NFL Draft 2013: Most Intriguing Pass Rushers with First-Round Potential

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIJanuary 28, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Defensive end Dion Jordan #96 of the Oregon Ducks follows the play against the Washington State Cougars on September 29, 2012 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL draft is chock-full of defensive talent, led by a talented group of defensive ends such as Bjoern Werner, Damontre Moore and Barkevious Mingo. But the depth doesn't stop there.

This year's class is deep with pass-rushers, with many intriguing options sitting in the mid-to-low picks of the first round.

Yes, a Werner or Moore would be great to any team, but they are top-five picks who are not accessible to everyone.

Here are some intriguing pass-rushers who could be steals for any team outside of the top 10 picks.


Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Edge rushers are taking the NFL by storm, with names like Von Miller and Aldon Smith becoming the best of the best when it comes to rushing the passer. 

That makes the explosive Jarvis Jones an interesting prospect at outside linebacker for any team.

The former Bulldog dominated college football this season, leading the nation in sacks (14.5) and forced fumbles (seven) while registering 24.5 tackles for loss and four pass deflections.

Jones doesn't have the speed to be labeled the next Miller or Smith—not yet, at least—but he has a solid combination of size (6'2", 242 lbs) with above-average strength and quickness.

Dropped in a 3-4 system, Jones has all the makings of a great NFL pass-rusher. He may not be the all-around force that Werner and Moore are, but he can still be a huge playmaker.


Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

At 6'6" and 243 pounds, Jordan was originally recruited to play tight end at the University of Oregon. 

Jordan eventually found his calling at defensive end and became a full-time starter in both 2011 and 2012.

As a starter, Jordan registered 86 tackles (23.5 for loss), 12.5 sacks and four forced fumbles for the Ducks.

The dynamic Jordan has great speed and athleticism, making him a perfect weapon for tracking down opposing quarterbacks.

The only thing standing against Jordan is size. He's small for a defensive end and could have issues with blockers at the next level—a possible move to linebacker would make him an excellent fit in any hybrid defense.

With his pure speed and explosive strength, Dion Jordan could be a great pass-rusher in any 3-4 or 4-3 NFL defense.


Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

Not enough can be said about senior Ezekiel Ansah of BYU.

"Ziggy" Ansah—hailing from Ghana—started at BYU in 2008 and originally made a run at the basketball team. After that didn't pan out, he joined the track team as a walk-on.

Ansah finally discovered his calling in football and became a dynamic pass-rusher for the Cougars.

At 6'6" and 270 pounds, Ansah is a physical marvel. He has a strong frame, great speed and tremendous athleticism.

NFL scouts got an interesting look at Ansah during Senior Bowl week in Mobile.

During practice, Ansah was often seen as "too raw" for a first-round pick. When it came to the actual game, Ansah came alive, leading the South in tackles (7.0), sacks (1.5) and tackles for loss (3.5).

Ansah still has a ways to go in harnessing his physical gifts, but there is huge upside to be found here. Any team that takes the chance will be finding a great pass-rusher with Ansah.