2009 Season Preview: Defense

Written by Rob Engle on September 14, 2009

Highlighted by the Defensive Tackle position, the 2010 Defensive Class is very top heavy. There doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of depth past the first couple of rounds. Luckily, there are quite a few talented Underclassmen that are expected to declare, which could make the first two rounds the most talented in the past five years. This preview will look mainly at the DEFENSIVE SENIORS.

Defensive Ends-

Carlos Dunlap (Florida) is a junior but still probably the best DE of this class, possessing tremendous size, speed, and strength. For the seniors, though, the group is led by Greg Hardy (Ole Miss) and Corey Wooten (Northwestern). Both are well-rounded defensive ends that will push for first round spots.

Draft Breakdown Top 10

1. Greg Hardy | Ole Miss
2. Corey Wooten | Northwestern
3. Brandon Graham | Michigan
4. George Selvie | South Florida
5. Ricky Sapp | Clemson
6. Brandon Lang | Troy
7. CJ Wilson | East Carolina
8. Alex Carrington | Arkansas State
9. Lawrence Wilson | Ohio State
10. Jermaine Cunningham | Florida

Greg Hardy

Corey Wootton

Defensive Tackles-

This DT class has been compared to the 2001 DT class, which brought players like Richard Seymour, Marcus Stroud, Kris Jenkins, Casey Hampton, Shaun Rodgers, and Gerard Warren into the NFL. This class is headlined by players like Ndamkong Suh (Nebraska), Terrence “Mount” Cody (Alabama), Vince Oghobaase (Duke), Arthur Jones (Syracuse), and Jared Odrick (Penn State). All of those players are potential 1st round picks. But those guys are just the seniors for this group. Juniors Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma), Marvin Austin (North Carolina), Brian Price (UCLA), and Allen Bailey (Miami Fl.) are also could grade out to potential 1st round picks making this class extremely deep. What is so unique about the 2010 DT class is that so many of the prospects are great 3-4 DE prospects. Finding a great 3-4 end is so hard that a lot of these players may end up hearing their names in the first round.

Draft Breakdown Top 10
1. Ndamkong Suh | Nebraska
2. Arthur Jones | Syracuse
3. Terrence Cody | Alabama
4. Vince Oghobaase | Duke
5. Jared Odrick | Penn State
6. Boo Robinson | Wake Forrest
7. D’Anthony Smith | Louisiana Tech
8. Tyson Alualu | Cal
9. DeMarcus Granger | Oklahoma
10. Jeff Owens | Georgia

Ndamkong Suh

Arthur Jones

Outside Linebackers-

Unlike with the DT class, the OLB class doesn’t seem very strong this year. There are a few very impressive athletes who could make a push for first round picks. Some of the top prospects are Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri), Sergio Kindle (Texas), and Ricky Sapp (Clemson). The 2011 OLB class may be more talented, but most of the top prospects are very undersized; examples include Michael Morgan (USC), Rennie Curran (Georgia), Bruce Carter (North Carolina), Malcolm Smith (USC), and Navorro Bowman (Penn State).

Draft Breakdown Top 10-
1. Sergio Kindle | Texas
2. Sean Weatherspoon | Missouri
3. Eric Norwood | South Carolina
4. Daryl Washington | TCU
5. Justin Cole | San Jose State
6. Daryl Sharpton | Miami
7. Roddrick Muckleroy | Texas
8. AJ Edds | Iowa
9. Rico McCoy | Tennessee
10. Stevenson Sylvester | Utah

Sergio Kindle

Sean Weatherspoon

**Note: Possibly the most talented OLB in the 2010 draft class was Mark Herzlich from Boston College. He was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, earlier this year. He hopes to return to the field for the 2010 college football season, according to ESPN.com. He remains in our thoughts and prayers.

Inside Linebackers-

Brandon Spikes decided to stay at Florida for his senior year, which was probably a great decision as he looks to be a first round pick and likely the first ILB taken in the 2010 draft. After Spikes, Penn State LB Sean Lee is recovered from a knee injury and could have a great senior year. The rest of the group is relatively unknown, but players like Jamar Chaney (Mississippi State), Joe Pawelek (Baylor), and Pat Angerer (Iowa) could all jump up draft boards as the season progresses.

Draft Breakdown Top 10
1. Brandon Spikes | Florida
2. Sean Lee | Penn State
3. Joe Pawelek | Baylor
4. Jamar Chaney | Mississippi State
5. Pat Angerer | Iowa
6. Reggie Carter | UCLA
7. Micah Johnson | Kentucky
8. Ryan D’Imperio | Rutgers
9. Boris Lee | Troy
10. Clinton Snyder | Stanford

Brandon Spikes

Sean Lee


The 2010 CB group might be the group that has the rankings completely flip-flop over the next few months. That always seems to happen to CB’s, though, because there are so many factors that can change between now and April. A player could get shown up on a national stage, they could run poorly at workouts or the senior bowl, etc. Trevard Lindley (Kentucky), Syd’Quan Thompson (California), and Patrick Robinson (Florida State) headline this years CB class.

Draft Breakdown Top 10-
1. Trevard Lindley | Kentucky
2. Syd’Quan Thompson | California
3. Patrick Robinson | Florida State
4. Kyle Wilson | Boise State
5. Perrish Cox | Oklahoma State
6. Brandon Ghee | Wake Forrest
7. Javier Arenas | Alabama
8. Devin McCourty | Rutgers
9. Myron Lewis | Vanderbilt
10. Alterraun Verner | UCLA

Trevard Lindley

Syd’Quan Thompson


This Safety class has the potential to be the most exciting class in a long time (possibly ever?) if Eric Berry (Tennessee) decides to declare early and compete with Taylor Mays (USC) for the top Safety spot. Both could end up being Top 10 picks when it’s all said and done.

Draft Breakdown Top 10-
1. Taylor Mays | USC
2. Darrell Stuckey | Kansas
3. Nate Allen | South Florida
4. Justin Woodall | Alabama
5. Kam Chancellor | Virginia Tech
6. TJ Ward | Oregon
7. Harry Coleman | LSU
8. Barry Church | Toledo
9. Josh Pinkard | USC
10. Anderson Russell | Ohio State

Taylor Mays

Darrell Stuckey

Rob Engle

Rob Engle scouted privately starting in 2004. Rob participated in an internship with the Baltimore Ravens scouting department and is continuing his professional career by attending Miami University (Ohio) to obtain a degree in Strategic Communication. Rob is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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