Friday, March 1, 2013

Cream of the 2013 NFL draft crop: Defensive linemen


This is the seventh edition of an eight-part series noting the top prospects of the 2013 NFL Draft at their respective positions.

THE DEFENSIVE LINE PROSPECTS: Bjoern Werner, Star Lotulelei, Damontre Moore (photo: Jeffrey Willey, Flickr), Sharrif Floyd, Kawann Short, Alex Okafor.

Bjoern Werner (DE) (6-4, 256 lbs.), Florida State
Sack machine in last two seasons and also added 18 passes defensed. Mix of strength and speed is deadly on the edge. Plays better at a lower weight but will probably have to gain few to go against NFL’s elite lineman. Easily a top-ten pick.

Star Lotulelei (DT) (6-3, 320 lbs.), Utah
Absolute force in the middle of the line and saw lots of double- and triple-team coverage. Stout run stopper and quick enough to make waves in the backfield. Bit older than most and can play at a bit heavy at times. An instant improvement to any run defense and will definitely go top 20.

Damontre Moore (DE) (6-4, 250 lbs.), Texas A&M
Tallied 26.5 sacks in three years, 12.5 of those in 2012. Shows versatility after effectively switching defensive schemes. A strong tackler and can gut through injuries. Will be a terror in the pass rush on the pro level.

Sharrif Floyd (DT) (6-3, 303 lbs.), Florida
Can play all over the line and sheds blocks with ease. Shows efficiency in both pass rush and run-stopping abilities. Tallied more sacks as inside rusher than outside and uses size to his advantage, though still quicker than most inside lineman.

Kawann Short (DT) (6-3, 308 lbs.), Purdue
Powerful lineman with long arms that causes havoc in pass game, as well as on special teams. Blocked six kicks in two-year span and defensed 11 passes in 2012. Strong against run blockers but lacks consistency at times. Benefited from extra year in college and may need a year in pros to fully develop.

Alex Okafor (DE) (6-5, 261 lbs.), Texas
Averaged nearly a sack a game and forced four fumbles in final season. Always around the ball and finished with more than 45 tackles in final two seasons. Extremely strong on bull rush but not super fast. Will make effective run-stopper but won’t break any sack records.

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