2009 NFL Draft : Defensive Linemen Up for Grabs

JW NixSenior Writer IIMarch 19, 2009

Brian Orakpo, DE, 6'3" 263, Texas—Won the Lombardi, Hendricks, and Nagurski Awards last year. Smart player who's aware of his reads and responsibilities. Not very big, so he can get pushed around and also wear down. A good pass rusher, but better at stopping the run. Able to play SLB in a 3-4 scheme. Will be drafted early in the first round.

Robert Ayers, DE, 6'3" 272, Tennessee—Late bloomer. Needs a lot of work on technique, but could just be getting started, after having maturity issues early in college. Showed leadership skills in his senior year, and does well at stopping the run. Some team will like his upside enough to gamble on him in the Draft's first day.

Zach Potter, DE, 6'7" 279, Nebraska—Potter will excel best in a 3-4 scheme. He's a decent pass rusher with a few moves. His strength is in batting down passes. He's inconsistent getting off blockers, and not fast. He will need to get stronger and add more weight. A second day prospect.

Stryker Sulak, DE, 6'5" 251, Missouri—A pass rusher type. He's not big enough to offer much in run support, or athletic enough to play SLB. He needs to get stronger but could help on special teams. There's a possibility he may not get drafted.

Chris Baker, DL, 6'2" 326, Hampton—Red flags on character issues. He was dismissed from Penn State, then went to Hampton. He has good athleticism, but lacks stamina or awareness. Has the ability, but he hasn't spent the time needed in trying to reach it. A free agent type who will be a long shot, but he could have a good career if he gets focused.

Ra`Shon Harris, DT, 6'4" 298, Oregon—Late bloomer who is getting stronger daily. He can take on two blockers and stuff the run. He needs to improve his stamina and hand work. Light turned on late, so there is questions on his work ethic. A project type who may have to make a team after the draft.

Corvey Irvin, DT, 6'3" 301, Georgia—A raw prospect with long arms who always hustles. Good vision, and supports the run well. He's not a great pass rusher. A late bloomer who may not get drafted.

Alex Magee, DL, 6'3" 298, Purdue—Strong and versatile at DT and DE. Good against the run. Relies on his power too much, and is inconsistent. Doesn't have great awareness or speed. He needs to add weight. It's possible he won't be drafted.

Lawrence Sidbury, DE, 6'2" 266, Richmond—Long arms and quick. A good athlete who hits hard, but needs to get stronger. He has good pass rushing ability, but tends to get taken out wide too often. Inconsistent player, but hustles. He might have to stick on special teams. May not get drafted.

Terrance Knighton, DT, 6'3" 321, Temple—A NT type. He has good speed and awareness. Strong hands, and hustles. He needs to get stronger in the upper body. He can jump high and knock down balls. Long arms, but he needs to work on his technique coming out of his stance. Has a nice upside. Conceivably, a mid-round selection.

Conner Barwin, DE, 6'4" 256, Cincinnati—Former walk-on who started out as a TE and special teams star. He blocked three punts in one season. Played on the Bears basketball team, too. He had 31 receptions as a junior before being moved to defense. Very inexperienced, but an athletic freak. He's been compared to Mike Vrabel formerly of New England. He'll be drafted for his special teams play alone.

Sammie Lee Hill, DT, 6'4" 329, Stillman—Quick and agile with long arms. He has decent speed, and plays the run well. A project. He must prove he has the work ethic to make it in the NFL. A second day draft pick type.

Matt Shaughnessy, DE, 6'5" 266, Wisconsin—He has good hand play and is decent at stopping the run. He might get a look at SLB in the pros. Needs to get stronger, but he has good tackling skills. He's been injury prone in college. A possible late-round draft pick.

David Veikune, DE, 6'2" 257, Hawaii—A small-ish player with huge desire. Good character and excellent strength. Does not have upper echelon athleticism, and he can get worn down by bigger blockers. Never quits. Might make it as a rotation type who adds depth. He'll get looked at on the second day.

B.J. Raji, DT, 6'2" 337, Boston College—He could be the first DT drafted, and is a prime NT candidate. Fires out of stance with excellent quickness. He's very strong and able to take on multiple blockers. He's not a great pass rusher, and has short arms. He has some character and weight concerns. Must improve his conditioning and stamina.

Dorell Scott, DT, 6'3" 312, Clemson—Good hands and strength. Good at stopping the run, but he has some pass rushing skills as well. Very inconsistent in every facet of his game. He must improve his conditioning. Has the talent, but he may not have the desire. A chance of not being drafted.

Mitch King, DT, 6'2" 280, Iowa—A gap type of DT who works very hard with passion. Uses good technique. He started four years in college. Uses his hands well, and he gets good leverage. Not quick or fast enough to play DE, so he needs to add muscle and weight to survive at DT in the NFL.

Sen'Derrick Marks. DT, 6'2" 306, Auburn—He should not have come out early. Quick off the snap and has strong hands. He needs to get stronger in the legs and upper body. He has a questionable motor and stamina. May not get drafted and regret not staying in school.

Michael Bennett, DE, 6'4" 274, Texas A&M—The younger brother of Dallas TE Martellus. He might be best suited as a SLB in a 3-4, but does not take on blockers well consistently. He can forget his responsibilities and is not very explosive. A long shot who will get a look in someone's camp.

Orion Martin, DE, 6'2" 262, Virginia Tech—May be a pass rushing specialist in the NFL. High effort player with good strength and hands. Not fast enough to be an every down OLB, but he's versatile enough to man the spot. Because of his pass rush prowess alone, he should get looks from the third round on.

Evander Hood, DT, 6'3" 300, Missouri—A very strong mauler who has good vision and intelligence. He's had foot issues in college. Good hands, but not extremely quick. A tough guy who can add to someone's rotation. He should get looks on the second day.

Paul Kruger, DE, 6'4" 263, Utah—Raw prospect with only two years of college ball under his belt. He has good speed and quickness. A hard worker, athletic enough to play SLB in a 3-4. Needs to gain more weight and get stronger. Good in pass coverage, and has very good vision and awareness. He could be a first day draft selection.

Myron Pryor, DT, 6' 319, Kentucky—Four year starter in college who is durable. He has good technique and uses his leverage to get under blockers. Not very quick, and has little upside. He should get a look after the draft is completed.

Michael Johnson, DE, 6'7" 266, Georgia Tech—Very fast and athletic. He could be the next Ted Hendricks (a tall OLB). Uses his hands well, and takes advantage of his length to bat down passes. A project who needs to get stronger and learn more. Could be a real sleeper in this draft. Possible first day selection because of his upside.

Demonte` Bolden, DT, 6'3" 282, Tennessee—Very quick with good speed. A finesse type who needs to add more bulk. He tends to be slow recognizing plays, and forgets his technique. He'll probably go in the later rounds to see if he can develop, due to his mysterious upside.

Aaron Maybin, DE, 6'4" 249, Penn State—Could be used as a pass rushing SLB in a 3-4 scheme. Good speed and hands. He has long arms to knock down passes and keep blockers off his legs. He needs to add more weight and learn more pass rushing moves. He'll be a first day draft pick.

Darryl Richard, DT, 6'3" 303, Georgia Tech—A steady run stopper who is very smart and a leader. He uses his hands well, and is strong. Not a great pass rusher, and isn't very quick or fast. He needs to improve his conditioning. He may get tabbed late in the draft.

Ron Brace, 6'3" 330, DT, Boston College—Run stuffer with good hands and strength. He's had back issues that are worth noting. Quick in limited spaces, but not fast. He's more of a NT type who might get picked up in later rounds.

Larry English, DE, 6'2" 274, Northern Illinois—Big time hustler, perfect for SLB in a 3-4 scheme. He comes hard off the edge with quickness and speed. Good tackler who will need to improve his pass coverage skills. A prospect who will be drafted the first day.

Roy Miller, DT, 6'1" 310, Texas—A NT prospect. Good at stopping the run. Relentless worker and team player who played special teams and FB in college. He can get low and can handle the double team. Not real fast or a great pass rusher. He should be a serviceable NT at the next level, and may be a second day draft pick.

Jarius Wynn, DE, 6'3" 275, Georgia—A project with an upside. Uses his hands well, and he has decent agility. He's not fast off the edge, so DT seems his best position. He needs to add weight and muscle to make the transition. May not get drafted.

Khalif Mitchell, DL, 6'5" 318, South Carolina—He may be best suited as a DE in a 3-4 scheme. Long arms and very strong. A good pass rusher who needs to improve his run support prowess and hand play. Loses his responsibilities due to lack of awareness. He's been injury prone in college. A second day prospect.

Cody Brown, DE, 6'2" 244, Connecticut—He'll probably move to LB. A good athlete with nice use of hands. He comes hard off the edge, and is a special teams star. He will have to work on his pass defense technique, but has a very nice upside. A day one draft pick.

Brandon Williams, DE, 6'5" 252, Texas Tech—A pass rush specialist who comes off the edge hard and fast. He needs to bulk up and improve his tackling fundamentals. He'll probably have to make it as a 3rd down pass rusher. A late rounds type of pick.

Maurice Evans, DE, 6'2" 265, Penn State—Came out of college too early as a junior. He does hustle, but is not particularly fast, or quick. Will try to make it on a depth chart somewhere after the draft.

Jarron Gilbert, DE, 6'5" 288, San Jose State—Excellent athlete who stood out at the East West Shrine Game. He's used to taking on multiple blockers. He's played DT too. He has long arms, but needs to work on his hands and leverage technique. A prospect with an intriguing upside. He'll get looked at from the third round on.

Rulon Davis, DE, 6'5" 281, Cal—Older rookie due to military service. High effort player with good character. An excellent athlete and technically sound tackler. Tough player, but he has had injury issues throughout college due to having his legs run over in a traffic accident. He might get drafted on the first day.

Perry Jaria, DT, 6'3" 299, Mississippi—He has excellent quickness, and uses his hands well. He hustles all the time and is a leader. Needs to improve his awareness and technique when firing out of his stance. A probable first round draft pick.

Everette Brown, DE, 6'2" 256, Florida State—Explosive off the snap with upper tier pass rush abilities. Excellent speed off the edge, and he has a wide range of pass rush moves. He's too small to be an every down DE, and could be moved to SLB to take advantage of his athleticism. He'll need time to learn the LB position, but he can be used in pass rush situations in the meantime. He needs to get stronger in the upper body. Will be a first day draft choice.

Derrick Walker, DE, 6'4" 268, Illinois—A High energy player who never takes a play off. Strong, and recognizes schemes well. He's best at stopping the run, but gets an occasional decent pass rush. Not very quick or fast. He has the frame to add weight and try to play DT. Might not get drafted.

Pannel Egboh, DE, 6'6" 276, Stanford—Long and strong, but he's an inexperienced project. Not very quick or fast, but understands his responsibility schemes. Best at stopping the run. He might get a look in the second day by teams employing a 3-4 scheme and needing DE depth.

Ricky Jean-Francois, DT, 6'3" 295, LSU—An underachiever in college. He has very good hands, and has good enough strength and vision. Does not always hustle, and needs to get bigger. He may not be drafted.

Ian Campbell, DE, 6'4" 265, Kansas—Long player who is best at run support. He does not have many moves in his pass rush arsenal, and is not very fast. A high effort guy who will need to add weight and strength. Loses containment and responsibility too often. May not get drafted.

Victor Butler, DE, 6'2" 248, Oregon State—Pass rush specialist with good speed. Only started one year, but he was voted captain. Not big enough to be more than a pass rushing DE or SLB, but he might not work well at OLB either. Struggles to shed blockers, and he has questionable instincts. Might be considered late in the draft. A project type.

Fili Moala, DT, 6'4" 305, USC —A run-stopping specialist. Quick off the snap with strong hands and good awareness. He can afford to add even more weight to his frame. Not fast or much of a pass rusher, so he may be the kind of DT who comes out on passing downs. A second day prospect.

Vance Walker, DT, 6'2" 304, Georgia Tech—Strong with good hands. Non-stop motor, and aware of his responsibilities. Productive player in college, who is best at stopping the run. Not a great pass rusher and sometimes jumps offsides by being too aggressive. He'll get a look from the midrounds on.

Will Davis, DE, 6'2" 261, Illinois—Very quick off the edge. He has good speed and is relentless in pursuit. Former WR/TE who is still learning his position. Best as a pass rushing OLB, but is a project. He'll get looked at from the midrounds on.

Adrian Grady, DT, 6'1" 298, Louisville—Strong and quick off the snap. He has quick hands and hustles. Needs to bulk up and work on his tackling technique. Injury prone in college. He might not get drafted.

Tyson Jackson, DE, 6'4" 295, LSU—A good run defender with experience at DT. Always hustles and rarely gets fooled. He needs to get stronger. Lacks excellent speed and quickness, thus making him a mediocre pass rusher. He might get tapped on the second day.

Kyle Moore, DE, 6'5" 272, USC—Very long arms and quick off the snap. He has good strength and is a good tackler. He needs to learn more pass rush moves, and learn to get his hands up to bat down passes. A project with an intriguing upside. A second day prospect.

Terrance Taylor, NT, 6' 306, Michigan—The Wolverines captain last year. Specializes in stopping the run, but he must get in much better shape. Able to take on multiple blockers and has a nasty demeanor on the field. A late rounds draft candidate.

Marlon Favorite, DT, 6'1" 314, LSU—Strong player who is best at stopping the run. Decent pass rusher, but must improve his hand work. A hard worker but is not fast. He may be able to add depth to a team, and will be a second day prospect.

Tim Jamison, DE, 6'3", 256, Michigan—A good run stopper who hits fairly hard. Not fast or quick enough to go to OLB. A hustling type of player who may not get drafted. 


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