FanPost

Draft Prospects: Defensive End Edition

I'm back and this time I am bringing you the draft prospects the Falcons just can't seem to hit on, the defensive ends. As alot of you know the Falcons released John Abraham, and signed Osi this offseason. But, this still leaves a void on the defensive line that has struggled in recent years to get pressure on the quarterback in big games. I have no idea what will happen with free agency, as Abe may come back or TD may add another pass rusher to Mike Nolan's defense. But, these are the prospects that should be looked at by the Falcons. This is a draft profile for DEFENSIVE ENDS, not linebackers who could be 3-4 ends. So you will not see Jarvis Jones on this list, but he will be on a later list. Now, I will not profile guys like Dion Jordan who are not likely to be drafted by the Falcons as it is unrealistic but that does not mean the Falcons won't trade up and snag him, we all know this could happen. See Julio Jones for more on that.

Now, the DEFENSIVE ENDS

Bjoern Werner: Florida State

Height: 6'3

Weight: 266 lbs

40 Yard Dash: 4.83 seconds

Bench Press: 25 reps

Vertical: 31 inches

3 Cone Drill: 7.30 seconds

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.40 seconds

Arm Length: 33 1/4 inches

Hands: 9 5/8 inches

NFL Comparison: Osi Umenyiora and Jared Allen

Skill Set: Werner has great hips and gets a good intial jump which allows him to get good leverage on the blocker. Has a good bull rush move. After he fires off the ball, he has good enough hips to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and...dodge, his blocker. Does a good job of fighting towards the football and shows good vision locating the football. Sheds blocks well and is a good open field tackler, sets the edge in the run game and has the quickness to get to the running back and eat him up. Also, another strength is he is excellent in coverage for an end and swats down balls at the line, he had 18 career passes defended at Florida State. But, he lacks the drive you want in a defensive end, and is often times seen taking plays off late in games or when the ball doesn't go to his side of the field. Also his arm length is a problem against most linemen.

Analysis: I personally would love to draft a guy like Werner in the 1st round, but he may be more of a project than people think. He has't played as much football as most as he was an exchange student from Berlin, Germany his sophmore year of high school. But, most say his instincts on the football field have caught up to most. He also has a long list of minor injuries that are starting to pile up and we all know that could be a red flag to the FAlcons front office. He needs to work on playing full speed the entire game, and if he becomes a Falcon it will be something that has to be done seeing how the Falcons defense falters at times late in games. Despite his "low motor" he is seen making plays on plays where he has multiple efforts to get to the QB, or ballcarrier and has good awareness to swat down passes. Personally, reminds me of JJ Watt but that is not a comparison made by "experts". Overall, he would be a good addition that could make a huge impact early or may be a little bit of a project but still a solid player. I like the idea of him in the 1st, if he falls to Atlanta.

Highlights: Bjoern Werner Very well made if I might add.

Datone Jones: UCLA

Height: 6'4

Weight: 280 lbs

40 Yard Dash: 4.80 seconds

Bench Press: 29 reps

Vertical: 31.5 inches

3 Cone Drill: 7.32 seconds

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.32 seconds

Arm Length: 32 1/8 inches

Hands: 9 3/4 inches

NFL Comparison: Cory Redding

Skill Set: Can fit in multiple fronts, and has a long frame that is great for leverage. He struggles at times with his stance and it will be exposed by NFL tackles who study him. He sometimes gets knocked out of his lane and disrupts him from making a play. But, to make up for his stance problems he is seen making quick jumps on the snap and uses his power to blow past blockers. Gets a good push in the running game by leaning towards the backfield. Shows a good ability to disengage from blockers, and if not keeps his arms extended. Has no real motor problems and can get the edge contained and also shows the ability and agility to break down and tackle a ballcarrier in the open field. Was not as much of a sack machine in college but showed his ability to get to the backfield with 19 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

Analysis: I see this being the more realistic pick for the Falcons at the end of the 1st round. Jones is a vocal leader on the field and that is always welcome in the Falcons organization. He has NFL ready size and ability but needs to improve some presnap flaws which I think with the veteran presence of Osi can be fixed. Hs versatility would be perfect for the Falcons defensive scheme and would be a reasonable pick with the 1st round pick.

Highlights: Datone Jones No your sounds isn't messed up the songs starts out like that.

Tank Carradine: Florida State

Height: 6'4

Weight: 276 lbs

40 Yard Dash: Did Not Participate

Bench Press: 28 reps

Vertical: Did Not Participate

3 Cone Drill: Did Not Participate

20 Yard Shuttle: Did Not Participate

Arm Length: 34 3/4 inches

Hands: 10 1/4 inches

NFL Comparison: Justin Tuck

Skill Set: One of the defenisive ends with the highest motors in the draft, Tank is shown flying sideline to sideline when the play is there. He uses his speed to get outside of tackles on passing downs and uses his hands to make his move. Shows a strong bull rush move, and will terrorize smaller tackles with his size. In the run game does a good job of lacating the football, and tight ends rarely get a good chip on him. Also, does a good job of keeping contain, as shown in the highlights below.

Analysis: NFL draft scouts don't get much of a feel for his play or his stamina because of limited snaps in college. This could play into the Falcons advantage if he can fall some to the second round. I'm not sold on him as a 1st round pick just yet, but may move up as we get closer to the draft. He was not a starter in a talented Florida State defensive line which consisted of Bjoern Werner and Brandon Jenkins, but an injury to Jenkins allowed him to slip into the starting lineup and he registered 11 sacks his senior year. He could have started at mostly every other school after being the top JUCO prospect in the country.

Highlights: Tank Carradine

Margus Hunt: SMU

Height: 6'8

Weight: 277 lbs

40 Yard Dash: 4.60 seconds

Bench Press: 38 reps

Vertical: 34.5 inches

3 Cone Drill: 7.07 seconds

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.51 seconds

Arm Length: 33 3/8 inches

Hands: 9 5/8 inches

NFL Comparison: Calais Campbell

Skill Set: Margus Hunt is a big man, and uses it effectively in both against the pass and the run. He uses his sneaky speed to get the edge on tackles and uses his arms to keep his leverage throughout the play. His long strides give him the edge faster than most ends. When he doesn't get to the QB his height and arm length allow him to hender the QB's vision and allows him to swat balls. Against the run he can disengage easily with the leverage he gets, and keeps contain well. Makes plays downfield routinely and his spped allows him to bring down backs, and close quickly on ballcarriers. His natural strength makes him very good in short yardage situations. He is used on the field goal block team to swat kicks also. But, his major weakness is fatigue due to his big frame and getting good bend and leverage every play.

Analysis: After more study of Dave's infatuation, I too have become a fan of the Estonian. It's hard not to with his size and strength and potential. He is raw and his ceiling is in the clouds somewhere. The only problem with his potential is he is already 25 which is older than most prospects and does't have as much time to figure things out. The Falcons could use him on defense and the field goal block unit. I'd love to have a guy like this and the best part about it is, he is falling to the second round in alot of mocks. The only question for me is his football IQ, because he has only played 4 years of football. If the Falcons can grab him in the 2nd round, they would have to lock TD up for theft.

Highlights: Margus Hunt

Damontre Moore: Texas A&M

Height: 6'4

Weight: 250 lbs

40 Yard Dash: 4.95 seconds

Bench Press: 12 reps

Vertical: 35.5 inches

3 Cone Drill: Did Not Participate

20 Yard Shuttle: Did Not Participate

Arm Length: 34 3/4inches

Hands: 10 1/4 inches

NFL Comparison: Robert Ayers

Skill Set: Moore is another guy with great size and speed and can line up as a defensive end or a stand up linebacker. His explosiveness off the line and speed allows him to get the edge quickly. His speed off the ball and his arm length allow him to get a nice bull rush move on his blocker. He does well getting skinny, and also thrives slashing and inside stunts. MAkes a second effort regularly, and does a good job chasing down quarterbacks and ballcarriers. Tight ends struggle in both the run and pass game on him as they can't block him and he does a good job in zone coverage on the tight end. Contains well. His flaws relate to the usefullness of the tools he already has. Needs to learn not to be too straight up and use his flexibility to get the edge. Upside is very high.

Analysis: Damontre was a top 5 pick erly in the year but has fallen alot since. This has brought him to the late 2nd and even 3rd round in some mocks. He may have a chip on his shoulder after falling so far, and could be a great value pick. The only problem is these are all unaswered questions. He has great ability but putting it all together may be a problem. I know most of us don't want to see another project defensive end in a Falcons uniform. I like this guy for the right pick. Not worth a 1st round pick in my eyes.

Highlights: Damontre Moore

Alex Okafor: Texas

Height: 6'4

Weight: 261 lbs

40 Yard Dash: Did Not Participate

Bench Press: 21 reps

Vertical: Did Not Participate

3 Cone Drill: Did Not Participate

20 Yard Shuttle: Did Not Participate

Arm Length: 33 7/8 inches

Hands: 9 5/8 inches

NFL Comparison: Ray Edwards

Skill Set: His size is NFL ready. Okafor does a good job of pushing linemen back into the backfield with his strength and length. Likes to go for the inside shoulder of the tackle and fills the B-gap well. Has good hands to get past his blocker and does a good job chasing down ballcarriers outside the box. Does a good job against cut blocks. Finishes the play even when its gone downfield.But, he sometimes gets locked up when blocked man to man and allows running backs to run by him. Also, is very stiff when asked to drop into a zone.

Analysis: He has an NFL ready skill set but needs to work on some mechanics. Projects to be a 4-3 end, and doesn't do as well standing up. Should be a solid left end in the NFL. Okafor has fallen out of the 1st round and could be there for the Falcons late 2nd. With the late 2nd pick him or some of the others above would fill a need and have great value. He was bothered by an ankle injury early in 2012 but was one of the only injuries that has hendered him in his college career. He showed off in his final game with 4.5 sacks against Oregon State.

Highlights: Alex Okafor

These are the guys we could see in the first and second round of the draft that could suit up for the Falcons. Who do you guys think would be the best pick-up and when should they be picked up?

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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