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2011 NFL Draft: 3-4 Defensive End Rankings


The top 2011 3-4 defensive end prospects available for the 2011 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted.

Combine 40 Times: As I explained on Twitter (@walterfootball), the official Combine 40 times are incorrect, and they've been proven false via the NFL Network's simul-cam.

For the 40 times, I use the NFL Network's unofficial times, which are more accurate. NFL teams use their own timed 40s anyway, so the official 40s are meaningless.

This page was last updated April 16, 2011.

2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | 3-4 DE | NT | 3-4 OLB | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2016 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C |

  1. Marcell Dareus, DE/DT/NT, Alabama - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 319.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.92.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 24. Vertical: 27. Arm: 33 3/8.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 3 Pick.

    3/10/11: Marcell Dareus didn't run the 40 at his Pro Day, but he looked outstanding in the drills. He drew serious praise from Gil Brandt, who wrote, "To me, he�s the real deal. He�s a power player like Ndamukong Suh was last year. He could have that kind of impact, I think." Representitves from all 32 teams, including John Elway and Buddy Nix, were present to watch the Alabama players work out.

    3/1/11: When Marcell Dareus weighed in at 6-3, 319, I wrote that I was very curious to see how he'd perform at the Combine. Well, Dareus is a stud. He ran a 4.92, which is unbelievable considering his size. Dareus could be the second overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and he's sure to be the first defensive tackle off the board.

    10/8/10: Dareus has been a beast this year for Alabama. His power, strength, tenacity and athleticism are all prototypical to play 5-technique in the NFL. Because of his versatility, you can lock him into the top five picks.

    5/8/10: Marcell Dareus can play for any defense, but is better suited for the 3-4. As a mere sophomore, Dareus notched 6.5 sacks in only four starts (Nick Saban habitually doesn't play his young guys over his veterans). Dareus will start in 2010 and is expected to reach double-digit sacks.

  2. Nick Fairley, DE/DT, Auburn - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 297.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.82.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 31. Arm: 34 3/4.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 8 Pick.

    3/9/11: Nick Fairley is back into the No. 2 pick conversation after a fantastic Pro Day. Fairley, now 297 pounds, showed tremendous footwork in the drills, prompting the ESPN3 crew to say that he looks like a 250-pound linebacker. Todd McShay, in particular, was overly giddy, going as far to say that he would be willing to carry Fairley's child.

    1/26/11: Write-ups for these rankings will be added later; there were "personnel complications" on the site, which is why these rankings haven't been updated in a while.

    10/8/10: Fairley has really stepped up his game this season. He's been very active around the ball and doing a great job of shooting gaps and getting penetration. We love his quickness and athleticism, but he could do a better job with his hands and getting off blocks. Hopefully he continues to improve as the year goes on.



  3. J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Wisconsin - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 290.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.78.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 34. Vertical: 37. Arm: 34.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 18 Pick.

    3/10/11: J.J. Watt didn't run the 40 at his Pro Day, but had a terrific workout. The Chargers reportedly paid very close attention to Watt during the drills. Watt will probably be gone by No. 18, so San Diego would have to trade up.

    3/1/11: J.J. Watt showed off his great athleticism at the Combine, notching a 4.78 40 and a 37-inch vertical. He also recorded 34 bench press reps on Tuesday. Warren Sapp called Watt the next Mike Mamula. Mike Mayock, however, defended Watt, predicting that he could have Richard Seymour-type production in the NFL.

    8/3/10: J.J. Watt notched 15.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks in 2009. He projects really well into the 3-4.

  4. Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, California - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 286.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.94.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.71.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 25. Vertical: 31. Arm: 35.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 18 Pick.

    3/11/11: Cameron Jordan had an outstanding Pro Day. He was even asked to drop into coverage by one of the coaches.

    3/1/11: Cameron Jordan was one of many defensive linemen who had an outstanding Combine. The 6-4, 287-pound Jordan ran a great 40 time of 4.71. The Patriots would love for him to fall to No. 17, but that's probably not going to happen.

    1/26/11: Cameron Jordan is a beast. He's dominated the Senior Bowl practices thus far. In fact, he was so aggressive that he hit the quarterback on one occasion, prompting Marvin Lewis to pull Jordan aside and tell him, "If you do that again, they're gonna give you a GPS and you're gonna have to drive out of here." Jordan won't make it past New England at No. 17, and he could go as high as Dallas at No. 9.

    10/8/10: Not many players have had a bigger rise up big boards this season than Jordan. He is among the most consistent, productive players in the nation. He is extremely strong at the point of attack and is simply mauling linemen this season. His hand use and extension is textbook and he is shedding blockers at will. Statistically, he isn't killing it (16 tackles, 2 sacks), but he has the attention of everyone with an actual eye for talent that watches him play. He projects as a left defensive end here in the 4-3 scheme, but his best value like Allen Bailey is as a 3-4 defensive end.

    5/5/10: Had a great junior campaign, generating 9.5 TFL and eight sacks.

  5. Muhammed Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 308.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.12.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.99.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 27. Vertical: 29. Arm: 35 1/4.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 30 Pick.

    3/22/11: Muhammad Wilkerson stood on his Combine 40, but improved his vertical by two inches at Temple's Pro Day. Wilkerson has private workouts scheduled with the Chiefs and Ravens. He could go as high as No. 17 to the Patriots.

    3/1/11: Another five-technique to impress at the Combine, Muhammad Wilkerson ran a 4.99 40 at 6-4, 315.

    10/8/10: Wilkerson seems to have come into his own this season, consistently getting into backfields and setting the tone on the defensive line for Temple. Sometimes he gets too high and gets washed, but he can still improve as the year goes on and rise up boards.

  6. Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 295.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.93.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.95.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 35. Arm: 34 1/4.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

    3/31/11: Cameron Heyward is coming off Tommy John surgery, so he couldn't perform at Ohio State's Pro Day. Heyward had his own workout on March 30, and looked pretty good. Heyward ran a 4.95 and notched a 35-inch vertical. He looked like he was in good shape.

    10/8/10: Heyward is a very, very inconsistent player, but with his size and strength, some coaching staff will feel like they can make him a better player than he really is. Heyward's best position is 5-technique because of his length and bulk. There is no doubt he has potential here, but he is not always as physical as he should be and often disappears.

    5/8/10: Currently the top 3-4 end in the 2011 class, Cameron Heyward had 10 TFL and 6.5 sacks in 2009. He would have been a top-15 pick had he declared for the 2010 NFL Draft.



  7. Allen Bailey, DE/DT, Miami - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 275.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.76.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 27. Vertical: 36.5. Arm: 34.
    Projected Round (2011): 2.

    3/27/11: Allen Bailey somehow dropped 10 pounds since the Combine, weighing in at 275 at his Pro Day. He had an otherwise solid workout, but you have to wonder about the weight.

    1/30/11: Allen Bailey sucked all week and did nothing during the game. I had to check the participation report to see if Bailey even played in the Senior Bowl. Bailey is really athletic, but he's just a project at this point.

    1/27/11: Allen Bailey has been struggling in one-on-one matchups all week. He couldn't get by Derek Sherrod, which is understandable. But then Bailey looked helpless against James Carpenter, a mid-round prospect. Something's wrong here.

    10/8/10: Bailey has been proven to be more consistent this year. He shows excellent athleticism for a 288-pound lineman and is playing with a lot of power off the edge. He's not going to be an elite pass rusher from the right side, but as a left defensive end he has a high upside and can be one of those guys that can simply shut down the right side of the offensive line with his ability to play the run. He gives you the best value as a 5-technique, or 3-4 defensive end.

    5/5/10: Allen Bailey had been known as an athletic freak who never lived up to the hype. Well, that has completely changed. As a junior, Bailey had 11 TFL and seven sacks.

  8. Christian Ballard, DE/DT, Iowa - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 286.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.70.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.70.
    Benchx225: 16. Vertical: 34. Arm: 33 1/8.
    Projected Round (2010): 2.

    3/22/11: Christian Ballard matched his Combine 40 time at his Pro Day (4.70) but improved his vertical by 2.5 inches. Ballard had a good workout overall and could be selected toward the end of the first round.

    10/8/10: Ballard will go much higher than I believe he should. On tape, I've seen a player who is consistently soft, and the only time he really flashed was in the fourth quarter against Penn State. I like his athleticism and physical skill, but he is not a competitor and shies from contact - not good for a defensive lineman.

    5/8/10: Had nine TFL and 5.5 sacks in 2009. Like Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard's best fit is in the 3-4.

  9. Jarvis Jenkins, DE/DT, Clemson
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 310.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.06.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.98.
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: 17. Vertical: 26.5. Arm: 33 1/4.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

    1/26/11: Jarvis Jenkins proved to be too much for center Kris O'Dowd. Jenkins dominated the matchup in the one-on-one drills.

    10/8/10: Jenkins has the build you want as a 5-technique, but he's too inconsisten to be taken much earlier in the 2011 NFL Draft.

  10. Lawrence Guy, DE/DT, Arizona State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 304.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.91.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.95.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 5.00.
    Benchx225: 28. Vertical: 29. Arm: 32 3/4.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    10/8/10: Guy has very good weight room strength, nice athleticism and a good motor. However, he struggles when run at and this makes him not the best fit at 4-3 defensive tackle. At the 5-technique position, he'll be matched up 1v1 against an offensive tackle and be able to use his playing strengths.

    5/8/10: Lawrence Guy had seven TFL and 4.5 sacks as a mere sophomore in 2009. Best fit is the 3-4.



  11. Cedric Thornton, DE/DT, Southern Arkansas
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 309.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.18.
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 27. Arm: 33 5/8.
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.

    10/8/10: Thornton is one of the biggest small-school sleepers in the 2011 NFL Draft, but I've heard he has been as dominant against inferior competition to be an early-round pick.

  12. David Carter, DE/DT, UCLA
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 297.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.04.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.



  13. Brandon Bair, DE/DT, Oregon
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 276.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.82.
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 28. Arm: 33.
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.



  14. Mike Blanc, DE/DT, Auburn
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 281.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.01.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 5.00.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    3/9/11: Mike Blanc measured in an inch shorter than he was listed at Auburn. This hurts his chances of being drafted.

    10/8/10: Blanc is a little inconsistent and doesn't always plays up to his physical tools, but some team will be intrigued enough with his physical skill set and potential to draft him in the mid rounds.

    5/8/10: Mike Blanc had 6.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks as a junior.

  15. Pep Levingston, DE/DT, LSU
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 286.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.07.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.02.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.89.
    Benchx225: 20. Vertical: 31. Arm: 33.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.



  16. Zane Parr, DE/DT, Virginia
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 275.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.92.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.79.
    Benchx225: 18. Vertical: 34. Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    8/3/10: Zane Parr managed 4.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks in 2009.

  17. Lawrence Marsh, DE/DT, Florida
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 305.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.91.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/6/10: Really struggled in 2009; had just 0.5 TFL and 0.5 sacks in nine games. Hampered by an ankle injury all year.

  18. Ladi Ajiboye, DE/DT, South Carolina
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/8/10: Arrested for marijuana before the 2009 season and suspended for three games. Had four TFL and no sacks in the remaining 10.



2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | 3-4 DE | NT | 3-4 OLB | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2016 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C |






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