Teammates Kourtnei Brown #90 of the Clemson Tigers and Andre Branch #40 take part in a flashmob.
We've talked about defensive ends pretty much ad nauseam here in the past few weeks and months so I'm not going to go too in depth about it again. I wanted to try and get a good portion of Mike Mayock's positional rankings out to you before Saturday because they're sure to change after the physical testing takes place and players separate themselves athletically from others.
While I haven't completely formulated my opinions on all these players, I will say that I'm higher on Quinton Coples than I am on Melvin Ingram purely from a 'potential' standpoint. The dude dominated at the Senior Bowl and flashed the ability that put him in the Top-Five discussion coming into his senior year. But, as you can see below, Mayock has Ingram number one, Coples number two, and I respect Mayock's reasoning. Here's what he recently said about the two:
On Coples: "I am not a Quinton Coples guy. He looks the part, he's pretty, he's got all kinds of ability and he's going to remind people of Julius Peppers. That all sounds pretty good, but I'd be scared to death there, because he did not play well or hard as a senior."
On why he prefers Ingram: "He's one of those guys, kind of like Justin Tuck, where you can have fun with him. And he's shown he has the aptitude to learn all those different positions (nose tackle, hand-in-the-dirt defensive end, stand-up pass rusher, middle linebacker)."
Rise: Ingram, Branch
Fall: Coples, Mercilus, Perry
New entry: Curry
Out: Syracuse's Chandler Jones
I've included prospect vids after the jump so you can familiarize yourselves with these guys prior to the Combine. Also, make sure you check out Ben's analysis on defensive end/outside linebacker fits for the Seahawks in his LEO post here and his OLB post here.
1. Melvin Ingram, South Carolina 6'2, 276
2. Quinton Coples, North Carolina 6'6, 281
3. Andre Branch, Clemson 6'4, 260
4. Whitney Mercilus, Illinois 6'4, 265
T-5. Vinny Curry, Marshall 6'3, 265
T-5. Nick Perry, USC 6'3, 250
Chandler Jones, Syracuse: 6'5, 265
Brandon Lindsey, Pitt: 6'2, 255