2011 NFL Draft: 3-4 Defensive End Rankings

  1. Marcell Dareus*, DE/DT, Alabama
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 306.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 5 Pick.

    10/8/10: Dareus has been a beast this year for Alabama. His power, strength, tenacity and athleticism are all prototypical to play 5-technique in the NFL. Because of his versatility, you can lock him into the top five picks.

    5/8/10: Marcell Dareus can play for any defense, but is better suited for the 3-4. As a mere sophomore, Dareus notched 6.5 sacks in only four starts (Nick Saban habitually doesn’t play his young guys over his veterans). Dareus will start in 2010 and is expected to reach double-digit sacks.

  2. Allen Bailey, DE/DT, Miami
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 288.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2010): Top 25 Pick.

    10/8/10: Bailey has a ton of talent and has become a more consistent player this year. He is doing a better job of getting off blocks and using his hands. His ability as a pass rusher is limited, but he might be a better fit in the NFL at 5-technique than in college at 6-technique (4-3 DE) and 3-technique (4-3 DT).

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    5/8/10: Allen Bailey had been known as an athletic freak who never lived up to the hype. Well, that has completely changed. As a junior, Bailey had 11 TFL and seven sacks.

  3. Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, California
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 290.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.94.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

    10/8/10: Jordan has been one of the biggest risers this season and might end up getting drafted in the top 20 picks if he continues to produce. His hand use and extension, strength and physicality are all off the charts. He already plays 3-4 defensive end for California, so this is a bonus when projecting him to the next level.

    5/8/10: Had a great junior campaign, generating 9.5 TFL and eight sacks.

  4. Lawrence Guy*, DE/DT, Arizona State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 293.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.91.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

    10/8/10: Guy has very good weight room strength, nice athleticism and a good motor. However, he struggles when run at and this makes him not the best fit at 4-3 defensive tackle. At the 5-technique position, he’ll be matched up 1v1 against an offensive tackle and be able to use his playing strengths.

    5/8/10: Lawrence Guy had seven TFL and 4.5 sacks as a mere sophomore in 2009. Best fit is the 3-4.

  5. Nick Fairley*, DE/DT, Auburn
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 299.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
    Projected Round (2010): 1-2.

    10/8/10: Fairley has really stepped up his game this season. He’s been very active around the ball and doing a great job of shooting gaps and getting penetration. We love his quickness and athleticism, but he could do a better job with his hands and getting off blocks. Hopefully he continues to improve as the year goes on.
  6. Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 287.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.93.
    Projected Round (2010): 1-2.

    10/8/10: Heyward is a very, very inconsistent player, but with his size and strength, some coaching staff will feel like they can make him a better player than he really is. Heyward’s best position is 5-technique because of his length and bulk. There is no doubt he has potential here, but he is not always as physical as he should be and often disappears.

    5/8/10: Currently the top 3-4 end in the 2011 class, Cameron Heyward had 10 TFL and 6.5 sacks in 2009. He would have been a top-15 pick had he declared for the 2010 NFL Draft.

  7. Jared Crick*, DE/DT, Nebraska
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

    10/8/10: Crick doesn’t look like the same player without Ndamukong Suh. His game against Washington was terrible and I’ll be watching him closely as the year progresses.

    5/8/10: If Jared Crick has another year like 2009 (12.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks), he’ll be a top 15 lock. He’ll have to prove that he can get it done without Ndamukong Suh by his side, however. Crick can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4.

  8. Christian Ballard, DE/DT, Iowa
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Projected Round (2010): 2-3.

    10/8/10: Ballard will go much higher than I believe he should. On tape, I’ve seen a player who is consistently soft, and the only time he really flashed was in the fourth quarter against Penn State. I like his athleticism and physical skill, but he is not a competitor and shies from contact – not good for a defensive lineman.

    5/8/10: Had nine TFL and 5.5 sacks in 2009. Like Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard’s best fit is in the 3-4.

  9. Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 313.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.06.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

    10/8/10: Jenkins has the build you want as a 5-technique, but he’s too inconsisten to be taken much earlier in the 2011 NFL Draft.

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  10. Cedric Thornton, DE/DT, Central Arkansas
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 295.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    10/8/10: Thornton is one of the biggest small-school sleepers in the 2011 NFL Draft, but I’ve heard he has been as dominant against inferior competition to be an early-round pick.
  11. Mike Blanc, DE/DT, Auburn
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 288.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.01.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    5/8/10: Mike Blanc had 6.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks as a junior.
  12. Ladi Ajiboye, DE/DT, South Carolina
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/8/10: Arrested for marijuana before the 2009 season and suspended for three games. Had four TFL and no sacks in the remaining 10.

WalterFootball.com: 2011 NFL Draft: 3-4 Defensive End Rankings.