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2008 Defensive End Rankings

The top 2008 defensive end prospects available for the 2008 NFL Draft. More will be added as time progresses. * - denotes underclassmen.

This page was last updated April 1, 2008.

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  1. Chris Long, Virginia
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 272.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.71.
    Benchx225: . Vertical 34.
    Projected Round: First overall pick.

    Is there any doubt Chris Long is going first overall? He posted incredible combine numbers and was actually disappointed after each of them. He had a broad jump of 10-4 and was pissed because he thought he could go 11 feet. That just shows how competitive he is. I'd also be shocked if he didn't interview well. There's no reason for Miami not to take him first overall, unless Dallas gives them an incredible offer for the pick.

  2. Vernon Gholston, Ohio State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 266.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.64.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.58.
    Benchx225: 37. Vertical 42.
    Projected Round: Second overall pick.

    After posting an incredible 40 time at Indianapolis, most people expected Vernon Gholston to rest on his laurels. That wasn't the case at Ohio State's Pro Day. Gholston actually improved his 40, notching a 4.58. He also had a 42-inch vertical. There is no doubt in mind that if Chris Long is off the board, the Rams will take Gholston with the second-overall selection.

    I'm glad I predicted Gholston to go second in my 2008 NFL Mock Draft prior to the combine. Gholston was every bit as good as Chris Long, running a 4.64, benching 225 pounds 37 times, jumping 35.5 inches off the ground. He also had a broad jump of 10'5", which is much better than Gaines Adams' sub-10. There's no doubt in my mind that unless Chris Long is on the board, the Rams are going with Gholston. It just makes too much sense at this point.

    Gholston had a great game against Michigan, beating Jake Long on more than one instance.

    Vernon Gholston essentially came out of nowhere to record 8.5 sacks in 2006. How will he fare now that offensive coordinators will be focusing on him? Remember, Quinn Pitcock, David Patterson and Jay Richardson all left for the NFL.

  3. Phillip Merling, Clemson
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 276.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Combine 40 Time: Did not run.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical .
    Projected Round: Top 20 Pick.

    I was disappointed that Phillip Merling didn't work out. I wanted to compare him to Derrick Harvey, Quentin Groves, Lawrence Jackson and Cliff Avril.

    Merling, who recorded three sacks as a sophomore, started his junior campaign brilliantly by accumulating eight tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against Florida State.

  4. Derrick Harvey, Florida
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 271.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.80.
    Benchx225: 31. Vertical 32.5.
    Projected Round: Top 20 Pick.

    The NFL Network reported that Derrick Harvey weighed in at 291 pounds. This was an error they failed to correct after two days, however, as he is officially listed at 271. Still, Harvey's a mid-first round pick, as he looked solid at the combine.

    Harvey was abused in Florida's postseason exhibition match against Michigan.

    Suited for the 3-4. Harvey, a monstrous pass rusher, sacked Troy Smith twice in the BCS Championship. Collected 11 sacks in 2006. Considered by some as a better pro prospect than Jarvis Moss, who was drafted No. 17.



  5. Quentin Groves, Auburn
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 259.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.52.
    Benchx225: 30. Vertical .
    Projected Round: 1.

    Quentin Groves, who also had a broad jump of 10 feet in addition to his solid numbers, may have cemented himself as a first-round pick. He weighed in at 259 pounds and ran a 4.52. He didn't do the drills, however, but neither did Chris Long.

    A 3-4 rush linebacker. Size and speed very similar to Harvey's. Notched 9.5 sacks in 2006.

  6. Lawrence Jackson, USC
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 271.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.81.
    Benchx225: 31. Vertical 34.5.
    Projected Round: 1-2.

    Lawrence Jackson is probably a better fit in a 4-3, but I think he can play effectively in the 3-4 as well. Solid combine definitely places him in the first half of the second round.

  7. Cliff Avril, Purdue
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 253.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.51.
    Benchx225: 17. Vertical 36.5.
    Projected Round: 2.

    Cliff Avril had a great combine and may have pushed himself all the way atop Round 2. Avril's 40 time matched with his size will have any team in need of a 3-4 rush linebacker looking at him then.

  8. Jason Jones, Eastern Michigan
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 273.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.82.
    Benchx225: 18. Vertical .
    Projected Round: 3.

    Jason Jones' 40 could have been better, but his broad jump was 10'3". Still a mid-round prospect.

    A candidate for the 3-4, Jones had four sacks in 2006. He's been a full-time starter since his sophomore year.

  9. Chris Ellis, Virginia Tech
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 263.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.71.
    Benchx225: 22. Vertical 30.5.
    Projected Round: 3.

    I thought Chris Ellis performed pretty well. There are character issues, but as a pure athlete, he's second-round material.

    You have to like the speed that comes with his size. Can play both the 4-3 and 3-4. Had six sacks in 2005 but saw that total drop to 4.5 in 2006.

  10. Brian Johnston, Gardner-Webb
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 276.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.66.
    Vertical 35.
    Projected Round: 3-4.

    Brian Johnston opened some eyes at his combine, running a 4.66 and notching a 35-inch vertical at 276 pounds. A major sleeper in this year's draft.

    A very productive end out of Gardner-Webb, Brian Johnston accumulated seven sacks in 2006, making the All-Big South first team. Level of competition is naturally an issue.

  11. Calais Campbell, Miami
    Height: 6-7. Weight: 290.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.03.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 5.00.
    Benchx225: . Vertical 34.5.
    Projected Round: 3-4.

    Showing up slow and overweight to your Pro Day isn't a good way to improve your draft stock. Seriously - if Calais Campbell is this lazy now, imagine how lethargic he'll become once he earns his first paycheck.

    Not a good showing from Campbell, who needed to follow up a disappointing red-shirt junior season with a solid combine. Instead, he ran a 5.03. He could be out of the first round.

  12. Chris Harrington, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 264.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.89.
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical .
    Projected Round: 4.

    It might be tough to put Chris Harrington at the 3-4 rushing linebacker position. His 40 wasn't that good, though he was close to a 10-foot broad jump (9'9").

    Has the size and speed to play both the 4-3 and 3-4, but more suited for the former. Notched 7.5 sacks in 2006.



  13. Rudolph Hardie, Howard
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 270.
    40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round: 5.

    Another non-Division I-A player with great attributes and production; Rudolph Hardie had 9.5 sacks last year.

  14. Kenny Iwebema, Iowa
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 274.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.97.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.77.
    Benchx225: 26. Vertical 35.5.
    Projected Round: 5-6.

    A traditional end, Iwebema never had a chance to follow up his 7-sack 2005 campaign because he was always in and out of the lineup with an injured shoulder.

  15. Darrell Robertson, Georgia Tech
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 255.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Combine 40 Time: Did not run.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical .
    Projected Round: 5-6.

    Darrell Robertson didn't run the 40, which is understandable because he put on about 10 pounds.

    Another tweener who must add mass and maintain his speed. Collected just three sacks in 2006.

  16. Trevor Scott, Buffalo
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 256.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.54.
    Benchx225: 32. Vertical 33.5.
    Projected Round: 5-6.

    Trevor Scott played one season at defensive end, but managed nine sacks in that year. He'll be a pass-rushing specialist in the 4-3, similarly to Chris Clemons or Elvis Dumervil.

  17. Adamm Oliver, Georgia Tech
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 268.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
    Combine 40 Time: Did not run.
    Benchx225: 29. Vertical .
    Projected Round: 6.

    Didn't run the 40 at the combine.

    Nice size and speed for a pass rusher looking to play either the 3-4 or 4-3. Production (3.5 sacks in 2006) definitely needs to increase.

  18. Johnny Dingle, West Virginia
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.92.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.83.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical 29.5.
    Projected Round: 6.

    Really improved in his junior year. Started 12 games. Not really sure if I agreed with his decision to come out. Will go on Sunday afternoon.

  19. Wallace Gilberry, Alabama
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 268.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.96.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 5.02.
    Benchx225: 19. Vertical 30.
    Projected Round: 6.

    Not sure what Wallace Gilberry was doing prior to his Pro Day, but it definitely didn't work. He was slower in his 40 and put up less reps (17) than he did at the combine (19).

    I wanted Gilberry to run in the 4.8s, but I don't think his 40 will hurt his stock that much.

    A solid player suited for the 4-3, Gilberry collected only 3.5 sacks in 2006. That total needs to at least double to warrant first-day consideration.

  20. Chase Ortiz, TCU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 249.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.87.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.90.
    Benchx225: 24. Vertical 31.
    Projected Round: 6.

    At his size, Chase Ortiz needed a better 40. A true 4-3 end, it's difficult to speculate what happened to Ortiz. He registered nine sacks in 2005, but saw that total decrease to just 2.5 in 2006.



  21. Tommy Blake, TCU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 272.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Combine 40 Time: Did not run.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.78.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical 30.5.
    Projected Round: 6-7.

    How do you lose 10 pounds and add .1 to your 40 time? Then again, Tommy Blake actually showed up to his Pro Day, so that's an accomplishment in itself.

    Blake, a guy with a shady habit of quitting on his team, gained 25 pounds since the end of the season. He didn't work out either. Caveat emptor.

    Where is Tommy Blake? The former Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year has missed four straight practices because he went home, more than 300 miles away from campus. Rumors are Blake is struggling with high expectations. Will he ever return to the team? That remains to be seen.

  22. Louis Holmes, Arizona
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 270.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.77.
    Benchx225: . Vertical 32.5.
    Projected Round: 6-7.

    Louis Holmes put up good numbers at the combine, but his production at Arizona was lacking.

    Holmes recorded only two tackles against Northern Arizona. Can you say "bust?"

    Holmes, who can play the 3-4 and 4-3, has the measurables of a first-round prospect. The production just wasn't theres, however. After collecting 16 sacks in two years of junior college, Holmes struggled in the Pac-10, recording only four sacks.

  23. Eric Foster, Rutgers
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 265.
    40 Time: 4.82.
    Projected Round: 6-7.

    Collected six sacks in 2006 at defensive tackle. Will have to move to defensive end in the NFL.

  24. Jeremy Thompson, Wake Forest
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 264.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.73.
    Benchx225: 25. Vertical 32.
    Projected Round: 6-7

    Jeremy Thompson really improved his senior season, registering about seven sacks the first two months of action.

    There's some potential here, as Jeremy Thompson's 40 isn't bad for his size. However, one sack in a season isn't going to cut it.

  25. Rob Jackson, Kansas State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 253.
    40 Time: 4.79.
    Projected Round: 7.

    Rob Jackson will be forced into a 3-4 scheme unless he can gain some weight. He had 4.5 sacks in 2006.

  26. Jeremy Geathers, UNLV
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 256.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.03.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.95.
    Benchx225: 29. Vertical .
    Projected Round: 7.



  27. Angelo Craig, Cincinnati
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.07.
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical 34.5.
    Projected Round: 7.



  28. Bryan Mattison, Iowa
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 290.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.19.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 5.00.
    Benchx225: 26. Vertical 31.5.
    Projected Round: 7.

    A massive 4-3 end who can get to opposing signal callers. Mattison had 6.5 sacks in 2006 and four in 2005. Is this production coming because all of the attention is focused on Kenny Iwebema?

  29. Robert Henderson, Southern Miss
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 280.
    40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round: 7.

    Runs fast for a 280-pounder. Notched 4.5 sacks in 2006. Coming off a shoulder injury, however.

  30. Matt Kroul, Iowa
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 271.
    40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round: 7.

    How many pass-rushers does Iowa plan on sending to the NFL, a million?

  31. Joe Clermond, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 249.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.12.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.94.
    Benchx225: 22. Vertical 31.5.
    Projected Round: 7-FA.

    Joe Clermond was arrested for marijuana possession in the middle of July. Though all charges were dropped, NFL teams may not forget this incident. Clermond had 5.5 sacks in 2006.

  32. Marcus Dixon, Hampton
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 292.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.03.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.25.
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical .
    Projected Round: 7-FA.



  33. Antonio Reynolds, Tennessee
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 260.
    40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round: 7-FA.

    Started most of Tennessee's games last year, but managed only one sack. Neck problems caused him to miss two games.



  34. Phillip Mbakogu, California
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 255.
    40 Time: 4.76.
    Projected Round: FA.

    Recorded 5.5 sacks in 2005, but missed most of the 2006 campaign with a knee injury.

  35. Greyson Gunheim, Washington
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 251.
    40 Time: 4.68.
    Benchx225: 28. Vertical 36.
    Projected Round: FA.

    What a cool name for a potential NFL defensive end. Unfortunately, he weighed in 15 pounds less than I had him.

  36. Eric Bakhtiari, San Diego
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 254.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.80.
    Vertical 32.
    Projected Round: FA.



  37. Dorian Smith, Oregon State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 264.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.02.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.95.
    Benchx225: 24. Vertical 30.5.
    Projected Round: FA.



  38. Kroy Biermann, Montana
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 242.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.83.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.75.
    Benchx225: 29. Vertical 35.
    Projected Round: FA.



  39. Matt Robinson, Wake Forest
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240.
    40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round: FA.

    Matt Robinson, who was Wake Forest's top sack-artist for two seasons, missed the entire 2006 campaign with a broken kneecap. Undesized; a tweener.

  40. Alex Boston, Florida State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 278.
    40 Time: 4.76.
    Projected Round: FA.

    Alex Boston's 40 is nice for his size. And then there's his production... Six starts and one sack in 2006. One sack in 2005. None in 2004.

  41. Nick Schlekeway, Boise State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
    40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round: FA.

    Nick Schlekeway's 40 time hurts his draft stock. So do the two sacks he recorded in 2006.

  42. Xavier Mitchell, Tennessee
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 255.
    40 Time: 4.86.
    Projected Round: FA.

    Needs a faster 40 at his size.

  43. Blake Smith, Colorado State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 270.
    40 Time: 4.90.
    Projected Round: FA.

    Another one of these Adam Carriker-types. Blake Smith, who's pretty versatile, had two sacks in the 2006 season opener, but failed to record one the rest of the year.

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