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  1. #1
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    Early Defensive Ends Analysis

    To start the ball rolling on some position specific draft talk, I thought we could breakdown the most pivotal need position facing Denver in early ‘07, the defensive end position. While not as deep as past years’, this draft has some interesting prospects but needs help from junior defectors, some I will describe later. All these rankings are highly subjective at the moment, based primarily on play and potential. As the Senior Bowl, combine, and workouts further define these players’ size and athletic ability, we’ll have a more clear cut picture as to where to expect these players landing in the ‘07 draft. So here are my early top ends for the draft:

    1. Gaines Adams, Clemson- Adams was a player I was pushing for early departure last season, but he looks to be one of the few that made the wise decision to return to school. Adams now likely finds himself in the top ten picks of the draft. Gaines best attribute might be his quick first step, but he also flashes a small but effective variety of pass rush moves, tenacity in pursuit, size to hold up on running downs, and a frame with size potential. He’s best suited for right end in a 4-3 defense, and has the size and athleticism to play on every down. Some concerns about Adams are his limited pass rush moves and perceived low mental capacity, but that won’t create enough detractors to push him out of the top ten. Adams has the potential to be a frequent 10+ sack player.

    2. Quentin Moses, Georgia- Contrary to Adams, Moses appears to have made the wrong decision to stay in school and could continue to slide as the draft approaches. Moses has the “Kiwanuka syndrome” which we saw last year and occurs when a player suffers from overexposure to college coaches and scouts. Eventually, they’ll find your flaws and pick at you to death. Kiwanuka was a fine player that took too much flak for not being awesome as a senior. Moses appears to have all the necessary tools, but doesn’t flash them all the time. His size is merely adequate, and could be a concern full time in a scheme designed around holding blocks. As a pass rusher, Moses has a quick but inconsistent first step, and stayed tied up by blockers too long. In his defense, he was double teamed more than most linemen on this list in games I watched. Moses has the frame to add more weight in the future, and should display fine athleticism in workouts. He’s ranked second here on potential, and his performance slip could benefit the Broncos, allowing him to fall into their lap at pick 21.

    3. Victor Abiamiri, Notre Dame- Probably the best two way player of the top ends, Abiamiri has potential as both a run defender and pass rusher, but likely won’t stand out in either facet. What makes Abiamiri a first round talent is that he should be good out of the box. He already flashes good technique and an NFL body, so whoever selects him is getting a guy that can start from day one. Abiamiri turned in a solid season sack-wise, but the bulk of his production came against the weaker opponents on the schedule. Vic’s key will be proving his athleticism in workouts. Similar in talent to Mike Rucker.

    4. Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas- Quickly becoming my favorite defensive end prospect, Anderson displays all the tools you want in an end. For starters, he looks every bit his listed size, 6’6 280 lbs., which is a major plus. Anderson might have had the best season statistically of all end prospects, with 14 sacks and 20.5 TFLs against some elite competition in USC, Wisconsin, and SEC play. Anderson has plus quickness and agility for his size, and an effective club, swim, and rip move to work back inside. He is the best fit of all ends for the Broncos defense; big and physical enough to hold up blocks and play the run, athletic and quick enough to get to the passer on an island. He can play either end position, and has the potential to be an all pro. Some scouts question his consistency and motor, and his gap between present ability and ceiling might be higher than the players ranked above him. He’s also unsure about declaring. He’d be hard pressed to duplicate his season, and with a weak defensive end class, his stock could sky rocket.

    5. Adam Carriker, Nebraska- Might be the most NFL ready end, but not at the position most expect. Carriker’s best fit is in a 3-4 defense at end. Carriker has a plus build and strength for end, but lower pass rush potential than the above players. Carriker makes plays with the bull rush and sound technique. He can turn run plays inside or disrupt them in the backfield, and can occupy two blockers. He’d a left end in a 4-3 defense, but may not be more than a 5-7 sack guy in the pros, with more potential rushing inside than outside. Won’t consistently collapse the pocket, which is fine in a 3-4, but is not what Denver should be looking for. Carriker could be a stand out end in a 3-4 and might slide to round two because of this. Similar to Tyler Brayton.

    6. Lawrence Jackson, USC- Most reports indicate that Jackson will be returning to school, which will make this discussion moot. LoJack did not have his best year, but really came on late in disrupting plays in the backfield and pressuring the quarterback. Jackson has the prototype size of a pass rush end, and the requisite quickness, tenacity and move set to get after the quarterback. He doesn’t flash any one elite tool, but can be a 10+ sack guy in the pros. The Broncos search for a pass rusher would be aided should Jackson turn pro, as he profiles as a low first round pick, but a better season next year might put him in the top ten in ‘08.

    7. Jarvis Moss, Florida- Lanky pass rusher for the Gators that doesn’t have to play the run much. Moss value is tied to his potential as a pass rushing force. He might have better quickness than most on this list, but his technique is raw and he could be a slide down draft boards if he doesn’t test as a physical marvel. Moss has a plus frame for size potential. He’s believed to be leaning towards turning pro, and figures to be an early first day pick, but there is a lot of projection with him, and might be the biggest boom/bust end prospect.

    TOO CLOSE TO CALL- first day picks that have similar value to make ranking difficult:

    Tim Crowder, Texas- Big framed end that can play the run better than rushing the passer. Some see him adding bulk and fitting as a 3-4 end. Similar to former Texas end Cory Redding.

    Ray McDonald, Florida- Another ‘tweener, but one who could fit as tackle more than an end in some schemes. Could surprise as a pass rusher, but won’t be a 10+ sack guy. Injury history scares some, but he’s had a good season.

    Baraka Atkins, Miami- End/tackle tweener that may lack the athleticism to play at end long term. Best season came as a wave player in ‘05. Could do better to bulk up and sell himself as a 4-3 under tackle.

    Larry Birdine, Oklahoma- Once considered a top pass rushing prospect, Birdine battle inconsistency and poor technique all season. Possible sleeper with untapped potential, but needs good workouts.

  2. #2
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    One note: I see Woodley as a 3-4 outside linebacker, as I did last year with Wimberly. Had I ranked him as an end, he would have ranked third based on current pass rush ability. In the long run, he'll probably spen his career standing up on running downs, and with his hand down on passing downs. A 3-4 type similar to Adalius Thomas, but might not be in his class athletically.

  3. #3
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    Good analysis man; one prospect to look out for is Charles Johnson out of Georgia. He has declared.

  4. #4
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    Yo KoolAid, what's your thoughts on the other DE from Texas, Brian Robinson? Might be a good third rounder or so?
    http://img328.imageshack.us/img328/1...osig6ed9xr.jpg
    I like my defensive tackles like I like my women: well over 300 lbs.
    ABWRFRC

  5. #5
    thanks for the info ohno! immpressive attention to detail as always, and i appreciate that you cut right to the chase and tell us about pass rushers first . . . CP when they reload. . . . nice to see you back on the boards!


    Officially Objectified by the GPA

    rest in peace, darrent williams and damien nash-- you will be missed!!

  6. #6
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    I have a question for you ohno, what about Marcus Thomas? I know he was booted off his college team for character issues, but I wonder what your analysis of him would be. Should we look at this guy in the later rounds of the draft (rd 3+)?

    If anyone else wants to answer this as well please be my guest.

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    Others...

    Here are some other DE's to keep an eye on:

    1.) Anthony Spencer, Purdue (6'2 1/2"-262)....Some see him as an OLB in a 3-4, ala Shaun Phillips and Roosevelt Colvin, but he has been a down RDE for the Boilermakers. My opinion is, like Kamerion Wimbley last year, and DeMarcus Ware before him, Spencer could do either. For the Broncos purposes, Spencer is reminiscent of St. Louis DE Leonard Little. He is rated as a mid- to late first round draft pick, and may figure into the Broncos plans. In addition to his pass rush skills, Spencer is also pretty stout against the run, and had an unusually high number of tackles for loss.

    2.) Ikaika Alama-Francis, Hawaii (6'5"-265)
    This kid is one that you will hear alot about as the Draft approaches. He will probably end up in the second round, and is similar to Chicago's Adewale Ogunule (sp?). Alama-Francis is said to be a freakish athlete with long arms, but is a bit raw. Should figure in the Top 40 players selected.

    3.) Jay Moore, Nebraska (6'4"-278)
    Overshadowed a bit by Carriker, but Moore is a fun player to watch. Talk about a lunch-pail type. This kid brings it on every play. He may not have elite talent, but no one will out work him, and that is a beautiful quality to have in the NFL. He reminds me of Howie Long, which may sound like a stretch, until you realize Long was a third round pick in his Draft. Moore has the same temperment, and a similar build, however, and I would not be suprised to see him be a very good player in the Pros, even if he does not have Long's success...but I love this kid's potential just because he is a tremendous competitior.

    4.) Mkristo Bruce, Washington St. (6'6"-280)
    Some say this kid is not a special athlete, but all he does is produce, and he is tough. He got stomped in the face in a game earlier this year, causing him to play with blood running down his face, and all he did was make a critical sack to preserve a win for the Cougars.

    5.) Justin Hickman, UCLA 6'2 1/2" -263
    Interesting prospect, and gave future USC first round pick Sam Baker fits in UCLA's upset victory over USC. Hickman was among the nations leaders in sacks, and like Bruce, will have to be evaluated as an athlete to determine what type of future he will have.

    Gotta love the build up to the Draft...

  8. #8
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    With so many defensive ends coming on, and such a solid senior collection to begin with; we can't afford to miss a guy. As of right now we have three selections within the top seventy picks; if we can't get a DE/DT in those picks; we're stupid.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindField
    Here are some other DE's to keep an eye on:

    1.) Anthony Spencer, Purdue (6'2 1/2"-262)....Some see him as an OLB in a 3-4, ala Shaun Phillips and Roosevelt Colvin, but he has been a down RDE for the Boilermakers. My opinion is, like Kamerion Wimbley last year, and DeMarcus Ware before him, Spencer could do either. For the Broncos purposes, Spencer is reminiscent of St. Louis DE Leonard Little. He is rated as a mid- to late first round draft pick, and may figure into the Broncos plans. In addition to his pass rush skills, Spencer is also pretty stout against the run, and had an unusually high number of tackles for loss.

    2.) Ikaika Alama-Francis, Hawaii (6'5"-265)
    This kid is one that you will hear alot about as the Draft approaches. He will probably end up in the second round, and is similar to Chicago's Adewale Ogunule (sp?). Alama-Francis is said to be a freakish athlete with long arms, but is a bit raw. Should figure in the Top 40 players selected.

    3.) Jay Moore, Nebraska (6'4"-278)
    Overshadowed a bit by Carriker, but Moore is a fun player to watch. Talk about a lunch-pail type. This kid brings it on every play. He may not have elite talent, but no one will out work him, and that is a beautiful quality to have in the NFL. He reminds me of Howie Long, which may sound like a stretch, until you realize Long was a third round pick in his Draft. Moore has the same temperment, and a similar build, however, and I would not be suprised to see him be a very good player in the Pros, even if he does not have Long's success...but I love this kid's potential just because he is a tremendous competitior.

    4.) Mkristo Bruce, Washington St. (6'6"-280)
    Some say this kid is not a special athlete, but all he does is produce, and he is tough. He got stomped in the face in a game earlier this year, causing him to play with blood running down his face, and all he did was make a critical sack to preserve a win for the Cougars.

    5.) Justin Hickman, UCLA 6'2 1/2" -263
    Interesting prospect, and gave future USC first round pick Sam Baker fits in UCLA's upset victory over USC. Hickman was among the nations leaders in sacks, and like Bruce, will have to be evaluated as an athlete to determine what type of future he will have.

    Gotta love the build up to the Draft...
    Some notes:

    Spencer is one of the more overrated ends in the draft. He's very light in the backside and was absolutely blown away in the run game during Purdue's bowl. He has some pass rush potential, but is not an elite athlete and player's like Spencer are not rare. He'll go on day one based on hype, but unless he plays in a 3-4, he won't be an everydown lineman in the pros.

    Moore's work ethic is nice, but again, overachivers aren't anything new in the draft, and before getting too excited about him, remember the names Bill Swancutt and Matt Roth, two "sleeper" blue collar types that haven't lived up to the hype placed on them. I don't think it's impossible for Moore to become a solid wave player, but for a team needing starting defensive linemen and pass rushers at that, Moore doesn't make a grewat deal of sense for the Broncos.

    Hickman is certainly a wild card, and had a very effective year as a pass rusher. Second day for now, but with surprising measurements and workouts will move him up quickly.

    Bruce is similar to former WSU end/tackle Rien Long, and UW end/tackle Hopoi. I just don't see him being a big time standout in the pros. Production is only a third of the equation.

  10. #10
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    OhNo, here's a scenario for you.

    Quentin Moses and Victor Abiamiri are available at #21.

    You have to pick an end.

    Who do you go with and why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRBronco
    Yo KoolAid, what's your thoughts on the other DE from Texas, Brian Robinson? Might be a good third rounder or so?
    Supposedly, Robison will test through the roof in the off-season, but I just don't see it when I watch him. Perhaps he's like John Engelberger, in that he's labeled as this terrific athlete, but in games looks stiff and rigid. He hasn't shown much potential turning the corner, so I think you run a big risk if you wait for round three to get this guy, when your need at end is as big as Denver's. As just a third rounder? He's probably worth the risk to some team, assuming he does test well. There's always that hope you can mold a guy like this, however rare it actually occurs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dream
    OhNo, here's a scenario for you.

    Quentin Moses and Victor Abiamiri are available at #21.

    You have to pick an end.

    Who do you go with and why?
    This might be a simple answer for some, but when you look at what the Broncos end do and what their assignments are, it really makes the picture blurry. Abiamiri probably best fits the system because he already has the present build to hold up in the run game, and the necessary technique to be competent in the passing game. HOWEVER, I would gamble on upside and go with Quentin Moses. He likely won't be ready to start early, which will mean the team will have to hang on to Lang and likely let one of Chuckwurah or Engelberger go, but Moses has the higher ceiling which encompasses the type of end this team would like to have. He'll probably need more bulk to play the run effectively (that or a larger linemate at NT, assuming Warren shares the role), but he has the superior athleticism and potential. I don't think you can go wrong with either, but I'd draft for upside over present talent. That's just my opinion in the first week of January, and reserve the right to change it as the draft develops.

    If he enters, I personally would take Jamaal Anderson over both Moses and Abiamiri...

  13. #13
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    Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by OhNoKoolAid
    Some notes:

    Spencer is one of the more overrated ends in the draft. He's very light in the backside and was absolutely blown away in the run game during Purdue's bowl. He has some pass rush potential, but is not an elite athlete and player's like Spencer are not rare. He'll go on day one based on hype, but unless he plays in a 3-4, he won't be an everydown lineman in the pros.

    Moore's work ethic is nice, but again, overachivers aren't anything new in the draft, and before getting too excited about him, remember the names Bill Swancutt and Matt Roth, two "sleeper" blue collar types that haven't lived up to the hype placed on them. I don't think it's impossible for Moore to become a solid wave player, but for a team needing starting defensive linemen and pass rushers at that, Moore doesn't make a grewat deal of sense for the Broncos.

    Hickman is certainly a wild card, and had a very effective year as a pass rusher. Second day for now, but with surprising measurements and workouts will move him up quickly.

    Bruce is similar to former WSU end/tackle Rien Long, and UW end/tackle Hopoi. I just don't see him being a big time standout in the pros. Production is only a third of the equation.
    Well, Kiper and Mike Mayock disagree with you on Spencer, and consider him a late first, early second round lock.

    Also, for every 'work ethic' bust you can name, I can name others that have excelled, such as Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jared Allen, Maa Tanuvavsa, etc, etc, just to name a few.

    ...and sorry, you seem to wanna pick a fight here, but I remember your comments about Michael Huff last year and what a terrible National Championship game he had, etc, etc, when in fact, the opposite occured, and he catapulted into the Top 10. So your opionion is exactly that, and it's not infallable, so please stop making statements in absolutes.

    If you knew as much as the tone of your posts indicate, you would be making picks for a Pro team...

    But since you aren't, it's probably better to not throw stones at others who were simply trying to make a contribution to this thread.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindField
    Well, Kiper and Mike Mayock disagree with you on Spencer, and consider him a late first, early second round lock.

    Also, for every 'work ethic' bust you can name, I can name others that have excelled, such as Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jared Allen, Maa Tanuvavsa, etc, etc, just to name a few.

    ...and sorry, you seem to wanna pick a fight here, but I remember your comments about Michael Huff last year and what a terrible National Championship game he had, etc, etc, when in fact, the opposite occured, and he catapulted into the Top 10. So your opionion is exactly that, and it's not infallable, so please stop making statements in absolutes.

    If you knew as much as the tone of your posts indicate, you would be making picks for a Pro team...

    But since you aren't, it's probably better to not throw stones at others who were simply trying to make a contribution to this thread.

    I don't know what the feeling around is here, but I take it you still aren't terribly well liked. I gave you my honest assesments of of the players you listed, without ever personally attacking you, but since you care to bring the subject up, it speaks to your inner cries for respect...

    As for Huff, I only recall my comments being that he is not the greatest safety out there, but he would be the top corner in the draft. He looked solid at safety but I have yet to read any "ED Reed" comparisons, so what's your point? You also conveniently fail to recall that I also called out Jimmy Williams as an overrated athlete and not a top selection (bingo), that Wimberly was a 3-4 end and not a defensive end (check), that Chad Jackson would be the biggest draft riser for wideouts (check again), and that Lawson would be the draft's DeMarcus Ware in terms of rising into the first round. If I was wrong more often then right, I don't think my opinion would carry any weight around here. Obviously there are those that respect what I have to say and have said so.

    For someone who has a long history of making posts with a holier than thou tone, I find it ironic that you chose to attack me in such a way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhNoKoolAid
    If he enters, I personally would take Jamaal Anderson over both Moses and Abiamiri...
    Can you think of any NFL player-comps for Abiamiri and Anderson?

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