Published on 04-10-2013 02:03 PM
2013 Defensive End/3-4 Outside Linebacker Rankings
The NFL game has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Shifting from an old school style of running the football and stopping the run to wide open aerial attacks where defenses focus on confusing and attacking the Quarterback. The game is becoming more about speed than power, but oddly enough, the players are getting bigger and stronger while also being much faster. The defensive end position has gone through similar changes. From run stoppers, to situational pass rushers, to players who play end on 1st and 2nd down only kick inside to rush as a DT on 3rd down, defensive edge players have many styles and schematic responsibilities.
My Defensive End-3-4 Outside Linebacker rankings are made up of 3 different lists. My top 4-3 DE's, 3-4 DE's, and 3-4 OLB's. There are some situations where players have a spot on multiple lists, Ziggy Ansah could actually have a spot on all 3, but I kept each player in the scheme that I believe they fit best. I also did not include any of the draft eligible defensive tackles in my rankings even though the majority of them could fit into a 3-4 scheme at defensive end.
4-3 Defensive Ends
1. Bjeorn Werner - 6'3 266 lbs Florida State
42 tackles, 18.0 tackles for loss, 13.0 sacks
Doesn't offer a wide variety of pass rush moves, focuses mainly on initial quickness and power. Uses hands well to disengage from lineman. Deceptively athletic with the ability to dip his shouler and bend around tackles.
Sets the edge well and is rarely caught out of position. Diagnoses and reacts very well to the ball and makes plays down the line or in the backfield. Is a physical and tough run defender at the point of attack. Plays with a natural strength power and leverage.
Has deceptive quickness, but lacks the explosiveness to consistently get around the edge to the QB. Shows good lateral quickness and moves down the line very well.
Has a non-stop motor. An excellent tackler who can make a big hit. Has decent foot speed and is an under-rated OLB prospect. Gives great effort in his backside pursuit.
The highest "floor" of any DE available in the draft, but his "ceiling" is not quite as high as your typical top 20 DE prospect. Werner will be able to start immediately at either defensive end position in a 4-3 defense. Doesn't differ greatly from Ryan Kerrigan as an OLB prospect but it's not a perfect fit. NFL Comparison: Jared Allen DE Minnesota Vikings
2. Ezekial "Ziggy" Ansah - 6'5 270 lbs BYU
62 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks
Raw. Relentless as a pass rusher. Has shown the ability to split double teams. Doesn't offer much in terms of dipping his shoulder and bending the corner. Pure power guy. Loses the technique battle when