Defensive ends are one of the classic NFL positions that date back to the leather helmets and missing teeth days. Some examples are Reggie White, Carl Eller, Deacon Jones, Ed “too tall” Jones, and even the 5 time Super Bowl champion Charles Haley. This defensive end class of 2018 has a little of everything. It has its premier top alpha males that will be day 1 starters in the NFL, the ends that have nice tape and still need a little bit of coaching, and then just pure raw talent that needs to be trained from a stallion to a war horse.
1. Bradley Chubb – If there was a picture of a perfect edge rusher coming into the NFL in the dictionary, it is Chubb. There’s simply no negatives that I can find towards him. He already has developed pass rush moves that could beat NFL offensive tackles even before being drafted. Has very heavy hands to throw off offensive tackles balance with ease. He has a motor that doesn’t quit any time and a tenacity that is going to carry to the next level nicely. Von Miller even said “Chubb is a mix of Khalil Mack and myself”, which is nice coming from a pro bowler and Super Bowl Champion defensive end.
2. Marcus Davenport – Long and Bulky EDGE player that seems to be getting bigger and faster every year. From Davenports sophomore season to his senior season at UTSA, he added on 30 pounds of pure muscle and the guy still runs 4.58 second 40 yard dash. At 6’6″ 265 pounds he is a guy that draws a comparison to Jadeveon Clowney or DeMarcus Ware. Davenport is seen as a flash play guy and didnt have the crazy stats that jump out at you. That’s why he has a ton of upside that just needs some good coaching.
3. Harold Landry – So Landry lost a year in 2017 due to injury, but healed up just in time for the NFL combine and boy did he put in a show! 4.64 40 yard dash and a 3 feet vertical jump. He is a bit undersized going one on one with offensive linemen. but he has that quick twitch and fluidity in his hips to dip down to get the angle speed rush. He can be viewed as an outside linebacker in the NFL, but he plays best with his hand in the dirt having his hips down with that burst.
4. Lorenzo Carter – Once an afterthought in Georgia reemerged in his last season in 2017. He regained draft prospect status being a menace in the backfield. Stats don’t jump off the sheet at anybody mainly because the Bulldogs had Carter playing basically 4 positions of outside linebacker, inside linebacker, defensive end, and even nickel because lateral speed. Carter has sideline to sideline speed that can chase down wide receivers and running backs with ease. His talent is there, it just needs to be honed and polished.
5. Josh Sweat – One of a few young stars that helped brighten a bad Florida State defense. Sweat was in the backfield a bit with 56 tackles and 12.5 tackles for a loss. He has a long athletic frame that was used specifically to snare up running backs and wide receivers with his extremely long arms. He’s very fluid in his hips and is able to drop into coverage with the accelerating speed he possesses as well. Will need to be developed and coached right out of the gate to unlock the hidden pass rush he has shown time and again.