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Draft Snapshot: 10 Defensive Ends to Watch

Posted Apr 23, 2018

Welcome to draft week.

The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. (CT) Thursday in Dallas. The second and third rounds will be held on Friday and begin at 6 p.m. (CT). Round 4 will start at 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday and be followed by Rounds 5-7.

The Vikings currently have eight selections in the draft, beginning with the 30th overall pick.

Vikings.com is taking a glance at the top prospects at each position leading up to the draft.

Schedule

April 16: Quarterbacks

April 17: Running backs

April 18: Receivers

April 19: Tight ends

April 20: Tackles

April 21: Centers & Guards

April 22: Defensive tackles

April 23: Defensive ends

April 24: Linebackers

April 25: Cornerbacks

April 26: Safeties

Where the Vikings Stand

Everson Griffen is back after three consecutive Pro Bowl seasons. Griffen has started all 62 of the games he has played in the past four seasons and totaled 43.5 sacks in that span. Griffen totaled a career-best 13 sacks in 2017, a total that was fueled by an eight-game streak with at least one sack. Danielle Hunter performed well against the run and recorded 7.0 sacks in 2017, his third pro season and first as a starter after receiving the torch from Brian Robison, who rotated at defensive end and kicked inside as a nickel interior rusher. Stephen Weatherly, a seventh-round pick in 2016, and 2017 undrafted free agent Tashawn Bower could have increased opportunities this fall.

Recent Draft History (over past five years)

Total number of defensive ends drafted: 113

Round 1: 16

Round 2: 16

Round 3: 19

Round 4: 14

Round 5: 17

Round 6: 12

Round 7: 19

A total of 32 defensive ends were drafted in 2013, which was by far the most of any of the past five drafts. The past four drafts have had 21, 21, 19 and 20 defensive ends selected.

After just six defensive ends came off the board in first rounds from 2014-16, there were six selected on 2017’s opening night.

A defensive end/edge rusher has been selected within the first three picks in each of the past five drafts: Dion Jordan (third overall in 2013), Jadeveon Clowney (first overall in 2014), Dante Fowler (third overall in 2015), Joey Bosa (third overall in 2016) and Myles Garrett (first overall in 2017).

The Prospects (based on rankings by CBS Sports)

Note: The CBS Sports rankings include players classified as defensive ends and as edge rushers by NFL.com.

1. Bradley Chubb

N.C. State, Senior, 6-foot-4, 269 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.65 seconds (eighth among defensive linemen and edge rushers)

Bench press: 24 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 36 inches (tied for fourth among defensive linemen and edge rushers)

Broad jump: 10 feet, 1 inch (tied for eighth among defensive linemen and edge rushers)

3-cone drill: 7.37 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.41 seconds

2017 stats: 73 tackles (40 solo), 26 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two pass breakups, three forced fumbles in 12 games; ranked seventh in FBS in sacks per game (0.83) and second in tackles for loss (2.2); First-Team All-American and All-ACC selection; won Hendricks (best defensive end) and Bronko Nagurski (best defender) Awards

2. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (edge rusher)

Oklahoma, Senior, 6-foot-1, 253 pounds 

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.77 seconds

Bench press: 27 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 38 inches (third among defensive ends and edge rushers)

Broad jump: 10 feet, 1 inch (tied for eighth among defensive ends and edge rushers)

3-cone drill: did not participate

20-yard shuttle: did not participate

2017 stats: 76 tackles (47 solo), 17.5 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, two pass breakups, three forced fumbles in 14 games; co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Second-Team All-American

3. Marcus Davenport

Texas-San Antonio, Senior, 6-foot-6, 264 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.58 seconds (fifth among defensive ends and edge rushers)

Bench press: 22 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 33.5 inches

Broad jump: 10 feet, 4 inches (tied for third among defensive ends and edge rushers)

3-cone drill: 7.20 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.41 seconds

2017 stats: 55 tackles (33 solo), 17 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles and a fumble return touchdown in 11 games; ranked 10th in FBS with 1.5 tackles for loss per game; became first Roadrunner to be invited to Reese’s Senior Bowl and second to participate in scouting combine; Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year

4. Josh Sweat (edge rusher)

Florida State, Junior, 6-foot-4, 251 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.53 seconds (third among defensive ends and edge rushers)

Bench press: did not participate

Vertical jump: 39.5 inches (first among defensive ends and edge rushers)

Broad jump: 10 feet, 4 inches (tied for third among defensive ends and edge rushers)

3-cone drill: did not participate

20-yard shuttle: 4.28 seconds (tied for fifth among defensive ends and edge rushers)

2017 stats: 56 tackles (31 solo), 12.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, three pass breakups in 12 games

5. Duke Ejiofor

Wake Forest, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-4, 264 pounds

Combine numbers

Note: Ejiofor did not participate in timing and testing drills. He was recovering from surgery on a torn labrum.

2017 stats: 43 tackles (26 solo), 16.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one pass breakup, two forced fumbles in 12 games; ranked 15th in FBS with 1.4 tackles for loss per game 

6. Jeff Holland (edge rusher) 

Auburn, Junior, 6-foot-2, 249 pounds 

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.79 seconds

Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches

Note: Holland did not participate in other timing and testing drills.

2017 stats: 45 tackles (27 solo), 13 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one pass breakup, four forced fumbles in 14 games; ranked 18th in FBS with 0.71 sacks per game and 26th with 0.29 forced fumbles per game; First-Team All-SEC by coaches and the Associated Press

7. Arden Key (edge rusher)

LSU, Junior, 6-foot-6, 238 pounds

Combine numbers

Vertical jump: 31 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 9 inches

3-cone drill: 7.16 seconds (10th among defensive ends and edge rushers)

20-yard shuttle: 4.25 seconds (fourth among defensive ends and edge rushers)

Note: Key did not participate in other timing and testing drills.

2017 stats: 33 tackles (15 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, one forced fumble in eight games

8. Lorenzo Carter (edge rusher)

Georgia, Senior, 6-foot-6, 250 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.50 seconds (second among defensive ends and edge rushers)

Vertical jump: 36 inches (tied for fourth among defensive ends and edge rushers)

Broad jump: 10 feet, 10 inches (first among defensive ends and edge rushers)

Note: Carter did not participate in other timing and testing drills.

2017 stats: 61 tackles (30 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered in 15 games; Second-Team All-SEC by coaches and the Associated Press

9. Chad Thomas

Miami, Senior, 6-foot-6, 281 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.92 seconds

Vertical jump: 29 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches

Note: Thomas did not participate in other timing and testing drills.

2017 stats: 41 tackles (19 solo), 12.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one pass breakup in 13 games

10. Justin Lawler

Southern Methodist, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-4, 251 pounds

Combine numbers

Note: Lawler was not invited to the combine.

2017 stats: 74 tackles (42 solo), 15.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles in 13 games; tied for national lead with three blocked kicks

Join fellow Vikings fans Thursday on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium for the Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party. Follow the first round of the NFL Draft as we welcome the newest member of the Minnesota Vikings. Tickets available now – click here to learn more!