NFL Draft Early Entries: Defensive Ends

    2016 NFL Draft Early Entries: The superstar pass rushers might not be there, but this is a big, talented group that should load up the first 50 picks.

    January 18, 2016

    2016 NFL Draft Early Entries: The superstar pass rushers might not be there, but this is a big, talented group that should load up the first 50 picks.

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    Joey Bosa, Ohio State, 6-5, 275

    Right Move? He would’ve been a top ten pick if he could’ve come out after his sophomore season. His stats might not have been as strong in 2015 as they were in 2014, and he might have missed the start of the season, but there’s no doubting his overall ability as an NFL-sized end with great toughness and pass rushing ability – he needed to be double-teamed all the time this year. While he might not be the sure-thing No. 1 overall pick many will have him as, he obviously made the right move coming out.
    Projection: First Round, Top Ten Overall

    Kamalei Correa, Boise State, 6-3, 245

    Right Move? A dangerous pass rushing talent with 35 tackles with five sacks, he’s a machine who’s always working and can fit just about any system. A bit of a tweener who’s missing the raw bulk, he’s going to be seen as an outside linebacker and a possible pass rushing specialist – he can thrive in the role.
    Projection: Fourth Round

    Kevin Dodd, Clemson, 6-4, 275

    Right Move? Shaq Lawson might have been the star of the Tiger line, but Dodd did his part to make more than his share of plays in the backfield. A fixture behind the line, he was a tackle for loss machine making 62 stops with 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. He’s got the NFL body for any system and the burst of a much smaller player. Slippery, he’s always sliding off blocks to make big things happen.
    Projection: First Round

    Shaq Lawson, Clemson, 6-3, 270

    Right Move? With a nasty attitude and the quickness and drive to fight his way into the backfield, Lawson is a power rusher who’s always working and always pushing to get behind the line and make things happen. He’s an alpha-male leader and tone-setter for a line with the ability to grow into one of the most complete defenders in the draft. While he might not be a speed rusher, he moves well enough to be seen as a steal – compared to Joey Bosa – somewhere in the top 15.
    Projection: First Round

    Alex McCalister, Florida, 6-5, 240

    Right Move? There’s no questioning his potential and talent as a speed rusher, and there’s no concern about his athleticism, but it’s all about his character and whether or not he’ll be a problem. He’s never going to be anything more than a specialist – he’s just not big enough – but he could be a whale of a pass rusher as long as there’s no problems with a foot injury and with his focus after being kicked off the team. There’s too much upside for someone not to give him a flier.
    Projection: Fifth Round

    Yannick Ngakoue, Maryland, 6-2, 250

    Right Move? Part end, part outside linebacker, Ngakoue cranked out 13.5 sacks showing tremendous quickness on the outside and the raw speed to close when he had to. He might not look the part, and he might not be bulky enough to work on the line against the run, but with his drive and fight to get behind the line, he’s worth developing.
    Projection: Fourth Round

    Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State, 6-4, 275

    Right Move? One of the nation’s most disrespected stars, he did everything he was supposed to do with 64 tackles and 13 sacks with 17.5 tackles for loss even though every offense focused on stopping him. With an NFL body and the toughness to become more than just a pass rusher, he looks the part and plays it as a likely first round candidate with the right workout.
    Projection: First Round

    Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky, 6-3, 260

    Right Move? Get ready, because Spence might be the biggest call of the top 50 – everyone will be talking about him and he’ll be a factor in more than a few pre-draft segments. With prototype size, speed and athleticism, he has what NFL teams want on the field, and he’s an elite pass rusher who destroyed everything in his path after getting to Eastern Kentucky. However, there’s still a question mark about him after he got booted out of Ohio State for drug issues. He’s a top 15 talent who’ll slide because of the concerns.
    Projection: Second Round

    Ron Thompson, Syracuse, 6-3, 255

    Right Move? The pass rusher will likely have to make a team as a special teamer. He doesn’t have the thump to be an every down starter, but he’s a terrific athlete who could grow into a third down specialist role no matter where he works. Versatile, he might be a jack-of-all-trades for a defense.
    Projection: Sixth Round

    MORE: 2016 Early Entries: Quarterbacks


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