In building a successful NFL franchise, there are four cornerstones which must be present. On offense, a franchise quarterback and a elite left tackle are key, and on defense a shutdown cornerback and a top pass rusher are needed. And in the 4-3 defense, the top pass rusher is a defensive end.
In judging a defensive end, being able to get to the quarterback and bring him down is the key attribute. Whether that end is a finesse, power or speed rusher, if he can sack with regularity when offensive lines roll coverage his way, then he is already a top player. Other important abilities for defensive ends are their run-stopping ability and consistency.
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