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2012 NFL Draft Preview: Defensive Line

Posted Apr 9, 2012

Take a look at some of the top prospects on the defensive line leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the weeks leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft, DenverBroncos.com is taking a look at the draft prospects position-by-position.

We will devote a week to each group, looking back at some of the Broncos' previous picks at the position and showcasing some of the top prospects through top stories, blogs and Broncos TV videos.

Next in the nine-part series: defensive linemen.

Below you will find six of the top prospects at the position. Later in the week, we will profile another player to keep an eye on -- West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin.


• POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• HEIGHT: 6'5"
• WEIGHT: 322
On who he patterns his game after:
"Two guys really. Jevon Kearse -- when I was coming out of high school, I was big and fast and wanted to pattern my game after him -- and Julius Peppers, a big physical guy who played basketball. Those guys I really wanted to pattern my game after."
Player • POSITION: Defensive End
• COLLEGE: North Carolina
• HEIGHT: 6'6"
• WEIGHT: 284
On his responsibility as an edge rusher:
"One of the things I do and take pride in is getting to the quarterback. I'm excited about getting to the quarterback and helping the program get to the Super Bowl -- that's how it's going to be."
• POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: Mississippi State
• HEIGHT: 6'4"
• WEIGHT: 298
On why he entered the draft:
"I felt like I was ready to compete at the next level. I talked to my position coach, I asked him, ‘Do you think I’m mature enough?’ He told me he thought I was mature enough; I thought I was mature enough to compete at the next level and I was ready for it. (Having success in the SEC) was another reason I came out. I feel like it is the next step to the NFL."
Player • POSITION: Defensive End
• COLLEGE: South Carolina
• HEIGHT: 6'1"
• WEIGHT: 264
On what he has learned working out with Von Miller leading up to the draft:
"Just everything. We just try to compete against each other every day. Obviously, he's the Defensive Rookie of the Year. So I just try to pattern myself after him because I feel like he's had a lot of success in the NFL."
• POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: Memphis
• HEIGHT: 6'4"
• WEIGHT: 346
On weight lifting:
"I love the weight room. It's something I got into in high school because people always used to say college players are way bigger, faster, stronger. When you get to college, they say the NFL is way bigger, faster, stronger. I never let up on it. I'm intrinsically motivated to do it. Football is the most fun part about it."
Player • POSITION: Defensive Tackle
• COLLEGE: Michigan State
• HEIGHT: 6'2"
• WEIGHT: 308
On defensive tackles he admires:
"One is right in Michigan. Ndamukong Suh is a great player to idolize. He's a great technician, plays hard every play and is going to bring his best. Darnell Dockett was one of the guys I've always thought was a great defensive tackle. Explosive, like myself. He always plays with great leverage and brought an attitude to the game that a lot of people can't match. And Vince Wilfork is just a technician. He's a big guy, but at the same time his feet are always constantly moving. He's swift and agile for his size. So I just try to implement a lot of their game, look at their film, learn their techniques, and try to get better."