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NFL Draft Rankings: Defensive Ends

Frank Coyle's analysis of the class:

This is an outstanding class of senior defensive ends that improved significantly with underclassmen added this postseason.


Several well developed senior prospects make this a strong group that will play a key role in the NFL Draft '08 with many early selections especially Chris Long who grades out as a top three pick.

Several key juniors including Calais Campbell, Vernon Gholston, Derrick Harvey and Phillip Merling make this a special class and the strength of the entire player process.

2008 NFL Draft Defensive End Rankings
1. Chris Long, 6-4, 285, Virginia
A relentless performer, Long has the total package and is coming off a dominant senior season. He turned in a tremendous workout at the NFL Combine.
2. * Vernon Gholston, 6-4, 260, Ohio St.
This athletic junior defender is a force from the outside where he has played both up and down over his short college career. He was one of the stars of the NFL Combine with a monster overall effort.
3. * Derrick Harvey, 6-4, 250, Florida
An explosive edge pass rusher, Harvey has the burst from the outside to make game-changing plays. He is a fast-rising prospect coming off of a good combine effort.
4. * Calais Campbell, 6-7, 280, Miami
Campbell has the size and athletic ability to become an elite NFL defender with some development. He had a good final workout.
5. * Phillip Merling, 6-5, 270, Clemson
A big, mobile end, Merling has been a force in the ACC over the past three seasons and improves a good class of edge pass rushers. He did not work out at the Combine due to a groin injury that jeopardizes his mini camp participation.
6. Quentin Groves, 6-4, 255, Auburn
Groves is an athletic outside pass rusher who finished with a strong 2007 season. He impressed further at the NFL Combine and is making a move into the first round discussion.
7. Cliff Avril, 6-3, 250, Purdue
A versatile athlete, Avril is a "'tweener" who helped his cause at the NFL Combin and continues to rise up the charts.
8 Lawrence Jackson, 6-4, 260, USC
Jackson had a strong finish to his collegiate career, and he continued to elevate his ranking with his Senior Bowl performance.
9. Jason Jones, 6-5, 270, Eastern Michigan
Jones is an intriguing athlete who shined at the Senior Bowl and left a strong impression with NFL scouts.
10. Chris Ellis, 6-4, 260, Virginia Tech
Ellis is a fast rusher off the edge and has shown the ability to get into the backfield and make plays.
11. Kendal Langford, 6-5, 275, Hampton
12. Kenny Iwebema, 6-4, 265, Iowa
13. * Johnny Dingle, 6-2, 265, West Virginia
14. Jonal Saint-Dic , 6-2, 250, Michigan State
15. Jeremy Thompson, 6-4, 265, Wake Forest
16. Louis Holmes, 6-4, 265, Arizona
17. Tommy Blake, 6-3, 270, Texas Christian
18. Ervin Baldwin, 6-2, 270, Michigan St.
19. Bryan Mattison, 6-3, 270, Iowa
20. Marcus Dixon, 6-4, 295, Hampton
21. Curtis Gatewood, 6-2, 245, Vanderbilt
22. Jeremy Geathers, 6-2, 255, UNLV
23. Brian Johnston, 6-4, 270, Gardner-Webb
24. Angelo Craig, 6-4, 250, Cincinnati
25. Eric Foster , 6-2, 275, Rutgers

QB | RB | WR | TE | FB | OT | OG | C | DE | DT | ILB | OLB | CB | FS | SS | K/P

Frank Coyle is a nationally known NFL scout who publishes Draft Insiders' Digest and www.draftinsiders.com. In it's 16th season, Draft Insiders' Digest is dedicated to year-round coverage of NFL and NCAA Football. He covers the NFL Draft and free agency extensively with a veteran scouting staff that provides insightful and unique information on players and team potential in the coming seasons. Draft Insiders' Digest is an extensive publication that produces 15 issues throughout the year and a Draft Yearbook with over 450 in-depth scouting reports.

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