B/R NFL Draft 400: Ranking the Top Edge-Rushers

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 1, 2015

B/R NFL Draft 400: Ranking the Top Edge-Rushers

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Each spring, 256 players are drafted into the NFL, with roughly another 100 added as undrafted free agents. With close to 350 players joining the pros each year, it's tough to keep track of them. 

    Everyone knows who Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Amari Cooper are. But what about the rest of the class? At Bleacher Report, our aim is to thoroughly cover the draft unlike any other outlet, so we're not stopping with coverage of the top 32 picks or even the top 200 picks. We're covering the top 400 draft-eligible players, with a full scouting report on each one.

    The top 400 players have been tracked, scouted, graded and ranked by myself and my scouting assistants, Marshal Miller and Dan Bazal. Together, we have viewed a minimum of three games per player (the same standard NFL teams use), and oftentimes we've seen every play from a player over the last two years. That's led to the grades, rankings and scouting reports you see here.

    Players are graded on strengths and weaknesses, with a pro player comparison added that matches the player's style or fit in the pros. Position by position, the top 400 players are broken down for easy viewing before the final release of a top-400 big board before the draft.

Grading Scale

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    At the end of each scouting report you'll see a Final Grade that falls somewhere between 9.00 and 4.00 on a unique grading scale. This scale comes from the teaching I had from Charlie Casserly, Michael Lombardi and other former and current front office personnel in the NFL. I've tweaked it this year to be more transparent, and the result is each player receiving a number grade as well as their ranking.

    Matt Miller Draft Grading Scale
    GradeLabel
    9.00Elite, No. 1 pick
    8.00-8.99 All-Pro Potential 
    7.50-7.99Pro Bowl Potential 
    7.00-7.49Top 15 Player Potential 
    6.50-6.99Rookie Impact/Future Starter 
    6.00-6.49Rookie Impact/Future Starter
    5.50-5.99Future Starter
    5.10-5.49Quality Backup
    5.01-5.09Backup Caliber
    5.00Draftable Player Cutoff
    4.75-4.99Priority Free Agent
    4.50-4.74Camp Player
    4.00-4.49Not NFL Caliber

42. C.J. Olaniyan, DE, Penn State

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    USA TODAY Sports
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     - - - - -

    STRENGTHS

    A breakout player in 2013, C.J. Olaniyan notched three sacks and 5.5 tackles for a loss coming off the edge for Penn State in 2014. On the edge, he has good quickness and shows the potential for a good first-step burst and flexibility. He can play from a two- or three-point stance and has the frame (6'3", 250 lbs) to stand up in the NFL and attack from a wider stance. Olaniyan is an aggressive, fiery player with good special teams potential.

    WEAKNESSES

    A bit of a one-year wonder, Olaniyan struggled when the spotlight was on him as a defender. His baseline athleticism and strength are on point for NFL standards, but he doesn't wow you in these areas. His instincts are questionable, and you'll catch him getting lost in misdirection or option plays. If met at the corner by a blocker, he doesn't have the tools to redirect and counter.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     43 3.0 5.5

    FINAL GRADE: 4.75/9.0 (Priority Free Agent)

41. James Vaughters, LB, Stanford

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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     - - - - -

    STRENGTHS

    A strong, experienced outside linebacker in the Stanford 3-4 scheme, James Vaughters has produced in an NFL-caliber setting. At 258 pounds, he has the frame teams want on the edge and is physically similar to Melvin Ingram with his squat, stout build. He uses that strength well to toss away blockers and has a good short-area burst to close on quarterbacks off the edge.

    WEAKNESSES

    Vaughters' production came often on uncontested plays, so don't get carried away with production. He doesn't show the natural quickness or explosive hips you want in an edge-rusher and is too stiff to drop into space for coverage. He lacks the baseline athleticism to get a draftable grade.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     51 6.5 11.0

    FINAL GRADE: 4.80/9.0 (Priority Free Agent)

40. Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, LB, Maryland

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    Nick Lisi/Associated Press
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     - 25 Reps - - -

    STRENGTHS

    A combine invite, Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil has the size to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme at 6'2" and 248 pounds. His film shows good first-step quickness and balance, and he'll cut off the edge to contain or attack in the run game. He does a good job playing with leverage and using his smaller frame to knife through holes to get the ball.

    WEAKNESSES

    A developmental player who will have to make his mark early on special teams, Cudjoe-Virgil seemed to play small and shy away from contact in the run game. He's not athletic enough to overcome timid play and never stood out on film as an impact defender.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     21 2.0 2.5

    FINAL GRADE: 4.90/9.0 (Priority Free Agent)

39. Neiron Ball, LB, Florida

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    Phil Sandlin/Associated Press
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     - 22 Reps - - -

    STRENGTHS

    A versatile athlete with a bit of a mean streak, Neiron Ball is built like an outside linebacker (6'2", 236 lbs) with a defensive end's demeanor. He's not afraid to jump in lanes and take on blockers or running backs and plays stronger than you'd expect. He moved all over the Florida defense and had production at outside linebacker and inside linebacker in 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. He has the speed to run down the ball in space.

    WEAKNESSES

    Ball underwent microfracture surgery in November and is a question mark to play in 2015. On the field, he doesn't look to be a great athlete with lower-body quickness or flexibility to play in space. He has a small frame that will get pushed around at the point of attack and too often gets caught waiting on the play instead of attacking.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     49 2.0 3.0

    FINAL GRADE: 4.90/9.0 (Priority Free Agent)

38. Obum Gwacham, DE, Oregon State

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    Troy Wayrynen/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.72s 22 Reps 36.0" 121.0" 7.28s

    STRENGTHS

    A former wide receiver who moved to defensive end, Obum Gwacham is an impressive athlete with considerable upside as a defender. He has a long, lean frame (6'5", 246 lbs) with huge arms (34 ⅜") that he is learning to use well to create space. He has shown good explosive qualities off the ball and uses his background as a jumper on the track team well with loose, fast hips and quick hands. He's a high-motor developmental player with instant upside on special teams.

    WEAKNESSES

    Gwacham is very raw positionally and is still learning how to play defensive end in terms of hand placement, leverage and technique. He gets caught playing small too often and needs to fill out his lean frame to play with more power. Currently he's a fighter who has one move (speed) that is too predictable.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     28 4.0 5.5

    FINAL GRADE: 4.90/9.0 (Priority Free Agent)

37. Zack Wagenmann, DE, Montana

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.82s 14 Reps 37.5" 109.0" 7.07s

    STRENGTHS

    Coming out of a smaller conference, Zack Wagenmann shows high-level athleticism, burst and agility in space. He uses his length well on the edge and is proficient at creating separation with an inside arm and then bending the edge with his hips and shoulders. He was highly productive at Montana and has the ideal frame to develop into an outside linebacker. Wagenmann is more quick than fast, and that showed in his testing.

    WEAKNESSES

    Injuries were an issue for Wagenmann and highlight a need for more time to develop. He's not a fast player on the field and relies more on technique and leverage to beat blockers. Against bigger, stronger competition he will have to learn to use more than one outside pass-rush move. He's a raw player with a good foundation, but he is a definite developmental prospect.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     74 17.5 22.5

    FINAL GRADE: 4.90/9.0 (Priority Free Agent)

36. Deion Barnes, DE, Penn State

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
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    STRENGTHS

    A surprise entry into the 2015 draft class, Deion Barnes passes the initial eye test at 6'4" and 260 pounds. On film, he shows a muscular frame with the strength to play over the tight end or off the edge. He's athletic enough to handle a 4-3 end or 3-4 outside linebacker role. His foot speed and flexibility are on par with NFL talent, and he shows impressive change-of-direction skill in space. Barnes was an early graduate and has his degree.

    WEAKNESSES

    A non-combine invite after declaring as a junior, Barnes' decision doesn't look like a good one. Barnes never jumped off the screen and was far from an impact player at Penn State. He doesn't show the strength, speed or technique to step in and contribute early in the NFL and would have benefited greatly from another year of college.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     44 6.0 12.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.00/9.0 (Backup)

35. Jermauria Rasco, DE, LSU

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    STRENGTHS

    An impressive assignment football player, Jermauria Rasco flashes on film as a nonstop motor player with a good football IQ and natural instincts. He excels at finding the football in space and on misdirection and won't take himself out of the play with bad angles. His pursuit game is strong, and he shows the agility needed to redirect on the go. As a pass-rusher, he has good burst and follow-up quickness and flexibility.

    WEAKNESSES

    Rasco didn't receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine, a bad sign for his NFL hopes. His production as a pass-rusher hasn't been ideal (just four sacks in '14), and too often he lets himself get blocked out of the play. His length is not great, nor does he use his hands and arms well to generate separation. Athletically, he doesn't flash greatness or any elite trait.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     71 4.0 7.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.00/9.0 (Backup)

34. Ryan Delaire, DE, Towson

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
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     4.97s 23 Reps - - -

    STRENGTHS

    With 22.5 sacks in two seasons at Towson, Ryan Delaire catches your attention. During that time, he also produced five forced fumbles and 32 tackles for a loss, and he shows up on film in the backfield constantly. He's been moved around from defensive end to outside linebacker and has the ideal frame to play up in the NFL and then put his hand down as an end on third down. He has the hips and feet needed to develop at the position.

    WEAKNESSES

    Delaire's instincts are questionable on film, which is surprising given his production. Too often, he's making plays uncontested and due to failures by the offense, not because of something he created. He's inconsistent as well, going through huge gaps of impact before splashing with a sack. Athletically, he looks to be NFL average and didn't impress with burst or speed in space.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     64 11.0 14.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.00/9.0 (Backup) 

33. Edmond Robinson, OLB, Newberry

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.61s 20 Reps 37.0" 121.0" 7.49s

    STRENGTHS

    An undersized, athletic edge-rusher, Edmond Robinson dominated the small-school circuit at Newberry. The first thing you notice are his 34-inch arms and 10 ¼-inch hands—unreal for his 6'3", 245-pound frame. Robinson moves well off the ball and in space, showing he can work in coverage, as it's something he did at Newberry. His lateral agility is on-point, and he shows the needed motor to fight off blockers and get through traffic in pursuit. He's a raw, potential-filled player.

    WEAKNESSES

    Robinson's frame will be the first thing NFL teams discount. He has to fill out and become stronger, especially in the lower body, to take on NFL blockers. He's a high-cut, long athlete who struggles with leverage and can get pushed around once he surrenders his chest. He doesn't know yet how to use his length and cannot redirect due to a lack of power. He's a developmental prospect at least one year away from contributing.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     68 - 12.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.00/9.0 (Backup)

32. Martin Ifedi, DL, Memphis

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.88s 16 Reps 31.0" 111.0" 7.39s

    STRENGTHS

    A strong-side defensive end prospect with pro size and strength, Martin Ifedi is an intriguing finisher on film. He uses his size well and attacks the offense with a great motor. He knows how to use his length and does a good job bending to get underneath blockers to play with leverage. He doesn't surrender his spot on the edge and can play as a one- or two-gap defender.

    WEAKNESSES

    Ifedi is an average athlete who lacks the burst to make plays off the ball. His pass-rushing toolbox is limited, and he tries too often to win by running over blockers—something he's not powerful enough to do in the NFL. Without great burst or agility, he projects as a solid first- and second-down end only.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     28 2.0 9.0

    FINAL GRADE: 5.00/9.0 (Backup) 

31. Shaquille Riddick, DL, West Virginia

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    STRENGTHS

    A one-year player at West Virginia after transferring in as a graduate from Gardner-Webb, Shaquille Riddick has length (6'6") and good burst off the edge. Riddick flashes off the edge with heads-up play and good instincts to find the ball. He uses that length well to string out the run and is a good tackler in space. He breaks down well and is surprisingly agile for a longer, leaner player. He looks like a situational rusher with potential to develop into a full-time 3-4 outside linebacker.

    WEAKNESSES

    At just 236 pounds, Riddick lacks the filled-out frame NFL teams want. He definitely has the body to add weight, but will he sacrifice his already average athleticism if he's heavier? He has to fill out but also has to learn to use his hands and not win solely with speed into space. He doesn't attack well and hasn't shown an ability to redirect once tied up. He's a very raw player with a low floor.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     26 6.0 10.0

    FINAL GRADE: 5.00/9.0 (Backup)

30. B.J. Dubose, DT, Louisville

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    USA TODAY Sports
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     5.06s 26 Reps - - -

    STRENGTHS

    A Charlie Strong disciple with good toughness and a nonstop motor, B.J. Dubose has the quickness and flexibility to play on the edge and attack as a pass-rusher. He uses his length (33-inch arms) well and will get under blockers and drive his way to the backfield. He's a bit of a tweener but could serve as a situational defensive end while playing at outside linebacker in a base 3-4. His athleticism and toughness make him a special teams candidate.

    WEAKNESSES

    Dubose won't wow you athletically, and he never dominated as an edge-rusher for Louisville. His lower body lacks development, and he'll let that affect his leverage and anchor in the run game. In space, he's average and shouldn't be asked to drop back into coverage, as his hip stiffness and lack of fluid footwork would be an issue.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     42 4.0 7.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.01/9.0 (Backup) 

29. J.R. Tavai, OLB, USC

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     4.91s 20 Reps 30.5" 112.0" -

    STRENGTHS

    A pro-style outside linebacker for the 3-4, J.R. Tavai comes out of USC with positional versatility, having played defensive tackle, defensive end and outside linebacker for the Trojans. He's a tough, high-motor player with A+ effort. His best asset is his aggressive, Tasmanian devil style of play, which does mask some of his deficiencies. He's a team-first player who can be a sub-package guy and help on special teams.

    WEAKNESSES

    It is an immediate concern that Tavai was never a full-time starter at USC and couldn't crack the lineup there. Athletically, he's not an impressive player and won't jump off the film as a situational or hybrid pass-rusher. He's been banged up often in his USC career and will have to answer questions about durability and upside.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     53 7.0 13.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.01/9.0 (Backup)

28. Xzavier Dickson, LB, Alabama

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     4.74s 19 Reps 29.5" 100.0" 7.56s

    STRENGTHS

    A productive standout for the Alabama defense in 2014, Xzavier Dickson comes out of an NFL-style scheme as an outside linebacker ready for the 3-4. His burst off the snap is good, showing the jump to beat blockers to the corner, where his ability to bend and accelerate is above average. He uses his length and size well and will get a good body lean going to bull-rush blockers off the line of scrimmage. He holds up well in the run game and is technically smart on the edge.

    WEAKNESSES

    Dickson doesn't have the flashy first step of a first-rounder and can struggle to beat blockers consistently. Too often he was taken out of games by tight ends and fullbacks. His athletic testing backed up what the film showed—average athleticism with stiff hips and average feet. Dickson projects best as a rush 'backer but not someone ready to play in coverage.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     42 9.0 12.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.01/9.0 (Backup)

27. Ryan Russell, DE, Purdue

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press
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     4.75s 25 Reps 32.5" 119.0" 7.25s

    STRENGTHS

    A flexible, quick defensive end in the 4-3 defense, Ryan Russell passes the eyeball test at 6'4" and 269 pounds. He uses his 33 ⅜-inch arms well to lock out blockers and has good power at the point of attack in the run game. He's a pursuit player with a good motor and the change of direction/lateral agility teams want from a 6-technique end.

    WEAKNESSES

    It's easy to walk away from Purdue film thinking Russell should do more with the talent he has. His production and athletic testing were underwhelming. Russell doesn't play with the mean streak you want from a defender and can too easily be taken out of a play. You'd really like to see him fight to redirect, but he doesn't. He's a potential over production player.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     44 2.5 6.0

    FINAL GRADE: 5.05/9.0 (Backup)

26. Ray Drew, DE, Georgia

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    STRENGTHS

    A big man (6'4", 284 pounds), Ray Drew could be a 5-technique in a 3-4 defense, a 3-technique in a 4-3 or even a strong-side 6-technique end in a 4-3. His ability to move around the line and make plays is his best asset. His quickness off the ball is impressive for his size, and he follows it up with good use of his length to penetrate and flush the pocket. Drew is an impressive tackler in space and can be a mean finisher when he has a lane to the ball.

    WEAKNESSES

    Drew was a prep star but never became a standout player for Georgia. He's ranked more on potential than production and is a boom-or-bust prospect even this far down the rankings. As an edge-rusher, he doesn't have ideal speed but has shown good power and could be viewed as a poor man's Michael Bennett now that the hybrid defender is trendy.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     39 1.0 1.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.09/9.0 (Backup)

25. Corey Crawford, DE, Clemson

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press
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     5.01s - 33.0" 110.0" 7.64s

    STRENGTHS

    When Corey Crawford walks into a room, he looks like an NFL player. He's a "first guy off the bus" player with long arms, a thick build and a big trunk. He looks big but can get small to find his way through the offensive line and anchors well as a strong-side defender in a three-point stance. He fits the bill of a hybrid defensive lineman and can play inside or outside depending on the down and personnel.

    WEAKNESSES

    Crawford doesn't live up to his look on film. He plays weak at times and doesn't show much quickness or lateral agility. He's a target for blockers and can struggle to break free and redirect as a pass-rusher. Watching his tape, it's easy to walk away wanting a lot more from him. He may struggle to find a true position in the NFL if not drafted by a team that moves its defensive linemen around.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     24 2.0 6.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.09/9.0 (Backup)

24. Geneo Grissom, DE, Oklahoma

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.81s 20 Reps 37.0" 117.0" 7.24s

    STRENGTHS

    A versatile pass-rusher with scheme flexibility, Geneo Grissom has played standing up and with his hand down at Oklahoma. Grissom has an NFL body at 262 pounds and big hands (10 ¼") to keep blockers off his frame. He plays with good burst and resets well throughout his pass rush to attack inside and outside shoulders.

    WEAKNESSES

    Grissom is an average athlete who doesn't flash the lateral agility needed to play in space at the next level. His ideal spot is as a 4-3 defensive end, as his frame is already maxed out and he doesn't appear ready to add more quickness or flexibility. He's a one-trick pony as a pass-rusher and must rely on first-step quickness to win.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     39 3.5 6.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Alex Okafor, Arizona Cardinals

    Grissom and Okafor compare athletically and in style, with the former Texas pass-rusher being a bit more twitchy and agile.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.10/9.0 (Priority Backup)

23. Lynden Trail, DE, Norfolk State

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.91s 24 Reps 32.5" 117.0" 7.32s

    STRENGTHS

    As a raw athlete, Lynden Trail is eye-popping. On the hoof, he's exactly the type of athlete NFL teams want to mold. His 6'7" frame isn't quite maxed out at 269 pounds, and he has room to grow. On the field, Trail has played outside linebacker and defensive end, showing off his versatility in space. He beat up on small-school competition and showed off skills as a pass-rusher, run defender and coverage 'backer in space. He plays with quickness, agility and length while showing the ability to go up and knock passes down at the line. Trail may also be looked at as a tight end given his athleticism and hands.

    WEAKNESSES

    A lack of strength in his lower body could limit Trail's power as a pass-rusher, and it shows up in the run game too. He plays small and will get pushed around too often in the run game and struggles to redirect as a pass-rusher if a blocker gets his hands on him. His Senior Bowl week showed him struggle to read and react on the go.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     91 5.0 11.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Michael Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals

    Trail is a long, lean athlete with very good movement skills. Athletically, he compares to Michael Johnson, but he's not quite as naturally strong or as productive.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.10/9.0 (Priority Backup)

22. Anthony Chickillo, DE, Miami (Florida)

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.79s 27 Reps 34.5" 114.0" 7.17s

    STRENGTHS

    A former prep star, Anthony Chickillo started to scratch the surface after his final game at Miami and dominated Shrine Game practices. It's easy to look at him and see a player used poorly by coaches and fall in love with his athleticism. He has good length, great power off the snap and enough motor to beat blockers around the edge or off their inside shoulder. He's a big blank canvas of potential.

    WEAKNESSES

    Chickillo never got it at Miami and failed to wow on film. He's built like a defensive end but plays more like a defensive tackle at times, failing to show the quick twitch and burst needed for edge-rushers. Four years of game film don't show Chickillo having a true position or the production to match his hype and potential.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     41 3.0 4.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.10/9.0 (Priority Backup)

21. Cedric Reed, DE, Texas

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     - 22 Reps - - -

    STRENGTHS

    A strong, true defensive end, Cedric Reed has loads of potential waiting to be tapped. He's shown the strength and length to keep blockers off his frame and does a good job locking out linemen on the edge. Reed shows good strength to bull-rush and stacks up blockers well at the line of scrimmage. He's a high-motor player who wins in pursuit and with good instincts to find the ball.

    WEAKNESSES

    Injuries limited Reed in 2014 and are a concern moving forward. On the field, he's a bit stiff and one-dimensional at times, failing to show pure quickness and speed off the ball. He failed to dominate for much of his career but turned it on late in 2014 and was unstoppable. Inconsistency is a concern when you watch his senior season tape.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     69 5.5 9.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Kony Ealy, Carolina Panthers

    Reed has an NFL body and passes the eyeball test, but his tape doesn't show the flash plays you want from an edge-rusher. His average athleticism keeps him down in the rankings.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.10/9.0 (Priority Backup) 

20. Davis Tull, DL, Chattanooga

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     - 26 Reps 42.5" 132.0" -

    STRENGTHS

    A small-school stud with four years of production, Davis Tull wowed folks at the combine with outstanding vertical (42.5") and broad jump (132") numbers. On the field, he's a high-motor, strong player with a little fight to him. He angles well for positioning and has shown to be a very good player with his hands. He'll knife away blockers and does a good job running through the edge to accelerate off the corner. As a pass-rusher, Tull has a surprising number of moves and uses them well on the field.

    WEAKNESSES

    Tull is an undersized prospect with short arms (31 ¼") and small hands (9 ¾") for the position. He'll get the tweener label from teams that want a bigger, longer athlete on the edge. Athletically, he's not shown great quickness or speed off the ball and can get thrown off-balance with a well-timed punch. His short arms stand out in the pass and run games, as he struggles to create and maintain separation from blockers.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     58 10.5 18.0

    FINAL GRADE: 5.25/9.0 (Quality Backup) 

19. Max Valles, OLB, Virginia

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.83s - 36.5" 121.0" 7.59s

    STRENGTHS

    Max Valles is a blank canvas for NFL teams to work with—both physically and technically. He has a long, lean frame with room to grow. As a player, he's lined up opposite Eli Harold, putting his hand in the dirt and standing up as a rush 'backer. Valles likes to win with strength, and he uses his hands well to stack and shed blockers on the edge. He's agile enough to whip around the edge as a pass-rusher and will show speed and toughness when coming off the corner.

    WEAKNESSES

    Valles' lower body needs to be filled out, so adding strength needs to be a priority early. He'll try too often to attack the outside shoulder and can be predictable as a pass-rusher. Oftentimes he displays paralysis by analysis on the field and doesn't attack as quickly as you’d like. He's a raw, high-ceiling player but comes in with a low floor.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     55 8.0 12.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Manny Lawson, Buffalo Bills

    Athletically, Valles and Manny Lawson are very similar, but Lawson was ahead of him as a technician and was more pro-ready right away. Valles has potential and impressive athleticism but needs time to develop.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.30/9.0 (Quality Backup)

18. Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     - - - - -

    STRENGTHS

    It's tough to beat the production Hau'oli Kikaha displayed at Washington in 2014. He shows a nonstop work ethic and attacks offenses with violence—a trait teams will love. He's been a versatile defender who plays with his hand down and standing up as a rush 'backer. His straight-line burst is very good, and he has the speed to run down quarterbacks from behind. Kikaha's hand use is also very good, and he shows a strong upper body to stack up blockers and shed them before pulling the chain to attack. Kikaha's background in judo and wrestling shows up in how he uses his hands and plays with leverage.

    WEAKNESSES

    Two ACL surgeries are a major alert for Kikaha and something teams have to be comfortable with up front. He lacks agility in space and doesn't have the lateral movement needed to excel if he's asked to play in coverage. Too much of his production came from offenses focusing on Danny Shelton and Shaq Thompson, which freed up rushing lanes for him off the backside. Limited athleticism and length hurt Kikaha's prospects.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     72 19.0 25.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills

    It would be great for Kikaha to live up to his potential and emulate Jerry Hughes, but this is more a comparison of athleticism and style. It took Hughes two stops in the NFL to find his spot, and likewise, Kikaha deserves patience.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.35/9.0 (Priority Backup)

17. Kyle Emanuel, DE, North Dakota State

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.77s 27 Reps 34.0" 120.0" 7.10s

    STRENGTHS

    A technically savvy small-schooler, Kyle Emanuel is an effort and technique player with the pass-rushing skills to turn heads. He uses his hands well and displays nice leverage when driving through blockers. He knows how to make himself small and doesn't let blockers dominate his frame. He's a bit of a jitterbug and has positional versatility in the pros. He's a work in progress.

    WEAKNESSES

    Emanuel dominated smaller competition but hasn't been tested by top-tier talent. On film he looks like a beast, but his testing at the combine showed average burst and speed. When looking at the best talent he did face, his physical limitations show up on film, as Emanuel takes wide turns to get the corner and doesn't show the quick, twitchy legs and hips needed to bend in the NFL. The easy route to the passer seen at North Dakota State has led him too often to rely on one move to win.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     97 19.5 32.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.40/9.0 (Quality Backup) 

16. Za'Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.83s 23 Reps 29.0" 113.0" 7.42s

    STRENGTHS

    Za'Darius Smith plays with a chip on his shoulder and jumps off the film as a violent, aggressive pass-rusher. He's aggressive and fiery with a nonstop motor. He has ideal size (6'4", 274 lbs) for the 4-3 defense and uses his hands well to keep blockers off his frame in the run. As a pass-rusher, he sets the edge well and plays contain, but he can pull the trigger and attack the backfield. Smith does his best work when the quarterback is flushed or leaves the pocket.

    WEAKNESSES

    Smith doesn't have great speed, but for a 4-3 defensive end, it may be enough. The bigger concern is a lack of flexibility and burst in his lower body, something that limits his ability to bend the edge. He doesn't appear to have scheme versatility and really works best (and maybe only) as a strong-side 4-3 end.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     60 4.5 7.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Wes Horton, Carolina Panthers

    Like Horton, Smith doesn't have great athleticism, but he has the power and football IQ to contribute and make plays. He's also one of the few NFL bodies at defensive end in this class.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.40/9.0 (Priority Backup)

15. Zack Hodges, OLB, Harvard

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.68s - 33.5" 125.0" -

    STRENGTHS

    Teams looking for speed-rushers will take note of Harvard's Zack Hodges. He brings very long arms (34 ¼") on a 6'2", 250-pound frame and has the burst to eat up space off the snap. His hips and shoulders show flexibility to dip and bend at the edge, and he has a high motor with nonstop feet. Against the run, he's active and will poke his head in even when engaged. As a pass-rusher, he brings a full toolset of spins, stutter steps and head fakes. He looks like an early contributor as a situational pass-rusher and has some scheme versatility.



    WEAKNESSES

    Hodges lacks the size to play as a down defensive end on three downs and was never a dominant player against bad competition. He didn't show up with a memorable week at the Senior Bowl. Too much of his production in college came when he wasn't touched or purely won with speed on a looping rush. He doesn't yet understand counters and how to redirect his pass rush. Maybe most importantly, Hodges is a small player who too often plays small.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     26 8.5 10.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Chris Clemons, Jacksonville Jaguars

    A smaller, situational edge-rusher, Hodges compares well to Clemons both physically and in style.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.40/9.0 (Priority Backup)

14. Markus Golden, OLB, MIssouri

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.90s - - - -

    STRENGTHS

    A highly productive pass-rusher in his senior season, Markus Golden is a tough, finished football player coming out of a defensive line factory at Missouri. He's a high-motor, high-energy player with a finisher mentality. He'll anchor well in the run game and uses his hands to sort through traffic. He's a smart player in pursuit and a good tackler in the open field. Golden has the second gear to close down on the ball in space.

    WEAKNESSES

    An average athlete, Golden has short arms (31 ⅛") and limited burst off the ball. He's built like a linebacker but moves like a defensive end. His pass-rushing moves are well coached, but he relies too often on straight-line speed and schemed rushes (stunts, delays) to get production. He doesn't have the hips to stand up and play in space at the next level.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     78 10.0 20.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Darryl Tapp, Detroit Lions

    Tapp, like Golden, is limited athletically but has carved out a good career as a situational pass-rusher. That's the career Golden should pursue as a 4-3 defensive end.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.40/9.0 (Quality Backup)

13. Frank Clark, DE, Michigan

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.79s 19 Reps 38.5" 118.0" 7.08s

    STRENGTHS

    Frank Clark is a powerful, disruptive pass-rusher built to play in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. He uses his lower-body strength well to power his first step and generates good straight-line speed to penetrate the line. Against the run, he's stout at the point of attack and is a high-effort player to make plays there.

    WEAKNESSES

    Clark was dismissed from Michigan after being arrested on domestic violence charges which were reduced to disorderly conduct charges in mid-April. This came after previous off-field issues, including second-degree felony home invasion, a civil suit over non-payment of rent and a traffic stop for driving on the wrong side of the road without license plates and without proof of insurance. Clark's off-field issues added to his lack of athleticism make him a gamble NFL teams may not be willing to spend a draft pick on.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     42 4.5 13.5

    FINAL GRADE: 5.50/9.0 (Future Starter)

12. Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas

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    Sarah Bentham/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.93s 28 Reps 36.5" 121.0" 7.34s

    STRENGTHS

    A productive, high-motor defensive end for Arkansas, Trey Flowers made a name for himself in college football. He's a well-coached, technically smart pass-rusher who uses his hands and arms well to keep blockers off his frame. Against the run, he's shown he can stack up blockers and get to the football. He's a well-rounded player comfortable with his hand in the dirt.

    WEAKNESSES

    Flowers' lack of speed is an issue, and it shows up often. Against quicker, more agile NFL blockers, he'll have trouble taking the edge. He'll need to work on angles, leverage and hand use to win in the pros. And while Flowers has long arms and big hands, his frame is maxed out, limiting his ability to add weight.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     68 6.0 15.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Jeremy Mincey, Dallas Cowboys

    What you see is what you get with Flowers, who is a solid football player and limited athlete. That's similar to Jeremy Mincey, and like the Dallas rusher, Flowers' best bet is playing in a 4-3 defense as a 6-technique end.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.55/9.0 (Future Starter)

11. Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB, Louisville

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    J Pat Carter/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.85s 23 Reps 32.0" 112.0" 7.47s

    STRENGTHS

    Louisville edge-rusher Lorenzo Mauldin passes the eyeball test on and off the field. He's a high-motor, long defender with the first-step quickness and burst to make plays in the backfield. His straight-line speed is impressive in a short area, and he combines that with a high football IQ to make plays in the run and pass game. He's shown enough agility to bail into the flats in coverage and can run with backs and tight ends. Mauldin uses his length well in both the run and pass games and has been a productive player on all three downs.

    WEAKNESSES

    Mauldin looks like an athlete, but he doesn't wow on film and in testing appeared average. His average frame and questionable athleticism make him a question mark in space, but at 259 pounds, he's small to place in a defensive end role. He won't show you flexibility and agility in space and doesn't work his shoulders and hips together to slip past blockers. And he has one more—upfield burst. Mauldin's lack of size and strength makes him a liability against the run.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     51 6.5 13.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Barkevious Mingo, Cleveland Browns

    Mauldin isn't as naturally athletic as Mingo is, but he is another undersized defender with the potential to develop into an outside edge-rusher.

    FINAL GRADE: 5.55/9.0 (Future Starter)

10. Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU

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    Mike Stewart/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.57s 25 Reps - - -

    STRENGTHS

    Danielle Hunter checks all the boxes athletically. He's 6'5", 252 pounds and has huge arms at 34 ¼ inches long with 10 ½-inch hands. On the hoof, he's one of the most impressive athletes in the class when you add in his 4.57 time in the 40-yard dash. On film, Hunter has explosive qualities that are hard to find. He uses his length well and has strong, heavy hands to fight away blockers. He's agile in space too, showing the ability to run down ball-carriers and pursue the quarterback. He's surprisingly active against the run as well, showing a tenacity teams will love. He has a decent set of pass-rushing moves but needs to mix them up more often. A high-ceiling player with huge upside.

    WEAKNESSES

    Hunter's technique needs work, as he loses leverage and tries to win with speed far too often. His instincts are average on film, and he's too often caught thinking instead of reacting when attacking the ball in space. For a high-motor, high-snap player, his sack production (1.5) was alarming in 2014. He's a classic boom-or-bust player who could bomb if his technique doesn't start to match his athleticism.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     73 1.5 13.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Damontre Moore, New York Giants

    Damontre Moore is a similar-sized player and athlete, and his career arc is similar to what I expect from Hunter. It'll be best for Hunter if he can develop in year one before being asked to play all three downs. But the upside is there for him to become a huge asset early on.

    FINAL GRADE: 6.00/9.0 (Future Starter)

9. Nate Orchard, DE, Utah

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.80s - 31.5" 115.0" 7.28s

    STRENGTHS

    Nate Orchard dominated offensive tackles in 2014, leading to 18.5 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss. He backed that production with very good foot speed, hand use, eyes and instincts on the edge. Orchard does a good job limiting his strike zone, so tackles struggle to get a hand on his chest. He's able to twist and torque his way into the backfield and has a second gear to close on quarterbacks. He'll beat slower tackles off the ball with burst and a low center of gravity with smooth, rolling hips and sturdy feet. Orchard is still raw with high upside.

    WEAKNESSES

    Orchard had big production in 2014, but he's only put up that level of production for one season. Looking purely at his film, he's a bit stiff and robotic when engaged by blockers and doesn't flash the raw speed to win with quickness in space if standing up. His best role may be as a true 4-3 defensive end, but at 250 pounds, he's light for that role over the tackle. Orchard has to learn to play bigger and with more tenacity; as of now he's not enough of a finisher to compensate for average speed. Against the run, he can be taken out of the game.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     84 18.5 21.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Willie Young, Chicago Bears

    A smallish defensive end, Willie Young has made a living off motor, quickness and positioning. Orchard can do the same thing in the NFL. He won't wow you with size and speed metrics, but his film and his Senior Bowl week are good enough to bet on him as an impact player.

    FINAL GRADE: 6.20/9.0 (Rookie Impact)

8. Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.74s 24 Reps 34.0" 121.0" 7.07s

    STRENGTHS

    A big, versatile defensive lineman, Preston Smith (6'5", 271 lbs) can play as a true 4-3 defensive end and kick inside as an interior rusher on third downs. He's an impressive athlete, posting a 4.74 in the 40-yard dash with a 121-inch broad jump and 7.07-second three-cone drill time. Smith has exceptionally long arms (34") and uses them well to create and maintain separation as a rusher. He understands leverage in the pass and run games and doesn't surrender his chest easily in either. He has shown the skill to stack and shed blockers on the edge and can anchor against the run. He's at his best in the gaps but played as a nose tackle and two-gap player in the past.

    WEAKNESSES

    Smith's track speed doesn't match up consistently with field speed, and he doesn't show the quickness to win around the edge. His first-step quickness is average, and he can get bogged down easily, as he can't sell a hard outside move. Smith needs to work on a secondary rush move and learn to better use his leverage and power to push the pile.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     48 9.0 15.0

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Everson Griffen, Minnesota Vikings

    This may not be an exciting comparison, but it's a safer one than a Michael Bennett comparison. Smith may fall somewhere in the middle ultimately, but he's the same style of big-bodied athlete who can be moved around to impact the offensive line in multiple ways.

    FINAL GRADE: 6.20/9.0 (Rookie Impact) 

7. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.62s 25 Reps 39.0" 127.0" 7.36s

    STRENGTHS

    UCLA defender Owa Odighizuwa has an NFL-caliber frame and muscular build that show up with good strength and speed on the field. Playing as a down defender and stand-up pass-rusher, Odighizuwa shows quickness and balance in space, nonstop feet and a willingness to fight through blockers. He holds his ground against the run and works down the line of scrimmage well. He plays big too and combines that with first-step speed to eat up space when freed to rush off the edge.

    WEAKNESSES

    Usually playing in a three-man front, Odighizuwa wasn't unleashed to rush the passer often, so there aren't as many plays on film of him wreaking havoc on the backfield. That doesn't mean he can't do it, but his film is more limited there. He can be slow off the ball at times, but this is mental and not physical timing. Finding a true position in the NFL and not being asked to two-gap as a 5-technique will be a big boost for him. Also, he missed the 2013 season with hip surgery, so teams must look into his health.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     59 6.0 11.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Ezekiel Ansah, Detroit Lions

    Odighizuwa is very raw as a pass-rusher, but he has all the physical tools to become a star at the position. A lot like Ezekiel Ansah when he was leaving BYU, Odighizuwa is a bit of a projection, but his ceiling is super high.

    FINAL GRADE: 6.49/9.0 (Rookie starter)

6. Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia

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    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.60s - 35.0" 123.0" 7.07s

    STRENGTHS

    A pure speed-rusher, Eli Harold has first-class burst and follows it up well with length and hand usage as a pass-rusher. His surprising strength allows him to bull-rush and fight blockers, but he does the most damage with his first-step quickness and ability to shoot past blockers at the snap. His hips and feet work well in sync, and he's shown good balance, flexibility and overall light-footed agility. Harold plays the run well on the edge and can stack and shed with strong hands and good upper-body strength. He's best suited with his hand in the dirt, but he has the athleticism to transition to a stand-up rusher role.

    WEAKNESSES

    Harold's skinny, long frame makes him susceptible to power, and he can get shut down if his quickness is met at the corner. Physically, he looks maxed out with a skinny lower body (where his power should come from). The biggest weakness in his game is giving up his body—particularly his chest—to blockers and then not being able to fight them off. His hand use suffers in a phone booth.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     54 7.0 14.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Olivier Vernon, Miami Dolphins

    Like Vernon, Harold is a lanky, lean athlete with top-notch quickness out of the blocks, but he'll need to develop into a finished product in the NFL. Also like Vernon, he has a chance to be a better pro than college player.

    FINAL GRADE: 6.49/9.0 (Rookie starter)

5. Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.56s - 42.0" 138.0" -

    STRENGTHS

    Alvin "Bud" Dupree is an athletic freak. At 6'4", 269 pounds, he turned in a blazing 4.56 time in the 40-yard dash and added a 42-inch vertical jump and 138-inch broad jump. He has top-tier play power and doesn't shy away from contact on the field. Dupree is a hard hitter and closes in on the ball with speed, looking for a big hit and showing an eye for the ball. He's athletic enough and agile enough to play in space, something Kentucky asked him to do often in 2014. Unlike most edge-rushers in this class, he's strong enough to set the edge in the run game and has the body of an NFL-caliber player right now. He projects well as a defensive end in a 4-3 or an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Dupree is more potential than production, but his ceiling is very high.

    WEAKNESSES

    Dupree's huge body and chiseled frame come with some stiffness in his hips and a lack of balance at times. He'll get knocked off his rush with a strong punch and can struggle to reset. He doesn't use his hands exceptionally well right now and has to learn to play with better separation between himself and the blocker. He can be late to react to the run and gets sucked in on play-action too often.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     74 7.5 12.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Brian Orakpo, Tennessee Titans

    Dupree and Orakpo are both physical freaks with big potential, but both are a little stiff in the hips and survive more on athleticism than talent. But like a healthy Orakpo, Dupree can be a double-digit sack player in the NFL if he improves his technique.

    FINAL GRADE: 6.99/9.0 (Rookie starter)

4. Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

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    Tyler Smith/Getty Images
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     4.53s 35 Reps 41.0" 130.0" 6.91s

    STRENGTHS

    Vic Beasley has been productive and consistent as a star defender for the Clemson Tigers. He brings exceptional speed (4.53 40-yard dash) and a hulked-up physique to the table after gaining 13 pounds in pre-combine training. Beasley is one of the smarter edge-rushers in the class, showing the ability to use his hands, head, feet, hips and shoulders to get past blockers. His dominant move is a pure speed rush, though, and he has the hips to turn the corner and keep his rush tight. He'll use his length well to close on the quarterback and flashes good hand use to either grab the quarterback or get a hand in his face if he can't secure the sack. Beasley's size and speed make him a candidate to play standing up in the NFL, something he did often at Clemson.

    WEAKNESSES

    Beasley weighed just 220 pounds in the spring of 2014 and played at around 233 pounds during his senior season. There are legitimate, existing concerns about his ability to keep on weight and just how well he'll move and hold up at his now heavier 246-pound weight. Most on-film concerns center on his lack of power when engaged by blockers in the pass and run games. He played on a very talented defense and saw a lot of one-on-one blocking that led to big production, so it's fair to ask if he can match that against NFL-level blockers. As it stands now, he'll struggle in the run game until he learns to play with power and hold the edge. He's a non-factor on day one against the run.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     34 12.0 21.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Bruce Irvin, Seattle Seahawks

    Irvin ended his time at West Virginia as a situational pass-rusher, and that's what Beasley looks like early in his NFL career until he can learn to use his weight and hold up better against the run. But he can make contributions early as a pass-rusher and has the athleticism to become a starter early if he takes to the mental aspect of a move to a stand-up role.

    FINAL GRADE: 7.20/9.0 (Pro Bowl Potential)

3. Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

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    L.G. Patterson/Associated Press
    40          Bench Press Vertical      Broad         3-Cone      
     - 21 Reps - - -

    STRENGTHS

    Good luck finding a more explosive athlete than Shane Ray. He's a compact, twitchy, fiery defender with top-tier power for a 245-pound frame and rare explosive skills in his first step. He shows good flexibility in his hips and shoulders and uses both well together to slip, slide and go around blockers. Ray plays with a high motor and doesn't give up when locked up by a blocker, showing a strong rip move to get free and restart. He plays with natural leverage and can walk back blockers when engaged. With top-tier change-of-direction speed, he can turn the corner and close on the quarterback in a hurry. Ray is a powerful, violent attacker with a mean tackler mentality. He uses his entire body to affect the blocker and has a toolbox full of head fakes, hand slaps, knifes and stutter-steps. He comes in with good technique and is very well-coached. Ray has the agility and football IQ to play in space early on in his career.

    WEAKNESSES

    At 6'3" and 245 pounds, Ray lacks the ideal build for a defensive end and may be a scheme-specific pass-rusher in a 3-4 defense. His length and build are average, which will turn away some teams immediately. He has a tendency to stand and chicken-fight with blockers instead of working at other angles or attempting to contain or bat down the pass. He can get bowled over in the run game if teams come at him directly.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     65 13.0 22.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins

    Cameron Wake is one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL, and Ray has that kind of potential. There are few weaknesses to his game, and like Wake, he's able to beat blockers without a huge frame or long arms. Agility, tenacity and blurry speed combine to make him a threat.

    FINAL GRADE: 7.20/9.0 (Pro Bowl Potential)

2. Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

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    Nati Harnik/Associated Press
    40           Bench Press    Vertical      Broad        3-Cone     
     4.64s 24 Reps 36.5" 125.0" -

    STRENGTHS

    Randy Gregory is an elite athlete for his size (6'5", 235 lbs), showing exceptional movement skills, flexibility and quickness in the open field. A former JUCO player, Gregory played at Nebraska for just two seasons and didn't really find his true position, leaving him with huge upside. The Cornhusker defense asked him to move around often—playing left and right defensive end, left and right outside linebacker and blitzing from middle linebacker—which has left him with a good total understanding of the defense. He has a massive wingspan (34-inch arms) and uses that length well to fight off blockers. Against power blockers he showed an impressive ability to convert speed to power and counter quickness with an effective bull rush. He has a plan when pass-rushing and is an explosive, twitchy player with quick, strong hands.

    WEAKNESSES

    Gregory was coached to play off pressures or movements of the offensive line, which kept him from firing off the ball on the snap. That's something he'll have to change in the NFL while adjusting to linemen reacting to his movement instead of the opposite (which is a benefit to the defender). Gregory lost weight before the combine (235 lbs) and weighed in at just 216 pounds when his offseason training began, bringing up concerns about his ability to maintain a high playing weight. Gregory admitted to failing the drug test at the NFL Combine and has at least two failed tests for marijuana from Nebraska.

    2014 STATISTICS

     Tackles           Sacks            Tackles for Loss
     54 7.0 8.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers

    Gregory isn't as filled out as Smith was coming out of Missouri, but they're both raw athletes with long arms, big hands and big athletic upside. Like Smith, Gregory projects best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but he has the skills to bump down to defensive end in passing situations.

    FINAL GRADE: 7.30/9.0 (Pro Bowl Potential)

1. Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida

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    John Raoux/Associated Press
    40        Bench PressVertical   Broad   3-Cone  
    4.60s19 Reps32.5"112.0"7.40s

    STRENGTHS

    Dante Fowler Jr. is a powerful, aggressive, explosive edge player with a nonstop motor and top-tier athleticism. His burst for a 260-plus-pound player is uncommonly good, and he takes pride in being a finisher on the field. Fowler plays clean football, but he's a fighter until the whistle and looks to attack the offense. He uses his quickness and length to attack blockers, rarely giving up his chest and showing a good shoulder dip with the hip flexibility to roll the corner and close on the quarterback. Against the run, he will get blocked down at times, but he gives max effort and is smart about working down the line on weak-side plays. Florida moved him around throughout his career, so he's scheme-versatile and comfortable playing with his hand up or down.

    WEAKNESSES

    Moving around so often at Florida has left Fowler without a true position, and he's a bit of a "jack of all trades, master of none" positionally. Fowler's ability to beat blockers with power is inconsistent, but he does flash it. Losing weight to play defensive end has left him with questionable lower-body strength that shows up in the run game or when a blocker is able to redirect on him. He needs to work on hand placement and usage, as he's getting away with burst and athleticism now.

    2014 STATISTICS

    Tackles       Sacks       Tackles for Loss
    608.515.5

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Chandler Jones, New England Patriots

    Like Jones, Fowler is a terror to handle on the field because of his motor and athleticism. They also compare well, as Jones has played defensive end and outside linebacker in New England and has become a bit of a defensive chess piece. Fowler has the same upside as a positional weapon on defense.

    FINAL GRADE: 7.5/9.0 (All-Pro Potential)