2009 NFL Draft/Combine – Defensive Ends


1. Brian Orakpo, Texas 6-3, 255
Positives: Freakish combination of size and speed … Tremendous athlete. Unstoppable pass rusher with a variety of moves … Great burst. The offenses knew what was coming and still couldn’t stop him.
Negatives: Durability concerns … Questions about motor. Great when it’s on. … Good run stopper, but he’s a pass rusher.

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2. Aaron Maybin, Penn State 6-3, 245
Positives: Phenomenal athleticism … Can be used in a variety of ways on the outside. Tremendous quickness … Can cut on a dime.
Negatives: Not all that big. At 245 pounds, he might be an outside linebacker … Needs to prove he can handle himself against power running teams … Needs a few more pass rush moves.

3. Everette Brown, Florida State 6-3, 250
Positives: Explosive burst off the line … A tremendous pass rusher when he gets on a roll … Tremendous athlete. Way too quick for most tackles.
Negatives: Will have problems shedding blockers at the next level … Needs more moves. Has gotten by on sheer athleticism …. This is it. He’s not going to get any bigger.

4. Robert Ayers, Tennessee 6-3, 275
Positives: Playmaker in the backfield … Good combination of size and quickness … Can play in any defensive style.
Negatives: A good pass rusher, but not an elite one … Not necessarily a creative pass rusher … Has to keep the intensity rolling all the time.

5. Paul Kruger, Utah 6-3, 265
Positives: Excellent producer at a high level … Always working. Great at getting into the backfield on want-to, and not just athleticism … Good against the run. Holds up well.
Negatives: Not explosive off the line. Takes a step or two to get going (but is fast when he gets moving) … A bit lanky. Could stand to get a bit bigger … Needs a little work on technique.

6. Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech 6-7, 270
Positives: Has top-five overall skill set … Dream combination of size, athleticism, quickness, speed, and strength. He has it all … When the light is turned on, he’s an unstoppable difference maker.
Negatives: Stunningly mediocre against the run for a player of his size … Huge questions about his desire to be elite. Will he pay the price? … If he wants to dedicate himself to being a killer, he might be the best player in the draft. Few scouts believe he’ll put it all together.

7. Tyson Jackson, LSU 6-4, 295
Positives: Tremendous size and strength. Can play inside or out, and probably would fit best in a 3-4 … Good against the run … Ramped up the intensity level last year, and it showed.
Negatives: Not a pass rusher and won’t put up flashy numbers … Was considered an underachiever at times in his career … Not explosive.

8. Maurice Evans, Penn State 6-2, 275
Positives: Elite pass rusher … Quick out of the box. Has the potential to make one big game-changing play per game … Strong. Really strong.
Negatives: Knocked down on everyone’s draft list after off-the-field issues regarding pot possession … Needs a little technique work. Not necessarily going to dominate from day one … Not tall. A bit squatty for a pass rusher.

9. Mitch King, Iowa (DT) 6-1, 275
Positives: Ultra-productive inside playmaker who was around every play … Nasty. Plays with a big-time attitude … Uses his leverage well. Lack of height has been an advantage so far.
Negatives: A tweener. Not fast enough to play end and not strong enough, or big enough, to be an NFL tackle … Might need the right team to be productive … Not a closer. He doesn’t get to the quarterback.

10. Brandon Williams, Texas Tech 6-5, 245
Positives: Fast. Once he gets moving, he’s unstoppable … Is always around the ball. Has a linebacker instinct for getting to the play … Good array of moves.
Negatives: Not big. Not strong enough to hold up against the run … Might have to grow into an outside linebacker depending on the scheme … When tackles lock on to him, it’s over.

11. Michael Bennett, Texas A&M 6-4, 270
Positives: Excellent athlete for his size … Looks the part. Has the prototype size and quickness … Moves well. Could grow into a great pass rusher.
Negatives: No motor. Needs to have a coach or three light into him … Doesn’t play up to his talent … Needs to get stronger.

12. Will Davis, Illinois 6-2, 260
Positives: Great athlete … Former wide receiver who’s still growing into his potential … Can be a dangerous situational pass rusher.
Negatives: Needs a lot of polish … He’s not a run stopper yet. He needs to keep bulking up … Needs to be consistent.

13. Kyle Moore, USC 6-5, 265
Positives: One of the stronger ends … Good athleticism. Good on the move … Has all the tools. He could blossom in the right system and the right coach.
Negatives: Needs to have a fire lit under him … Underachieved. Was fine, but wasn’t special … Too soft. Will get shoved around too often.

14. David Veikune, Hawaii 6-4, 255
Positives: Fast. Quick. Always around the ball … Could be a superior pass rusher if he has someone else of note on the other side … Productive
Negatives: An outside linebacker. He’ll likely have to be an end in a 4-3, otherwise he’s a 3-4 linebacker … Not big and doesn’t have room to get much bigger.

15. Matt Shaughnessy, Wisconsin 6-5, 260
Positives: A great combination of quickness and strength … Able to play just about anywhere on the line. Plays bigger than his size … Good worker.
Negatives: Has to get stronger and bigger, but might not be able to bulk up too much more without losing his quickness … Injury issues. Tore his ACL and broke his leg … Not fluid. Not a natural pass rusher.

16. Pannel Egboh, Stanford 6-6, 265
Positives: Great when he gets on the move … A fast closer. With a little tweaking, he could be an unstoppable pass rusher … Long. Tall and big.
Negatives: Not flashy out of the box. Little explosion … Still needs work. Not refined … Plays too tall. Has to learn to do more to get down and get under pads.

17. Derek Walker, Illinois 6-4, 270
Positives: Works hard. Doesn’t just rely on his size … Very strong and very physical against the run … A good football player. He wants to be good. Always working.
Negatives: Not a natural pass rusher. Might have to be in a 3-4 … Would be better as a small tackle than a true end … Decent in all areas. Not elite in any one way.

18. Tim Jamison, Michigan 6-3, 265
Positives: Good size and could get stronger. Has the body … Big hitter who packs a punch … Could be a strong NFL run stopper in any defensive scheme.
Negatives: Not a pure pass rusher by NFL standards … Not consistent. Can get erased for stretches by better OTs … Doesn’t have a lot of moves, even though he’s quick.

19. Phillip Hunt, Houston 6-1, 260
Positives: An elite pass rusher … Major-league disruptive force … Plays better than his size.
Negatives: Short. Doesn’t look the part … Held his own in the post-season circuit, but might have to be a linebacker to make a roster … Needs the right fit and won’t hold up against the run.

20. Stryker Sulak, Missouri 6-4, 235
Positives: Great pass rusher …. Quick off the ball. Can drop into pass coverage well … Always working. Always moving.
Negatives: Way too lanky. Not built like an end … Not quite athletic enough to be a regular linebacker … Will likely have to be a specialist.

21. Nick Reed, Oregon 6-2, 250
Positives: Big-time pass rusher … Always working. Great motor … Ultra-productive against everyone in the Pac 10.
Negatives: Too small … Not quite fast enough to play linebacker, too small to play end … A specialist. Will need to find the right fit.

22. Ian Campbell, Kansas State 6-5, 255
Positives: Tremendous pass rusher if in the right scheme … Always moving. Tries to make every play … Strong tackler.
Negatives: Never improved after breakout sophomore season …Didn’t produce in space when moved to linebacker … Not strong enough.

23. Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond 6-3, 267
Positives: Good pass rusher … Long, athletic body with room to grow … Hits like a ton of bricks.
Negatives: Has to prove he can do it against top shelf competition … Needs to get bigger and stronger … Has relied on athleticism so far.

24. Rulon Davis, California 6-5, 275
Positives: Very big and very athletic … Former Marine who goes 100% all the time … Tough as nails.
Negatives: While he’ll fight through injuries, he’s always hurt … Major medical issues … Old. Served in Iraq before going the JUCO route.

25. Zach Potter, Nebraska 6-7, 275
Positives: Very strong, very aggressive … Always working. Great motor … Very tall and well built.
Negatives: No pop. Takes too long to get off the line … Not a pass rusher … Not a tackle and not athletic enough to be an end.