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Defensive End Prospects that may interest the Broncos

Could the Broncos draft a replacement for Elvis Dumervil?

Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

With Elvis Dumervil signing with the Ravens, the Broncos are down one pass rusher. Dwight Freeney or John Abraham is expected to sign with the Broncos soon, but John Elway and company might decide they need to draft a guy as well. Lets take a look at some of the Defensive end prospects in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft

  • Bjoern Werner, Florida State: Height: 6-3. Weight: 266. Arm: 33.28. 40 Time: 4.83.

STRENGTHS: Werner has good get-off quickness and bend to beat blockers off the snap. Natural instincts and upside makes him an attractive pass-rushing prospect for teams selecting in the top five. Still developing, with a high ceiling, but already shows outstanding football awareness, reading the ballcarrier and batting down passes at the line of scrimmage. Strong hands to win the edge and get around blockers, using his body strength and feet to flatten to the pocket.

WEAKNESSES: Lacks elite length for the position and doesn't have the natural start/stop explosion of some pass rushers. Will lose leverage at times, especially off the snap when he gets too high out of his stance. Has improved his awareness against the run, but still has room to improve his ability to sift through the trash and defeat off-balance blocks.

Motor tends to run hot/cold at times, especially late in games or if the play isn't to his side of the field. Needs to consistently finish when he gets his hands on the ballcarrier. Has a history of minor injuries, including a left hand issue that bothered him this past season.

COMPARES TO: Chris Long, DE, St. Louis Rams - Both have a combination of quickness and strength combined with a nonstop motor to consistently pressure the pocket off the edge.

--Dane Brugler


My Take:

Werner is a guy i really like. Has a non-stop motor and has great strength and quickness. He's more than just a pass rusher too. He's a solid run stopper and has the ability and awareness to swat passes down. Werner has developed a top football IQ, great awareness and instincts to go along with his athleticism. Werner has been mocked all over the board in the first round. I believe he'll be a top 20 pick with a good chance to be selected much earlier. I doubt he will be there for the Broncos at 28 unfortunately

  • Damontre Moore, Texas A&M: Height: 6-4. Weight: 250. Arm Length 34 3/4. 40 Time: 4.95.
STRENGTHS: Possesses a lean, lanky build with plenty of room for additional muscle mass. Flashes a quick first step off the snap. Has long, strong arms and uses his hands well to defeat blocks. Generates impressive speed off the edge, including a late burst to close. Good flexibility to dip under the tackle's reach and has the long arms to keep his opponent from grabbing a hold of him. Lines up in a variety of spots and is capable of beating defenders with his quickness, as well as bull rush and a complimentary spin move that he'll use to slip inside or outside. Improving strength as a run defender. Generally does a nice job of sealing off the edge to keep his containment responsibilities. Locates the ball well and pursues with passion. Closes on the ballcarrier quickly and shows good strength for the drag-down tackle. Rips away at the ball when he can, showing the ability to force fumbles (8 over three seasons). Developing use of hands to get into passing windows and when rushing kickers, blocking two kicks in 2012. Showed surprising awareness, lateral agility and straight-line speed when asked to drop back into coverage.

WEAKNESSES: Inconsistent get-off at the snap and does not appear to have elite explosiveness, overall. Remains a work in progress in terms of getting his hands up as a pass defender, posting only two pass breakups in 2012. Has a tendency to allow his pad level to get too high when in run support and can be knocked back off the ball because of it. Makes a disproportionate number of his tackles five yards downfield due to his hustle and isn't the consistently dominant defender his statistics might indicate.

COMPARES TO: John Abraham, DE, Atlanta Falcons -- Like the Falcons' perennial Pro Bowler, Moore has the potential to rank among the league's top pass rushers whether as a classic 4-3 defensive end or as a stand-up pass rusher out of the 3-4.

My Take:
Damontre Moore has been free falling it looks. Moore was considered a top 5-10 pick a month ago, but poor workouts and interviews have hurt his stock. However the tape doesn't lie. Moore was a stud for the Texas A&M defense. He could be a bargin for the Broncos in the first round. Pairing him with former teammate Von Miller could be good for Moore.

  • Alex Okafor, Texas : Height: 6-4. Weight: 261. Arm: 33 1/8. Hand: 9. 40 Time: 4.78.
STRENGTHS: Displays strong hand play, chopping away at his opponents' attempts to get their hands on his chest or using an effective arm-over swim move to slip by them. High-revving motor. Arrived at the Senior Bowl leaner. Good overall athlete. Most impressive attribute is his power. Okafor can knock opponents onto their heels on his way to the quarterback and also sets the edge nicely as a run defender. Okafor's ability to make plays against the run and pass makes him arguably the most well-rounded senior defensive end in the country.

WEAKNESSES: Has the body of a classic RDE speed rusher but the game better suited to playing the left side as a run-defender. Lacks quick-twitch burst and isn't a speed rusher, as indicated by the fact that Texas initially lined him up at defensive tackle. Slightly stiff upper body demonstrated by his struggles in changing directions, making him a better candidate to remain as a defensive end rather than dropping back into coverage, as he was occasionally also asked to do at Texas. Came in lighter than expected at the Senior Bowl at 261 pounds. Was arrested in May 2012 for "failure to obey," though the charges were later dropped.

COMPARES TO: Ray Edwards, DE, ex-Atlanta Falcons -- A team expecting Okafor to become a lightning-quick speed edge rusher will be disappointed. However, his strength, length and high effort could make him a fine addition as a left defensive end capable of holding up against the run and proving a solid supplemental pass rusher.

--Rob Rang

My Take:
I like Okafor, but i do not believe he will give the Broncos the pass rusher they need to replace Dumervil. I see Okafor more of a Robert Ayers than a pass rusher. He's a solid run defender and is more a right defensive end than a left. The Johns could disagree with me and i would be okay with that. Okafor is a solid prospect.

  • Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, Florida State : Height: 6'4" Weight: 276lbs. Arm Length: 34 3/4. Hands: 10 1/4.
STRENGTHS Carradine flashes explosion off the snap to challenge the lateral agility of right tackles, and can swipe them away with strong hands to slingshot into the pocket. He also plays with the leverage of a shorter player, brings a strong initial punch to bull lesser tackles off the ball, and simply shoves tight ends away like ragdolls in the run game. There’s certainly no issue with his motor, as he will hustle to the sideline if the play can be made.

WEAKNESSES: Though Carradine shows most all of the physical attributes teams covet in a defensive end, his lack of experience is a negative. And if he isn’t on the field for any extended period of time in 2012, it might be tough for scouts to give him a starter’s grade because they don’t know what his level of stamina against better competition.


My Take:
My favorite prospect in this years draft. He did tear his ACL in late November, but was having a very good year up to that point. Reports are that Carradine is almost 100% and expects to work out for teams April 20th, 5 days before the draft. So his stock is very hard to gauge right now. If healthy Carradine would figure to be a top 5-10 pick. He is a one year wonder however, and some people are scared off because of that. He has the strength, athleticism, motor, size/frame coaches covet in their defensive ends. He can play either defensive end spot and can shift inside on nickel downs. I would love for the Broncos to be able to get this guy.