2017 NFL Draft – Defensive Ends

Taco Charlton 6’6” 277 DE Michigan


Taco is going to possibly be one of the DE’s who may be available at #22 in the first RD. He has prototypical size, with long arms (34 1/2”), and has production at a big school. While he didn’t blow up the combine, he ran a pedestrian 4.92 40 and put up 25 reps (with long arms!). Keep in mind that Terrell Suggs ran a 4.84, and he doesn’t “play” slow. Taco played all 4 years at DE for Michigan, and his senior year was his best with 40 tackles (20 solo), 13.5 TFL, and 10 sacks. It should be noted that Taco was basically a special teams player until his Junior year, where he saw more action at DE, but basically, Taco has one full year of starting experience.

NFL.com has Taco rated at 6.5. According to most scouts, the word inconsistent keeps popping up, but a lot of scouts feel if he is in the right program with the right coach, he has potential to be a quality player.

Derek Barnett 6’3” 259 DE Tennessee


Barnett was a 3 YR starter at DE for Tennessee.A consistent pass rusher from the get-go, he had 9 sacks his Freshman season, 10 in his Junior year, and then topped it off with 13 sacks his Senior year. He also added 56 tackles (40 solo), along with 19 TFL, 1 INT, 5 passes defensed, and 2 FF’s. Barnett features very good hand fighting techniques, and that’s his best attribute. Not particularly fast (4.88 40), he does have a quick first step. Not sure if he makes it all the way to #22, but I’d think he’d be given serious consideration if he did. NFL.com has Barnett rated at 6.21

Tim Williams 6’3” 244 LB/DE Alabama


Tim Williams played all 4 years at LB for Alabama, but was a strong pass rusher. A little undersized for a 4-3 DE, Williams may be a hybrid OLB/DE, or may find a home as a 3-4 OLB. Williams. Word is he struggled with different assignments in Alabama’s defense, but was most comfortable when just rushing the passer. Williams finished his Senior season with 31 tackles (22 solo), 16 TFL, 9 sacks, 2 passes defensed, and 2 FF’s. At the combine, Williams ran a 4.68 40, and chose not to participate in the bench press. Williams is a good player with talent, but where exactly he best fits will be up to the team that drafts him. I admit, if he were our pick at #22, I’d be disappointed, because I think he’d have to be more of a pass rush specialist, and not a starting DE, and IMO, that’s not a great value in the 1st RD. NFL.com has Williams rated at 6.04

Charles Harris 6’3” 253 DE Missouri

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 06 Missouri at Toledo

Harris is coming to play in the NFL after his Junior year at Missouri. Harris improved each year, and finished his Junior season with 61 tackles (35 solo), 12 TFL, 9 sacks,  2 passes defensed and 2 FF’s. Harris didn’t start playing football until his Junior year of HS, which is pretty late. Harris ran a 4.82 and put up 21 reps on the bench. He’s considered a good pass rusher, but not very strong against the run, and also has difficulty shedding blocks. NFL.com has Harris rated at 6.0

Takkarist McKinley 6’2” 250 DE UCLA


Takk is a very good athlete, and despite being a little short for a DE, he has long arms, and the speed and power to compete. Takk had his best year in college his final year at UCLA, where he put up 61 tackles, 18 TFL, 10 sacks, 6 passes defensed, and 3 FF’s. Great motor, and never stops. Takk recently had shoulder surgery, right before the combine, but he was able to particpate in all the drills, so I would imagine he’s going to be OK for the season. He’s another 3-4 OLB/4-3 DE prospect. Takk ran a 4.59 40 and put up 24 reps in the BP. He’s relatively raw as a pass rushing prospect, as evidenced by the jump from 3 sacks jis Junior year to 10 sacks in his Senior year. He will need to be taught, but the talent is there. NFL.com has Takk rated at 6.21

Carl Lawson 6’2” 261 DE Auburn


Lawson is a well built DE prospect. Very strong, putting up 35 reps on the BP. Pretty quick and athletic for his size too, running a 4.67 40 and and even more impressive 4.19 20 YD shuttle. Very good burst, and strong hands, 2 traits you look for in a DE. Lawson finished his Senior year with 30 tackles (16 solo), 14 TFL, 9.5 sacks and 1 FF. NFL.com has him rated at 5.75.

Jordan Willis 6’4” 255 DE Kansas State


Willis’ Head Coach Bill Snyder called Willis “The Epitome of Kansas State football”. Nuff said right there, that’s a pretty high compliment, especially from a Hall of Fame HC. Willis was Big 12 Player of the Year in 2016. Willis finished with 52 tackles (34 solo), 17,5 TFL, 11.5 sacks, 3 passes defensed, 3 FF’s and 1 FR. Pretty impressive. Willis has excellent speed, ran a 4.53 40, along with a DL best 39” vertical, which shows explosiveness, a 6.85 cone, and a 4.28 20 YD shuttle. Obviously, this kid is a great athlete. He also has a non stop motor, and always play to the whistle. Incidentally, the Dolphins have met with Willis a few times, according to our FU beat reporter D. NFL.com has Willis rated 5.72

Tanoh Kpassagnon 6’7” 289 DE Villanova


Excellent prototype size, with extraordinarily long arms (35 5/8”). Big enough to play either outside or inside. He does need to work on his lower body strength though. Very intelligent prospect, son of chemical scientist and economist. He currently has an internship with Price Waterhouse Coopers. Tanoh in his Senior season totaled 45 tackles (27 solo)along with 21.5 TFL, 11 sacks, 1 FF and 2 FR’s. He’s still a raw prospect, and needs to develop a repertoire of pass rushing moves. Definitely a player with upside, it seems scouts want to make sure he really loves football, as he appears to be on track in his business career. NFL.com compares him to Margus Hunt, and we know how that worked out. NFL.com has Tanoh rated at 5.59.

Next article will be a look at the LB’s, and then following that will be the safeties.

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549 Responses to 2017 NFL Draft – Defensive Ends

  1. naplesfan2010 says:

    I get what you are saying OD, and we actually might grab Lamp in the first or Dawkins in the 2nd or Asiata in the third … would not surprise me in the least. BUT, we don’t NEED to do that.

    … with an OL of Tunsil-Larsen-Pouncey-Bushrod-James, we are better than last year, and we went 10-6 last year with all those major injuries and a first yr HC and a first year DC.

    Because last year we had the exact same OL except our rookie LT was forced to play inside which was WAAAAAYYYY out of position for him, and Albert played injured and had his worst year of his career, and we still had Ajayi go for over 200 frickin yards THREE times which is EPIC!!

  2. naplesfan2010 says:

    Where we lost games last year was because 1- Gase f’d up a couple times early in the year while learning to be THE MAN on whom everything depends and 2 – we had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL and 3 – the injuries.

    I mean come on, we lost our QB-C-LB-Safety-CB2 for major amounts of time as well as playing at the end of the year with 3 of our 4 starting DBs out with injuries and 2 of our 3 starting LBs out with injuries.

    From our Game One starters, our RB, TE, QB, SS, FS, CB, OLB1, OLB2, DE1, DE2, LT, and DT all were missing by the end of the year.

    Not to mention Dion Jordan playing a tad bit below potential. We gotta be better this year on Karma alone.

  3. naplesfan2010 says:

    Steve — I like this type of guy for us, he’s not for every team but i’d like him spelling Phillips and taking some pressure off Suh and hey how can you say him playing in our DL is not the same sort of star-studded cast as he played with at Alabama?

    “Prototypical Alabama defensive tackle who wins with leverage, power and technique. Tomlinson’s powerful frame and ability to stack the run between the tackles could make him a scheme-flexible target in the draft. While he is likely to be drafted as a run bully, his history of operating in Alabama’s stunt-and-twist-oriented defense could help keep him on the field on third downs for teams using a similar concept. Tomlinson has a chance to become an early starter and should work into a defensive line rotation immediately.”
    -Lance Zierlein

  4. naplesfan2010 says:

    Not to beat it to death, but about Dalvin Tomlinson:

    Good arm length with power in his large hands. Fires jarring punch into blockers quickly and is in control of the rep. Has good feel for double teams. Broad, powerful hips and strong post leg helps him drop anchor against down blocks. Awareness and power helps him constrict his gaps. Maintains two-gap responsibility until it’s time to tackle. Doesn’t linger on blocks long. Stacks and sheds with consistency. Locates ball quickly. Recognizes run-direction tendency from certain formations. Long, lateral step allows him to get head-start on blocker and prevent being reached. Quality motor and effort. Chases outside his area like he expects to make the play. Willing to do dirty work in Alabama’s twisting defensive scheme. Does outstanding job of occupying both blockers on twists. Active hands in passing lane to bat down passes.

    The “willing to do the dirty work” comment is exactly what we need … someone to help free Suh to wreak havoc. We don’t need this guy to make highlight reel sacks, but with his large powerful hands, he can get one-armed coverage sacks and drag down RBs trying to wriggle through tight holes, and one guard can NOT root him off of his spot.

    Plus he has a very high IQ and wants badly to play well and do the right things off field as well.

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