Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Ranking the Pac-10 defensive ends
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
| ||Icon SMI|
| ||Oregon's Nick Reed is the best defensive end in the Pac-10.|
There's a lot more depth in the Pac-10 at defensive end than at tackle, which makes sense in a pass-centric conference.
Six of the top 10 sackmen are back and a couple of these guys are legitimate All-American candidates. In fact, you could argue each of the top-five has the potential for national honors.
The depth here means some good players got left out. Don't be surprised if California's Rulon Davis ends up with All-Conference honors. But he's got to stay healthy to prove he's the player reports from spring practice suggest he is. And Oregon junior Will Tukuafu is no slouch opposite Nick Reed.
Some might protest ranking unproven USC sophomore Everson Griffen so highly. Get back to us in December.
- Nick Reed, Sr., Oregon: Not the most physically talented guy but please, how do you argue with 12 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss? You don't.
- Dexter Davis, Jr., Arizona State: Numbers should be elite if he improves on 10.5 sacks and three forced fumbles recorded as a sophomore.
- Victor Butler, Sr., Oregon State: Had to be the nation's best backup DE last year -- see 10.5 sacks.
- Everson Griffen, So., USC: He's a dynamic talent who looked unblockable at times late last season and this spring.
- Pannel Egboh, Sr., Stanford: Just ask the scouts -- he's projected as a first-day NFL draft pick. Recorded 13.5 tackles for a loss in 2007.
- Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Jr., Washington: A high-motor guy, he had 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss in 2007.
- Andy Mattingly, Jr., Washington State: He only moved to DE from LB in the spring, but his 8 sacks and four forced fumbles land him on the list.
- Luis Vasquez, Jr., Arizona State: Forms a strong duo with Davis. Recorded 43 tackles and 11.5 tackles for a loss last year.
- Slade Norris, Sr., Oregon State: An undersized pass-rush specialists who had nine sacks as a back-up in 2007.
- Kyle Moore, Sr., USC: His numbers in 2007 didn't blow anyone away but starting at DE for the Trojans counts for something -- like on NFL draft boards.