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2016 Draft Prospects: Defensive End

The 2016 Draft profiles series turns to the defensive side of the ball. Defensive End is the next position group to review. All NFL teams love adding pass rushers.

Joey Bosa: Ohio State

Bosa is the top DE in this year’s class and may be a top 5 draft pick. The Buckeye DE is 6’5 and 269 pounds. He had 7.5 sacks, 13.5 and 5 sacks the last three seasons for Ohio State with 50.5 tackle for loss combined. Bosa can play in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense and could play some DT too. He has a strong bull rush with great strength to match his high motor. Bosa has good speed and agility but must work on his run fits. He should be a top 5 pick and help a team that needs to bolster their pass rush.

DeForest Buckner: Oregon

Buckner is a large DE at 6’7 and 291 pounds. Buckner had 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss his senior season. Buckner has good agility for his size and is quick off the snap. Buckner fits best as a 3-4 DE but could play in a 4-3. He must work on his pad level but should be good starting DE. DeForest is a potential top 10 selection.

Shaq Lawson: Clemson

Lawson had a monster 12.5 sack season helping to lead the Tigers to the National Championship game. Shaq is 6’3 and 269 pounds and ran a 4.7 40 time at the combine. Lawson is tough and powerful with a good punch. Lawson has good speed to track down QBS. Lawson must work on diagnosing plays and being in better shape to avoid fatigue. He will be a 1st round pick in the 2016 draft.

Noah Spence: Eastern Kentucky

Spence is 6’2 and 250 pounds. He was kicked off the Ohio State team for ecstasy drug issues which is a major red flag. He produced at Western Kentucky against lesser competition. Spence has a good motor with solid speed and pursuit. He must develop more strength and counter moves. Spence may be a 3-4 OLB but could play 4-3 DE. Spence is a borderline 1st round pick that could fall due to his past drug issues.

Emmanuel Ogbah: Oklahoma State

Ogbah and 6’3 and 270 pounds that was productive for the Cowboys. Ogbah had 11 and 13 sacks the last two seasons and has good size to play DE in the NFL. He is powerful and converts speed to power on the edge. He wins the point of attack and can play both end positions or move inside. Ogbah needs to work on his pursuit and change up his rush speeds. Ogbah should be a mid to late 1st round pick and battle to be a day 1 starter.

Kevin Dodd: Clemson

Dodd is 6’5 and 277 pound and played opposite of Shaq Lawson at Clemson. Dodd has a great motor and is very instinctive. Dodd had one monster 12 sack year with 0 sacks in his first three seasons at Clemson. The Tiger DE needs more experience and ability to use his hands to win battles. Dodd is a borderline Round 1 or early Round 2 pick.

Other DES

Jonathan Bullard (Florida), Carl Nassib (Penn State and nation sack leader (15.5 sacks) in 2015), Anthony Zettel (college DT at Penn State), Bronson Kaufusi (BYU), Shawn Oakman (Baylor) and Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State) are other day 2 candidates at DE.

The DE class is fairly strong in 2016. There are some versatile players for a 4-3 or 3-4 defense and the top six guys should provide a good pass rush. The day 2 prospects offer some versatility and production but have some athletic limitations. Pass rushers are very important in the NFL and teams will be looking to bolster their ability to disrupt the QB on draft day.