Saturday, April 10, 2010

2010 NFL Draft: Top Defensive Ends

With the 2010 NFL Draft less than a month away, I will be highlighting the top players at each position in this year's class.

These are my top defensive end prospects available in the 2010 NFL Draft.

1. Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech

A two-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, Morgan has been one of the most dominant pass rushers in the ACC over the past few years, racking up 19.5 sacks and 29.5 tackles for a loss in his collegiate career.

Although he could probably stand up and play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, Morgan's best fit is at defensive end in the 4-3. He'll contend for a spot in the Top 10, and will be long gone by pick No. 20.

2. Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida

Just a one-year starter for the Bulls after two seasons in the junior college ranks, Pierre-Paul recorded 45 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, and 6.5 sacks in 2009.

A physical freak with 4.6 speed at 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, "JPP" doesn't have the track record you look for, but has a ton of upside. He could go somewhere in the Top 10 and is a sure first-round pick.

3. Carlos Dunlap, Florida

The Defensive MVP of the BCS Championship Game against Ohio State as a sophomore, Dunlap finished his three-year career with the Gators with 84 tackles (26 for a loss) and 19.5 sacks in 39 games.

A terrific athlete with the frame to gain or drop weight to fit in any scheme, Dunlap will push to be a first-round pick later this month.

4. Everson Griffen, Southern California

A one-year starter for the Trojans following the departure of Clay Matthews III, Griffen racked up 84 tackles (21 for a loss) and 18 sacks in three collegiate seasons.

A boom-or-bust prospect with great athleticism and a ton of upside, Griffen's stock has been on the rise in recent months and could land him a spot toward the end of the draft's first round.

5. Corey Wootton, Northwestern

A five-year player for the Wildcats, Wootton suffered a torn ACL late in the 2008 season. He finished his career with 156 tackles (38 for a loss) and 19.5 sacks in 56 games.

Wootton is a good athlete and has an intriguing frame that makes him able to fit in any defensive scheme at a handful of positions. He'd make a strong defensive end in the 3-4 and has a slight chance of going late in the first round.

Who are your top defensive ends in the 2010 NFL Draft? Share your thoughts on the forum here!