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NUC/ NFL - Top 5 DEs 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Report

Courtesy: Taber Small/ Schuman's National Underclassmen
          Release: June 04, 2013
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                                       Top 5 DEs 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Report   

The need for edge rushers is becoming more of a necessity in the NFL today with the rapid increase of spread option offenses. NFL defenses are valuing more hybrid defenders who can rush and also drop back in coverage. UNC's Kareem Martin and Florida's Dominique Easley are your usual counterbalance NFL defensive end prospects. Texas's Jackson Jeffocat, USC's Morgan Breslin and V-Tech's James Gayle represent the type of hybrid defensive ends that NFL teams are coveting more now.

 

Kareem Martin*, DE North Carolina 6-5 265 lb.: 

Strength:  Martin is a very athletic DE prospect with great upside and size. He's explosive and plays with good strength covering a lot of ground on the field. He effectively uses his hands to protect his body and rarely plays off his feet showing good balance. He is disciplined in the run game and easily brings down ball carriers. Possess a violent punch knocking blockers off their stance.

Weakness: Martin is still a bit of a raw prospect who needs to improve his technique. He's not consistently fast off the ball as you would like and has some stiffness in his hips. Has a thin cut frame and lacks bulk in his legs becoming engulfed by bigger offensive lineman.

Final Analysis: Kareem Martin is a tremendously gifted athlete who can rush the passer and is also good against the run. He has steadily improved each season at UNC and displays great potential to be a starter at the next level. Jackson is the number one ranked DE on many NFL draft boards for next year.

Jackson Jeffcoat, DE Texas 6-4 255 lb.: 

Strength:  Jeffcoat is an athletic defensive line with great bloodlines as his father Jim Jeffcoat was a star DE in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys. He displays good quickness and explosiveness. Possess great speed off the edge showing good pass-rushing skills while effectively uses his hands to protect his body. Plays with good strength and drives lineman back in the pocket. He drops well in coverage and shows some ability to play in space.

Weakness: Jeffcoat lacks the bulk to play in a 4-3 scheme and is considered a tweener defensive end prospect. He's also been injury prone missing most of last season with a pectoral muscle. He also struggles at times to shed blocks against offensive lineman with great arm length and great strength Jeffcoat is not a consistent tackler and too often goes for the kill shot.

Final Analysis: Jackson Jeffcoat is a very athletic player who shows the playmaking ability that scouts look for in a DE/LB prospect. He possesses the size and skills to line up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment. Jeffcoat is coming into this college football season with a first round grade from NFL scouts and could turn into a top ten/fifteen draft selection with a healthy and productive senior year.  

Other DEs to watch:

 

Morgan Breslin, DE USC: A hybrid college defensive end that is undersized for the next level. He is a JC transfer that was a pleasant surprise for USC and led the team in sacks last season with 12. Plays with good leverage, moves vey fluid, and shows a quick first step of the snap. He is not very instinctive when asked to play the LB position.

 

James Gayle, DE Virginia Tech: A freakish athlete with great size and tremendous ability. He is an explosive edge rusher who displays good movement skills and fluid change of direction. He has a tremendous speed in pursuit and covers a lot of area. Gayle struggles getting off blocks and needs to learn how to works his hands. He doesn't consistently play with good pad level. A first round talent who needs to put it all together this season to be considered an elite prospect.

Dominique Easley*, DE Florida: An athletic defensive lineman with the versatility to line up at multiple positions along the front seven. He shows an explosive first step and plays with good leverage. He also displays a good change of direction and is very light on his feet for a guy his size. Easley shows the lateral burst and flexibility to explode in any direction. He possesses short arms and needs to improve his upper body strength. Easley has early round potential but needs to stay healthy, as he's battled several injuries during his college career.

*NUC Alum

NUC/NFL scouting reports include senior eligible players only. 

 

Follow: @tabersmall



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