2009 NFL Draft Rankings: DE

1st Ranking 10/13/08 DEFENSIVE ENDS:
1) Michael Johnson- Georgia Tech, Sr- Johnson is incredibly explosive and he is the best pass rusher in the country right now. He is somewhat undisciplined and plays a little bit too upright. I still have him as my top D-End right now.
2) George Selvie- South Florida, Jr- Selvie will have the opportunity to grab the top defensive end spot if he gets healthy. If he doesn’t get healthy soon then he may have to stay for his senior season.
3) Greg Hardy- Ole Miss, Jr- Hardy is a very big guy with solid speed for his size. I don’t see a way he doesn’t declare himself eligible for the draft after this season.
4) Ben Orakpo- Texas, Sr- Orakpo is a big guy with no character issues as of yet. He is a very hard worker and improved greatly in many areas, such as his pass rush, in the off season. He still doesn’t have elite level speed which is what is keeping him behind Selvie and Hardy.
5) Tyson Jackson- LSU, Sr- At this point Jackson is the best run stopping defensive end available. He uses his body very well and is a very solid tackler. With that said, he doesn’t possess the speed or agility needed to get around the tackle in the NFL. His best fit right now is probably to move inside in a 4-3 system.
6) Greg Middleton- Indiana, Jr- Middleton had a breakout year as a sophomore with 16 sacks. He is also a little big to play D-End in the NFL right now, but the difference between Jackson is Middleton is that Middleton has a little more quickness.
7) Matt Shaughnessy- Wisconsin, Sr- This ranking is probably a little too generous considering the injury problems that Shaughnessy has shown the past two years; however, Shaughnessy has the ability to attack the outside or up the middle.
8) Cody Brown- Connecticut, Sr- Brown is a very hard worker and a leader in the locker room, but his size is limiting his NFL potential.
9) Maurice Evans- Penn State, Jr- Character issues are really holding him back right now.
10) Pannel Egboh- Stanford, Sr- Egboh has a lot of potential but he doesn’t seem to have the NFL mindset at this point. If he can get a better understanding of the game he could become a solid NFL pass rusher.

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William DePaoli

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William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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