The Top Pass Rushers For The 2009 Draft

Throwing the football, defending the pass, protecting the passer and rushing the passer are without question the four most important skills, a professional club most possess. Former scout Tom Marino today gives the readers a first look at the cream of this year's defensive end grouping.

A top defensive end must have the size and physical strength to restrict the outside run lane, the quickness to out maneuver a quality offensive tackle and the speed to close on the football.

Although he was not a full time starter in 2007, Michael Johnson may well have as much natural talent as any DE in the country. I like his size (frame), speed and pass rushing potential. Off his initial get off, I liked his stride length and ability to gain ground quickly, his ability to get small at the top of the rush and his close to the football.

Will Davis of Illinois, Brian Orakpo of Texas and Tyson Jackson of LSU have real talent and all have a real chance to become top two round selections.

You don't find many people that play as hard as Oregon's undersized pass rusher Nick Reed. He doesn't have great tools, but he flat out plays like his hair is on fire! Pannel Egboh of Stanford, doesn't dance every dance, but has excellent size and a ton of athletic ability. Many scouts will journey in the coming months out to West Texas A&M to view one Brandon Swain, a pass rush specialist extraordinaire.

I liked Houston' Phillip Hunt chance of developing into a steady pass rusher at the professional level. Ian Campbell of Kansas State put up some very impressive numbers as a sophomore, but I would have to say he was a bit of a disappointment based on my exposure in 2007. Kriston Pittman of LSU is a good athlete who benefited from the presence of a number of outstanding defensive teammates in Tiger's defensive front.

Grade Last First School 2007 Stats
Solo - Assist - Total - Sack - TFL
A Johnson Michael Georgia Tech 11-10-21-4-6
A Orakpo Brian Texas U 27-10-37-5.5-9
B Davis Will Illinois U 29-12-41-9.5-12.5
B Campbell Ian Kansas St 21-24-45-4.5-11
B Jackson Tyson LSU 15-21-36-3.5-5
B Egboh Pannel Stanford U 33-16-49-6-13.5
B Shaugnessy Matt Wisconsin U 41-19-60-5-18
C Vasquez Luis Arizona St 24-19-43-4.5-11.5
C Robinson Antwain Arkansas U 17-7-24-3-5
C Hudgins Drew Colorado U No 2007 stats
C Lomax Jeremy Georgia U 11-5-16-4.5-4.5
C Hunt Phillip Houston U 27-28-55-10.5-18
C Pittman Kriston LSU 29-39-68-7.5-12.5
C Moncur Eric Miami U 18-13-31-5.5-9
C Jamison Tim Michigan U 29-23-52-5.5-10
C Reed Nick Oregon U 30-30-60-12-22.5
C Westerman Jamaal Rutgers U 21-29-50-8-14
C Schweiger Jeff San Jose St No 2007 stats - Transfer
C Ayers Robert Tennessee U 29-9-38-4-12
C Obiozor Cyril Texas A&M 17-22-39-3.5-9.5
C Hopkins Morton Tulsa U 39-29-68-3-10
C Swain Brandon West Texas A&M 34-37-71-14-25.5
C Cline Dan Western Kentucky U 12-17-29-2-5.5

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