Now that the big game is finally over it is time to focus on the NFL offseason. Here are my picks for the All-Defensive team entering the draft; some of these players could actually contribute to your team next season. Let’s get to it!
** Defensive End **
1. Bjoern Werner (Florida State): The top defensive player in this draft Bjoern is a “can't miss” player who can provide instant production for any defense.
2. Barkevious Mingo (LSU): most people have Damontre Moore ranked over Mingo, and in five years you will be right, but Mingo is this year’s Jason Pierre-Paul, so still give him the slight edge.
3. Damontre Moore (Texas A&M): Let’s face it… Moore needs time to develop in the NFL, but he is an excellent pass rusher and can be a great player in the NFL. It will just take a year or two to get him there.
4. Ezekiel Ansah (Brigham Young): This 6-5 274 lbs. monster from Ghana is a very intriguing pick. I feel he is going to have a great combine and jump on a lot of teams’ radar, but as of right now he ranks 4th on my list.
LB of the Year, Jarvis Jones
** Linebacker **
1. Jarvis Jones (Georgia): What can I say? He would be considered to be the best defensive prospect in this draft but spinal concerns will prevent him from being the top pick. Jones is a beast First Team All-SEC, 6-2, 242 lbs. this man is a steal at any pick in the draft.
2. Alec Ogletree (Georgia): The counterpart to Jarvis Jones, Ogletree may slip to the second round but in my opinion he should not... he is too good. Ogletree tallied 98 tackles in just nine games and did i mention he started off as a safety, so add great hands to the factor of him being an excellent run stopper Ogletree has a tall ceiling of opportunity.
3. Manti Te'o (Notre Dame): He slipped on my list, not due to off the field issues, but rather due to the fact he had only one good year and I don't know how his skills will translate at the NFL level. Still Manti does deserve honors on this all-defensive rookie team.
** Defensive Tackle **
1. Star Lotuelei (Utah): Pegged as a top 5 pick in this draft, the man knows how to stop the run. At 6-3 and 320 lbs., my nfl comparison has to be Vince Wilfork. Star will be a perennial Pro-Bowler and should be a great NFL player.
2. Jonathon Hankins (Ohio State): Jonathon jumped on everyone's board, then fell. But he remains right where he should be on my list... He is a great run stopper, has descent speed, and is a great size to plug holes. Hankins is a late first-round pick who should be a serviceable defensive tackle in the NFL.
3. Jesse Willams (Alabama): The most underrated DT in this draft. First he played for a top-reated Alabama defense that dominated Notre Dame in the BCS Championship. Willams contributed in countless ways last season, and should easily be a first rounder.
FSU's Xavier Rhodes
** Secondary **
1. Dee Millner (Alabama): The scary thing is, Millner could be paired up alongside Joe Haden next season. The even scarier thing is, he could be even better than Haden. He will not wow you with his 40 yard dash, but has hands better than most receivers and has great upside on coverage schemes. Cleveland's defense could be the thing to watch next season.
2. Xavier Rhodes (Florida State): Though not as good as Millner, Rhodes is fast with good hands and can tackle, he is not one to be taken lightly.
3. Johnthon Banks (Mississippi State): Great size, good speed, and underrated catching ability Banks is a sleeper pick destined for the 2nd round.
4. Eric Reid (LSU): Need a free safety? Have no fear, Reid is going to soar up the boards after the combine. Reid had a great season for LSU, and soon enough the NFL. Eric Reid has great value to any team in the NFL.
There are plenty of great players on the defensive side of the ball, where some people feel this is a weak class I believe it is one of the better classes. Sure, there is no big name QB, RB, or WR but where championships are won, there is plenty of talent. The question is who lucks out?
Catch Stephen on The Weekly Sports Throwdown- Thursdays at 7 PM
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