How to Find a Defensive End In The Draft

What, like I'd need a reason to post a picture of Richard Dent?

Over the weekend, the Bears' official web site brought us the original draft profiles of some current Chicago Bears. This week, the Sun-Times looked up some draft profiles of some players that would eventually become Pro Bowl defensive ends, especially applicable since with the signing of Chilo Rachal, the scales are again tipped towards defensive line being the Bears' first pick.

Take a look at some of the draft profiles below, and let's see what you consider important in a defensive line pick.

First off, let's take a look at Jared Allen's profile...

The 6-6, 265-pound Allen already was known for his ‘‘high motor,'' his relentless drive and his on-field leadership. But he was seen as a soft, weak player who dominated slower, smaller opponents in Division I-AA. ‘‘Not sudden or explosive,'' according to Pro Football Weekly's annual draft preview. ‘‘Lacks the initial quickness and burst to beat NFL offensive tackles. Big fish in a small pond.''

The upshot? ‘‘Developmental prospect with the ability to long snap. Will have to gain weight and move inside. Off-the-field issues may hurt his position. Draftable in late rounds.''

Then there's MIchael Strahan.

Michael Strahan, Giants (second round, 40th overall in 1993): ‘‘Has the frame to get bigger . . . long arms . . . Good first step and is really quick over the first 10 yards . . . Will hustle and chase . . . Learns well . . . Is receptive to coaching . . . Has improved every year . . . still raw and green . . . rarely shows big-time closing burst.''

How about undrafted John Randle.

John Randle, Vikings (undrafted in 1990): ‘‘Good athlete . . . quick . . . Gets up the field . . . Makes plays . . . Pressures the quarterback . . . Gives great effort . . . Excelled on his level but may be too small to play in the NFL . . . Would really do well in Canada.''

Now that you've seen that, share your favorite draft preview from your favorite player. What do you think is the most important characteristic of a solid defensive end? What do you specifically look for?

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