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2013 NFL Draft: Ziggy Ansah, Dion Jordan are top pass rushers

Posted Apr 9, 2013

With the 2013 NFL Draft set for April 25-27 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NFL.com draft analyst Josh Norris is identifying the top prospects available at every position. Today, he presents an overview of the best pass-rushing defensive ends and outside linebackers.

Pass-Rushing Defensive Ends

1. Ezekiel Ansah, BYU: Many concerns exist with Ansah's raw game, namely his inability to win with a counter move. That's difficult to dispute, but if he can learn to create space on his own, watch out. He has the best closing speed of any end and shows natural movements to go along with dependable run defense. Projection: Top 10

2. Cornellius Carradine, Florida State: Bjoern Werner and Brandon Jenkins drew a lot of praise in Tallahassee, but Carradine is the best of the bunch. His explosion off the ball and bend to work around blockers -- as well as his strong hands to work through them -- project very well in the NFL. His April 20 pro day will be critical to show how far he's come after a late-season ACL injury. Projection: First round

3. Datone Jones, UCLA: Jones' game is reminiscent of Justin Tuck's; the UCLA product can win on the edge with aggressive hand use and strength on first contact, or inside with quickness. He can't quite bend like other edge rushers, but Jones has the versatility teams covet. Projection: First round

4. Bjoern Werner, Florida State: Werner wins with snap anticipation and hand use around the edge. Expect the defensive end to play at a heavier weight in 2013 than he did this past season. Werner needs to have a more consistent motor in order to maximize his tools. Projection: First round

5. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M: This is one of the biggest conundrums of the entire 2013 draft class. Moore utilizes a great motor to chase down ball carriers, but admits to a poor work ethic off the field. He is not a great athlete, but Moore can maximize his potential with good use of hands and length. Projection: Second round

6. Cornelius Washington, Georgia: Washington was severely misused as a five-technique end in the Bulldogs' three-man front. When he was allowed to rush from the seven or nine alignment, though, he was tremendous. Therefore, this ranking is dependent on a role where Washington can use his initial explosion and strength on first contact, similarly to Trent Cole. Projection: Second round

Pass-Rushing Outside Linebacker

1. Dion Jordan, Oregon: Jordan fits best as a strong-side linebacker in a four-man front, but many will project him as a rush linebacker. He is already very comfortable and fluid in coverage and has the length, physical nature and closing speed to improve as a pass rusher. Projection: Top 10

2. Barkevious Mingo, LSU: In terms of raw tools, few surpass Mingo. However, his outstanding movement skills and lean frame did not add up to production in 2012. I think he was coached to take less aggressive pass-rushing angles and play more contain, but that is merely an educated guess. Projection: First round

3. Jarvis Jones, Georgia: Few prospects produced on a more consistent basis than Jones, who used snap anticipation and a great motor to chase down the quarterback. There will be questions about his frame and athletic upside, specifically in regard to counter moves and run defense. Projection: First round

4. Corey Lemonier, Auburn: The Auburn product is a bit of a tweener. He flashes good strength on first contact and fine closing speed, but appears to get lost due to backfield vision. Lemonier plays with good pad level, so putting him in space to start each play might be a good thing. Projection: Second round

5. Jamie Collins, Southern Miss: Another ultra-athletic prospect with upside, Collins is a smooth mover with a frame that offers room to grow. He fails to generate a lot of power on initial engagement, but makes plays when given space to operate. Projection: Second round


Like to do your own draft scouting? We have prospect highlight videos of all the top players entering the 2013 NFL Draft. Watch them now in our Draft section.

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