2018 NFL Draft Prospects: Defensive Ends



By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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The top 2018 Defensive End prospects available for the 2018 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2019 prospect. ** - denotes 2020 prospect.

This page was last updated July 24, 2017. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.
2017 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

2018 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

  1. Arden Key*, DE, LSU
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2018): 1.

    7/24/17: Key was one of the best players in college football in 2016. He recorded 56 tackles with 14.5 for a loss, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes broken up on the year. He flashed a ton of potential as a freshman for LSU, totaling 41 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, five sacks and one pass broken up. Key is a dangerous pass-rusher with excellent speed and the ability to bend around the corner. He is lightning fast off the edge and has a ton of upside to develop.




  2. Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 275.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

    7/24/17: Chubb was a tough defender for the Wolfpack in 2016, totaling 58 tackles with 22 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass batted. As a sophomore in 2015, he collected 5.5 sacks. Chubb has scheme flexibility along with a nice combination of size, speed, and instincts at the point of attack.


  3. Dorance Armstrong Jr.*, DE/OLB, Kansas
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 241.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

    7/24/17: In 2016 as a sophomore, Armstrong had some serious production with 10 sacks, 20 tackles for a loss, 56 tackles and three forced fumbles while being a First-Team All-Big XII selection. One general manager told me that they think Armstrong is a stud and can't see him staying for his senior year in 2018. They said that Armstrong could be on a par or better than Boston College senior edge rusher Harold Landry. That general manager thought Landry would have been a late first- or second-round pick if he had entered the 2017 NFL Draft.


  4. Andrew Brown*, DE, Virginia
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

    7/24/17: Brown is a sturdy defender at the point of attack and impressed last year. Scouting sources say that Brown has a first-round skill set entering the 2017 season. In 2016, he totaled six sacks, 13 tackles for a loss and 38 tackles. Brown has good size to be a base end with quickness and athleticism to get after the quarterback.


  5. Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 266.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

    7/24/17: In 2016, Hubbard collected 46 tackles with eight for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two passes batted. While rotating into the game as a sophomore, he showed his potential with 6.5 sacks. Hubbard also had 28 tackles with an interception. The senior could explode in 2017 as he has an early round skill set. Hubbard has a lot of physical talent, but he hasn't produced up to it. He could rise high if that changes as a senior.


  6. Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

    7/24/17: Landry had an impressive junior season as an edge rusher for Boston College, recording 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, four passes batted and 51 tackles. He contributed as a sophomore with 60 stops, and 4.5 sacks. Landry could fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. A general manager told me they thought Landry would have been a late first- or second-round pick if he had entered the 2017 NFL Draft.




  7. Josh Sweat*, DE, Florida State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

    7/24/17: Sweat has a lot of talent and was starting to flash as a sophomore in 2016. He had seven sacks, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 41 tackles and one forced fumble on the year. Sources say that Sweat has a first-round skill set and could explode as a junior.


  8. Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

    7/24/17: Missouri has been a factory for NFL defensive line talent in recent years. With Charles Harris on the other side, Frazier was able to do some damage in 2016. The junior came on strong at the end of the season. On the year, Frazier notched 7.5 sacks with 33 tackles. He had two sacks as a backup in 2015. Frazier could be poised for a big 2017 season as it looked like the light came on for him late in the 2016 season.


  9. Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 270.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

    7/24/17: Ejiofor goes under the radar playing at Wake Forest, but he was a real force in 2016. On the season, Ejiofor totaled 10.5 sacks, 50 tackles, four passes broken up, forced fumbles and one interception. He had 4.5 sacks as a sophomore.




  10. Porter Gustin*, DE/OLB, USC
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    7/24/17: Gustin may end up growing into a defensive end, but he showed some edge skills as a freshman and sophomore. In 2015, he totaled 5.5 sacks while also chipping in 25 tackles with 6.5 for a loss. It was an impressive season from a freshman, and he was only a rotational player with two starts. As a sophomore, Gustin notched 68 tackles with 5.5 sacks and four passes batted. He started at outside linebacker and could be a good fit for 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.


  11. Marquis Haynes*, DE/OLB, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 222.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    7/24/17: As a junior, Haynes played well and illustrated that he can be a difference-maker as a situational defender. In 2016, Haynes had 53 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, three passes batted, one interception and seven sacks. His sophomore season was even better with 43 tackles, 16.5 for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes batted. He recorded 31 tackles with nine tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks as a freshman.

    Haynes is fast off the edge and has some natural pass-rushing skills to him. He is a heat-seeking missile off the edge who is a natural pass-rusher. Haynes also has functional strength that was illustrated by bull rush sacks through Alabama's Cam Robinson and Florida State's Roderick Johnson in 2016.

    However, Haynes is extremely undersized and will have to move to outside linebacker in the NFL. Even for that position, he will need to get stronger, but he has a real knack for producing sacks in the clutch and had an impact in Ole Miss beating Alabama in 2015. Haynes has to get better in run defense or he will just be a situational rusher in the NFL.


  12. Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 255.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

    7/24/17: Ferguson had a huge 2016 season as he racked up 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two passes broken up, 16 tackles for a loss and 49 tackles. Ferguson impressed as a freshman as well with six sacks, 35 tackles and two forced fumbles. He could stand to get stronger for the NFL, but he could be an exciting prospect for the 2018 or 2019 NFL Draft.




  13. Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    7/24/17: Lewis totaled 29 tackles with eight sacks, three forced fumbles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and two passes batted last season. Some scouting sources say they graded Lewis as a mid-round talent for the 2017 NFL Draft before he decided to return for his senior year. In 2015, Lewis totaled 54 tackles with 14 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and one pass broken up. It was an impressive season for the sophomore. Lewis started across from Joey Bosa and led the Buckeyes in sacks.


  14. Chad Thomas, DE, Miami
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    7/24/17: Thomas has flashed at times for Miami over the past couple of seasons. In 2016, he collected 37 tackles with 11 for a loss, four sacks and three passes broken up. He had 18 tackles with a sack, four passes batted and one forced fumble in 2015.


  15. Clelin Ferrell**, DE, Clemson
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    7/24/17: Ferrell had an impressive redshirt freshman season for the Tigers in 2016 as he totaled 44 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks and two passes batted. Ferrell has a good skill set with size, so he could easily rise with his year of experience.


  16. CeCe Jefferson*, DE, Florida
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 261.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    7/24/17: Jefferson has been a edge rusher who has flashed for Florida over the past two seasons as part of a rotation. As a freshman in 2015, he had 29 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Jefferson didn't take the next step as a sophomore with 30 tackles, 6.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks. The junior is capable of breaking out in 2017. His body type could make him more of a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL rather than at defensive end.


  17. Austin Bryant*, DE, Clemson
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    7/24/17: Bryant missed eight games for Clemson in 2016. As a result, he had 13 tackles with two sacks on the season. In 2015, he had 23 tackles with 1.5 sacks. Clemson feels that Bryant has a lot of ability and is excited about him for 2017.


  18. Da'Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 273.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

    7/24/17: Hand has never lived up to the hype after being the No. 1 recruit in the nation coming out of high school. He was more of a rotational player for Alabama in 2016, but he was playing better late in the season. Hand totaled 21 tackles and two sacks in 2016. With Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Ryan Anderson all moving on to the NFL, Hand should take on a bigger role as a senior. As a sophomore in 2015, he totaled 16 tackles with three sacks and 6.5 tackles for a loss.


  19. Byron Cowart*, DE, Auburn
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

    7/24/17: Cowart was the No. 1 recruit in the nation from Seffner, Florida coming out of high school, but he hasn't lived up to the hype through two seasons. He had six tackles as a freshman and six tackles with one sack as a sophomore. Perhaps Cowart breaks out as a junior. There is talk that he will move inside to tackle as a junior.


  20. Andrew Trumbetti, DE, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

    7/24/17: Trumbetti had 25 tackles with zero sacks as a junior. He notched 35 tackles and two sacks over the previous two seasons.


  21. Walter Brady, DE, Middle Tennessee State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 255.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

    7/24/17: In 2015 at Missouri, Brady led all FBS freshman players with seven sacks. The Tigers kicked him off the team prior to the 2016 season. It will be interesting to see if Brady can get back on track at Middle Tennessee State.


2017 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

2018 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




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