First Round D-Line Options

I've never posted before, but I read this blog almost every day, here goes. Alright I've read dozens of Mock Drafts and I've come up with a couple of lists of who could be available at our first pick. These are prospects that may be available that I think could fit what we do. I'm going to give my take on the prospects, and let me know who you'd like at each pick.

Defensive End

Quentin Coples - Probably our best option at DE if he falls to us, and I think he will be at the top of our wishlist. I'm not sold on his speed or effort and the Peppers comparisons aren't warranted, but he's strong, has pass rush skills, and is the size/speed prototype for the position.

Courtney Upshaw - I think he's probably one of the highest floor prospects, but also the lowest ceiling. Most of what I've read says he's a great run support player with average pass rush. Kinda reminds me of our Izzy. I wouldn't hate this pick but I think you need more upside out of a first rounder.

Whitney Mercilus - This guy scares the crap outta me, but we have to give him a good look. Undoubtedly had great pass rush production last year, but when I watch games he is a liability against the run. His instincts just aren't there, and there were a bunch of times where the RB ran right past him because he was looking at another offensive player.

Chandler Jones - I'll admit part of the reason I like this guy is his brother is one of the baddest dudes on the planet. He looks like a bigger version of Jonny Bones, with one of the best body types for the position of all the DE prospects. He was injured for most of last year, but had 4.5 sacks in 7 games. If he can stay healthy he's one of my favorites for the pick. Recently is getting mocked in the mid first round a lot.

Nick Perry and Andre Branch - I'm not a huge fan of either of these guys, but they're both borderline first round pass rushers. Both are fast and a little undersized. If i had to I'd probably take Perry out of the two because of his superior athleticism.

Bruce Irvin - I think this guy is a total sleeper pick. A lot of mocks have him going in the 3rd to 5th round, but he can flat out rush the passer. He's way undersized and would be a 3rd down specialist only in our scheme (maybe he could learn SLB for the first two downs after a couple years). This guy gets to the QB faster than any of the other guys listed in this post and his combine numbers back that up. It took me off guard a little when I heard he visited with the bears, but I guess if he can tackle the QB he fits our scheme. Look for this guy to come off the board way faster than people are saying.

Defensive Tackle - I've taken Fletcher Cox out because I'm pretty sure he won't make it to us

Devon Still - He seems to have fallen out of the first round on most mocks lately, but some of his game films are so dominant from last year I think we need to give him a good look. Is strong against the run and pass, but disappears for stretches of the game. Perhaps this is a conditioning issue, and something Marinelli will remedy if he gets his hands on him. Not the most athletic of the prospects.

Jerrel Worthy - Much of what was said about Devon Still applies to Worthy. Dominant at times, but seems to fade at certain points of the game and disappear. He's a little bit smaller than most of the other DT prospects and carries extra fat on his frame to stay above 300 lbs. However my favorite thing about this guy is he is excellent at timing the snap count and is a legitimate threat to tackle the QB before he even hands the ball off.

Dontari Poe -Poe is enormous at almost 350 lbs and has great athleticism. However his stat line against crappy competition is pretty disappointing. Some of what I've read indicates that he may not have had good coaching and that when he learns proper technique he could be a dominant player. I don't usually think about our line as having huge DT's that stuff the run, but this is an area I'd like to improve on our defense. I wouldn't hate this pick, but Poe makes me nervous.

Michael Brockers - I like Brockers a lot as he was one of the best run-stopping DT's in college football last year. He doesn't have a ton of pass rush talent at this point, so he may be relegated to nose tackle in our scheme. He kinda reminds me of Pat Williams with his huge size and run-stopping ability. I like this guy a lot to take pressure off of Urlacher in run support and free him up to make plays.

Let me know who you like the best. My top three would be Quentin Coples, Chandler Jones, and Michael Brockers. I would love Bruce Irvin in the second if he's available, but I don't think that will be the case.

<em>This FanPost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.</em>

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