Top Defensive End Prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft

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13. Wes Horton, USC, 6’5″ 260 (Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

14. James Brooks, Arizona State, 6’5″ 272 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

15. Alex Okafor, Texas, 6’4″ 258 (Junior)

16. Frank Alexander, Oklahoma, 6’3″ 260 (Senior)

17. Nathan Williams, Ohio State, 6’3″ 260 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

18. Malik Jackson, Tennessee, 6’5″ 270 (Senior)

Big, strong defensive line prospect who emerged last year with five sacks, six tackles for loss, four passes broken up, an interception, and five quarterback hurries. Jackson can play both inside at defensive tackle and at defensive end for the Vols, but he has the size and abilities of a five technique in a 3-4 defensive scheme. His skill-set is not unlike that of Cam Jordan at Cal, and he has the frame to add some weight and become a force at the end position in the NFL. If he sticks in a 4-3 scheme, he could be used as a power end in the base defense and kick inside to tackle in nickel or dime situation. Transferred to Tennessee from USC with Lane Kiffin (who is obviously no longer there) where he was a 245 pound end, so he obviously has added some bulk to his frame already. Should be primed for a breakout season as Tennessee’s top defensive lineman this year.

19. Jack Crawford, Penn State, 6’5″ 256 (Senior)

Crawford must have more sacks in his senior season in order to be drafted.  While he has good size (6’5″ 248) he has not translated that size into pass rushing success, having only 7 sacks and 13 TFL in his career.  He only had 2 sacks in his junior season, so that is a cause for concern. (Analysis by Nick Hlebichuk, Big Ten Nation)

20. Ryan Van Bergen, Michigan, 6’6″ 283 (Senior)

Van Bergen was also a bright spot on the defense last season.  He was one of the few players that could get pressure on the opposing QB, and with his 6’6″ frame, has the potential to be an even more dynamic player as he develops further.  While he is not as NFL ready as Mike Martin is, he has the potential to be a better playmaker in the NFL since he has better size.  I expect to see him go in the late 3rd round or early 4th round next April. (Nick Hlebichuk)

(Ace Anbender, below)

Van Bergen is another Wolverine defender whose draft stock has likely taken a hit thanks to the team’s poor performance and lack of solid (or just lack of, period – Greg Robinson is somewhat of a persona non grata around these parts) defensive coaching. Van Bergen has great size for a defensive end, but on a razor-thin Michigan squad, he’s bounced between DE and DT for much of his career as the team desperately tried to find a scheme and personnel that didn’t completely suck (they failed, hence the new coaching staff). Because of this, it’s tough to get a handle on Van Bergen’s NFL prospects – or even how good he is as a college player – but he’s been a standout in the weight room and posted decent stats (90 tackles, 15 TFLs, and nine sacks in 26 career starts – 14 at DE, 12 at DT). He does tend to disappear for stretches, but it’s difficult to assess whether that’s his own fault or an issue of circumstance – on top of RVB’s position switches, Michigan’s back seven has been atrocious these past two years, and it’s certainly hurt the production of the front four. Now that Michigan is committed to the 4-3 under and RVB is back at his natural position at DE, his numbers could make a leap that catches the attention of scouts and make him a later-round pick.

21. Cameron Meredith, Nebraska, 6’4″ 260 (Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

22. Julian Miller, West Virginia, 6’4″ 260 (Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

23. Brandon Harold, Kansas State, 6’5″ 258 (Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

24. Cam Johnson, Virginia, 6’4″ 265 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**