It is no secret that the Panthers will look to improve their pass rush for this upcoming season by selecting a defensive end/outside linebacker in next week's 2012 NFL draft. In fact, if the chips fall just right, I believe the Panthers may have their sights set on picking up two different types of pass rushers. One will be more of a true 4-3 defensive end like Quinton Coples, while the other will come in the form of a player like Bruce Irvin, who excels at getting to the quarterback from a standing position. If this did come to fruition, I would be ecstatic because of the overall ripple effect it would have in our secondary and throughout our defense as a whole. Can you imagine what Rivera and company could do with this defense if they were able to add a Quinton Coples and Bruce Irvin into the mix? Can you say instant upgrade and more wins?
After the jump you will find a plethora of defensive ends, and how they rank according to my scoring system, which is purely based on production. The two names at the top are certainly surprising because they are considered to be late round prospects. Maybe this is solid proof that my grading scale is suspect at best. Of course, there's always a chance that my rankings prove to be more accurate than you or I could ever have imagined, but we'll have to wait for those answers to be revealed at a later date. Until then, we can all enjoy the speculation and debate that comes with this type of analysis.
For those who haven't had a chance to see how this scoring system works(and those who need a refresher course), it is summed up in the following four criteria: Final Season Tackles Per Game, Final Season Impact Plays Per Game, Final Season Percentage Tackles For Loss, and Impact Seasons.
1. FS T/G= Final Season Tackles Per Game
This number is cut and dry because it refers to how many tackles a prospect had per game in his final season.
Vinny Curry set the standard in this category by posting 5.92 Tackles Per Game in his Final Season.
2. FS IP/G= Final Season Impact Plays Per Game
This number refers to how many Impact Plays a prospect had Per Game in his Final Season. It is calculated by adding together a prospects total number of Impact Plays (interceptions, tackles-for-loss, quarterback hurries, passes broken up, forced fumbles, and blocked kicks), then dividing that number by the number of games they actually played in their Final Season.
Again, Vinny Curry set the topped the list by recording 3.15 Impact Plays Per Game in his Final Season. His production is unquestionable.
3. FS % TFL= Final Season Percentage Tackles For Loss
This number refers to a prospect’s Percentage of Tackles that were actually Tackles For Loss. We should all be able to agree that a defensive end who only accumulates a pedestrian 20 tackles for an entire season shouldn’t be judged by this number alone. Maybe they had a shortened season, or were on the field less because they were used as a situational pass rusher some of the time, and as a result, saw less time on the field. This metric tells you how often a prospect made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage in relation to his overall tackle numbers.
Whitney Mercilus led this category by recording a Tackle For Loss at a 39.47% rate.
4. IS= Impact Seasons
This number refers to how many Seasons that a prospect made an Impact during his college career, and it is the only metric that isn’t represented in the scoring chart below. A Defensive End prospect will receive one point for every Season that he accumulated at least 20 total tackles and 5 or more total impact plays (interceptions, tackles-for-loss, passes broken up, forced fumbles, and blocked kicks).
A total of Six Defensive Ends displayed sustained success by performing at a high level in four different impressive seasons: Frank Alexander, Cordarro Law, Jake Bequette, Scott Solomon, Jacquies Smith, and Derrick Shelby
Defensive End Evaluation Scoring Table
|Tackles/Game||Score||Impact Plays/Game||Score||% TFL||Score|
2012 Defensive End Final Draft Scores
|Prospect||FS T/G||Score||FS IP/G||Score||FS % TFL||Score||IS Score||Total Score|
If you are unfamiliar with Frank Alexander and Cordarro Law, here are a view videos to get you better acquainted with them. I'm a bit higher on Alexander not only because he played in a more challenging conference, but because he has some impressive speed(4.76 forty) and explosiveness(34.5 vertical) for a man who is 6' 3 1/2", 270 lbs. Another one of his amazing physical traits is his arm length(35 1/2") and wingspan(83 1/2"), the latter of which is almost on par with a person who stands seven feet tall. Furthermore, his game film coincides well with all of his physical attributes, and that makes him one of my latter round prospects to keep an eye on.