NFL Draft 2013: 4-3 Defensive End Rankings

Al Bello

Our draft coverage continues with the rankings for the best 4-3 defensive ends available in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Recently we finished up the defensive tackle scouting reports and have updated the rankings. With one position down on our list, the attention shifts to focus on the 4-3 defensive ends. Much like defensive tackle, the defensive end position is rich in talent. The 2013 class may lack a lot of talent at the skill positions, but this is a class that is full of talent along the defensive line.

Before the Dallas Cowboys made their move to the 4-3 defense, I had began researching potential 3-4 outside linebacker prospects. The move to the 4-3 obviously changes the priorities, but it also opens up the playing field. One of the best selling points for the move to a 4-3 is that it allows the Cowboys to look at 4-3 defensive ends who can stay in their natural position and won't have to make the difficult transition to the 3-4 outside linebacker position.

What the Cowboys do in the draft mainly revolves around the re-signing of Anthony Spencer. The two sides are planning to meet but nothing is certain at this point. From a draft perspective, I would evaluate prospects with the potential of Spencer not being back in Dallas.

If the Cowboys lose Spencer, then they will need to add a defensive end that is capable of stopping the run and setting the edge but that player must also have the ability to rush the passer. At the end of the day, a good pass rusher will always grade out higher on my board. Stopping the run is important, but getting after the quarterback should be the number one priority for the defensive end.

2013 NFL Draft 4-3 Defensive End Rankings
Rank Name School Height Weight
1 Bjoern Werner* Florida State 6-4 256
2 Damontre Moore* Texas A&M 6-4 250
3 Barkevious Mingo* LSU 6-4 240
4 Dion Jordan Oregon 6-6 243
5 Ezekiel Ansah BYU 6-5 274
6 Sam Montgomery* LSU 6-5 260
7 Alex Okafor Texas 6-5 261
*denotes underclassman

Werner and Moore are probably going to be top-15 picks and unfortunately should be out of the Cowboys' range. Both are extremely good pass rushers, but Werner possesses a much more rounded game and will be the more complete player at this time in their careers. On the other hand, Moore is the better pass rusher and his success without Von Miller will place him high on many draft boards.

Considering where Werner and Moore will be drafted, it's safe to assume that we can cross them off our list and move down the board.

I already have a scouting report on Mingo and a scouting report on Jordan. Even though at the time I was considering them for the 3-4, those reports should have both of their positives and negatives covered. Mingo is an extremely talented pass rusher who needs to improve against the run and add more bulk to his frame. The same can be said for Jordan, but Oregon played him all over the field and will offer a team a lot of versatility. Both players are extremely talented and could fall to the Cowboys at 18.

Starting late this week, we will kick off the scouting reports for the rest of the players on my board, beginning with the interesting but complicating Ansah. He's a player that is receiving comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul, but is he the real deal like JPP? Tune into my scouting report to find out the goods on the physically talented Ansah.

This is an extremely deep defensive end class. It's possible that at least five or more of these defensive ends could be drafted in the first round. A couple of names who didn't make the cut were SMU's Margus Hunt and UCLA's Datone Jones. Both are very talented players, but each have their shortcomings and failed to make my list. If there is time, we can backtrack and take a closer look at each player more extensively.

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