Best Fits for the Top 10 Uncommitted DE Recruits in Class of 2014
Many of the DE prospects on this list are so talented and young in their development that they fit just about anywhere. That includes Da'Shawn Hand, the top pass-rusher available, as he's just a freak of an athlete and a player who will be ready to contribute as a true freshman.
Another great DE prospect is Lorenzo Carter, as his size, quickness and length are impressive. The most intriguing DE on this list is Kentavius Street, as he has an interesting skill set. Street will need to make sure he truly fits the defensive scheme of whatever school he picks.
Lastly, an underrated DE on this list is Dewayne Hendrix. He's a sleeper and finding a good fit for his style of play will be crucial. Here are the best fits for the nation's top 10 DEs.
10. Jalyn Holmes
Holmes is a 6'5", 235-pound DE from Virginia. He really came on as a junior, where he had 12 sacks and 40 TFLs. Holmes is a speed-rusher, as he is not going to wrestle with blockers due to his lack of strength.
With quickness, explosiveness and closing ability in such high demand from colleges for the DE position, Holmes fits just about anywhere. 247Sports lists Florida State as his top school with Clemson, Virginia Tech and Florida also in the hunt.
9. Dewayne Hendrix
The 6'5", 255-pound Hendrix is from Illinois and has significant growth potential. He could max out physically as tall as 6'7" and weigh 285 pounds.
This is a strong player at the point of attack who can get upfield quickly with a great first step. Hendrix has a good burst to finish on the ball and plays with a chip on his shoulder. He would be a good fit wherever he goes, even inside the SEC, as his toughness will help him on the strong side.
Tennessee leads schools like Cal, USC and Florida, says 247Sports.
8. Dante Sawyer
It is not surprising that two teams that run hybrid 3-4 schemes on defense lead for Sawyer. The Georgia pass-rusher likes Alabama and UGA, according to 247Sports.
He's a great fit at either school, as Sawyer can stand up as a rush end/OLB or put his hand down and work as a traditional 40-front end. He's a 6'3", 250-pound edge-defender with good versatility, has strength to shed blocks and shows good movement skills.
7. Lorenzo Featherston
Before Featherston starts to look at where he fits best scheme-wise, he needs to make sure he likes that program's strength coach and weight room. This is crucial because the 6'7", 215-pounder needs to spend a good amount of time adding bulk and strength.
NC State and Clemson are two logical possible destinations for the lanky yet athletic DE. Once he tacks on some girth and becomes stronger, he'll be a force.
6. Denzel Ware
Ware has the capability to play DE, yet he fits better as a roaming rusher where he can move around and stand up. The 6'3", 220-pounder is not a power player, so asking him to routinely stack blocks on the edge, shed and make stops is not going work best.
He'll fit better as a stand-up OLB in a 3-4 scheme, such as Florida's or Georgia's. The Sunshine State pass-rusher has been previously committed to both Florida State and Kentucky.
5. Kentavius Street
Street should flourish in college as a run-stopping DE, should he be paired with a speed-rusher on the other side. The North Carolina native is not a quick and explosive attacking player, relying instead on power and strength.
Street, who is 6'2" and weighs 265 pounds, is very tough and stout against the run. He has great anchor strength, and there is a chance he may develop into a DT in college.
He'll end up at Georgia and either play on the strong side at OLB for Todd Grantham or be moved to a DE/DT role.
4. Solomon Thomas
Thomas is a very similar prospect to Street, as the Texan stands 6'3", 256 pounds. He's not going to blow by many college blockers, but he flashes speed to power conversion skills.
Thomas is at his best when he's asked to set the edge vs. the run, read plays and then react. He can sink his hips and anchor vs. the blocks, along with penetrating gaps. His best fit will depend on finding a defensive coordinator who carves out a role specifically for him.
Thomas could also be a candidate to grow into a 3-4 DE.
3. Myles Garrett
Garrett is such a talent that he doesn't need to worry too much about scheme fit. He's 6'5", weighs 247 pounds and is a terrific athlete who has good strength.
Whether he goes to a school who runs a 4-3 scheme and Garrett plays DE, or he ends up at a program that asks him to stand up as a pass-rushing OLB, he should be fine.
247Sports lists Texas A&M, TCU and Oklahoma as his top three schools.
2. Lorenzo Carter
A 6'6" DE who weighs more than 230 pounds, Carter has outstanding athletic ability. He's from Georgia and is a long, rangy and deceptively powerful edge-defender.
He can fit in as a traditional DE in a 4-3 scheme or can play the 3-4 OLB role in a two-point stance. There's not much he can't do, so this basically will come down to his preference, which is believed to be the 3-4 OLB role.
Alabama, Georgia and Florida would be good landing spots for Carter.
1. Da'Shawn Hand
Again, a player this talented does not possess many limitations when it comes to scheme fit. Hand, a 6'5", 247-pounder, is from Virginia and has excellent explosiveness at the snap.
He is also strong on his feet, can convert speed to power and flashes a good pass-rush arsenal. Michigan and Virginia Tech are two schools that could be sticking out among the rest of suitors.
No matter where Hand ends up, he'll be ready to play as a freshman.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.
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