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    2007 DRAFT PROSPECT PROFILES: DEs

(Ed note: Players not necessarily listed in order of grade)

    Gaines Adams, Clemson... 6-4.5, 258, 4.65, SR... One of the top pure pass rushers in college football, Adams, thought about entering the 2006 draft where he just might have snuck into the late first round. Smart move because it looks like Adams has a chance to be one of the top 2-3 defensive players off the board this coming April. Gaines is a rangy DE with the athleticism to also play as a pass rush OLB at the next level in the mold of Shawn Merriman of the Chargers or Demarcus Ware of the Cowboys. Good athlete with a 35-inch vertical leap. Also has a quick, explosive first step coming off the edge and decent closing speed with a reported 40 clocking in the 4.65 range; also has long arms and can really disrupt passing lanes. Features a developing arsenal of pass rush moves and uses hands well to fend off opposing OTs; will also chase play down from behind. Adams finished up at Clemson with 26 career sacks including 10.5 in 2006 despite seeing a lot of double-teams; Not overly big at around 260 pounds, but has decent functional strength; indeed, Adams is among the Tigers’ leaders with a reported 345-pound lift in the power clean and a 380-pound lift. However, Adams will get overpowered at times defending the run and needs to work on playing the run with better leverage. Also isn’t all that instinctive in run support. In fact, probably will need to add some bulk to be able to hold the point of attack on a consistent basis at the next level. Durable player who missed just one game in 4 years… Summary: NFL scouts still aren’t sure whether Adams is a traditional DE or a 3-4 pass rush OLB, however, they do know he can get after the QB and won’t last much past the top 5 picks at the upcoming draft.

    Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas… 6-5, 288, JR… Actually came to Arkansas as a highly-regarded receiver out of high school and didn’t play much until the middle of the 2005 season, but emerged this past fall as a potentially dominating two-way DE when he piled up 13.5 sacks and knocked down 6 passes. Rangy type who is very athletic for his size; could ultimately play both a 3-4 DE or even an under-tackle role in a 4-3 defense, although he’s best suited to play a regular 4-3 DE. Still very raw at the position and has gotten by so far with the Hogs on sheer physical ability; as such technique needs considerable refinement; does possess a quick burst off the edge and has the strength to maintain leverage when he gets to the corner; has long arms and will disrupt passing lanes, but doesn’t use hands and arms all that well to disengage and can be stood up at the line of scrimmage if he fails to get much penetration on initial move. And while Anderson has an explosive first step off the snap, doesn’t really have a second gear and won’t chase many plays down from behind; solid enough run stopper, although again isn’t naturally instinctive; has the strength to hold the point of attack with decent lateral quickness. Not always known as a hard off-field worker early in his career, but picked up pace the past couple of years. Plays hard. Summary: Has as much physical talent as any prospect in the 2007 draft class, but will need a lot of work at the next level; still looks like a top 10 prospect with the potential to the next Reggie White if the light goes on.

    Adam Carriker, Nebraska… 6-6, 292, 4.90, SR… One of the best two-way DEs in college football, Carriker got off to a slow start but turned it up in the latter part of the season; Finished the season with 7 sacks after posting 9.5 in 2005.  Also had a strong Senior Bowl week in January where he was one of the top players on the field. Carriker has prototypical size and strength; also has long arms and does a good job using his hands to disengage from opposing blockers; very strong at the point of attack where he does a nice job of standing up double teams; also has decent lateral range, but will play too high at times and sometimes struggles to find the ball. Carriker is mostly a bull-rusher with a long first stride, but lacks explosiveness coming off the snap; also lacks outside speed with a 40 clocking in the 4.90 range; while not a blazer, Carriker is very quick with times of 7.06 in the 3-cone drill and 4.18 in the short shuttle. Uses his arms well to maintain some distance from OTs but lacks much in the way of sophisticated pass rush moves; will also get caught up hand-fighting with OT as line of scrimmage at times; Carriker will likely get some long looks as a 3-4 DE from NFL teams using that scheme; could also project to move inside to defensive tackle on passing downs in a 4-3 set. Also has had a long history of ankle injuries which limited him in both 2003 and 2004 which will have to be checked out. Summary: Rare big, physical DE who appears to have regained a spot in the opening round with a solid second half of the season combined with an excellent Senior Bowl.

    Jarvis Moss, Florida… 6-6.5, 250, 4.70, JR… Rangy junior DE was one of the key’s to the Gators run to the 2006 college football national championship. Had 7.5 sacks in both 2005 and 2006; Tall at over 6-6 with long arms can disrupt passing lanes; lacks sprinter speed coming off the edge with a 4.70 40 time, but has a quick first step and relentless closing speed; also generally plays hard; still a work in progress from a technical standpoint; generally gets good leverage, but needs to uses his hands better to disengage from blockers; Not overly bulky at just 250 pounds but has the frame to add 20-25 pounds at the next level; led all Gator defensive linemen with 56 tackles last fall but isn’t all that stout defending the run; shows good lateral range, but lacks the overall strength to hold the point of attack against bigger OTs; indeed, needs a solid year in an NFL weight room after posting just 16 reps pressing 225 pounds at the combine; has been reasonably durable the past couple of seasons, although suffered a hernia and pelvic area back in 2003. Was also suspended for a game this past season. Will also likely get a long look as a possible pass rush OLB by teams running a 3-4 scheme. Also has potential to be a threat to block kicks on special teams…. Summary: Needs to get bigger and stronger but otherwise has all the to be an impact pass rusher at the next level. Questions about size and character though will likely drop him into the second half of this year’s opening round but still shouldn’t last much past the 20th pick overall if he drops that far.

    Quentin Moses, Georgia… 6-5, 261, 4.82, SR… Entered the season rated as one of, if not the, top defensive prospects for the 2007 draft, but had a very disappointing senior season in which he had just 4.5 sacks after posting 11.5 in a dominating junior campaign the previous fall. Also had a poor week of practice at the Senior Bowl where he showed little explosion or strength. Moses is a rangy sort with long arms who can disrupt passing lanes; can get off the snap with a quick first stride, but too often this fall was very tentative attacking the backfield. When he does get a step, Moses stays low and gets good leverage coming around the corner. Has decent, albeit not exceptional, closing speed with a 40 clocking in the 4.8 range and goes hard to the whistle. Has an especially effective inside move, but doesn’t have an array of pass-rush moves and get hung up at line of scrimmage if initial move fails. Does a good job using arms to keep defenders off his legs and has good lateral range, but is a little spindly at just a tad over 260 pounds and isn’t all that physical a run-stopper. Stays low but doesn’t always find the ball that quickly. Could also get a look as a pass rush OLB in a 3-4 scheme. Very good athlete who has also played with Georgia basketball team; also a smart young man who is a regular on the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Summary: The 'bottom' is the limit! Moses has fallen from a top 5-10 prospect to a mid-late first day candidate, and short of a sensational workout at the scouting combine, which he has the physical skills to accomplish, is in danger of falling out of the first day altogether.

    Daniel Bazuin, Central Michigan... 6-2.5, 266, 4.77, SR…... Came into the season as the top returning pass rusher in college football after posting 16 sacks in 2005 despite being doubled teamed on just about every play. Had another decent season this past fall when he recorded another 11 sacks, but has yet to catch the fancy of pro scouts. Bazuin is an excellent athlete who was an all-state prepster in three different sports; Not a true burner coming off the edge but has decent speed with a 40 time in the 4.75 range; also has good functional strength pressing 25 reps at 225 pounds. Character player with one of those non-stop motors who is also an academic all-conference honoree. Has a long, quick first step and good closing speed; uses his arms well to disengage and good change of direction; Bazuin is also a solid run-stopper who gets off the snap quickly, uses arms well to keep blockers off legs and has good lateral pursuit down the line of scrimmage, although he will overrun plays on occasion. Concern about Bzuin is that he isn't all that big or tall and lacking that extra gear might be engulfed at the next level by big NFL OTs. Summary: Good all-around DE who plays has had a very productive college career but may lack the tools to be more than a mid-round pick this coming April.

    Mkristo Bruce, Washington State… 6-5.6, 268, 5.12, SR… One of the best pure pass rushers in the 2007 draft class, Bruce posted 27.5 sacks the past three years, including 11 during the 2006 season. Bruce is a tall, rangy DE with long arms who disrupts passing lanes. Not a burner with a 40 clocking well over 5.0 seconds; lacks real closing speed; Bruce, though, does have a long, quick first step and good functional strength to maintain leverage once he gets to the corner. More of a bull-rusher, Bruce will get stuck at the line of scrimmage if his first move doesn’t work. Also not overly bulky at around 265 pounds, but is solid enough playing the run, although he will struggle to hold the point of attack when facing double teams; uses his arms well to disengage from opposing blockers; does a nice job finding the ball and has decent lateral pursuit range. Summary: Underrated edge rusher, but lack of pure foot speed will likely keep on the board until the latter part of the first day if he doesn't slip into the second day.

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