Draft 2001: Defensive Ends Analysis



The Vikings have addressed defensive end in free agency by re-signing Fernando Smith and going out and acquiring Lance Johnstone, so the position likely won’t be a top priority when the Vikings get on the clock. They may have the wish to grab one later in the draft, especially is someone like DeLawrence Grant or Cedric Scott slips to them.

JUSTIN SMITH, Missouri, 6-4, 268 — A third-year junior who started every game with the Tigers...Two-time All-Big 12 selection, Freshman All-America...All-time leader for Missouri with 22.5 sacks, to go with 257 tackles and 53 tackles for a loss...Amazing initial quickness off the snap...Never gives up on plays and often makes tackles on the other side of the field from where a play starts...Very good weight room man, his strength allowed him to never miss a game with injury...Not as tall as many personnel men want for a DE, but makes up for lack of size with great quickness...Didn’t run at the Combine, but did 26 reps with 225 pounds and had a 34-inch vertical jump.
PROJECTION: While still a little raw and will need some refining, his skills outweigh his lack of experience and he should go in the top 10 picks, perhaps as his as No. 2 to Arizona.

ANDRE CARTER, California, 6-4, 255 — Has NFL bloodline as the son of former Denver Bronco Rubin Carter...Four-year starter who became a starter midway through his true freshman year...Two-time first team All-Pac 10 selection and All-America in 2000...Last two years he had 112 tackles, 39 tackles for loss and 23 sacks...Locker room leader who passes the test with NFL scouts as being a coachable player with leadership qualities...Has long arms and is capable of batting down a lot of passes...Is likely not going to get a lot bigger, since he weighed only 230 as a freshman and was about as big as he would get when he played at 260 pounds last year and weighed just 249 at the Combine...Has a lot of upper body strength, which is the result of a 415-pound bench press...Reminds some scouts of Michael McCrary of the Ravens, who uses speed and strength to make up for lack of size...Incredible jumping ability allows him to swat down passes...May be too small to be full-time, every-down lineman...Didn’t run at the Combine, but did 20 reps and had an incredible 38-1/2 inch vertical jump.
PROJECTION: A great athlete with the personality a coach wants, he’ll go midway in the first round.

JAMAL REYNOLDS, Florida State, 6-3, 268 — Four-year player who didn’t become a starter until his junior year, playing behind Tony Bryant and Greg Spires for the Seminoles...In two years as a starter, he had 115 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss and 19 sacks...All-America in 2000 and won the Lombardi Trophy, given to the country’s best lineman...Wore down as team’s double teamed him last year, getting 10 sacks in first five games and only two sacks the rest of the way...Quick enough to chase down players like Michael Vick last year...Uses speed to beat slower left tackles...A little short and undersized for ideal DE...Perhaps the best instinctive pass rusher available in the draft...Ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at the Combine, but didn’t lift of jump.
PROJECTION: Odds are his pure athletic ability will keep him in the first round of the draft.

AARON SCHOBEL, Texas Christian, 6-4, 263 — One of the older top prospects, he graduated high school in 1996...Fifth-year senior...Two-time All-WAC player and WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2000...In three full seasons as a starter, he had 192 tackles, 49 tackles for loss and 24 sacks...Started his last 45 games with TCU...A blown up linebacker in terms of size and may end up as a LB in the pros...Extremely tough player...A little too small to be a dominant DE at the next level...Didn’t run or lift at the Combine, but had a 36-inch vertical jump.
PROJECTION: Another in-between player who could go anywhere from early in the second round to the middle of the third round.

KYLE VANDEN BOSCH, Nebraska, 6-4, 270 — Two-year starter who has suffered through some injuries in his playing career...Extremely intelligent, he earned his college degree in less than four years...In two seasons as a starter, he had 93 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and 10 sacks...A good combination of strength and speed...Relentless hustle...Gets swallowed up by huge OT’s...Impressed at the Combine, running a 4.68 in the 40, doing 26 reps and showing off a 36-1/2 inch vertical jump.
PROJECTION: If you saw him at the Combine, you’d say he’s among the best DE’s available, but he’ll likely slide to late in the second or early in the third round.

DeLAWRENCE GRANT, Oregon State, 6-3, 279 — Only played two years of D-I ball after spending two years at junior college...All-Pac 10 as a senior...In two years as a starter, he had 75 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss and 12-1/2 sacks...Natural pass rusher...Started the 2000 season weighing 260 pounds, but bulked up to 280 by the end of the year...Wore down as the year progressed last season...Bench presses 415 pounds...More of a pass rusher than run stopper so he may have trouble if asked to play linebacker...Did not work out at the Combine.
PROJECTION: He could have helped himself a lot by working at the Combine. Now he looks to be a late-second or early third-round pick who may have to work a lot harder at being an NFL player than most.

DAVID WARREN, Florida State, 6-2, 255 — One of the most recruited defensive players coming out of high school, he was USA Today’s High School Defensive Player of the Year as a senior...Never a full-time starter…Incredible burst off the ball...Likely too small to be an every-down lineman...Despite small size, doesn’t have the functional skills to immediately move to a LB position...Didn’t run or jump at the Combine, but did 21 reps.
PROJECTION: There are teams that are high on him because of his speed, but designated pass rushers don’t go until the third round of the draft at best.

CEDRIC SCOTT, Southern Mississippi, 6-6, 281 — A fifth-year senior, who was a two-year starter...All-Conference USA pick last year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year...In two years as a starter, he had 119 tackles, 33 tackles for loss and 16 sacks — 12 of those coming last year...Excellent at batting down passes because of long arms...Played his best at the Senior Bowl against the top OT’s in the college game...Plays too high and gets pushed away too often by offensive linemen...Ran a 4.75 at the Combine, along with 23 reps and a 35-1/2 inch vertical jump.
PROJECTION: Despite having all the physical qualifications to be a prototype DE, he isn’t likely to go in the first two round because of the lack of experience faced in Conference USA.

Paul Toviessi, Marshall, 6-6, 260
Karon Riley, Minnesota, 6-3, 264
Fred Wakefield, Illinois, 6-7, 286
Derrick Burgess, Mississippi, 6-4, 257
Monty Beisel, Kansas State, 6-4, 270
Reggie Hayward, Iowa State, 6-5, 255
Ellis Wyms, Mississippi State, 6-3, 284
Dwayne Missouri, Northwestern, 6-5, 259

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