Is defensive end the safest pick in the 2011 NFL Draft?
There is a lot of talent at the 2011 National Football League (NFL) Scouting Combine as far as defensive ends go. There is no such thing as a safe pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft considering all of the money paid, but is the defensive end position
the safest one that teams can pick in the first round?
There is a very good chance that it may be. There are potentially nine players that could go in to the first round of the Draft and that is without considering De’Quan Bowers, who didn’t even participate in the Combine.
If teams are looking for a position where they want a quality player, the defensive end position is the best place to look. It is much safer drafting a defensive end than a quarterback for example, because if you can’t play quarterback, you can’t play anywhere.
With a defensive end, the player could be put on the right or left side. If the player is not as fast and agile as the team hoped for him to be, he could also be put on the inside line, or nickel. Teams have seven defensive linemen during each defensive
play and there are many opportunities for defensive ends.
Just by taking a look at statistics, you can see that defensive ends are staying about the same height but getting bigger, heavier and meaner on average. In the 1960’s the average size of rookie defensive lineman was a height of 6 foot 3.875 inches and a
weight of 255 pounds. In the 1970’s, the average physique was 6 foot 4.125 inches and 253 pounds.
Moving ahead to the 2000’s, rookies come in at 6 foot 3 inches and 287 pounds. The average size of rookies since 1960 is 6 foot 3.75 inches and 270 pounds, which is 0.75 inches taller than the average size of a defensive lineman in 2010 and 17 pounds less.
One thing is clear from these statistics; players are getting more muscular and faster and the prospects in 2010 are scary. They work out great, start training early as youngsters in high school and when they finally come to the NFL, they are frightening
opponents. There aren’t really any fat players in the Combine but instead very muscular ones, who could easily break a person’s ribcage if they charged at them without protection.
Robert Quinn, a defensive end for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, created a bit of a stir at the Combine, even though he didn’t play for North Carolina last year. We have been hearing about what a wonderful athlete Quinn is and Monday was his
chance to display his athleticism in front of the scouts.
It's difficult to say what Quinn would have done if he had played last year with the athleticism, speed and agility that he has displayed. In the broad jump, he recorded well over nine feet and his explosiveness in the vertical jump showed just what Quinn
is made of.
Those are the characteristics that he has to show off the most from now until the Draft because he was unable to do it on the field during the 2010 season at North Carolina. People really expected better numbers from Quinn during the Combine because he had
an entire year off to train for this. He had fresh legs and should have benched more than the 22 repetitions of 225 pounds that he did. However, looking at his performance in the Combine, it's hard to tell where he and the other prospects will rank in the
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