2009 Defensive End Analysis - Episode 2

Everette Brown, Florida State, JR
Height: 6’4” Weight: 250 Projected 40: 4.6
I love Everette Brown’s production – 20.5 TFL, 12 sacks, 3 FF.  But, he is in the same boat as Selvie – size. I may have been a little harsh with Selvie’s size, but if Selvie and Brown can both get up to 265-270, they have a legitimate chance to start at defensive end for a needy team. Everette Brown may be the best PASS RUSHER available, tied with Selvie. He is relatively ineffective at playing the run when on the line, but has excellent on initial quickness and body control when attacking on a pass rush. He has great moves coming around the outside, and functions well on stunts on the inside, something that other ends in this class may not be able to claim. He may be the best 3-4 tweener available.

Brown has fantastic football instincts and developed pass rushing skills, but lacks strength – he gets manhandled at times and has lots of trouble with tackle tight end double teams. Now, Everette Brown is a junior, but at the rate he is going this year, more than a few teams will be willing to take a shot at a incredibly talented, but possibly undersized player.

As part of the Texans, could he do what we need him to do at defensive end? Rush the passer, yes. Anything else – to be determined. With our current set up at defensive tackle, they will run right at Brown, and he will collapse at the point of attack. Travis Johnson doesn’t deserve a double team, and neither does Amobi, so having a smaller defensive end will be a liability against the run. With some innovative scheming (Defensive coaching? Oh noes!), having a slightly bulked up Brown at the LE position could be an asset to the team, but he needs to be freed up for one on one match ups. Mario already draws double and triple teams, so if a DT could do it as well, then Brown could run around generally less adept right tackles. 

I just watched Everette Brown in the bowl game recently, and all I can say is wow.  He only had 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF, and one QB hurry on the night, but he was there. He was pushing that tackle around and he was in the QB’s face the whole time. His best move was a speed rush with a powerful inside spin – he was throwing the tackle with his spin most of the time. Suffice to say, I was very impressed.

If Everette Brown declares for the 2009 draft, he is a potential low first round, high second round pick.

Greg Hardy, Ole Miss, JR
Height: 6’5” Weight: 265 Projected 40: 4.69
Greg Hardy has the skills – he can be an absolute terror to QBs when he wants to. The problem is, when does he want to? He has the most hot and cold streaks of any DE in CFB. As a sophomore, he had 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, and was projected as an absolute lock for the first round. He did that while missing two games! He has great size and strength, and great moves around the edge, with the benefit of being able to fight double teams. He also has the size on his frame to add some more weight, which could be pretty good for him.

One of the major problems with Hardy, other than the questions on his motor, is his durability. He missed 3 games at the beginning of the year with an ankle injury, and he has been nicked up a lot. The games he missed during his ridiculous sophomore season? Violating team rules. He will be drafted anywhere between the first and third round, depending on how many GM’s want to gamble on an injury prone and possibly unmotivated player if he comes out this year, but could go top 15 next year if he picks up his reliability and stays healthy.

He could be a good fit for the Texans if he gets his act together. Hell, he would be a good fit for almost any 4-3 team needing a pass rushing DE if he gets his act together, so we will see what he does. My bet is he gets his report back from the NFL Advisory Committee that says, “Possible 2nd – 3rd” and he stays in school for another year, but he’s one of the most talented on the board, so that’s why he’s here.

Tyson Jackson, LSU, SR
Height: 6’5” Weight: 290 Projected 40: 4.85
Tyson Jackson is a big man. Sized perfectly to play end in a 3-4 scheme, he has been a dominating run stopper for the Tigers this year. He had 8.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks, so he is not necessarily going to be a phenomenal pass rusher in the NFL. Long arms and great strength help him crush blockers at the point of attack, and bats down lots of balls due to above-average football instincts. He has under developed pass rushing skills, utilizing essentially a bull rush and trying to disengage or rip off, or trying a kind of slow spin move. He has been injury-free his entire career, and can play DT at the college level in a pinch. He could definitely move inside on passing downs for a lot of teams at the next level.

Jackson has had some questions on his motivation though. He occasionally gives up on plays and is questioned by some analysts on his desire. His coaches say he is one of the undisputed leaders on defense, so we will find out. Another question is whether or not his skills are capped out, as he has had almost the exact same stats from his sophomore to his senior year.

I feel Jackson would be a bad pick for the Texans. He’s a great run stopper, but what I feel would be more beneficial would be a mediocre run stopper and a great pass rusher. He has great size and strength, and I think he would be a perfect fit for San Diego, who is looking to replace Igor Olshansky this offseason.

And your BONUS DE for the night is…
2010 prospect Carlos Dunlap
6’7”, 290lbs, runs a 4.63…. sounds awfully familiar. Oh yeah, those are similar to the college measurable of the BEST DEFENSIVE END IN FOOTBALL.
This sophomore phenom from Florida is well… phenomenal. Coming off a decent freshman season, Carlos went all terrorist and blew up on the college football scene. 35 tackles, 12 TFL, 9 sacks, 6 hurries, 1 pass BU, 1 FF, and 2(!) blocked kicks. Not bad for a sophomore. He has incredible reach and does god work with his hands on lineman. He is stupid fast for his size, and has great body control to go with it. The scary part about him is he could get bigger if he wanted to. There isn’t a whole lot of information on this kid now, but look for number 8 in the championship game, and see if maybe the Texans should wait until the absolutely stacked defensive line class of 2010 to chase their blue chip DE.

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