The Super Sixteen Defensive Ends For The 2012 NFL Draft!
By Max Emfinger
Nick Perry has got to be one of the most impressive athletes at the 2012 NFL Super Combine. His Measurables were simply mind-boggling. Perry led Southern Cal and the PAC-10 in sacks in 2011 with 10 sacks. Perry has always been able to use his tremendous athleticism in sacking quarterbacks as evidence as a Senior in HS when he recorded a Michigan State Record 36 sacks at Detroit Martin Luther King.
In high school, Perry (6-3, 235, 4.51) also led his team to a 14-0 record and a Michigan State Championship. Perry was one of the Top defensive ends in the country and he had offers from Southern Cal, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
Take a look at Perry in the Photo above and picture yourself as a Dropback Passing Quarterback and your left offensive tackle has just missed his block on Perry and he is focusing only on you and sacking you. Perry is also thinking that if I do a great job, I might be able to make him fumble.
Perry (6-3, 271, 4,64) participated in the 2012 Scouting Combine and he put-up some record-breaking Measurables including an unbelievable 4.64 in the Forty and an eye-popping 38.5-inch Vertical Jump while weighing 271-pounds. He also added an amazing 124-inch Standing Broad Jump; a 4.66 in the Pro-Agility Shuttle; and then did 35 reps of 225 on the Bench Press. With these incredible Measurables and with maximum points in speed, shuttle, and bench press reps, Perry recorded an incredible 2,180 MEARS RATING.
Perry might be one of the biggest and fastest player in the 2012 NFL Draft, but Quinton Coples of North Carolina is definitely in his league. Coples has dominating offensive lines for several years and he finished his Tar Heels career with 24 career sacks.
In 2010, Coples (6-6.5, 284, 4.78) recorded 10 sacks at left defensive end and then after moving to right defensive end, he recorded 7.5 more sacks. Coples dominated the Meineke Car Care Bowl with 8 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, and had one sack. Coples then dominated the Senior Bowl.
Coples came to the NFL Scouting Combine and at 284-pounds, he ran a 4.67 Forty, making him one of the biggest and fastest football players on the planet. Although he ran a 4.67 in the Forty, the NFL Scouts gave him a legit 4.78. Coples also did a 31.5-inch Vertical Jump; did a 109 Standing Broad Jump; and 25 reps of 225 on the bench press. Coples can play a lot of different positions, including both defensive ends or tackle. With this versatility and great Measurables gave Coples an outstanding 1,988 MEARS RATING.
In the second game of the 2011 season, Melvin Ingram (6-2, 264, 4.66) of South Carolina scored two touchdowns as he raced 68-yards for a touchdown on a fake-punt and then after True Freshman DE Jadeveon Clowney threw Georgia QB Aaron Murray to the ground and he fumbled, Ingram picked-up the fumble and stepped into the end zone for another touchdown as the Gamecocks beat Georgia 45-42. Ingram was also on the “Hands” kickoff return team and he jumped up and caught the on-side kick to preserve the victory.
Then in the fourth game, Ingram scored his third touchdown of the season as he recovered one of the fumbles and stepped into the end-zone for the first Gamecock touchdown in the second quarter. It was the fewest yards allowed by a South Carolina (4-0, 2-0 SEC) team since holding Wake Forest to 66-yards in November 1987. The three leaders of this great defensive effort were Ingram, Clowney, and SS D.J. Swearinger. Ingram recorded 4 tackles, including 3 solo, a sack, and 2 pass breakups; plus his touchdown.
Ingram is considered to be one of the greatest “Rush Ends” in the 2012 NFL Draft and he is also one of the most versatile. He is a player that has played end, tackle, and linebacker in college and he could play any of those positions in the NFL. I believe that he will play Rush End, but he has the speed and agility to be an NFL linebacker. He was a first team All-American Defensive End.
Ingram ran a 4.66 in the Forty, but the NFL Scouts gave him a legit 4.76 clocking. He also did an outstanding 4.18 in the Pro-Shuttle; a 34.5 in the Vertical Jump; and did 28 reps of 225 on the bench press; and recorded an outstanding 1,970 MEARS RATING.
In the sixth game of the 2011 season Whitney Mercilus of Illinois was spectacular in their 41-20 victory over Indiana as he recorded three quarterback sacks; had four tackles for a loss; and forced two fumbles. Mercilus has been a beast coming off the edge for the Illini in the first six games. Mercilus leads the Big-Ten in sacks with 8½, tackles for a loss with 10-1/2 and with 4 forced fumbles for Fighting Illini Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning and his defense.
Mercilus (6-4, 261, 4.56) finished his three-year career playing for the Illini with 22 1/2 career tackles for a loss and 16 quarterback sacks.
Marcilus had an impressive 2012 Scouting Combine, but at Illinois Pro-Day, he improved his Forty-Time from a 4.68 to a 4.56 and then improved his Pro-Shuttle from a 4.53 to a 4.47, giving him an outstanding 1,970 MEARS RATING.
At the Rice Homecoming, in the Seventh game of the 2011 season, Vinny Curry of Marshall had a sensational game as he recorded nine tackles, including seven solo tackles with four tackles for a loss and 3.5 quarterback sacks. This wasn’t all as Curry (6-3, 266, 4.69) forced a fumble and recovered a fumble that set-up the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter as they came back to beat Rice by a 24-20 score.
Curry got off to an unbelievable start in 2010 as a junior when he recorded eight quarterback sacks in the first five games of the season and he finished with 12 sacks in 2010. At the 2012 Scouting Combine, Curry ran a 4.98 in the forty, but then shocked the NFL Scouts on Marshall Pro-Day when he ran a 4.64 and a 4.69. He also improved his Vertical Jump from a 32 to a 35-inch Vertical Jump. Curry ran an outstanding 4.4 in the Pro-Shuttle; did a 110 Standing Broad Jump; and 28 Reps of 225 on the bench press; giving Curry a 1,950 MEARS RATING.
Malik Jackson was one of the most heavily recruited defensive ends in the country in 2008 and he signed with Southern Cal after getting offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Fresno State, Nevada, UNLV, and Utah. After the Trojans were put on probation, Jackson was permitted to transfer to Tennessee and he did not have to sit out a year.
Jackson (6-5, 284, 4.78) was outstanding as a junior and he was selected to the 2011 Pre-season All-SEC Team. In Game #11, against Vanderbilt in his last game at Neyland Stadium, Jackson was outstanding as he recorded 6 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss; had 1/2 sack; forced a fumble; and had two quarterback pressures in the 27-21 victory in Overtime.
At the 2012 Scouting Combine, Jackson weighed 284-pounds and he ran a 4.78 in the forty. His most impressive Measureable was an incredible 4.41 in the Pro-Shuttle at 284 pounds. Jackson had 34-inch arms and he did a 28-inch Vertical Jump, giving him a 1,943 MEARS RATING. Jackson has a lot of potential and don’t be surprised with he goes in an early round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Remember that Nick Perry and Malik Jackson were once defensive end teammates at Southern California.
Andre Branch (6-4, 259, 4.7) of Clemson is another outstanding defensive end who has an excellent chance to be selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He recorded 17.5 career sacks, including 10.5 sacks as a senior. Branch also recorded at least one tackle in 41 consecutive career games.
In the fifth game of the 2011 season, Branch, LB Jonathan Willard, and NG Brandon Thompson were pretty sensational as they led the defense that dominated a Virginia Tech Hokies team and kept them from scoring a touchdown on their own Stadium Turf. This defensive performance really stood out even to the great Clemson offensive players. “Those defensive guys were just waiting for the opportunity to show what they could do and shut down an offense team with big players,” super Tight End Dwayne Allen said. “We’ve learned a little from each win. Last week in the Florida State game, we learned the defense could be dominant when we needed it to be.”
Branch led this great defensive effort with 11 tackles, including 6 solo and three quarterback sacks. “Andre Branch was a man on a mission,” Head Coach Dabo Swinney said after the game. Willard was equally impressive as he recorded 9 tackles, including seven “First-Hits” and had ½ quarterback sack. Thompson recorded 6 tackles, including a ½ quarterback sack. Willard was set to play in our 2008 AABG, but he got injured in the Carolina All-Star Game and stayed home to rehab.
In that game, Clemson (5-0, 2-0 ACC) became the first ACC team to beat ranked opponents three weeks in a row, and ended the Hokies 12-game winning streak in ACC play. “It’s the ‘Shock the World Tour’ for the Clemson Tigers,” said Coach Dabo Swinney.
Branch was outstanding at the NFL Scouting Combine as he recorded a 4.7 in the Forty; did a 32.5 Vertical Jump; did a great 4.25 in the Pro-Shuttle; and a great 120 Standing Broad Jump; giving him a great 1,938 MEARS RATING.
One of the most intriguing players in the 2012 NFL Draft is Courtney Upshaw of BCS National Champion Alabama. Upshaw is a versatile player who could be used at any number of positions, including rush end, strong end or linebacker. He has great athleticism and he has great experience, playing on two BCS National Championships.
As a junior, in the 2011 Capital-One Bowl against Michigan State, Upshaw recorded 15 tackles, including three tackles for a loss; and had 2.5 sacks. Upshaw was voted as Defensive MVP as the Tide won 49-7.
In the fifth game of the 2011 season, demonstrating his great assets, Upshaw recorded 4 tackles, including 3 solo; had one sack; and returned an interception 45-yards for a touchdown as the Crimson Tide beat Florida by a 38-10 score. Upshaw finished the 2011 season with 17 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks. These sound modest, but when you are blowing-out your opponents, you don’t get to play much in the third and fourth quarters. Upshaw was selected First Team All-American and he was a Finalist in The Lombardi Trophy and also The Dick Butkus Trophy.
With all of these accolades, the NFL Scouts were disappointed when Upshaw was not able to participate in the 2012 Scouting Combine. Then the NFL Scouts were excited to see Upshaw (6-2, 272, 4.74) participate in the Alabama Pro-Day, but Upshaw did not dominate or put-up the great Measurables that everyone thought that he would. Upshaw did a very modest 27-Vertical Jump; a very average 4.6 in the Pro-Shuttle; and a very modest 22 reps of 225 on the bench press.
Upshaw did run a 4.74 and a 4.76 in the forty, showing great speed for a 272-pound player and his 109 in the Standing Broad Jump was a little better than average, showing some explosion. Even with some disappointing Measurables, Upshaw still recorded a very solid 1,940 MEARS RATING. Upshaw is still projected by most NFL Scouts as a potential #1 Draft Choice.
Jake Bequette has been one of the top defensive players for Arkansas for several years and he was outstanding in 2011. In the ninth game of the season, against South Carolina, Bequette only recorded four total tackles, but three of them were quarterback sacks for a minus 32-yards.
Bequette also forced a fumble as the #7 Arkansas Razorbacks beat The Gamecocks by a 44-28 score. His three sacks matched a career high and were the ninth-highest single-game total this season. The forced fumble of Bequette was on a sack that the Razorbacks recovered on the Gamecocks one-yard line and the Razorbacks scored two plays later.
Bequette (6-5, 274, 4.82) is a great “Rush-End” and he really shocked the NFL Scouts when he recorded an unbelievable 4.07 in the Pro-Shuttle while weighing 274-pounds. This is a startling Measurable that indicates that Bequette has incredible quickness. He also did a great 34-inch vertical jump. Bequette has been working out at linebacker by several Pro Teams and he could play either position in the NFL as he recorded a very good 1,935 MEARS RATING as a Defensive End.
Boise State has been playing some great defense in the last few years and one of their leading players in 2011 was Tyrone Crawford. He is a former Canadian who also was a Junior College All-American at Bakersfield. In 2008, Crawford also was a Junior College Freshman All-American.
In 2010, the Broncos had planned to Redshirt Crawford, but he was forced to play in a reserve role and he recorded 32 tackles and seven sacks. In 2011, Crawford led the Broncos with 13.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. With this outstanding season, Crawford was selected to the All-MOUNTAIN WEST First Team.
Crawford (6-4, 275, 4.78) was invited to the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine and he was very impressive with some great Measurables, including a 33-inch vertical jump; a very impressive 4.44 in the Pro-Shuttle; a 113 Standing Broad Jump; and 28 reps of 225 on the bench press. Crawford ran a 4.89 in the forty at the 2012 Scouting Combine, but he improved that to a great 4.78 at the Boise State Pro-Day, giving him an outstanding 1,935 MEARS RATING.
In the Seventh game of the 2011 season, Chandler Jones of Syracuse recorded six tackles, including two sacks for a loss of 19-yards; and one pass breakup in the Syracuse 49-23 UPSET victory over #11 West Virginia. Jones led a defensive front four that limited the Mountaineers to 70-rushing yards and had four quarterback sacks as the Orangemen defeated their highest-ranked opponent since a 50-42, triple-overtime win against #8 Virginia Tech in 2002.
Jones (6-5, 266, 4.7) had a tremendous career with 27 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks in a 33-game Syracuse career. Coming off of a leg injury, Jones was still one of the most impressive defensive ends at the 2012 NFL Souting Combine when he ran a 4.38 in the Pro-Shuttle; did an outstanding 35-inch Vertical Jump; did a great 120-inches in the Standing Broad Jump; and established a great 1,940 MEARS RATING.
Another great defensive player at Clemson is Kourtnei Brown. In the Eighth game of the 2011 season, Brown was sensational as he scored two defensive touchdowns in helping the Tigers to a 51-38 victory over North Carolina. Brown made a leaping interception and returned it 20-yards for a touchdown to give Clemson a 24-10 lead and then picked up a fumble and ran 26-yards for a score in the third quarter, making him the first Clemson defensive player since 1954 to score two touchdowns in the same game.
Brown was only the third NCAA BCS Player to score two touchdowns by an interception return and a fumble return in the same game in the last 12 years. Later, Brown had his hands in on a third turnover as he deflected a pass that was intercepted by a teammate. He was also credited with two tackles.
Brown (6-5, 256, 4.69) recorded 35 sacks, as a senior, at Charlotte Victory Christian, North Carolina and was one of the top rated defensive ends in the country in 2007. With all of the great defensive linemen on the Clemson defense, Brown might have been lost by some of the other Super-Stars, including DE Andre Branch, DT Brandon Thompson, DT Rennie Moore, LB Jonathan Willard, and DE Malliciah Goodman.
Brown was not invited to the 2012 Scouting Combine, but he shocked all of the NFL Scouts at the Clemson Pro-Day when he put-up some incredible Measurables. Brown ran a great 4.69 in the forty while weighing 256-pounds. His 4.47 in the pro-shuttle was outstanding as was his 116 in the Standing Broad Jump. Brown also had a 31-inch Vertical Jump and he did 26 reps on the 225 pound bench press; giving him a great 1,930 MEARS RATING.
In the second game of the 2011 season, DT Ron Lohr recorded four tackles, but they all were for tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a sack as the Commodores UPSET Connecticut 24-21. Lohr became the first Commodore defender in more than a decade to post four tackles for loss. His four tackles for a loss was the most by a Commodore defender since cornerback Casey Hayward contributed four such tackles at LSU in 2009. DE Tim Fugger was also super dominant from his position, producing two quarterback sacks among four total tackles. Hayward produced one of the biggest plays in the Vanderbilt win, returning a fourth quarter interception 50 yards for a touchdown to knot the score at 21-21.
In the eighth game of the 2011 season, against a very good Arkansas offense, Fugger of Vanderbilt recorded four solo tackles, including three tackles for a loss and two quarterback sacks.
For the season, Fugger finished with 13.5 tackles for a loss and 7 sacks and was selected to the All-SEC Second Team. Fugger is one of the fastest defensive ends in the 2012 NFL Draft and he could end-up playing outside linebacker.
Fugger (6-3, 248, 4.6) was invited to the 2012 Scouting Combine as a defensive end, but he also worked out in the linebacker drills. With a legit 4.6 in the Forty and also running a 4.55 in the forty, Fugger might be the most athletic and most versatile of all the ends.
Fugger also did an incredible 4.2 in the Pro-Shuttle; a 34-inch Vertical Jump; a 115 Standing Broad Jump; and a very good 29 reps of 225 on the bench press; recording an outstanding 1,921 MEARS RATING.
After the 2010 season, Jared Crick was a player from Nebraska that was thought to be a legit #1 Draft Choice for the 2012 NFL Draft. Then, he tore a pectoral muscle in October and missed the rest of the 2011 season.
Crick (6-4, 279, 4.95) was invited to the 2012 Scouting Combine and although he could not do the bench press, he was still able to put-up some great Measurables, including a 31-inch Vertical Jump; an outstanding 4.4 in the Pro-Shuttle; and a 4.95 in the Forty.
Later at the Nebraska Pro-Day, Crick did an amazing 26 reps of 225 on the bench press. This was a very impressive feat and it could have only been done with a great work ethic and great drive. Crick also recorded a great 1,907 MEARS RATING.
One of the most interesting defensive ends in the 2012 NFL Draft is Billy Winn of Boise State. Winn was pretty heavily recruited out of Las Vegas, Nevada High School and he had scholarship offers from Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, UNLV, Texas Tech, San Diego State, Fresno State, and Boise State. In High School, Winn (-3, 266, 4.99) was a Wrestler and Power Lifter and he did a 4.69 in the Pro-Shuttle.
Winn was First Team All-WAC Team in 2010 and 2011 and he finished his career with 133 total tackles; had an amazing 36.5 tackles for a loss; and 16 sacks. Winn also had two sacks in the 52-24 victory in the MAACO Bowl Game against Arizona State.
Winn has been starting at defensive tackle and he was invited to the 2012 Scouting Combine as a defensive tackle. His great athleticism had already been noted, but when he only ran a 5.0 in the forty at the 2012 Scouting Combine, it was a little disappointing to the NFL Scouts. Then when he ran a 4.82 and a 4.84 in the forty at the Boise State Pro-Day, his stock went up again, because he can play both inside or outside. His 4.44 in the Pro-Shuttle was also impressive and he finished with a great 1,905 MEARS RATING.
In Fifth Game of the season against The Texas Longhorns in Dallas Cowboys stadium, Frank Alexander was all over the field against the Longhorns. I watched this game and Alexander was sensational as he recorded 6 tackles, including 5 solo tackles; plus he forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. The fumble that he forced was picked up by DE David King and he ran it in for a 19-yard touchdown. Alexander had three quarterback sacks and one pass breakup, and the Longhorns had to know exactly where Alexander was on every play.
Alexander was a highly recruited defensive end coming out of Baton Rouge Southern Lab. Alexander had offers from Auburn, Tulane, and Oklahoma and committed early to the Sooners. He was red-shirted in 2007.
Alexander (6-4, 270, 4.76) was invited to the 2012 Scouting Combine, but when he got to the Combine, the Doctors found an irregular and previously undetected hearing problem and they did not allow him to participate in the event. Then after further tests, he was released to participate in the Oklahoma Pro-Day where he was very impressive with a 4.76 in the Forty; a 34.5 Vertical Jump; and a 117 Standing Broad Jump.
Alexander had a 35.5 arm length and an 83.5 wingspan and with his 1,905 MEARS RATING, he could surprise some NFL Scouts in the 2012 Draft.
Cam Johnson of Virginia could be one of the biggest surprises of all of the defensive ends. He put-up some great Measurables at the 2012 Scouting Combine and at the Virginia Pro-Day. Probably his two most impressive Measurables were a 35-inch Vertical Jump and a great 4.38 in the Pro-Shuttle.
At the Combine, Johnson did a 105 Standing Broad Jump and then improved that to a 115 at the Virginia Pro-Day and finished with a very good 1,895 MEARS RATING.
The Super Sixteen Defensive Ends For The 2012 NFL Draft!
By Max Emfinger
1. Nick Perry – Southern Cal – 2,180 MEARS
2. Quinton Coples – North Carolina – 1,988 MEARS
3T. Melvin Ingram – South Carolina – 1,970 MEARS
3T. Whitney Mercilus – Illinois – 1,970 MEARS
4. Vinny Curry – Marshall – 1,950 MEARS
5. Malik Jackson – Tennessee – 1,943 MEARS
6T. Chandler Jones – Syracuse – 1,940 MEARS
6T. Courtney Upshaw – Alabama – 1,940 MEARS
8. Andre Branch- Clemson – 1,938 MEARS
9T. Jake Bequette – Arkansas – 1,935 MEARS
9T. Tyrone Crawford – Boise State – 1,935 MEARS
11. Kourtnei Brown – Clemson – 1,930 MEARS
12. Tim Fugger – Vanderbilt – 1,921 MEARS
13. Jared Crick – Nebraska – 1,907 MEARS
14T. Frank Alexander – Oklahoma – 1,905 MEARS
14T. Billy Winn – Boise State – 1,905 MEARS
16. Cam Johnson – Virginia – 1,895 MEARS
2012 DRAFT: http://maxemfinger.sharepointsite.com/Lists/2007%20Database/2012%20NFL%20DRAFT.aspx?SortField=WorkFax&SortDir=Desc&View=%7b511B2429%2d968B%2d459C%2d942E%2d75820B1576AF%7d