Dorian Smith, DE, Oregon State
40: 5.08v Ht: 6014v Wt: 264v Rating: 1.78
An under rated player who makes plays on the strength of a motor that always runs on high. Does not have a natural feel for the position, nor does he have special tools, but made plays due to his sustained effort Is never going to have the size and strength for full time participation. Would consider in a late round ate round 5-7 draft consideration.

THE REST

Antonio Reynolds, DE, Tennessee
40: 4.92v Ht: 6035v Wt: 266v Rating: 1.8
Left elbow injury. Non explosive player. Good physical speciaman. Too inconsistent

Greyson Gunheim, DE, Washington
40: 4.90e Ht: 6050e Wt: 260e Rating: 1.8

Joe Clermond, DE, Pittsburgh
40: 4.97v Ht: 6022v Wt: 253v Rating: 1.8

Kirston Pittman, DE, LSU
40: 4.74v Ht: 6023v Wt: 254v Rating: 1.8
Been injured last two seasons, but has been a pleasant surprise in 2007. Is undersized and had problems with big people

Nick Schlekeway, DE, Boise State
40: 4.93v Ht: 6033v Wt: 268v Rating: 1.8
Physical run stopping outside defender. Highly intelligent (3.75 GPA). Intense competitor who lives to play the game. Has a mean streak. Limited pass rush skills and or potential

Tommy Blake, DE, TCU
40: 4.83v Ht: 6025v Wt: 272v Rating: 1.8
Might be institutionalized by the time of the draft. Very sick young man.

Wallace Gilberry, DE, Alabama
40: 4.99v Ht: 6022v Wt: 268v Rating: 1.8
Not a polished player. Lacks mass & strength. Undersized / Gets muscled and tied up on blocks / Good laterally moving down the line & hustle on the backside. Flashes initial quicks & explosiveness / Smart and experienced, but very much an over achiever 6th -7th or PFA

Trevor Scott, DE, Buffalo U
40: 4.62v Ht: 6052v Wt: 252v Rating: 1.555
Converted TE who has been banged up, but has measurable and athletic potential. I liked his motor & playing character (great energy). Not a lot of know-how at this stage or strength, but has some natural pass rush moves coming off the edge. Needs to shed blocks more effectively and finish. Also appeared to wear down working against big people (stamina)? Has tools and could develop in time. Draft consideration round 5 - 6.

William Hayes, DE, Winston Salem St
40: 4.71v Ht: 6026v Wt: 272v Rating: 1.682
Impressive small college linemen who showed explosiveness on his take off, the ability to convert speed to power and close on the football. Has a pro body and very good athletic ability. Mike backer in his first two season of play. Needs to keep his pads down more consistently, but did meet blocks and play with leverage. Has good first step quickness as a pas rusher, but will need to improve in his ability to counter. Strong late round draft or priority FA potential.

Hilee Taylor, DE, No Carolina U
40: 4.59v Ht: 6023v Wt: 244v Rating: 1.695
Is an undersized nickel rusher with rare speed who was generally an ineffective run stopper; plays high, was inconsistent with his hands and did not get off blocks particularly well. Can range and will make some plays with his backside chase. Vs the pass, is a fast twitch guy with a great 1st step, forces separation, get to the top of his rush, leans and accelerates to the ball. Too stiff to consider at LB. One dimentional, but give you something pretty special

Alex Hall, DE, St Augustine
40: 4.72v Ht: 6051v Wt: 239v Rating: 1.7
Has a great deal of natural gifts, but is physically underdeveloped and from a position skill perspective is at least two years behind in terms of development. As a pass rusher, has long arms, good first step quickness, the stride length to get to the top of the rush and the closing speed to pressure the QB. Currrently lacks the body strength, plan of attack and practical experience to factor. Raiders type pick.

Ervin Baldwin, DE, Michigan St
40: Ht: 6012v Wt: 270v Rating: 1.716
Undersized (length) outside rusher, who played very hard. I thought he showed good leverage when meeting blocks, although will need to get off them more effeciently. Come hard as an outside rusher, but lacks hand use, counter skills, and finishing skills. A special situation rusher who has shown enough to merit late round consideration (6th to 7th).

Jeremy Geathers, DE, UNLV
40: 4.82v Ht: 6021v Wt: 259v Rating: 1.725
Undersized Juco transfer (son of long time NFL tackle James). Was far better player then I originally expected. Has excellent hip strength and lower body power.Good leverage and hands defending the run. Didn't make a lot of plays on wide plays, but was strong and effective. As a pass rusher, showed good lean and dip at the top of rush (has an inside counter), but just modest results (only 11 sacks in 2 years). A work in progress, but has some tools. Round 7

Angelo Craig, DE, Cincinnati U
40: 5.09v Ht: 6040v Wt: 252v Rating: 1.755
First year regular. Former WR, TE and LB before finding a home at DE. Is a good athlete, with foot speed and a burst. Can trim the edge and has the physical make up (long arms) to alter the throwing lanes (flashed impressive hand use). Up and down playing intensity. Have to question both his mental and physical toughness. Late consideration with the hope of developing at the LB position.

Kurt Hout, DE, Ferris St
40: 4.91v Ht: 6010v Wt: 266v Rating: 1.798
A tough undersized small college player who played extremely hard. Flies around and makes plays. Not particularly strong, but was physical and has an edge to him. Has had some off the field issues but has matured over the past two years (raised himself). Didn’t think he located the ball on the inside as well as he should have (lack of height likely contributed to his lack of success). Outside chance to factor at the professional level

Marque Fountain, DE, Oklahoma St
40: Ht: Wt: Rating: 1.8
Undersized try hard guy (no length). I like his snap reaction (fast twitch athlete). A backside run and chase guy, who got muscled (limited take on skills) at the point of attack.. Going to have a lot of problems with big people. Would have an outside chance as a nickel pass rusher, but it doesn't get any easier at the next level.

Martail Burnett, DE, Utah U
40: 4.79v Ht: 6026v Wt: 257v Rating: 1.8

Jeff Van Orsow, DE, Oregon St
40: Ht: Wt: Rating: 1.8
Looked to be just an adequate college player who did little to separate himself from the rest of the pack. Plays in a rotation. Has limited play skills and was not particularly strong. Long shot to play at the professional level. Free agent

Matt Mullenix, DE, Washington St
40: 4.80e Ht: 6054e Wt: 255e Rating: 1.8
College career was slowed by a history of nagging injuries. Finally healthy in 2007, but did nothing to distinguish himself or be considered a professional prospect.

Eugene Bright, DE, Purdue U
40: 5.09v Ht: 6031v Wt: 266v Rating: 1.8
Did not play a great deal in 07 due to injury, but flashed enough pass rush skills to consider as a sub package pass rusher. Is undersized but has some natural skills and running ability.

Andrew Studebaker, DE, Wheaton College
40: 4.54v Ht: 6030v Wt: 249v Rating: 1.8
Has athletic skills and runs extremely well but was injured (broken foot) in October and missed the remainder of the season

Derrick Gray, DE, Texas Southern
40: 5.00e Ht: 6041v Wt: 269v Rating: 1.8

Xavier Mitchell, DE, Tennessee U
40: 4.88v Ht: 6026v Wt: 258v Rating: 1.8
nothing special in any skill area

Udeme Udofla, DE, Stanford U
40: 5.03v Ht: 6035v Wt: 244v Rating: 1.8
Was in my mind a tweener, with limited playing instincts and foot speed. Didn't see him as a particularly tough individual.

Vegas Franklin, DE, Miami U
40: 4.91v Ht: 6022v Wt: 239v Rating: 1.8
First year regular at the LDE position. Was for the most part an edge rusher with both the quicks and speed to be disruptive. Not big or strong enough to overall power people on his bull rush. Vs the run is again really not big enough to stack (leverage) or control. I like his physical tools, but due to his lack of size and strength, is far from the complete package. Priority free agent consideration.

Wallace Artis, DE, Furman U
40: 5.00e Ht: 6033v Wt: 266v Rating: 1.8
Felt he was able to leverage and neutralize effectively but didn't get off blocks and or get to the ball. Good recognition, but just didn't make enough plays. Has some of the things you look for in a pass rusher (get off quicks, pad level, stride and initual use of hands), but never finished or close on the ball (see UNC) . Tries to counter and vary his moves lacks the power to control the block. Priority free agent. Has a chance to develop.

Robert Henderson, DE, Southern Mississippi
40: 4.87v Ht: 6027v Wt: 281v Rating: 1.8

Robert Jackson, DE, Kansas St
40: 4.91v Ht: 6032v Wt: 256v Rating: 1.8
Good steady player. Plays more like a three technique then an end, but lacks the size and body strength. A natural 3-4 scheme tackle. Was active and showed body quickness, but was not a natural pass rush. Has late potential, but is more likely a prioty free agent prospect.

Roderick Johnson, DE, Oklahoma St
40: 4.95e Ht: 6024e Wt: 255e Rating: 1.9
Former linebacker. Has a strong upper body but has limited range and didn't get off blocks on the inside. Was very stiff in his movement away from the football. Tackle to tackle type range. A steady college football player, but appear to lack the needed skills to play beyond this level. Marginal free agent prospect.

Nick Osborn, DE, San Diego St
40: 4.80e Ht: 6033v Wt: 251v Rating: 1.9
Would have to classify him as a tweener. Lacks size, initial quickness, strength and play range. Limited backside effort and overall competes. Lacks the movement to play in space or project to a linebacker position. Marginal free agent prospect.

Dallas Flynn, DE, Northwest Missouri St
40: Ht: 6045v Wt: 260v Rating: 1.9

Bryan Mattison, DE, Iowa U
40: 5.09v Ht: 6027v Wt: 290v Rating: 1.9
Dad is the defensive coordinator at Florida. Bright, try hard guy who was in my opinion a limited athlete (knock kneed and tight in the hips) . Plays hard and used his hands well. Good teams potential. Round 7 or priority free agent consideration

Alonzo Dotson, DE, Oklahoma U
40: Ht: 6030e Wt: 250e Rating: 1.9

Adamm Oliver, DE, Georgia Tech
40: 4.80e Ht: 6036v Wt: 271v Rating: 1.9
lacks ideal size and play style for a 4-3 end. Over achiever who plays hard. Is rehabbing from an ACL suffered during the 07 season

Alex Boston, DE, Florida St
40: 4.76v Ht: 6023v Wt: 261v Rating: 2
Not the typical FSU defensive lineman that we have come to know over the years. Doesn't get off blocks or get to the ball. Is undersized and marginal in every skill area.Questionable to bring to camp as a free agent

Chris McKillop, DE, Pittsburgh U
40: Ht: 6024v Wt: 252v Rating: 2

Craig Mester, DE, Miami (Ohio) U
40: Ht: 6040e Wt: 245e Rating: 2
Undersized outside rusher who can run, but overall was very disappointing as a player. Can't maintain his body weight and appeared to wear down. As expected big people posed problems for this player. Was beaten out during the 07 season and it more then apparent that he doesn't have the skills to play beyond this level of play.

Blair Boynton, DE, Northern Arizona U
40: Ht: Wt: Rating: 2

Brandon Cox, DE, Louisville U
40: Ht: Wt: Rating: 2
Didn't see any get off quicks, much in the way of athletic ability, strength or the position skills to factor at the professional level..

Eric Bakhtiari, DE, U of San Diego
40: Ht: Wt: Rating: 2

Jacob Owens, DE, Fairmont St
40: 4.91v Ht: 6047v Wt: 266v Rating: 2

Maurice Baker, DE, CW Post
40: Ht: 6034e Wt: 260e Rating: 2

Nick Larkin, DE, Boston College
40: Ht: 6036v Wt: 244v Rating: 2
Doesn't have the athletic ability, quickness and or strength to effectively rush the passer from the outside or the strength to pull rush. Limited play production. Not good enough.

Jeremiah Chapman, DE, No Texas U
40: Ht: Wt: Rating: 2

Martel Brown, DE, No Carolina St
40: 4.90e Ht: 6010e Wt: 255e Rating: 2
Did not play well in 2006 and ultimately lost his starting job. Is undersized and did not do a very good job of getting off blocks. Was muscled by big men. Ineffective pass rusher, lacks quick speed, power and the ability to counter. Not a factor vs Wake Forest. Marginal college player with some athletic ability. Down the line free agent

Jesse Nading, DE, Colorado St
40: Ht: 6047v Wt: 261v Rating: 2
Has a good playing motor / competes hard / Marginal athlete with no rush effectiveness

John Amos, DE, Calif-Davis
40: Ht: 6031v Wt: 254v Rating: 2

Jonal Saint-Dic, DE, Michigan St
40: 4.90e Ht: 6002v Wt: 253v Rating: 2

Karl Noa, DE, Hawaii U
40: Ht: 6035v Wt: 239v Rating: 2

Kenwin Cummings, DE, Wingate U
40: 5.08v Ht: 6017v Wt: 258v Rating: 2
Undersized small college defender who has been a four year regular

Kerby Griffin, DE, California (PA)
40: 5.14v Ht: 6005v Wt: 266v Rating: 2

Kirby Joseph, DE, McNeese St
40: 4.94v Ht: 6014e Wt: 270e Rating: 2

Rudolph Hardie, DE, Howard U
40: 4.90e Ht: 6017v Wt: 257v Rating: 2
can't win with him / doesn't get off blocks

SCOUTING NOTATION 101
The small "v" which follows the HT, WT, and forty time is the designation for verified. Other designations may include "e" for estimated, "b" for borrowed (from another scout), or "c" for coaches measurement or timed by a college coach.

Heights: The first number in the four numerals height represents the individual in feet while the second and third numbers represents a player in inches, while the last number in fractions of an inch (exclusively by the 1/8th of an inch.  Thus the following examples:

5105v - 5 for five feet, the10 represent ten inches, and the 5 (five) represents five-eights of another inch.

6017v - Six feet, one and seven-eights verified. 

All professional prospects and or suspects are measured numerous times during the course of a scouting season.  The first takes place generally in the spring of his junior at regularly scheduled "Pro days" at his university. At the conclusion of the season, scouts will on some occasions measure a prospect during a school visit.  Players are weighed and measured at every post season all-star contests.  At some lower level games, players are also given the opportunity to run. The next occasion takes place at the Indianapolis scouting combine, followed by individual or team workouts at the university and finally when a player if flown in to visit at a team site.

 


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