Breaking down the DEs

Thirteen Watch List defensive ends among those with evals

Originally Published: March 26, 2013
By RecruitingNation | ESPN.com

Here's a look at the defensive ends our scouts have evaluated. While grades, stars and rankings are still to be determined, after watching hours of film our scouts were able to break down these players. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Their work is not done and every day they are adding more evaluations into the recruiting database, so keep checking back for more.


DE Keyon Brown
Wauchula, Fla./ Hardee County
College: Undecided

Brown is a defender with some very good natural tools to work with and develop. He possesses just adequate height but has a thick, muscular build with some room for additional size (although unless he grows, he could be closer to his physical ceiling). You would like to see more consistency, but he possesses good first-step quickness and can disrupt with penetration at times.
Complete eval Insider | Highlights Video


DE Lorenzo Carter
Norcross, Ga./Norcross
College: Undecided

Carter is a long, lean, wiry defensive end. He is a bit in the mold of a former Norcross product Adrian Hubbard, who is now with Alabama. Carter is a bit more of a hybrid type DE/OLB defender as well and he has some experience in that role. He needs to work to continue to pack on some more good mass to his lengthy frame, and that should come with a focus on football.
Complete eval Insider


DE Deondre Clark
Oklahoma City, Okla./Douglass
College: Undecided

Clark is a prospect with some good physical tools and could potentially land in a few different spots depending on development, scheme, etc. He has solid height and bulk and looks to possess a good reach with a thick, sturdy build with some room for additional size. He shows flashes of very good first-step quickness but is much too inconsistent, showing just adequate snap anticipation. When he utilizes that initial burst he is capable of disrupting with penetration.
Complete eval Insider


DE Quanlen Cunningham
Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton
College: Undecided

Cunningham is a prospect who will work to get around the football from the defensive end position. He has good height and a wiry build, and while he needs to add more mass he should be able to still pack some size onto his frame with further physical development. Displays above-average first-step quickness and demonstrates good recognition of blocking schemes. He needs to continue to get bigger and stronger as he can get overpowered by bigger blockers at times, but has shown improved ability to handle one-on-one situations in a phone booth.
Complete eval Insider


DE Malik Dorton
Bellflower, Calif./Saint John Bosco
College: Undecided

Dorton is a defender who demonstrates that he can get around the football and be a productive player. He has adequate height with good bulk and looks to have a good reach. Will show some flashes, but overall has a solid get-off. Can be a tough run defender. He displays some recognition of schemes and blocking angles and can put himself into good positions to play the ball.
Complete eval Insider | Highlights Video


DE Lorenzo Featherston
Greensboro, N.C./Page
College: Undecided

Featherston is a towering defensive prospect -- a human condor in football pads. He is an extremely long and lean kid. Although he needs to work to add some serious bulk to his frame, he is broad-shouldered and should be able to pack on some of that needed mass with time in a college weight program. He may not have a thick, hulking build, but don't let his leanness fool you as he can be explosive coming off the ball.
Complete eval Insider


DE Da'Shawn Hand
Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge
College: Undecided

Hand is a defensive end prospect who brings several good traits to the table. He is physically well put-together with good height, a lean, muscular build and he carries his weight very well with some room for additional bulk. He also demonstrates some natural smarts and comes across as a fairly measured kid in his actions. He can be explosive off the ball, with very good first-step quickness.
Complete eval Insider | Highlights Video


DE Vincent Mihota
Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax
College: Virginia Tech

From his jersey number to his demeanor there is not really much flash with this kid, but that doesn't matter because there is plenty of substance as Mihota can line up and play the game. He doesn't look quite as big as listed, but has good size with a lengthy frame that can support more good mass with time in a college weight program. Shows good snap awareness and possesses very good first-step quickness. It's not unusual for him to be the first guy moving and he is capable of disrupting plays in the backfield.
Complete eval Insider


DE Derick Roberson
San Antonio/William J. Brennan
College: Texas

From hunting down quarterbacks to defending the run to even playing special teams, Roberson proves to be a productive player. He is a defensive end with good height and a lean build. He needs to continue to fill out his lengthy frame, but despite being a bit light in the pants he displays good playing strength. He shows he is capable of being productive in several ways, but initially jumps out at you with his ability to get after the quarterback.
Complete eval Insider


DE Kentavius Street
Greenville, N.C./J. H. Rose
College: Undecided

There is a lot to like about Street. He comes across as someone who straps on the pads, steps on the field and simply gets after it. He possesses very good overall size at this stage for the position with a thick, sturdy build and good playing strength. He plays the game hard and well, but you wish he possessed a little better get-off. He will show some flashes, but does not display great first-step quickness. While you wish he was a little quicker off the ball consistently, once he gets in motion he is an active and physical player.
Complete eval Insider


DE Chad Thomas
Miami/Booker T. Washington
College: Undecided

Booker T. Washington is a program that has produced some very good defensive talent and Thomas is the latest who should draw interest from recruiters. He has good height and a lean build, and will need to continue to work to add more size to his lengthy and somewhat narrow frame. He can be a bit inconsistent with snap anticipation, but flashes very good first-step quickness and can disrupt with penetration. He is an end, but shows good toughness and playing strength taking reps inside as well and can be tougher one-on-one in a phone booth than one might expect with his build one-on-one in a phone booth.
Complete eval Insider | Highlights Video


DE Solomon Thomas
Coppell, Texas/Coppell
College: Undecided

Thomas is a steady and real productive defensive lineman. As a blocker you better know your assignment and be sharp with your technique because odds are Thomas will be. He is a 3-4 end for his high school and that could be a good fit for him at the next level as well. But if he plays in a scheme that utilizes a four-man front he might need to slide inside. He is a good-sized prospect at this stage and looks to have a frame that could still support more needed mass.
Complete eval Insider


DE Justin Thornton
Prichard, Ala./Vigor High School
College: Undecided

Thornton is a long and lean defensive end prospect with some good upside. He needs to continue to work to pack on more good mass to his rangy frame. While he needs to fill out, he shows he can be an active presence. He will show flashes, but does not consistently display great initial quickness and needs to help himself a little more at times by crowding the ball better.
Complete eval Insider


DE Kendal Vickers
Havelock, N.C./Fork Union Military Academy
College: Undecided

Coming out of high school, Vickers played on both sides of the line, but with some experience on the defensive line he could also potentially be a solid run defender. He flashes the ability to use his hands, take on blockers and hold his ground. Also flashes the tools to be a solid power rusher with the ability to create leverage with his hands and knock blockers out of their cylinder.
Complete eval Insider


DE Denzel Ware
Opp, Ala./Opp
College: Kentucky

Ware is a defensive prospect who demonstrates some very good upside. Off raw ability he is creating problems, and when/if he can put all the pieces together, he could grow into a real disruptive force at the college level. He possesses good length with room to pack on some more needed good mass. You would like to see a little more consistency from him, but he can be an explosive dude. He possesses great first-step quickness and can be disruptive with penetration.
Complete eval Insider