Defensive Ends- NFL Draft 18

1. Bradley Chubb (NC State)– He’s the second best overall player in this draft class and the future is tremendously bright for Bradley Chubb. When you look at him, he was meant to play football. He’s 6’4, weighs 264 pounds and he looks the part. He’s got broad shoulders, thick legs and he’s long-limbed. On the field, he displays a great combination of size and athleticism and he can hold it down on the edge with a wide base. When it comes to being that disruptive force, nobody in college football was more disruptive than Bradley. He can easily slide his way into gaps and drive himself up the field. He’s a scrappy football player that’s always giving 110 percent on each play and he’ll use his speed to track down ball-carriers for a tackle. This kid doesn’t quit on plays. He runs and moves his feet through contact and he squares up to make tackles. He can rush the passer, stop the run (Actively wants to force fumbles) and he’s also able to drop back, open up his hips and play around in coverage. He plays the position with excellent body control and as a rusher, he’s improved his overall approach.

2. Marcus Davenport (Texas-San Antonio)– As of late, he’s moved up on a lot of people’s draft boards after an impressive performance at the scouting combine. He’s a former tri-athlete in high school playing basketball, football and he was also a sprinter in track and field. He decided to stick with football and he became a star for Texas-San Antonio. What put him on the national radar was his game against the Texas A&M Aggies when he recorded 11 tackles and 1 sack in 2016. He’s always aggressive and that demeanor is shown when he hits. He unloads his force from his hips and wraps people up. At 6’6, he uses his length to his full advantage and works the edge as a pass rusher. He’s very aggressive with his hands and will throw occasional combos with his hands to throw off an offensive lineman. He definitely has the tools and the traits to get even better as a pass rusher with the proper coaching and focus.

3. Arden Key (LSU)– Since 2016, I have raved about this kid and his play. Whoever decides to take a chance on him and draft him is getting a star in the making. That’s how much potential he has. He’s 6’6 with long arms that he uses to get to the other side of a blocker’s edge. What I enjoy about his play is he’s able to rush from the outside on the edge and he can also rush from the interior of the defensive line as well. He plays “slippery” meaning he’s tough to square up against because of his ability to move all over the place and he can disappear from his blockers with consistent turns in his upper body. He can also show his range and rope in running backs that try to use their speed on the edge. If he can take full advantage of his length, he’ll be an even scarier player.

4. Harold Landry (Boston College)– After his breakout season in 2015, he became one of the best defensive ends in the country. He may lack height for the position, but the length of his arms make up for that. He can create strip sacks and knock the ball down with the arm length he displays. He’s always in attack mode and he just doesn’t come for the quarterback. He’ll bring down running backs, pursue himself to the ball and he displays his athletic ability to ramp up his pass rush to get after and bring down mobile quarterbacks. He’s rangy with plus pursuit speed against the run and he has experience standing and dropping into space. Plays with good change of direction and quick lateral movement to track down bootlegs.

5. Sam Hubbard (Ohio State)– This kid was a lock to attend Notre Dame until Urban Meyer swooped in on a recruiting trip and helped change his mind. Since that meeting, things have definitely changed for Sam Hubbard. He’s added on 70 pounds and made the transition from a safety to a defensive end. He’s always playing with an excellent pad level and good bend at the point of attack. He can square up and bully blockers with lined up pads and a wide yet balanced base. He’s always in the perfect position to tackle and normally finishes. He’s an exceptional hand-fighter and will throw three or four jabs to prevent his blocker from keeping him out the backfield.