Category Archives: Defensive Ends

Defensive Ends: Final Position Rankings

2019 NFL Draft:  Top Ranked DEs

This class is very deep and has talent at every level. The top five players are all first round picks. Then there’s the next tier of about fourteen players that we will see go between the end of the first and the end of the third – starting at Brian Burns and going down to L.J. Collier and Shareef Miller. The last tier is incredibly deep compared with some other position groups. From the fourth to the seventh rounds we’ll see defensive ends come off the board at regular intervals.

Bosa projects as the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Photo:  Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

1. Nick Bosa, Ohio State, 6-4/266

Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Joey Bosa, Nick looks to be the most polished and NFL ready pass rusher of the bunch. Has exceptional short area quickness and excellent low body strength.

2. Josh Allen, Kentucky, 6-5/262

Allen could play end or linebacker at the next level and may be asked to do a combination of the two. Uses his physical tools to his advantage. Understands when to use speed, when to use his length, or when to use a counter move. Some experts have listed Allen going number one overall in the draft.

3. Montez Sweat, Mississippi, 6-6/260

This guy just doesn’t stop. He lit it up at the Senior Bowl. He was the toast of the weekend. Then the comes to the NFL Scouting Combine and runs a 4.41 forty, a 36 vertical and a 7.0 3-cone shuttle at 260 pounds. He understands leverage and angels and maximizes his potential at every opportunity. I think we’ll hear Sweat’s name called before Rashan Gary’s on draft day.

4. Rashan Gary, Michigan, 6-4/277

Gary is a physical specimen with outstanding upper and lower body strength. He can play outside or inside, and most likely will, depending on the down. Shows quickness off the ball and backside speed to track plays down. Has always had superior physical talent and may have to work harder at the next level. Smart player that understands the game.

5. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, 6-4/264

In just about any other year, we would be talking about Ferrell being the best defensive end in the class and near the top of every draft board — that’s just how deep this year’s defensive end class truly is. He looks pro ready and should have an outstanding rookie season.

6. Brian Burns, Florida State, 6-5/249

Burns will have to grow into the NFL. He’ll need to get bigger, but he’s got the traits scouts seek. Tall and lanky, cat-quick first step, good bend and long arms. He could end up being a boom-or-bust player, but he’s certainly worth the gamble.

7. Jochai Polite, Florida, 6-3/258

Polite has been working to rehab his reputation after turning numerous teams off during the Scouting Combine interview process. At one time he was being talked about as a potential first round pick. So, he has too much talent to ignore and some team will give him a second chance.

8. Austin Bryant, Clemson, 6-4/271

Has good burst off the line. Uses his long arms to punch and has a variety of hand techniques. Shows good bend and understands leverage. Played with a talented group and didn’t need to be the star – but understood his role in the scheme.

9. Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech, 6-4/256

He’s a downhill pass rusher. Has above average ball get off. Uses his hand well. Understands angles and has good balance. Doesn’t show up much in the run game. Ferguson did not light it up at his Pro Day. He didn’t stand out during Senior Bowl week.

10. Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion, 6-3/253

Was the darling of football writers earlier this year. Ximines has spent a lot of time in the backfield of the opposing team. Didn’t face top notch competition and lined up over the right tackle the majority of the time. His specialty has been the speed rush and he might fit best as a situational third down specialist.

OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  1. Anthony Nelson, Iowa, 6-7/271
  2. Joe Jackson, Miami, 6-4/275
  3. Chase Winovich, Michigan, 6-3/256
  4. Malik Carney, No. Carolina, 6-2/251
  5. Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State, 6-3/252
  6. Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan, 6-5/255
  7. Markus Jones, Angelo State, 6-3/260
  8. L.J. Collier, TCU, 6-2/283
  9. Sheriff Miller, Penn State, 6-4/254
  10. Justin Hollins, Oregon, 6-5/248
  11. Carl Granderson, Wyoming, 6-5/254
  12. Charles Omenihu, Texas, 6-5/280
  13. John Cominsky, Charleston, 6-5/286
  14. Porter Gustin, USC, 6-4/255
  15. Jalen Jelks, Oregon, 6-6/246
  16. Gerri Green, Mississippi State 6-4/250
  17. Kyle Phillips, Tennessee, 6-4/277
  18. Derick Roberson, Sam Houston State, 6-4/250
  19. Cece Jefferson, Florida, 6-1/266
  20. Wyatt Ray, Boston College, 6-3/257
  21. Dare Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt, 6-2/262
  22. Darryl Johnson, NC A&T, 6-6/253
  23. Mike Onuho, Texas A&M Commerce, 6-5/255
  24. Adonis Davis, Florida Tech, 6-3/260
  25. Iseoluwapo Jegede, Valdosta State, 6-5/273

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2019 Player Profile: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat has been one of the most talked about storylines in this year’s NFL draft. Sweat started his career at Michigan State, where he played two games in 2014. He took a redshirt season in 2015 and transferred to Copiah-Lincoln Community College in 2016. After receiving offers from Texas A&M and LSU, Sweat decided on Mississippi State. Playing in the SEC, Sweat displayed sweet blend of quickness, length, and power.

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2019 NFL DRAFT: MONTEZ SWEAT | DE | MISSISSIPPI STATE

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 260 | Class: Junior | 40 time: 4.41


Sweat was clearly one of the top talents in the SEC last year. He dominated opponents weekly with a combination of hand placement, speed, power, and cat-quickness. In 2018, he led the SEC with 11.0 total sacks. According to PFF, he was the second in the conference among all edge defenders with 40 total pressures. Out of all the Edge rushers coming out this year, Sweat shows the best lean around the corner. He has prototypical size and plenty of untapped potential, which will only help drive his stock up the draft boards.

Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat was an SI first-team All-American.
Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

In his two years with Mississippi State, Sweat played in 26 games. He had 101 total tackles; 48 solo; and 53 assists. He had 30 tackles-for-loss and 22.5 sacks. He also had one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.

At the Senior Bowl, the Georgia native, dominated the competition during the one-on-one drills. He showed surprising power for a guy who is so tall and lanky. He continually drove defenders straight back to the quarterback. He also displayed the quickness to beat anyone around the corner.

Sweat set an NFL scouting combine record last month when he posted a 4.41-second 40-yard dash – the fastest 40 ever run by a defensive lineman at the combine. He measured in at 6′ 6″ and 260 pounds. His 4.41 forty time is even more eye popping once you realize it would have ranked him in the top three of running backs and the top 10 of wide receivers.

Sweat could possibly be drafted as high as number five to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Check out the updated Position Rankings: QBWRDEDT, and more.

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN |TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2019 Player Profile: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Ohio State’s, defensive end, Nick Bosa is considered the most polished and pro-ready player in the 2019 NFL Draft. Yet, he only played in 3 games last year. In that third game, against TCU, Bosa suffered a core muscle injury. When he got hurt, he was leading Ohio State in tackles, tackles-for-loss, sacks and fumble recoveries. He was on pace to have a better junior season than his older brother, Joey Bosa, who went third overall to the San Diego Chargers in 2016 NFL Draft.

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2019 NFL DRAFT: NICK BOSA | DE | OHIO STATE

Height: 6-4| Weight: 266 | Class: Junior | 40 time: 4.79


Nick Bosa was named the 2017 Big-10 Defensive Lineman of the Year and was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Bosa is an incredible athlete that hustles every play and works to maximize his potential. He has a very stout compact frame that is thick, muscular, and solid. He uses his power well, and has good, but not exceptional, get off. He displays excellent hand technique and utilizes a variety of rip, swim, and power moves to defeat blockers.

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Nick Bosa (97) rushes the passer.
Photo: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In his three years with Ohio State, Bosa played in 29 games. He had 77 total tackles; 47 solo; and 30 assists. He had 29 tackles-for-loss and 17.5 sacks. He also had two forced fumbles in his career.

It’s interesting to note that Nick Bosa wore his bother’s number 97. The two are very similar in build; they play the game the same way; and are noted for their technical savvy.

The only player that could possibly be drafted ahead of Bosa would be a quarterback. If a team, let’s say Arizona, fell in love with a particular quarterback, they may take him over Bosa. Outside of that scenario, there’s really no reason not to believe Bosa would be the number one pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

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Check out the updated Position Rankings: QBWRDEDT, and more.

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN |TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2019 Player Profile: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

Rashan Gary is one of those players who has been ranked at the top no matter what level of play. Coming out of Paramus Catholic high school in New Jersey, Gary was the most coveted prospect in the nation. After only three years at Ann Arbor, Michigan, Gary is again one of the top rated prospects in the nation.

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2019 NFL DRAFT: RASHAN GARY | DE | MICHIGAN

Height: 6-4| Weight: 277 | Class: Junior | 40 time: 4.58


Gary has a unique set of tools. He’s got plenty of strength, plenty of speed, and the versatility to play inside or out. At 280 lbs., you might think him too small for inside and too big for the edge – but that’s exactly where his freak athleticism comes into play. He can do both, and do them both very well. At the next level, however, he’ll need to add some finesse to his game, as he won’t be able to out-athlete the competition the way he did in college. Gary has been sitting in the top 5 of almost every draft board in the country since he announce he was coming out.

Gary has freakish athleticism, running a 4.56 at 277 pounds.
Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press

In his three years with Michigan, Gary played in 35 games. He had 137 total tackles; 53 solo; and 84 assists. He has 24 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He also had one forced fumble in his career.

It might have been nice to see a some bigger stats over his three year career. You could say, he didn’t force enough fumbles or he didn’t recover an fumbles. Or you may ask, how can a guy with only 10.5 sacks be a top five pick?

There’s two answer to that question. The first is watch the film. At only 277 pounds this guy is taking on double and occasionally triple team blocks. Opponent know he’s a handful and game plan to limit his ability to disrupt. The second answer is look at his Combine numbers: 4.58 forty; 26 reps on the bench; a 38 vertical; and a 120 broad jump. The numbers along speak of explosiveness and strength. Gary has both. And he’ll go high in the top of this year’s draft class.

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Plus all NEW, updated, Position Rankings: QBWRDEDT, and more.

Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN |TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2019 PLAYER PROFILE: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

Clelin Ferrel had an amazing season, winning 2018 Hendricks Award, winning a National Championship and being named a Consensus All-American. He possesses a quick first step and uses his long arms to his advantage. Because of his size, he holds up well against the run and can be an every down player.

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2019 NFL DRAFT: CLELIN FERRELL | DE | CLEMSON

Height: 6-5| Weight: 260 | Class: Junior | 40 time:

Ferrell may be the most polished edge rusher in the draft. He has prototypical size for his position. On passing plays, he shows a springy first step, followed by good dip and lean. He’s really good at using his long arms to create distance and has a nice punch. Ferrell shows a nice rip move and can swim inside. He keeps his head up and reacts quickly, resulting is tackles for loss. He’s a stout run stopper that sets a good edge.

Ferrell doesn’t have the bend of an you’d like to see, but he get round most tackles on pure athleticism. Top tier tackles were able to handle his speed rush and wall him off at times. While he does have a good arsenal of moves, Farrell is far from reaching his ceiling – and good coaching at the next level will only help him get better.

Ferrell was a Consensus All-American in 2018.
Photo: Tigersnet.com

Ferrell was a consensus first-team All-American, earning selections by AP, Sporting News and Walter Camp. He was also named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year; first-team All-ACC; and unanimous first-team AP All-ACC selection and earned AP ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

The junior pass rusher from Richmond, Va., entered bowl season credited with 45 tackles, including 17 for loss; 10.5 sacks; three pass breakups; two forced fumbles; and a fumble recovered for a touchdown. He started every game for the Tigers.

In his three-year career, he had 47.5 tackles for loss, eighth most in Tiger history, and 26 sacks, fifth most in school history.

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Plus all NEW, updated, Position Rankings: QBWRDEDT, and more.

Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2019 PLAYER PROFILE: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky

Josh Allen has enough athleticism to play linebacker in the 3-4. He has enough size to play on the edge in a 4-3. He’s a guy who has worked hard for everything honor he’s earned. While other players were skipping bowl games, Allen wrapped up his senior year by getting 3 sacks and a blocked kick in the Citrus Bowl. He hustles. He’s grown and gotten better each and every year. And no matter what team selects him, they’ll be getting a true football player.

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2019 NFL DRAFT: JOSH ALLEN | DE | KENTUCKY

Height: 6-4| Weight: 252 | Class: Senior | 40 time:

Allen has prototypical size to play end in the NFL. On passing plays, he shows excellent agility, with enough speed and burst to get past the offensive lineman. He has good bend, dip, and lean when taking the corner. Allen has the quickness to split the gap if asked to rush inside. He shows great closing burst when tracking down from the backside. He plays with his eyes, and his reactions without hesitation.

Occasionally, he’ll try to duck blockers instead of shedding them. While he has a good speed move, good rip and chop, he’ll need to add more moves to his arsenal at the next level.

Josh Allen was a 2018 Consensus All-American.
Photo: David Stephenson, AP

Allen finished his career with 220 total tackles (121 solo), 42 tackles for loss, and 31.5 sacks. He caused 11 fumbles, recovered two, and snagged one INT while in Lexington.

In 2018, Allen set a school single-season record with 17 sacks this past season. Overall, he had 21 tackles for loss and forced five fumbles. He recovered two fumbles. Allen also broke up four passes.

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2019 Player Profile: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Edge rusher’s are this year’s hottest commodity. FSU’s Brian Burns is ranked high on most draft board’s because of his potential. Not just his potential based on athletic ability, but his potential based on size. I’ve seen him listed as low as 218 lbs. And if that’s the case, he’ll have to move to OLB at the next level. I’ve seen him listed as high as 265, if that’s the case, he’s definitely a top DE prospect. The school website had him listed at 250 for the 2018 season. We’ll know more about Burns, about his potential and draft projection after the upcoming NFL Combine.

[Update: Burns ran a 4.56 at the Combine, measuring 6′ 5″ and 249 lbs.]

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2019 NFL DRAFT: BRIAN BURNS | DE | FLORIDA STATE

Height: 6-5| Weight: 249 | Class: Junior | 40 time: 4.53

Video: College Films

From 1995-2001 FSU was cranking out defensive ends left and right (Derrick Alexander, Peter Boulware, Andre Wadsworth, Greg Spires, Tony Bryant, and Jamal Reynolds). Brian Burns’ name belongs with that group of guys. He’s good. He’s really good. He has a cat-quick first step and is an explosive closer. Burns has that flexible and bendable frame you want an edge rusher to have. He’s shown good dip and lean to get around the corner. He also has a nice spin move. He’s not overly big, but he’s displayed a decent punch and a nice rip move too.

Burns will need to add bulk and strength at the next level, especially to be effective against the run. Since he’s largely gotten by on beating his opponent with pure athleticism, he’ll need to work on becoming a better technician. He has a lot of tools and a lot of upside.

Burns has plenty of raw potential.
Photo: Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports

His junior season in 2018 was his best yet for the Seminoles. He cracked double digits in the sack column for the first time in his college career with 10.0. He added 15.5 tackles for loss for good measure.

In his three years with FSU, Burns appeared in 38 games with 25 starts and recorded 124 tackles, including 39.5 for loss with 24.0 sacks, seven forced fumbles, seven pass breakups, three blocked kicks and two fumble recoveries. His 24 total sacks ranks fifth in program history. And his 39.5 career tackles for loss rank eigth on FSU’s all-time list.

Update: Burns measured 6′ 5″ and 249 lbs. at the Scouting Combine, plenty of size to play the Edge at the next level. He ran a 4.53 forty.

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

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