Re-Ranking: Offensive and Defensive Trench Warriors

Defensive End

2013 DE Class-

I love this class, and by that I mean that I may have never seen class of pass rushers that is this good in a long time. I see eight legitimate DE’s in this class that could become double digit sack artists in the NFL. I expect a run on defensive end prospects to occur in the middle of the first round, many of these guys could be considered 43 or 34 fits because of how big and athletic they are.

To view the 2013 Top 20 DE’s Click Here!

Most Intriguing Prospect: Quanterus Smith, Western Kentucky, #4 2013 DE

Some might say that I have Quanterus Smith too high, and maybe I do but Im not going to be shy about moving talent up and let’s be clear Smith has plenty of talent. The 6’5, 248 lbs DE from the Sun Belt conference has been turning heads left and right this season with his ability to beat the OT and get to the QB. He ranks among the nation’s leaders in sacks and looks to only beginning to understand what he may be capable of doing.

Other 2013 DE Notes:

-If you don’t know who Dion Jordan (Oregon, #1 2013 DE) is or have never seen him stop reading this right now, and go find some tape on him (click here). Ok now that you’ve watched him, do I really need to say more?

-Along with Smith (above) another DE prospect who has come out of nowhere was Cornelius (Tank) Carradine (FSU, #3 2013 DE). Carradine came on in relief of Brandon Jenkins when he suffered a season ending injury and he has become a dominant force in the ACC. A former top ranked JUCO recruit Carradine is showing why FSU went after him so hard in recruiting.

-Two guys to watch who may not get billed as top prospects but have big time potential; Margus Hunt (SMU, #5 2013 DE) and Ezekial Ansah (BYU, #8 2013 DE). Both are athletic freaks who are still relatively new to the game of football. Hunt was a former track and field athlete who has become well known for his brute strength at the point of attack and ability to block kicks. Ansah came from the track background and has shocked people across the country with how much speed he has in his frame. Some whispers have already begun on if Ansah could sneak all the way into the first round?

-Division II pass rusher David Bass is my top ranked small school pass rusher, this guy is a beast coming off the edge in MIAA and knows how to get after it. Look for Bass to blow up post season workouts and skyrocket up boards.

-No DE prospect has been a bigger disappointment to me this year that Devin Taylor (South Carolina, #13 2013 DE). I could have dropped Taylor much lower but we wonder if maybe he’s still trying to learn how to play within himself. By that I mean that he looks awkward with his pass rush and is not quite sure how best to utilize his long arms and thick frame. I think maybe with some improved coaching Taylor can get his game back to that next level.

-The last guy I want to mention is Cornelius Washington (UGA, #11 2013 DE), he is seriously miscast and over shadowed at UGA. Washington is a guy who has played up and down on the line, he’s played inside and outside and he’s done it all in a frame that goes about 6’4, 270ish. He’s an ideal LE in a 43 scheme and with his athleticism should be able to make an impact very quickly.

2014 DE Class-

Yea I have Damontre Moore as the top DE in this class over guys like Sam Montgomery (LSU, #2 2014 DE), Bjoern Werner (FSU, #3 2014 DE), William Gholston (Michigan State, #7 2014 DE), Jackson Jeffcoact (Texas, #6 2014 DE), and Corey Lemonier (Auburn, #4 2014 DE). Yes I’m sure many of your disagree and you have every right to, but I’ll get more detailed on Moore in a moment.  It was very hard to pick only a top 10 set of juniors I mean I have guys probably as low as 15 that could be argued into the Top 10. I don’t care how many juniors leave the next two years are going to be pass rush heaven for NFL teams.

To view the 2014 Top 10 DE’s Click Here!

Most Intriguing Prospect: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, #1 2014 DE

Alright continuing on from above, the reason I say Moore is the top DE is because he is the most complete. He plays the run almost as well as he rushes the passer and his combination of speed, size, and power is matched by almost nobody. His ability to use his hands to shed combined with his quickness off the ball make him the most dangerous DE in the country. When he’s fully in the zone he’s is unblockable and that’s why he leads A&M in tackles, TFL, and sacks.

Other 2014 DE Notes:

-Similarly to 2013 prospects Ansah (BYU) and Hunt (SMU) one 2014 prospect who has really emerged from relative obscurity is Bjoern Wrener (FSU, #3 2014 DE). Those close to the FSU program were already well aware of Werner potential skill level but he’s exploded this year in the absence of Jenkins and made a name for himself nationally.

- Corey Lemonier (Auburn, #4 2014 DE) is in a bit slump currently but don’t buy into the numbers fully. Lemonier has plenty of talent but now has to show he can adjust back to teams adjusting to him. Lemonier is seeing plenty of double teams along with chips from the TE to RB this year.

-I first mentioned Ed Stinson (#5 2014 DE) last year but keep watching him, he’s a DE in the Alabama 34 but he’s got a great first step and is really starting to play with impressive power. As he continues to figure it all out he should be able to make a bigger impact this season.

-Two of the more overrated prospects include both Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas, #6 2014 DE) and William Gholston (Michigan State, #7 2014 DE) both have incredible athleticism but struggle with some of their fundamentals still. That’s part of the reason they are ranked lower on our board than on many others.

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