Last week John Elway in an interview on KOA 850, lifted our spirits with the news that we're okay at the defensive end position. Listening to that broadcast brought back a fond memory of a song the Temptations put out during the Vietnam war - "Smiling Faces". Some of you are probably too young to know what the song was about, but for me, it was the political machine feeding the media lies and untruths to support their agenda. From the 2nd verse, it goes like this -
"smiling faces sometimes, They don't tell the truth, uh Smiling faces, smiling faces Tell lies and I got proof"
It may seem devious or deceitful to lie, but in any kind of business stretching the truth is better than spilling all you know, that is, if you really want to succeed. And, that is exactly what John Elway intends to do, whether we like it or not - He's a liar! Yep, and the kind of man I would love to hang out with and talk football philosophy, beacuse I know he could teach me a lot...
When Elway said that we were set at the DE position, he was merely shifting the attention away from what is real and what isn't. Believe it if you want that Robert Ayers is the starting RDE, because he is at the moment. Elway didn't lie in that respect, he told the truth - Sort of. He isn't going to come out and say - "Yeah, losing Dumervil was devastating and hurt our defense tremendously", that wouldn't be very smart letting your feelings be known to the rest of the league, it would undo everything you planned to do, and undermine the whole draft from the top to the bottom. We're drafting a defensive end! Bank on it, count on it, believe it, there will be a DE high upon our draft board ready to be called out on draft day.
The problem for us fans is ... Who will that player be (at least for me)? What round will we pick him in? First of all, before we begin, I think we will draft a defensive tackle, too. That's another question we can beat around, and I have my thoughts on that as well. We've talked to DT Jordan Hill, Penn St., Kwame Geathers, GA., and TJ Barnes, Georgia Tech. Two big fellas in Barnes and Geathers, and one shorter/smaller Hill (6'1 1/4" 303lbs). He was a busy guy last year with 65 tackles, 4.5 sacks. I could see us taking Sylvester Williams at 28 if available, or John Jenkins at 58. The fact that John Fox has never taken a DT in the first round has it's reasons. What, we can only speculate, but be assured my friends, the Johns will take one in the first if he's the right one.
I have used Drafttek.com for each player's draft position and will set each not only 43 DEs but 34 OLBs for discussion. For I feel that some OLBs are miss cast because they came from 34 defensive schemed schools.
First Round -
DE Bjoern Werner, FSU 6'3 266 lbs.
OLB/DE Dion Jordan, UO 6'6 248 lbs.
DE Eziekiel Ansah, BYU 6'5 271 lbs.
DE Datones Jones, UCLA 6'4 283 lbs.
DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M 6'4 260 lbs.
OLB/DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU 6'4 241 lbs.
DE Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, FSU 6'4 276 lbs.
Out of this group, I think Werner, Jordan, Ansah, Mingo, and Jones have a great chance of being gone by the time we pick at 28. That leaves Damontre Moore, and Cornellius Carradine. I would take Tank Carradine over Moore. I have questions with Moore's work ethics - Carradine is the better athlete, has better work ethics, and is a better character.
Second Round -
DE Sam Montgomery, LSU 6'3 262 lbs.
DE Alex Okafor, Texas 6'4 264 lbs.
DE Corey Lemonier, Auburn 6'3 255 lbs.
DE/OLB Jamie Collins, Southern Miss. 6'3 250 lbs.
Montgomery had a solid but not great Combine workout. He has long arms (33 3/4") and decent hamd size (9 1/4"). Lemonier has good arm length (34.5") and hands (10 1/4"). He had a better Combine than Montgomery. Alex Okafor has better game tape than his workouts show. He has probably the best moves to the quarterback than any of this class. Collins is flat out an athlete and is portrayed as a OLB, and will probably get drafted by a 34 team. I liked his play I watched.
Third Round -
DE/OLB Cornelius Washington, 6'4 265 lbs.
DE William Golston, Mich St. 6'6 281 lbs.
DE Michael Buchanan, Illinois 6'5 255 lbs.
DE Margus Hunt, SMU 6'7 277 lbs.
Washington was cast as a LBer for the first part of his career. He is very strong and fast. He does need work on technigue. Golston will probably get drafted as a 34 DE with his size. Not real fast, but shows some athleticism. Buchanan will be fun to watch. He has good length to add weight and some quickness. Another project. What can you say about Hunt, but beastly. Technically not sound, but is a quick learner who could have a great career in any scheme.
Fourth Round -
DE Devin Taylor, South Carolina 6'7 266 lbs.
DE John Simon, Ohio St. 6'1 257 lbs.
DE Lavar Edwards, LSU 6'4 268 lbs.
Taylor is a favorite of mine, not only as a football player but as a human being. Very quick and uses his hands to shed blocks well. Long arms and length to add weight and strength. Simon is a workout warrior who is a little shorter than you would want for your speed DE, but he is quick and very strong. Edwards may surprise some in a couple of years. Good length with long (35") arms. Ran a 4.77 at his Proday with 21 reps on the bench.
Fifth Round -
DE David Bass, Southern Missouri 6'4 264 lbs.
DE Stansly Maponga, TCU 6'2 252 lbs.
DE Joe Kruger, Utah 6'6 269 lbs.
DE Malliciah Goodman, Clemson 6'4 276 lbs.
DE Brandon Jenkins, FSU 6'2 251 lbs.
David Bass has been sliding under the radar and is another sleeper. 39.5 sacks (not a miss print) over his 51 games played 47 started. Durable. Maponga is looking like a 34 OLB too me. Kruger is talented like his brother, but will need a lot of developing before he has a chance to meet Paul's numbers. Goodman has the size, but lacks the athleticism to match. His 36 3/4" arms can help him at the next level. Jenkins is a top 20 prospect with a Lisfrac injury to his foot. Some protray him a better 34 OLB, but I think he has the athleticism to play both. Take a chance on him and you might be the talk of the town.
Sixth Round -
DE Eric Martin, Nebraska 6'2 250 lbs.
DE Armonty Bryant, East Central (OK) 6'3 263 lbs.
DE Walt Stewart, Cincinnati 6'4 246 lbs.
Seventh Round -
DE Craig Roh, Michigan 6'4 280 lbs.
DE Wes Horton, USC 6'5 265 lbs.
DE Tremayne Scott, Ohio 6'3 257 lbs.
DE Quanterus Smith, Western Kentucky 6'5 250 lbs.
DE Brad Madison, Missouri 6'4 270 lbs.
DE John Youboty, Temple 6'4 258 lbs.
There's a lot of beef right there. It will be interesting to watch how all these kids pan out over the years. Some will be stars, some will be good players, and some will fade into oblivion. I thought it would be fun playing - who the DE we draft will be for each round.