2014 NFL Draft – Prospects scouting – DE


Name Position College Experience Height Weight General Projection My Broncos Grade General scouting notes My Broncos scouting perspective
Kony Ealy DE Missouri rJr 6’4” 273 1st 1st – 2nd Has great quickness at the snap. Needs to gain more power to better face NFL Guards and Tackles. Read and reacts well to the play and has great athletic abilities that allow him to use properly his body and have quick change of directions that could disorient Olinemen. Looks to get and extra gear when standing at the line of scrimmage probably due to some shoulder pad level issue that will have to be corrected for allowing him reaching his full potential in the 3-4 defense. This is the biggest reason why he would represent a bigger value right now for a 3-4 team that would play him OLB (pass rush specialist). Good running team tent to run far from him and this would indicate offensive coordinator respecting his run defense. I really do think he could be a real impact player right now as pass rush specialist for a 3-4 defense. The broncos could use him a bit as joker, since the number of times he has been used as “sleeper” DE. As 4-3 DE I think he will have to put weight and gain power and strength. I’d think Denver could use a 2nd round pick on him, if they trade down from the 1st round and getting an early 2nd in the process.
Scott Crichton DE Oregon State rJr 6’3” 265 2nd 2nd Powerful, high motor player that don’t give up in any play. Does not have elite quickness and have to learn more pass rushing technique. Has great awareness and a lot of football knowledge. Could become a locker room leader. Hard worker player that could be employed as 4-3 DE. He just misses some quickness and speed for being a very good 1st round selection in my opinion and he won’t be a starter for the Broncos, more of a backup in his rookie season. If he falls to Denver pick in the second round he could be a steal.
Trevor Reilly DE – MLB – OLB Utah rSr 6’5” 245 2nd – 3rd 2nd Solid all-around defender that can drop in coverage, pass rush and stop the run. He does everything well. He has great quickness and just sense for the ball. Has high motor and plays hard. Great football knowledge. He will probably be asked to bulk up. Has incredible size – speed ratio and can really become a great NFL player. He fit everything the Broncos are looking for at MLB. His versatility and skills would allow him to play a lot of different position on the field and the Broncos looks to like to mix up things a lot. He has not the exceptional flashed that would make him a top ten pick and have injury concern. If he’ll be on the board at the end of the second round, I hope the Broncos will select him.
Stephon Tuitt DE Notre Dame Jr 6’6” 312 1st – 2nd 2nd Really stout against the run. Looks like a perfect size-weight match for the 3-4 DE. Lack speed and a bit of quickness but has technique, size and power. He’s a really good player but I  think he could play similar to Derek Wolfe in Denver Dline or could even completely converted to DT. He does not show, in the videos I saw, the quickness required to be a consistent inside penetrator, therefor I’d prefer the Broncos to select him if he falls into the 2nd round.
James Gayle DE Virginia Tech rSr 6′ 4” 255 4th 2nd – 3rd Productive player that knows how to create havoc in the backfield both against the pass and run Need to bulk up and get stronger for the next level but shows to be a good football player. Does not show elite speed strength or acceleration and for this reason could slide in the draft but he could develop in a really reliable 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 OLB. If the broncos are looking for a 4-3 DE that knows how to get to the QB, I guess Gayle could fit the bill.  In the case he’d fit the character profile Denver is looking for I think that the Broncos would have to get him late between the late second and the late 3rd round, because all the underclassman that declared for this draft. In a normal year he could have end up in discussion for a late 1st rounder with good performance at the Combine.
Marcus Smith DE Louisville Sr 6’3” 252 2nd – 3rd 2nd – 3rd ACC defensive player of the year, second team all American. Played in a 3-4 defense as OLB. Former QB that is really quick at the snap and he’s fast reacting to the play. Could seal the corner in the running game. Still has the frame to add weight and become stronger and powerful. As former QB should bring a surplus in offensive situation football knowledge that could result to be critical for the defense where he’ll play. Looks to be a perfect fit for a 3-4 defense (Steelers?) because of the experience dropping in coverage and his size that would allow him to fight on every throw with TEs and WRs I think that after the combine Marcus Smith will be labeled as 1st round pick (barring injuries and character concerns). I also think that on the Broncos scheme he’d be a Von Miller type of player, only that Miller is better. He could be developed in a really functional pass rushing DE, but it will take one year for him to bulk up, get stronger and learn to play at the NFL speed at his new weight. Is a 1st round pick well spent on a player that won’t produce that much the first year? Denver FO will probably ask them-self this question at the Combine, given that when the Broncos will select in the 1st round he’d be still one the board. I think that because the players already on Denver roster and because there could be some other really high talented player at other more needed position on the board, Denver would have him as a 2nd rounder because of the defensive scheme.
Trent Murphy DE Stanford rSr 6’6” 261 2nd – 3rd 2nd – 3rd Powerful player with really good size. Could be best suited for playing 3-4 DE but shows in tape that he has the quickness and the power to be a really good 4-3 RDE and been a nickel DT on pass situation. He has the body frame to come in and give some rotation to the starter and being developed a bit will be a really good starter in the right situation. I like him and what he could bring to the table for the Broncos on terms of Depth. He’s a more explosive option that Malik Jackson when Jackson came out of Tennessee. I think that he could be worth the Broncos 2nd round pick, will be a steal for Denver in the 3rd round.
Brent Urban DE Virginia Sr 6’7” 295 5th 3rd He looks to have room to add muscles and power and have enough quickness to develop in a solid all-around D-lineman. Plus his exceptional result tipping passes in 2013 shows his athletic capabilities.  If he blow out at the combine, then he could really climb up and a 3rd round pick could not be enough. Impressive. Tall and lean player that looks like the kind of tweener the Broncos like to field at DE. Before the combine, I think this kid is really underestimated, he has been less productive than Wolfe at the collegiate level but I can see the Broncos having him as high as low 2nd rounder.
Dominique Easley
DE Florida Sr 6’2” 285 2nd – 3rd 3rd More suited for 3-4 DE if he can bulk up and add weight. He’s another of these prospects that has skills but wrong NFL measurement. He’s a hell of 4-3 penetrator DT, but he’s quite light for that and would be asked to bulk up. His best skills his is quickness at the snap and he could lose it adding weight. Therefor the tricky situation for a GM or talent evaluator. He’s really aggressive and is able to stay low at the snap, not allowing the Olineman to put easily his hands on his chest. He’s really athletic too. Tricky one. I guess he should be considered a DT prospect and a really good one. In this case he’d be a 2nd rounder for Denver that could be really interested to add a player with his aggressiveness and burst at the snap. Then again he’s light for what the Broncos looks for  at DT and could struggle against NFL interior Olinemen power. If he’d be there still in the 3rd round he could be really appealing for the Broncos as a tweener prospect to develop.
Josh Mauro DE Stanford rSr 6’6” 282 4th 3rd Prototypical 3-4 DE/Guard. Has really good leverage a great mobility for a man of his size. Has great awareness and is always paying attention to the ball. Does a great job occupying blockers but could develop a better technic for disengaging from OLinemen. Has some quickness but lack top-end speed to be converted in pass-rush specialist in the NFL but could be developed in a great DE that set the edge in running plays and that could “sleep” and break trick offensive plays. Derek Wolfe looked to be much more productive through his college career. Mauro to me looks really similar, although Wolfe looked more hungry and was more disruptive in the back-field. Still Denver could use a 3rd round pick on Mauro as a security belt against Wolfe injury because I think Mauro could be a similar player for the Broncos.
Kareem Martin DE North Carolina Sr 6’5” 265 2nd 3rd Good prospect. Has the instinct of the outside pass rusher and has the size to bulk up and gain power which he’ll need to beat in the bull rush NFL Olinemen. Needs to work in hands technique to add some movements to his repertoire. All in all a productive player that could be develop in a tweener DE/DT in the NFL. Has the ability to get to the backfield that should not be overlooked. He’s another interesting player for the Broncos in my opinion. Mauro could be the “Wolfe” insurance belt and Martin could play the Phillips role, more edge rusher that is able to create havoc and don’t allow the QB to escape laterally. He needs to develop a better game against the run and for this reason I don’t see the Broncos using a 2nd round pick, a third rounder has been used by Denver FO in each of these past 3 years to draft players that have been developed for a year or two.
Aaron Lynch DE South Florida rSo 6’5” 244 6th 4th – 5th Player that could play inside or outside the front 4. Does a decent job in both areas, showing some quickness and being stout at the point of attack against the run playing inside. Looks like a 1st round pick but could be a late 2nd. Has a ton of upside once he would learn better technique for disengaging blocks and gained a bit more od muscles and explosion. Have really great quickness. If he ran a great 40 could be selected at the end of 1st round but it would be a mistake IMO. He’s a physical specimen that could be used as duel threat and developed as Denver is doing with Malik Jackson, only a bit bigger, stronger and quicker than Jackson. UPDATE: when we’re 4 weeks before the draft he’s projected as 6th rounder. No idea why, since ay his pro day he run a 4.6 time. I therefore update my Broncos grade to 3rd that is way higher than any other draft projection. I cannot understand, if I’d have time I’ll watch again his videos before the draft.
IK Enemkpali DE Louisiana Tech rSr 6’1” 272 –– 4th – 5th I really like what I saw on him. I understand that he didn’t played against the best talent at the NCAA level, still he faced pretty good opponent playing for Louisiana Tech. I like his speed around the corner and the acceleration he could put in closing the chase. His athletic skills are good and he looks to have good football sense. If I’d be Denver and I’m looking for the next Dumervil or Phillips I would take a deep look at this prospect and if his personality would feet as a Bronco. He has all the tools to develop in a really complete DE at the NFL level if he’d be able to get stronger in his lower body and just a bit more explosive. Plus he needs to learn technique and do a better use of his hands to disengage blocks in order to be effective on every play.
Jackson Jeffcoat DE Texas Sr 6’4” 250 2nd – 3rd 5th – 6th Difficult evaluation here. Like last year Moore and other several heralded pass rusher he has a lot of hype, but I don’t see the consistent production on the field through the film I could see on him. Yes he looks to have outstanding athleticism but play too tall a number of snaps and struggle to disengage blocks and looks to lack top power. Looks to be a smart player and have the tools to be a complete DE/OLB in the NFL (enough speed and ball sense to not overrun a play). All in all I won’t touch him until the 5th – 6th round. Denver needs more speed out of Des and although he has some, it’s not elite type of speed.
Kasim Edebali DE Boston College Sr 6’2” 246 –– 5th – 6th Not that many videos on him but enough to confirm his big production in the 2013. What I like in him is his closing speed and his toughness. He has good control of his body that helps him disengage blocks and play with leverage. I actually think he is an undervalued player. Could be more suited as 3-4 OLB but the Broncos shown that they like too these kind of tweeners. I guess Denver FO would like his 2 years captain status and his production. He looks to have the frame that would allow him to bulk up and gain more power. Could be a little project but I think he could be valuable for Denver so a 6th round pick or even a 5th (i guess his stock will rise during the pre-draft process) for this really athletic football player would be necessary to make him a Bronco.
Will Clarke DE West Virginia rSr 6’6” 273 3rd -4th 5th – 6th Great body balance and athleticism, has really good speed for a player of his size and also good acceleration. Still I think he’s be asked to add some more muscle in his lower body and will need a bit of time to adapt to the speed of the NFL. Need to improve his tackling technique and the angles he takes. In college he used his size as determinant factor in his tackles; in the NFL it will be a different story. If he slides into the 5th round he could be a really good insurance depth over Wolfe health situation playing behind Malik Jackson. He has the size that Denver likes at DL under Fox and Del Rio. Has the speed and athleticism to be highly successful in the NFL, just need development still.
Chaz Sutton DE South Carolina rSr 6’4” 263 7-FA 6th Looks more a 3-4 OLB to me, but he could really be brought in in Colorado to see if he could be a good backup to Von Miller. He has quickness and has talent rushing the passer. He’s too light IMO, to be a 3 downs DE in a 4-3 NFL defense, as the Broncos are. Still his quickness and instincts rushing the passer could easily draw Denver attention in the pre-draft process and I guess that in the low third round he could be worth a pick.
Jeoffrey Pagan DE Alabama Jr 6’4” 310 6th 6th Big size junior that opted to come out of college. Has the size to be developed in a great 3-4 DE or NT. Will need to add some power and to adjust to NFL speed. Looks to have some quickness to work with. I usually don’t like to go after big college names like Alabama, because the player potential, IMO, isn’t there, they already reached their potential in the scheme they fit best, like Saban Alabama one. In this case I’d like the Broncos to take a flier on this DT, because he’d be a DT in Denver 4-3 scheme. With patience and time he could be developed in a really effective pass rushing DT, which is a rarity.
Jacques Smith DE Tennessee Sr 6’2” 243 –– 6th Interesting player that has quickness and strength and looks to knows how to combine them at time at the line of scrimmage. He’s capable of disruptive plays in the backfield and has great closing speed. Inconsistencies are there too. He’s a little short for what the Broncos usually like at DE under Fox. At 6’2” he could be more suited as 3-4 OLB but the Broncos like too these kind of tweener in the Von Miller Joker role. A 6th round could be used if Denver is interested in the player (interview and character concern wise).
Jake Metz DE Shippensburg Sr 6’6” 245 –– 6th – 7th Really interesting small school prospect that looks light for the pro level but completely dominated his level. Has quickness and acceleration plus looks to play with that nasty streak. Could be developed in a 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DE adding weight and power. It would be a really interesting development process, but in my opinion worth a try because this guy really knows how to get to the QB.
Michael Sam DE Missouri rSr 6’2” 261 6th – 7th 6th – 7th High motor player that always wants to finish the play. Has good burst but has problem with bigger Olinemen because of the size. Although has not a bad size he look light, will be asked to bulk up and gain power. Has some quickness and need to work in his pass rushing technique in order to not rely only on his speed. An interesting prospect that looks to brings is A game in any game. Has speed and some quickness, needs to work in lower body strength and technique to not have trouble with NFL bigger linemen
Elhadji Ndiaye DE Nebraska-Kearney rSr 6’4” 243 CFA 7th – CFA A project that could be worth. Has some really good acceleration needs to learn technique and footwork in order to make plays on the NFL. Needs to gain strength and power and grow bigger to be able to fight with the big linemen. Has sense for the football and has the instinct to chase the ball carrier. I like this kind of non-stop motor. Small college nonstop motor kind of player that are really appreciated by the actual Broncos FO (and the previous one BTW, for as bad as it has been). I would like to have him in training camp to evaluate him better against real competition.
Jesse Joseph DE Connecticut rSr 6’3” 262 –– 7th – CFA Interesting football player. He does not show elite speed, acceleration or power in the videos of him I found. Anyhow he has really great awareness and is able to put himself in place to make plays. Against the run he looks to be able to hold his assignment and to chase the ball carrier. He lacks a bit of quickness from the edge to be a good pass rusher. His size is enough the let him be a good candidate foe 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB. Depending on the team needs, he could be a good bet for Denver to groom for 1 year in practice squad in order to let him be stronger and more powerful. He is a football player and I feel more comfortable with him on the team than with the boom or bust players.
Tevin Mims DE South Florida Sr 6’3” 246 7th – CFA 7th – CFA Not a lot of video on him. Shows really good speed and really good pass rush capability overall. Has good size but need to bulk up a bit. Will need to develop his game and adjust to the NFL speed and could be used as pass rusher specialist at the beginning. An interesting development prospect that in the right system could be highly productive. Could be a good addition towards the end of the Draft for a team like the Broncos that could find a gem in Mims
Andy Jennings DE Fresno State Sr 6’2” 275 CFA CFA A little bit of a tweener DT/DE but does not show too much of quickness and power to beat the big guys at the LOS. Still have interesting measurement and could be a i someone training camp and even practice squad, for the film I could see.
Ben Gardner DE Stanford rSr 6’4” 277 7th – CFA CFA Good run stuffer but in the film I saw I didn’t find evidence of power and quickness. Great effort guy chasing down runners but injured (pectoral). UPDATE: put up a big show on Stanford Pro-Day. He project better as 3-4 DE, is stout against the run and has some speed to work with. I think that he’s underrated but a great depth at DE is also to take in consideration. In other drafts prospects like him have been taken in the 3rd round. To me he represents a 2 down Dlineman for the Broncos and is the reason why I have a low grade on him. Still he could be a really nice addition and I think could really compete for a roster spot on the Broncos team as tweener DE-DT.
Cassius Marsh DE UCLA Sr 6’4” 260 5th CFA Not really stout against the run. Tent to be overpowered by bigger linemen after the snap in run plays anyhow he shows capability of disengaging the block and slide away pursuing the ball carrier at times. He shown flashes in the passing game. All in all a player that could be developed but lack a bit of size and power to be  ready for the NFL.
Colby Way DE Buffalo Sr 6’3” 293 7-FA CFA Looks more built for a 3-4 defensive guard, anyhow if undrafted the Broncos could get a look at him as future Mitch Unrein. Looks more built for a 3-4 defensive guard, anyhow if undrafted the Broncos could get a look at him as future Mitch Unrein.
Cole Jirik DE North Dakota State rSr 6’4” 245 CFA CFA Tall player that could use some time at being develop but that can surprise on the long run. Worth a shot. Interesting size and potential combination. High motor that Del Rio usually likes to keep close.
Darryl Cato-Bishop DE North Carolina State rSr 6’3” 266 CFA CFA Sometimes looks to have a relentless motor and in other moment it looks that the Olineman has the best of him erasing him from the play.  Looks to have enough strength but has to use it better and learn technique. Does not possess great quickness but has interesting acceleration. Interesting blend of size and weight. A developmental prospect that could pay dividends becomes a really good rotational player with more technique.
Ed Stinson DE Alabama rSr 6’3” 292 5th – 6th CFA Not yet videos on him Really interesting blend of height and weight, really looks like a developmental replacement for Wolfe or Malik Jackson.
Ethan Westbrooks DE West Texas A&M Sr 6’4” 275 6th – 7th CFA More suited for the 3-4 defense as DE-Guard. He’s strong and powerful, does not show a big deal of explosion after the snap. Try instead to anticipate the Snap the get advantage. Has speed but I don’t appreciate acceleration. For Denver could be interesting only if the coaches believe they could develop him in a pass rushing DT.
Gannon Conway DE Arizona State rSr 6’3” 280 –– CFA Few videos on him. Looks built for 3-4 defense but shows also some speed and acceleration. Could be a project to better distribute his power through his body and let him learn more technique. For the Broncos he could be developed as a Wolfe replacement.
Kerry Hyder DE Texas Tech rSr 6’2” 280 7th CFA Stout 3-technique that needs to improve his technique in order to be able to disengage from Olinemen and has to gain more power to be more disruptive in the front line. Denver could take a look at him and develop him to be a valuable DL tweener in the 4-3 alignment.
Larry Webster DE Bloomsburg rSr 6’6” 240 6th – 7th CFA In the video I saw, he’s not dominating the game, as it could be at his college level. He looks to lack speed and also power. Could be a developmental project that could at the end make him a DT in NFL is he can bulk quite a bit, I quite don’t see  6’6” playing at linebacker and to be a TE is quite another story than playing defense. I don’t buy it. He needs 40 lbs. to become a pass rush skilled DT/DE. Since I see him as a project, I think that CFA is where the Broncos could look at him. Still it’s only January and Webster for sure has three more months to position himself to be drafted.
Lynden Trail DE Norfolk State rJr 6’6” 260 –– CFA He recorded a lot of stats in FCS in 2013 but from the video I could see there was no real evidence of dominance on his play. He has the prototypical size for a NFL tweener DE/OLB but will have to bulk up. He is a transfer from Florida, but I found no indication on the reason why. Denver could give a look as CFA, since he could take some time on developing to be ready for the Pros.
Taylor Hart DE Oregon rSr 6’6” 287 5th – 6th CFA Good run stuffer that looks to have the power to hold the blocks and move laterally to close holes. Does bring almost nothing to the pass rush, lacking speed and explosion at the snap. Has good size but will be asked to add weight and bulk up. Needs to work on his technique, too often allow the Olineman to put his hands on his chest, which he could handle at college level but won’t be the same in the NFL. I’m not this high on him for two reasons: first one he’s a prototypical 3-4 DL, right now a better DE than NT but with time and weigh he could become a reliable NT in the NFL. Second he’s a 2 down dlineman only. He does bring good skills against the run but in this very deep draft at 4-3 DE, I’d prefer the Broncos to look at him in as CFA.
Zach Moore DE Concordia-St. Paul rSr 6’6” 269 CFA CFA Minor school prospect that has great size and had great production and record setting career at Concordia. He could be more successful if adding weight he’d play in a 3-4 DE role. Lack a little of speed to be a pass rusher from the outside. He could be worth a long look in training camp. 6’6” 269 is exactly the type of size Denver looks for Dlinemen. He has some speed and has been completely dominant at his level of competition.
Chris Smith DE Arkansas Sr 6’1” 266 3rd – 4th NO Energetic and dynamic player. He plays quite well both run and pass, but lack quickness and acceleration to be a constant threat in the pass rush and needs to gain more power and strength to become a really good run defender at DE in the NFL. Project better at 3-4 OLB at the next level. Waiting for the Combine, what I saw in the films on him does not convince me that he could be ready to start in the NFL for the Broncos. He could be more interesting  for 3-4 teams
Dee Ford DE Auburn rSr 6’2” 252 1st – 2nd NO Does not have elite quickness. Will need to become more powerful, athletic, has good speed; has good awareness. To me he project well as 3-4 OLB. He does lack size, power and quickness to be a 1st round pass rushing DE.
Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State rJr 6’3” 245 2nd NO Has a good body frame and is doing a good job creating pressure to the QB but lacks the quickness that would allow him to have more sacks. In the running game too many time is being blanketed. His production is remarkable but I cannot see consistency in the play. He’s a prototypical 3-4 OLB. He’d need to change too much in his game to become a reliable rotational pass rusher DE.
Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina Jr 6’5” 274 1st NO His size and athleticism are off the chart. He seems to always find a way to get some degree of pocket penetration at the college level. Still to many time college firepower like him has been blanketed in the running game. Some other time looks to play for him-self alone, not on a team. If I would be the Broncos (and at the time I’m writing now they are preparing for the SB, I would not trade up for him. First because if he’ll fall past the 5th pick will be because seriously injury concern or even more because of attitude/character issues. Second because they will have to trade away too many picks and this year draft is supposed to be pretty deep on overall talent.
Morgan Bresling DE USC Sr 6’2” 250 6th – 7th NO Undersized player that could be asked to become a 3-4 OLB. He has some quickness and burst but could be really in trouble with NFL bigger and athletic offensive tackles in the pass rush being a hands in the ground DE. He could be developed as pass rushing OLB and with patience some really good results could come. As I wrote, I don’t think he fits Broncos defense system.

Prospects I think would fit Broncos scheme perfectly:

Trevor Reilly –> all around player / 1 year development at 3 downs 4-3 MLB;

Brent Urban –> depth at run stopping DE / 1 year development complete DE;

Josh Mauro –> depth at run stopping DE / 1 year development complete DE;

Aaron Lynch –> depth at pass rush DE / 1 year development at starter DE;

IK Enemkpali –> 2 years development at pass rush DE;

Kasim Edebali –> 2 years development at pass rush DE;

Chaz Sutton –> 1 year development at complete DE;

Jake Metz –> 2 years development at complete DE.


Prospects I like:

Kony Ealy –> pass rush specialist / 1 year development to starter at DE;

James Gayle –> pass rush specialist / 2 year development to starter at DE;

Trent Murphy –> Depth at DE / 2 year development at DE starter;

Jacques Smith –> Jocker SOLB depth / 1 year development at pass rusher specialist;

Tevin Mims –> 1 year development at pass rush specialist.

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