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Monday, August 27, 2012
Looking at Scouts Inc.'s defensive ratings

By Paul Kuharsky

Time for a run through of Scouts Inc.’s defensive rankings, position by position.

The AFC South is home to just four players in the top 10 of the five lists, though the division has a larger presence at a couple of spots as you look deeper -- particularly at defensive tackle.

Here’s a breakdown with some reflection. The first number is the positional ranking, the second the grade.

Defensive ends:
7)  J.J. Watt (85)

12) Dwight Freeney (83)

17) Robert Mathis (81)

23) Jeremy Mincey (80)

31) Antonio Smith (78)
 

My thoughts: Freeney and Mathis are now outside linebackers in the Colts’ system, and Smith kicks to tackle in the Texans’ nickel package. Mincey may be the top guy in the division as an every-down 4-3 defensive end, and Tennessee’s Kamerion Wimbley will be here but is still rated as a linebacker.

Defensive tackles:
24) Tyson Alualu (78)

27) Jurrell Casey (78)

34) Terrance Knighton (76)

41) Cory Redding (NA)

43) Karl Klug (NA)

47) Shaun Cody (NA)

50) Brandon McKinney (NA)
 

My thoughts: The top three here are all likely on the rise and should rank higher going into next season. Redding is a base defensive end in the Colts 3-4. McKinney’s now on IR with a knee injury.

Linebackers:
10) Brian Cushing (85)

23) Daryl Smith (82)

26) Paul Posluszny (81)

35) Connor Barwin (79)

38) Kamerion Wimbley (NA)

47) Brooks Reed (NA)
 

My thoughts: Tough to mash together inside/middle guys and outside guys and 4-3 guys with 3-4 guys, but they all fall together here. I think you can make a case that every guy here from the AFC South could rank higher.

Cornerbacks:
3) Johnathan Joseph (84)

17) Vontae Davis (80)

50) Derek Cox (NA)
 

My thoughts: Joseph is excellent and Davis is a major upgrade for the Colts. Jason McCourty is a noticeable absence here, and Jerraud Powers would seem a top 50 guy as well.

Safeties:
6) Antoine Bethea (81)

10) Danieal Manning (79)

18) Michael Griffin (78)

30) Dawan Landry (76)

34) Glover Quin (75)

38) Dwight Lowery (NA)
 

My thoughts: Nice for the Texans and the Jaguars to get both their starters on the list. Manning gets some deserved recognition here. The two spots that are not accounted for -- either Jordan Babineaux or Robert Johnson in Tennessee and Tom Zbikowski in Indy -- could be issues.

Kickers:
3) Rob Bironas (76)

13) Josh Scobee (68)

19) Adam Vinatieri (62)

25) Shayne Graham (59)

 

Punters:
4) Donnie Jones (74)

13) Brett Kern (66)

16) Pat McAfee (62)

30) Brett Hartmann (54)