NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones
Today we’ll take a look at this year’s defensive end class, with one prospect which could draw New England’s attention being profiled for each round of the draft; availability in each round is determined by FRX‘s prospect rankings, with their FRX values listed as well. Read on to find out who made the cut.
1. Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, Florida St. (FRX: #37 overall prospect, $1,023)
Carradine could have been selected in the top ten or fifteen picks had he not suffered a torn ACL against Florida during the Seminoles’ season finale; nonetheless, he is perhaps the defensive end with the best combination of size, strength, length, explosiveness, and college production. His reaction times are slightly concerning, but his similarities to 2012 first-round pick Chandler Jones should interest the Patriots at #29.
2. Corey Lemonier, Auburn* (FRX: #63 overall prospect, $642)
Lemonier struggled this past season, recording just 5.5 sacks after tallying 9.5 in 2011, but his combination of size, strength, and athleticism could appeal to the Patriots. At 6’4”, 255 pounds and with 34.5” arms, he has ideal size for New England’s scheme, and his workout numbers were among the most impressive among pass rushers in Indianapolis (4.56 second 40, 7.14 cone, 4.40 shuttle, 27 reps on the bench.)
3. John Simon, Ohio St. (FRX: #106 overall prospect, $466)
Having been coached by Urban Meyer this past season, with former Patriot Mike Vrabel as his positional coach, John Simon may appeal to New England despite his lack of prototypical size (6’2”, 257 pounds.) Simon is a relentless pass rusher who plays with power and explosion; the Buckeyes have played him at defensive end, defensive tackle, and as a rusher out of a two-point stance. He could replace Jermaine Cunningham.
4. Michael Buchanan, Illinois (FRX: #138 overall prospect, $438)
Buchanan arrived at Illinois weighing 220 pounds as a freshman, but tipped the scales at 255 pounds in Indianapolis. An incredibly tall prospect at 6’6” with 34” arms, Buchanan’s frame has even more room for development. His short shuttle time (4.44 seconds) left something to be desired, but he timed well in the 40-yard dash (4.71) and three-cone drill (6.91). His production fell off this season after Whitney Mercilus left.
5. David Bass, Missouri Western St. (FRX: #190 overall prospect, $425)
New England doesn’t typically favor small-school prospects, but there is some precedent for such as a selection, as the Patriots drafted Markell Carter out of Central Arkansas during the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Bass was a productive college athlete (39.5 sacks over fifty games) and possesses encouraging size (6’4”, 262 pounds) and athleticism (4.74 in the 40-yard dash, 7.07 cone drill, 4.33 short shuttle.)
6. Walter Stewart, Cincinnati (FRX: #190 overall prospect, #425)
Stewart presents a serious medical risk (he has a congenital spine abnormality) but would be an interesting gamble given his burst off the edge. A tall linebacker convert at 6’4” and with 33” arms, he added thirty pounds over the course of his college career (improving his weight from 216 to 246 pounds) and recorded a total of ten sacks, six forced fumbles, and eighteen tackles for loss over nineteen games as a junior and senior.
7. Kapron Lewis-Moore, Notre Dame (FRX: #190 overall prospect, $425)
The torn ACL Lewis-Moore suffered in the BCS Championship Game could actually work in his favor, as it would prevent him from being forced to beat out some of the defensive linemen currently on roster in the preseason; instead, he could be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list while he gets more acclimated to the NFL. An oversized defensive end who played five-technique at Notre Dame, he offers some positional and schematic versatility.