Scouting 2012 Players Poll – Denver Broncos Needs – DE


This list that follows is meant to be my personal amateur analysis on DEs available in the 2012 Draft with information about the professional general draft projection and my (again, amateur) analysis about who fits Denver needs and in which round should be draft by the Denver Broncos.

Player

College

Year

Height

Weight

Note

League projection

My Grade (Broncos point of view)

Quinton Coples

North Carolina

Sr

6-6

284

A guy that played DT in 2010 because of injuries and suspensions has been questioned because lack of effort? Come on. Marvin Austin was suspended and last year he was drafted in the 2nd round. This guy, although probably not the best prospect after Luck and Griffin III, is a defense playmaker. He just plays and looks so natural in doing it that there is no doubt in my mind that id for any insane reason, he would fall to 25,Denverhas to make the pick in 1 second. We will just plug him in in the Defensive Line and let him play. Good things would come. The best DE by far I could see some video on the web this year.

1st

1st

Whitney Mercilus

Illinois

rJr

6-4

261

He’s a big strong reliable guy. I think he would be perfect for the Broncos as 4-3 DE. He plays with good leverage the run game and he’s a good pass rusher. He could be the 3rd DE on the team and in my opinion has also good potential to convert him in a great DLine defender and leader. If he falls all the way to 25,Denvercould really consider him in the 1st round.

1st

1st

Courtney Upshaw

Alabama

Sr

6-2

272

He is really talented. I’m really impressed by his lateral movement on the LOS and his ability to recognize the play and play with diligence. He’s little bit undersized for a DE (he could be a perfect fit for a 3-4 team as OLB) but he seems powerful and has quickness to rush the passer consistently. He needs to improve his technique, adding movement to his pass rush so that he could shed block from bigger NFL Tackles that for sure will try to take advantage on the size difference. But against he looks smart on the field and he’s a little bit underestimated at this point.

1st – 2nd

1st – 2nd

Jared Crick

Nebraska

rSr

6-4

279

Is hard not to like the way Jared Crick played in college. He is relentless and has a non-stop motor. He’s good against the run and he’s getting pressure to the QB in a lot of pass plays. Would he be ready to play at 100% in training camp. I think he will. Which position should suit him best in the NFL? His size and power suggest 3-4 DE, and is why he’s listed in the DE chapter. I think he could be a good under tackle for the Broncos and would love if they chose him in the 2nd round if he’s still there. I like him more that almost every other DT option for the Broncos and he could playing any kind of situation forDenver. Denver could even consider him in the 1st round because he could really fit what Denver wants to do next year on defense (Del Rio got Alualu in the top 10 two years ago…).

2nd – 3rd

1st – 2nd

Melvin Ingram

South Carolina

rSr

6-1

264

Ok, the most impressive thing I saw in his videos is the fake punt TD againstGeorgia. You can’t deny that is a great athlete and that he has a non-stop motor and he is a effort guy that is doing whatever he has for his team. He also could have big upside. But he has been stone walled too many times to warrant a top 10 selection. And he will be drafted in the top 10. Don’t take me wrong. I’ll be a good or even great player. Only he has to develop and adapt to the NFL. He does not have that incredible quickness that a guy like him (undersized…) needs to come to the NFL and just make plays.

1st

2nd

Nick Perry

Southern California

rJr

6-3

271

He has been a huge presence on the LOS in college. My personal knock is that his size is pretty normal in the NFL. Still he has talent and also has good motor. He’s not flashy and is the reason why I hopeDenvernot to take him in the 1st round if he falls during draft day. He could push Ayers for playing time but he’s not an upgrade for Ayers and I don’t even know if he has great upside. Players from great colleges (USC,Alabama, LSU,OhioState) have been playing under professional organization and this let me think that they could have less upside than other prospects that played college in not such huge college organizations. 2nd round to him.

1st

2nd

Andre Branch

Clemson

rSr

6-4

259

Against VT he kinda dominate the LOS in the second part of the game. It’s a good sign. He was no factor in the first part. Plus he was really pounded around by the left tackle. This is a bad sign for the schemeDenverwill inituially relies on, becauseDenverwill mostly bring pressure to the QB only by DEs. Anyhow If the QB will be obliged to pass a lot, he could be a nice factor at the LOS for what the second half of the game shows. He lack lateral movement and change of direction, that is understandable for a guy of his size. Still looks really slow reacting to the run game, too much to justify a first round pick byDenveron him. AgainstAuburnhe was not a factor against the run again and although he is a lots of time in the backfield he is not making enough plays to the ball. Sometimes he came quick after the snap, other times less. He has great size and strength. If he would be still there whenDenverselect in the 2nd round, he could become a Bronco. my guess is that he won’t be there.

1st – 2nd

2nd

Chandler Jones

Syracuse

rJr

6-5

266

I saw only the video against Pitt. He’s a stout DE. He plays well against both pass and run at college level. Will this translate in a productive DE in the Pros? I don’t know. A good sign is the fact that in each play he was pushing back the LT more than being pushed around and he seems to ha a non stop motor. Would he be useful for the Broncos? I don’t know but I don’t think he will be available whenDenverchose in the 2nd Round

2nd

2nd

Vinny Curry

Marshall

rSr

6-3

266

Good size a relentless motor. Not flashy against to level competition in college. I can’t see the blazing speed the Broncos should look for in a pass rushing DE that could back up decently Dumervil. This is the reason why I think the Broncos could consider Curry only if he falls to the 3rd round

1st-2nd

3rd

Billy Winn

Boise State

rSr

6-4

294

He is another prospect that is projected to be a better 3-4 DE than 4-3 DT in the NFL. Still I think that if he falls to the 3rd round he could be a good option a NT for the Broncos. He’s not abusing the backfield like Crick but he is a non-stop motor too and plays well against the run. He’s a good player.

3rd

3rd

Cam Johnson

Virginia

Sr

6-3

268

For a big guy like him he’s really agile and athletic. He has good lateral footwork and he’s able to work his way laterally on the LOS to adjust against the run game. A little bit inconsistent in the straight pass rush, looks in need to gain power lower body power in order to be more explosive at the snap and be more flashy against Olinemen. I can see him being a blue collar worker and if he could trim down his weight a little bit he could be a really good 3-4 OLB.

2nd – 3rd

4th

Malik Jackson

Tennessee

Sr

6-5

284

Wow, this guy could be the best developing DE that could fitDenverscheme. He does not show great lateral movement, especially whenTennesseeused him as DT against the run, but he has straight forward movements. This could indicate that he could develop abilities (with better technique) to play more consistently as a pas rush DE and pass rush DT in obvious passing play. This said, he still has to develop, if the Broncos would pick in in the 4th round I would be happy. Anything before could be a little bit too much for the Broncos.

3rd – 4th

4th

Jake Bequette

Arkansas

rSr

6-5

274

He is a solid and relentless player that lack a bit of speed in the first steps after the snap. He use the penetrate the backfield in passing downs but suffer a lot of lower body block lacking agility to avoid this kind of blocks. He could be an interesting player in the right environment (probably a better 3-4 OLB than 4-3 DE).

4th

5th

Julian Miller

West Virginia

rSr

6-3

256

This guy could be a surprise pick forDenver. He played De in his sophomore and junior season while moved at DT his senior season. He had 4 sacks in the same game against Pitt and the played with a high ankle injured the whole year…..at DT. He is undersized for the DT size that Denver is looking for, but he could be a good DE addition because he’s a good pass rusher, better that a lot if the DE listed ahead of him and could be tried as under tackle in obvious passing downs. It’s just an idea, but a fascinating one since this year draft class for pass rushing DE is really thin.

6th – 7th

5th

Scott Solomon

Rice

rSr

6-3

262

This guy knows hot to get to the QB. He has speed and come up fast at the snap and has some really great movement. He’s probably just a pass rush specialist at this point from a NFL point of view, and I think that could be a good depth addition to any team and gain a spot in the defense rotation.

7th – FA

5th – 6th

Trevor Guyton

California

Sr

6-3

285

He played atCalin the 3-4 defenses so 3-4 teams should really take a longer look at him that whatDenverwould. Anyhow his ability to play inside and outside could be interesting for a 4-3 team likeDenverwhen the team is on 3-3-5 formation as rotational DT.

4th

6th

Olivier Vernon

Miami (Fla.)

Jr

6-2

261

He’s not flashy on the point of attack. He’s probably more suited for play 3-4 DE but the broncos could take a look at him in the 6th as Ayers backup, he can play and has potential.

5th – 6th

6th

Justin Francis

Rutgers

rSr

6-2

268

This guy played 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT and has played snaps even at LB. What is most interesting forDenveris that he has a quick reaction at the snap and is able to create pressure to the QB from the inside.Denvergreatly need this kind of skills and could take him in consideration with its 6th round pick.

7th

6th

Darius Nall

UCF

rSr

6-3

246

He has a non-stop motor and plays good both against the run and the pass. He’s a good bull rusher but I didn’t see any other move from the few videos I found. Overall I really liked what I saw and I won’t discard to use a draft pick on this guy because he could develop and be a good rotational player.

FA

6th

Tim Fugger

Vanderbilt

rSr

6-3

248

Deep productivity for this guy in the SEC. Good video againstArkansas, he can to the QB, has not flashy but good speed. He was selected 2nd All-SEC team in 2011. As the physical look of a SOLB too inDenversystem. He’s coming off a neck injury, and didn’t get an invite to the combine. I think he could be find on CFA and could be a good adding in training camp and find a roster spot or practice squad spot inDenver. After he’s brilliant showing at his Pro-Days, I’m quite sure he’ll get drafted.

7th – FA

6th – 7th

Derrick Shelby

Utah

rSr

6-3

266

He’s a little bit light in the lower body and could be push around in the NFL. Anyhow has good motor and is able to recognize the play fast. If he’ll be able to straighten up and not lose speed and his fast reaction he could really have a better career that most od the DE in this draft.

6th – 7th

7th

*Donte Paige-Moss

North Carolina

Jr

6-3

268

He could be out for the whole 2012 season because his ACL injury that his suffer in his last game withNorth Carolina. Anyhow I saw good plays from him in videos and I think he could be another good young player with potential that could back up well Ayers. He does not have skills to be a consistent pass rusher but he’s locating the ball very easily and stays with the play and I really like iit a lot. So the question is: couldDenverinvest its 6th round pick on him even if he’ll most probably spent the entire 2012 season on I/R? Interesting question.

6th

FA

Frank Alexander

Oklahoma

rSr

6-4

270

He could be a training camp body and could even develop in a good Ayer Back up. He reads well the play but lack initial burst to get constantly to the QB. Could be a factor in the running game because he looks agile.

7th – FA

FA

Kentrell Lockett

Mississippi

rSr

06-may

243

Developmental guy that has injury concerns around him

FA

FA

Tyrone Crawford

Boise State

Sr

6-4

285

He is big but need to improve his strength. Could be employed in a 3-4 defense or a 4-3. He lacks flash and speed at the snap to be a real effective pass rusher ina 4-3 defense and lack lower body power to dominate at the point of attack in a 3-4. Still is relentless and could find a way to make some plays. I’m not this high on him but could be developing (more in a 3-4 DE). I don’t seeDenveras the right place for him to start his professional career.

3rd

No

Jack Crawford

Penn State

Sr

6-5

274

I suspectDenverclear his name on the draft board because of drug suspects’ raised late in March. This said I cannot find a good video on him on the web. What I found in professional analysis is that a part his size he still is a big developing plan with some upside….I would likeDenverto go out a look for productive college player. He won’t be on my board.

5th

No

Jacquies Smith

Missouri

Sr

6-3

253

He’s a big body and looks stout. He could make plays but sometimes he looks off the play. He is not flashy neither.

5th – 6th

No

Taylor Thompson

Southern Methodist

Sr

6-6

266

He’s a great prospect for 3-4 team at DE. Will need to get stronger. Does not fit whatDenveris doing.

7th – FA

No

Ernest Owusu

California

rSr

6-4

277

I couldn’t find any video on him.

7th – FA

No

Ryan Van Bergen

Michigan

rSr

6-6

288

I could not find any video on this prospect. Anyhow his size suggest that he could be more suited for playing in a 3-4 defense since also Michigan plays that defense.

7th – FA

No

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