The most accidental soon-to-be first round pick, Ansah tried out of BYU's basketball team in 2008 and 2009, didn't make it, briefly joined the track team and then joined the football team in 2010 despite fearing the violence of the sport. Now he's the best defensive end available after compiling 62 tackles and 13 tackles for loss in 2012 and showing tremendous upside at the Senior Bowl. Ansah has a great build and speed and sheds blockers with ease. His technique isn't fully there yet, and he has some stamina issues, but those are fixable problems.
2 of 15 Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI
Despite frequently drawing double-teams, Werner still managed to post among the strongest numbers of any defensive end. The All-American had 13 sacks and 18 tackles for loss while forcing one fumble and batting down eight passes. Werner has good quickness and power, allowing him to either bull rush his blocker backwards or shoot past him into the backfield. His play has been marked by inconsistency at times, especially late in games.
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Moore incredibly led Texas A&M in tackles while playing end, making 85 tackles, including 21 for loss. A speed rusher, he got 12.5 sacks and consistently performed well, even when battling injuries. His strength is certainly a negative, as Moore benched just 12 reps at the combine --Ansah had 21 and Werner had 25. The All-American has good length to allow him to grab QBs and ballcarriers.
4 of 15 Patrick Green/ Icon SMI
The Big 12's leading pass rusher got to the quarterback for 12.5 sacks in 2012 despite drawing more attention after Jackson Jeffcoat went down for the year with a torn pectoral. His last impression left for scouts was a solid one as he picked up 4.5 sacks against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. Okafor beats offensive tackles in a variety of ways, equally capable of getting into the backfield with strength, speed or moves. He can occasionally get stuck on his blocks, preventing him from making plays on running backs.
5 of 15 Matthew Visinsky/Icon SMI
After his eight-sack, 11.5-tackle-for-loss season, Hunt did wonders for his draft stock with a monstrous performance at the combine, benching 38 reps and running a 4.60 40. The freakishly athletic Hunt has a great build at 6-8 and 277 pounds, but still needs to hone his technique.
6 of 15 Chris Williams/Icon SMI
An elite run stopper, Jones was a force in the backfield in 2012, picking up 19 tackles for loss. His pass rush was less effective as he got to the quarterback just 5.5 times. His work in the weight room has led to a great build, which he showed off at the Senior Bowl and the combine. He has the versatility to be used either on the end or at defensive tackle.
7 of 15 Tyler Kaufman/Icon SMI
Montgomery has great explosiveness that helped him rack up 17 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons. Though still producing a nice season in 2012, Montgomery's development stalled out as his numbers in 2011 and 2012 were basically the same or slightly better in 2011. His comments about putting in less effort against weaker teams likely didn't impress NFL teams either. Still, his quickness on the edge can't be ignored.
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Lemonier's inconsistency has to be troubling. If your team drafts him, does it get the breakout sophomore star who had 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss or the regressing junior who had 5.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. Lemonier also decreased in his forced fumbles tally from five in 2011 to one in 2012. He's undersized for a defensive end and might lack the flexibility to convert to linebacker. As he 4.60 40-yard dash indicates, Lemonier has good speed off the edge and can pursue ballcarriers to the sideline.
9 of 15 Bill Frakes/SI
With Brandon Jenkins out for the year after the first week of the season and Bjoern Werner drawing all the attention, Carradine took advantage of his opportunity to excel. The senior nearly matched Werner's production, getting 11 sacks and 13 tackles for loss along with 80 total tackles. Unfortunately for Carradine, a torn ACL suffered against Florida ended his season and prevented him from participating in the Senior Bowl or the combine. The injury likely knocked Carradine out of the first round.
10 of 15 Jim Owens/Icon SMI
Simon led the Big Ten last year with nine sacks to earn a conference defensive player of the year selection. He also had 14.5 tackles for loss, a slight decline from the 16 he racked up a year before. At only 6-1, he lacks the height of a typical defensive end but makes up for it with agility, upper body strength and a great work ethic. Teams may consider moving him to linebacker.
11 of 15 Carlos Osorio/AP
Gholston presents an interesting case for the effect of family connections. Will NFL teams use the bust of his cousin and former first-round pick Vernon Gholston against William Gholston? Gholston didn't make the strides to improve his draft stock as a junior; he had three fewer tackles for loss (13) and .5 fewer sacks (4.5) than he did as a sophomore. He's agile and has shown a good ability to hurdle cut blocks, but he can struggle to disengage from offensive tackles and lacks elite quickness.
12 of 15 Jim Dedmon/Icon SMI
Taylor has great potential in his large, athletic frame, but that potential didn't fully translate to the field in 2012, when he played opposite Jadeveon Clowney. After a 7.5-sack, 13-tackle-for-loss season in 2010, Taylor saw his numbers decline in each of the past two years -- down to three sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in 2012. He has balance issues that allow offensive linemen to knock him off his pass rush, but that could be fixed by adding weight.
13 of 15 AJ Mast/Icon SMI
Like the Illinois season itself, Buchanan's senior year was one to forget. His tackles for loss and sacks nearly halved from his junior year to seven and 4.5, respectively. Buchanan has long arms that, when used effectively, prevent offensive linemen from getting a good punch on him and allow him to drive them backward. His upper body strength suffered in 2012 after he lost about 20 pounds before the season while his jaw was wired shut following a fight.
14 of 15 Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty Images
Maponga would have likely benefitted from staying at TCU for another year after a drop off in his production in his first year in the Big 12. He still made first-team All-Big 12 with four sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in 11 games. Maponga creates good separation from his blockers but needs to better develop his pass-rushing moves. He demonstrated solid strength at the combine with 30 reps on the bench press.
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Horton may not have made the big leap many expected of him, but he did make improvements in his senior year, posting career highs in tackles (43), tackles for loss (6.5) and sacks (5.5). Horton is sometimes slow to react to the snap and needs to put on weight to match his height and make him less easy to move off his rushing route.
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