Player, Pos, Team Height Weight Draft Grade
01 Jadeveon Clowney DE, South Carolina 6'5" 272 A 7.5c Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Jadeveon Clowney - Defensive End - South Carolina

Many in the draft analyst community including myself have written up Clowney as one of the best players in America. Unfortunately, he did not live up to his reputation in this game.

The first thing that jumped out at me was that Clowney was not in game shape. In fairness, Clowney has missed a good portion of preseason practice with an undisclosed injury…it showed! After just a couple of series he looked exhausted. We saw flashes of what he can do but it was not a consistent down after down performance. I don’t know what the official stats were but I had Clowney down for 3 tackles, 1 assisted tackle and 2 quarterback pressures. Clowney was not as explosive off the ball as I have seen him in the past and he rarely used moves. He showed a bull rush a few times and used an arm over move often but I didn’t see counter moves more than a couple of times. Where he was best was in pursuit where he showed his speed and competitive nature. His lack of conditioning showed up in long series, though. He would start off some series playing hard but by the end of that series his effort slacked off. He seemed to pick and choose when he wanted to play hard.

Overall, I am not going to downgrade Clowney off of one average game because I have seen too much excellent tape from the last two years. Still, it’s a red flag so to speak.

02 Kony Ealy DE, Missouri 6'5" 275 A 6.8 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

A few years ago, when Missouri announced it was going to leave the Big 12 to play in the SEC, I felt the school was making a mistake. From a personnel and recruiting standpoint, I thought the Tigers just didn't have the talent to compete with the best in the SEC.

Oh, how I was wrong.

Not only is Missouri competing, the school is competing for SEC Championships. The reason being is that they have the athletes both on the defensive line and at the skill positions to play with the best teams in the SEC. Last year, Missouri had defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who ended up being a first-round selection with the Jets and is quickly becoming one of the better young defensive linemen in the NFL. This year, their top defensive lineman is junior DE Kony Ealy, who is entering the draft early and come May, should be a first-round draft pick.

Kony Ealy - Defensive End - Missouri

Kony EalyEaly notched 9.5 sacks for the Tigers in 2013.

Ealy is a fourth-year junior and a two-year starter for the Tigers at left defensive end. Coming out of high school, Ealy was an undersized defensive end (approximately 230 pounds), but was still rated as a 4-star recruit and had offers from schools such as Georgia Tech, Nebraska and Mississippi. Ealy redshirted his first year and was a role player during his second season. As a starter in 2012, he had 37 total tackles including 3.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. This past season, Ealy had a breakout year with 43 total tackles, 9.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. When you take into account the fact that Missouri rotates their defensive linemen, those are outstanding stats. When Ealy is in the game, his athleticism and hustle jump out on tape.

Ealy has good defensive end size at about 6050 - 275 with good arm length. He is a very good athlete with speed, body control and change of direction. He plays fast and looks as if he will run in the 4.68 range. He has excellent snap reaction and a very good first step. As a run defender, Ealy is good. He has the strength and power to hold the point and uses his hands to shed blocks. He makes a lot of pursuit plays and does a fairly good job versus the inside run. While Ealy can be inconsistent versus the outside run, the reason is that he's a bit undisciplined and tends to get caught inside. He needs to play contain better and not allow himself to be hook blocked.

Where Ealy excels is as a pass rusher. He is explosive off the ball and has a variety of moves. He can make a quick step outside and then counter and come back across his opponent's face to get inside pressure. He also has the speed and bend to edge rush, dip his inside shoulder and burst to the quarterback. Ealy's burst off a block to the quarterback is excellent. While he is not a real big guy, he has explosive power through his hips and can bull rush with effectiveness.

Overall, Ealy possesses the integral trait that NFL teams covet: He can rush the passer. He is best suited to play as a 4-3 defensive end, but most of the 3-4 clubs will work him out as a linebacker and if he proves to be able to drop into coverage, he will have high value to those organizations as well. From an athletic viewpoint I see no reason why he can't play on his feet. He has the bend and hip flexibility needed to drop.

Don't be surprised to hear Ealy's name mentioned a lot in the weeks leading up to the draft. He is an impressive player.

Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggabe

03 Stephon Tuitt DE, Notre Dame 6'5" 303 A 6.8x Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Stephon Tuitt – Defensive Tackle

Tuitt is a third-year junior and a two-year starter. He played as a backup his true freshman year. He usually plays as the five-technique in Notre Dame’s 3-4 scheme. When they go to a four-man front on passing downs he lines up both inside and outside.

Tuitt has excellent five-technique size at about 6060, 323 pounds with very long arms. In 2012, he played at closer to 312 and looked quicker and more athletic than he did this year. Following the 2012 season, Tuitt had surgery to repair a sports hernia, and because of that, he entered the 2013 season a bit overweight and out of shape. That showed in his play during the early part of the season. There are some close to the Notre Dame program that will tell you that Tuitt was not the best when it came to attacking rehab.

Despite his size, Tuitt has very good straight line quickness and speed. It would not shock me to see him run in the 4.78 – 4.80 range at the Combine. I'm concerned that despite having speed and quickness, he is also tight in his knees and hips. His body control and change of direction are average compared to his speed. Tuitt plays tall and can have some trouble clearing piles when moving laterally in traffic. It’s surprising how many times you see him lose his balance and end up on the ground during the course of a game. Still, he flashes big play ability. In 2012, he had an 80+ yard interception return for a TD, and this year, had a diving interception for a TD vs Michigan. He can come up with some "wow" plays every game. The problem is, for every top play, there are too many where he does nothing. Tuitt is not what I would call an "every down" competitor.

Against the run, Tuitt can be stout. Though he can play tall, he is very strong and can hold the point. He flashes quick shed ability and shows he can make plays for loss or at the line of scrimmage. If he has the angle, he can make some pursuit plays. You just don’t see enough of them. As a pass rusher he, again, flashes. Tuitt almost always takes an outside charge or bull rush. If he can beat his opponent with his first step, he has a good outside charge. Because he lacks top bend, you don’t see him show the ability to lower his shoulder and get under his opponent. The other thing you don’t see is counter moves. I have rarely seen him redirect and try to come back across his opponents face. He is very good as a bull rusher because of his power and shows he can walk a tackle back to the QB.

Tuitt has some athletic limitations, but he is still very talented. He would be best as a five-technique at the next level but, he may also be a capable 4-3 tackle. He may even be able to play left end in some 4-3 schemes. What Tuitt has to do is develop down-after-down consistency and learn to play with bend. After the 2012 season, I would have bet that he was going to be a top pick when he came out, but the 2013 season was a disappointment to me. He did not play up to his ability. Still, at the defensive tackle position, many teams look at the talent and not the consistency. For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him taken as high as 20 or as low as 40. He will be an interesting guy to track as a pro.

04 Scott Crichton DE, Oregon State 6'3" 263 A 6.7 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

05 Trent Murphy DE, Stanford 6'5" 261 A 6.6 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Trent Murphy – Linebacker

Murphy is a fifth-year senior from Mesa, Arizona. He is a three-year starter at outside linebacker, and in the Stanford scheme, he really plays a combination OLB/DE. He lines up from both a two-point and three-point stance.

Listed as being 6’6 – 261, Murphy is bigger than your prototypical OLB. On tape, he looks to be a good athlete. While he has smooth movement, I don’t see explosive quickness and power. He plays with good, not great, strength. He has average speed for the position, and I would estimate he runs in the 4.8 area.

Murphy has put up some outstanding numbers to date this year with 45 tackles, including 18 for loss and 12 sacks. In the three games I viewed (USC, Oregon, UCLA), I did not see that type of production in his play. While he is very consistent and plays hard, I didn’t that all that many "big" plays.

Murphy has good initial quickness and stays low. He can get his hands on his opponent quickly and shows the hand use to shed blocks. He has good instincts and finds the ball. I wouldn’t call him a disrupter versus the run, but he does make plays. He is a very steady player who, while not flashy, at the end of the day, you see makes a lot of plays. As a pass rusher, he gets off the ball with good quickness. He is not an explosive pass rusher, but he knows how to put moves together and goes snap-to-whistle. He is smart, and you seldom see him break contain. He is used some in pass coverage and is best in zone. He has a good drop and shows a feel in coverage, but he lacks the explosive quickness that you would prefer an OLB to have.

Murphy is a bit of a tweener, big for an OLB and small for a DE. His workouts will have a lot to say about where he gets drafted. In watching three games, I still don’t have a really good feel for this player, so I need to watch more tape. Right now, I see him as a “B” level player (third – fourth round), but he could be better. His best fit is a 3-4 OLB, but there are some 4-3 schemes in the league he could play in. I will update this report as I see more tape.

06 Marcus Smith DE, Louisville 6'3" 252 B 6.6 Stats
07 Chris Smith DE, Arkansas 6'2" 266 B 6.6 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Chris Smith – Defensive End/Outside Linebacker – Arkansas

Size – 6011 – 266 – 4.71

Strong Points – Athletic, initial quickness, explosive, use hands, pass rush, tackle, very long arms

Weak Points – Height to play defensive end, no experience in pass coverage, defense against the run, shedding run blocks

2013 Stats - 36 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 21.5 career sacks

Summation – Chris is a fourth-year senior and a two-year starter for the Razorbacks. He lines up at defensive end and plays from both a two-point and three-point stance. In the tape viewed, when he was playing on his feet, he never dropped into coverage.

He is best as a pass rusher. He has very good snap reaction/anticipation, and often, is out of the blocks before his opponent has a chance to set. He stays low and can use his hands to “jolt” his opponent. He is explosive through the hips generating the power needed to be an effective bull rusher. He is athletic with quick feet and uses a variety of moves. He has a spin move that he is very effective with. He also has the body control to use counter moves and shows a quick burst off blocks to the target. With his 34” arms he can create leverage advantages and make up for his lack of height.

Smith can be inconsistent versus the run. While he reacts quickly, I have seen him lose contain and get caught inside too often versus outside runs. While he is strong, he lacks size and can get overpowered at the point by big linemen and shed slowly. He flashes enough to show you he can get it done if he stays disciplined to his technique.

Smith is a good pursuit player who has speed and takes good angles to the ball. He is an effective tackler who hits and wraps.

Overall, Smith can play defensive end in some 4-3 schemes but would be more of a designated pass rusher than a full time player. At the combine, he showed he could drop into coverage, but his hands were not very good (he body caught most throws). His best bet to be a fulltime player in the NFL would be as a 3-4 OLB where he will be used as a pass rusher on passing downs. I can see him being a starter by his second year in this type of situation.

Grade – B 6.6

08 Will Clarke DE, West Virginia 6'6" 271 B 6.5 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

William Clark – West Virginia

Clark is an interesting player to watch. He plays defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, though with his body type he is better suited to be a 4-3 end. Clark is a very tall, long armed athlete. He is listed as being 6’7" – 275. He has a lean build but looks as though he could easily gain 20 pounds. 

As an athlete, he shows good change of direction, body control, and flexibility. He can bend, is light on his feet, and can run well. His play speed is about 4.88. Clark is said to be a top performer in the weight room, but on the field he plays with good but not great strength and power. 

Clark has just average instincts, and he can be a bit slow to find the ball. He is not an instant reactor. At the snap, he sometimes gets tall and looks to find the ball. Because of this he can be slow to shed. He looks like a much better player when he just goes. When that happens, he plays lower and gets rid of blocks faster. 

Clark plays hard, I have no problem with his competitive nature. He flashes both as a run defender and a pass rusher. When rushing the passer, he flashes a good bull rush but can also use moves and dip his shoulder to get under his opponent. While he didn’t get a high number of sacks (six), he gets a lot of pressures. He also does a good job getting his hands up to disrupt a throw. In the run game, he is inconsistent. Because he can be slow to react it takes him out of some plays. Still, when he is on he can shed quickly and make plays. He will chase the ball and has caught plays from behind.

I feel the 4-3 teams will have more interest in Clark than the 3-4 teams. Though he does have two-gap skills, his body type is more suited to be a 4-3 end. He needs to get a lot bigger to hold up at the point in a 3-4 scheme. Unless I see more at an All-star game, I see Clark as a mid-round pick who will be a productive backup/rotational type player in the NFL.

Follow me on Twitter - @greggabe

09 Ed Stinson DE, Alabama 6'4" 282 B 6.5 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Ed Stinson – Defensive End

Stinson is a 5th year senior and a two year starter at left defensive end in Alabama’s 3-4 defense. He red shirted as a freshman and then played in the D-Line rotation the next 2 years. He has good size at about 6’4 – 290 with long arms. He shows good balance and is seldom off his feet but his overall athleticism is average for the position. He has some tightness in his knees and hips. He can get tall in his stance and can get tall with his play also. He has average speed, with a play speed of about 5.0 - 5.1.

Stinson is strong, but I wouldn’t call him explosive. He has the power to hold the point and he doesn’t give ground. He is basically a 2-gapper who gets a push and can be disruptive in the run game. He has quick reactions and can find the ball. While he doesn’t make a lot of plays, he is around the ball, and with his ability to penetrate, he can disrupt a lot of plays. He shows good ability to shed single blocks and occupy double teams. He is a competitive, tough guy who plays hard but has limitations.

He is not a force as a pass rusher. He flashes a counter move to redirect but is mainly a bull rusher who can get a push. He is not quick to close off of blocks. His initial quickness in both the run and pass game is average. At times, he is the last guy off the ball.

I see him as a mid-round pick who will be a run down player at the next level. He may never be a solid starter but he can be a good rotational player. In the right situation, he could start but that team will always be looking for something better.

10 Taylor Hart DE, Oregon 6'5" 292 B 6.5 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Taylor Hart – Defensive Tackle

Hart is a fifth year senior and a three year starter for the Ducks. He usually lines up as a 5-technique defensive end in their 3-4, but he has also played on the nose and even stands up some. Hart has adequate size at about 6’6 – 290. I would estimate his speed at about 5.00. He is an average athlete for the position, he has some tightness in his knees and hips, but he is tough and competitive. Hart is a snap to whistle player on EVERY down. I don’t like his stance. He plays from a crouched-up frog like stance that causes him to get a bit tall coming out of his stance. Still, he is strong at the point of attack and can use his hands to shed. He has good instincts and reactions and does a very good job finding the ball. Because of his competitiveness, there are times when he looks like there is no way he can make the play, but he ends up making it just out of desire. He plays double teams well and doesn’t get knocked off the ball. As a pass rusher, he is able to get a push with his strength, but he does not possess many moves and I haven’t seen much production. He is a very good pursuit player who consistently takes good angles to the ball. 

I see Hart as a good rotational type player in a 3-4 defense. While he plays some nose in college, I don’t see him being able to do that at the next level. This is the type of backup defensive lineman that many teams want. He can give his team 20 -25 good snaps a game, and while he won’t start or be a star, he will be a quality rotational player. While he has some athletic limitations, he will still get better with experience. He is a solid mid-round pick who will play early.

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