1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Do I really need to say much about Clowney? He is the single most talented defensive player to come out of college football in a long time. Clowney has incredible size, and will more than likely be the top defensive player drafted. He may be coming off a down year due to teams game planning against him but it isn’t a major concern as he was still a major force for the Game Cocks. Steve Spurrier may have made negative comments about Clowney’s work ethic but he is simply too talented to pass up. That being said, going to a team with a hard-nosed coach and a hard working defensive lineman already in place such as Houston or St. Louis would probably be the best fit to help ensure he won’t slack off.
2. Kony Ealy, Missouri
Kony Ealy has great size and speed for a defensive end and his best fit is in a 43 defense but could potential play 34 outside linebacker. Ealy is very athletic and smart defensive end who is solid in run defensive. He is very explosive and plays with a high motor. Ealy is adept at finding the ball carrier and being near the tackle if he isn’t the one to make it himself showing that he does not give up on plays. He is also very solid at rushing the passer. Ealy is a very well rounded player that seems to be a safe pick with a lot of upside.
3. Scott Crichton, Oregon State
Crichton is a well-rounded player whose best fit is as a 43 defensive end. He is a disruptive force in both the passing and running game and plays with relentless pursuit of the ball carrier. Crichton may have not put up the incredible numbers that many others put up this season but he continually put pressure on the quarterback. He also played with a high motor and explosiveness in both the running and passing game. He is a decent tackler but may drop due to off the field issues.
4. Dee Ford, Auburn
Dee Ford has made a name for himself as a pass rusher. He could play as either a 43 defensive end or a 34 outside linebacker but has had no experience standing up at Auburn so I put him as a defensive end. He is a disruptive force as a pass rusher and has above average speed. Ford could use a bit of improvement in his run defense. Sometimes I notice that he jumps gaps too soon, allowing the runner to run right past him. With improved run defense ford could really be a talented starter in the NFL.
5. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
Stephen Tuitt could play 34 defensive end or a 43 tackle or end though his best fit would probably be in a 34 defense. While he flashes strength and bull rush ability he really lacks explosiveness. I don’t see Tuitt to have a very high motor and sometimes seems to give up on plays. He does however flash incredible potential to make plays in both the passing and running game. Tuitt seems to be solid as a run stopper and a fairly decent pass rusher. There are some very bright points in Tuitt’s game but I see some glaring weaknesses as well. I feel as if Tuitt is a boom or bust prospect.