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Draft Countdown: Top 10 Defensive Ends

Here is a breakdown of the Top 10 defensive ends available in the 2009 NFL Draft ...

1. Brian Orakpo, Texas

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 263 40-Yard: 4.65 Year: 5-Sr.

Scouting Report: Orakpo is an explosive prospect who makes a lot of athletic plays on the field. He offers ability lined up in a three-point stance at defensive end or standing up over tackle at outside linebacker. Orakpo also possesses terrific upside potential, and he is the type of player creative defensive coordinators will place all over the field to take advantage of his ability to disrupt the action.

Grade: First Round

2. Everette Brown, Florida State

Ht: 6-1.5 Wt: 256 40-Yard: 4.65 Year: 4-Jr.

Scouting Report: Brown is an impact defender who creates opportunities for his team by forcing opponents into mistakes. Consistently doubled and the focus of offensive linemen, he takes over games with the ability to beat blockers off the snap and disrupt the action. Brown offers the athleticism and speed to stand up over tackle at outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment, yet he also possesses the growth potential to eventually grow into a defensive end. One of the better defensive prospects in this draft, he should be selected in the top-half of round one and offers a large degree of upside.

Grade: First Round

3. Tyson Jackson, LSU

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 296 40-Yard: 5.03 Year:5-Sr.

Scouting Report: Jackson turned in a dominant season as a sophomore in 2006, yet he has watched his play level off since. He seemingly has all the tools to be a starter at the next level at a number of defensive line spots, including tackle, or as a two-gap end. Jackson plays with a motor that he turns on and off, and all too often, he disappears for stretches. He has early-first-round physical abilities, but his uninspired play the past two years is likely to push him into the late part of the initial frame. If Jackson decides to play on all cylinders at the next level, he'll be a starter for years to come; otherwise, he could turn into a disappointing prospect.

Grade: First or Second Round

4. Aaron Maybin, Penn State

Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 248 40-Yard: 4.72 Year: 3-So.

Scouting Report:Maybin is a sensational athlete who takes over games with his ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. A tough defender with a feisty attitude, he reminds us of former first-round pick John Abraham, now with the Atlanta Falcons. Maybin needs to physically mature and complete his game, yet he offers a large degree of upside for the next level.

Grade: First Round


Texas' Brian Orakpo

5. Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech

Ht: 6-7 Wt: 266 40-Yard: 4.69 Year: Sr.

Scouting Report: Johnson has the size, speed, and skill to be a disruptive defender when he applies himself. He does not play with a sense of urgency, and seemingly gives up on the action, which has led to disappointing productivity on the field. Johnson was graded as one of the top seniors coming into the 2008 season, yet he comes off a year in which more was expected. He's gone from potential top-ten pick into the middle-third of first round, and he comes with no guarantees.

Grade: First or Second Round

6. Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State

Ht: 6-5.5 Wt: 285 40-Yard: 4.76 Year:5-Sr.

Scouting Report: Gilbert is a developing football player who seems to be hitting his stride. He's an impressive physical specimen with a long wingspan and a defensive lineman who could be used at tackle or as a two-gap end. After a terrific senior season, Gilbert went to the East-West game and dominated the opposition before turning in a tremendous combine workout, further improving his stature in the eyes of NFL scouts. He offers a large amount of upside potential, and he will be a force at the next level if he continues to improve his game.

Grade: First or Second Round

7. Robert Ayers, Tennessee

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 272 40-Yard: 4.81 Year:5-Sr.

Scouting Report: Ayers is an athletic defensive line prospect whose game really took off last season. He's consistently making plays up the field, and he was a disruptive force throughout his senior season. Ayers offers starting potential at the next level, and he should only get better the more playing time he receives.

Grade:Second Round

8. Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 266 40-Yard: 4.60 Year: 5-Sr.

Scouting Report: Sidbury has shown great progress in his all-around game the past two years, and he is a pass-rushing terror who creates a lot of havoc up the field. He has the size and skill to line up in a three-point stance in a conventional alignment, or stand up over left tackle in and 3-4 defense. It may be necessary to put him in a system where he's not asked to read and react much, rather a scheme that allows him to pin his ears back and rush up the field.

Grade: Second Round

9. David Veikune, Hawaii

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 257 40-Yard: 4.75 Year: 5-Sr.

Scouting Report: Veikune is an intense prospect who gets the most from his abilities. He's a solid football player who will be productive in the right system or with proper coaching. Veikune may need time to develop at the next level, but he is worth the investment of a top 75 selection.

Grade:Second or Third Round

10. Paul Kruger, Utah

Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 263 40-Yard: 4.84 Year: 3-So.

Scouting Report: Kruger is an intense defender who makes plays against the run, in coverage, and as a pass rusher. Kruger plays with a nasty attitude, yet at the same time, he is a disciplined defender. He's not the finished product, but he offers a large degree of upside potential and is worth the investment of a Top 75 selection.

Grade: Second or Third Round

Profiles provided by Tony Pauline, NFL Draft analyst for and owner of

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