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NFL Draft Preview

April 22, 2004|Research by ROY JURGENS

NFL Draft Preview -- Defense

TOP DEFENSIVE END PROSPECTS

*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Kenechi Udeze USC 6-3 287 Likes to deliver the first blow, takes shortest route to the ball. (1) Will Smith Ohio State 6-3 267 An every-down end, quick enough to drop back into coverage. (1) Antwan Odom Alabama 6-4 277 Good lateral quickness helps him seal off his side of the field. (2) Marquise Hill Louisiana State 6-6 297 Very quick for a player of his size. (3) Jason Babin Western Michigan 6-2 260 Fast, always seems to be around the ball. Needs to bulk up. (3)

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SNEAKING UP

*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Darrion Scott Ohio State 6-3 271 Versatile enough to play anywhere on defensive line. (3) Derrick Strong Illinois 6-3 261 Pure pass rushing specialist who needs to add some weight. (3) Dave Ball UCLA 6-5 277 Good pass rusher with a knack for the big play. (4)

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TOP DEFENSIVE TACKLE PROSPECTS

*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Tommie Harris Oklahoma 6-2 289 Good at rushing the quarterback; he could excel if paired with a run-stuffer. (1) Vince Wilfork Miami (Fla.) 6-1 344 By tying up offensive linemen, he creates better situations for teammates. (1) Randy Starks Maryland 6-3 307 Strong player who beats his way to the ball carrier. (2) Marcus Tubbs Texas 6-3 324 Has a powerful, quick first step to get into the backfield. (2)

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*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Dwan Edwards Oregon State 6-2 309 Solid anchoring nose tackle, intelligent player. (3) Darnell Dockett Florida St. 6-4 297 Two suspensions for off-field incidents could make some teams wary. (3) Igor Olshansky Oregon 6-5 315 Ukrainian born player still learning the finer points of the game. (3)

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TOP OUTSIDE LINEBACKER PROSPECTS

*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) D.J. Williams Miami (Fla.) 6-0 247 Plays with an intimidating presence, loves to make the big hit. (1) Karlos Dansby Auburn 6-3 251 Skilled covering the ball and has a knack for making the big play. (1) Michael Boulware Florida State 6-2 223 Fast enough to play in the secondary, plays hard regardless of the score. (2) Teddy Lehman Oklahoma 6-1 238 His work ethic and tenacity make up for his lack of natural athletic ability. (2)

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*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Dontarrious Thomas Auburn 6-2 241 Athletically talented, but not quite yet molded into a football player. (2) Brandon Chillar UCLA 6-2 253 Savvy, durable player with sound football instincts. (3) Keyaron Fox Georgia Tech 6-2 227 Alert and quick on his feet, rarely caught out of position (3)

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TOP INSIDE LINEBACKER PROSPECTS

*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Jonathan Vilma Miami (Fla.) 6-1 233 Has the ability to anticipate and react. (1) Daryl Smith Georgia Tech 6-1 234 Does a good job of shedding blockers to close down running lanes. (2) Courtney Watson Notre Dame 6-1 237 A team leader with the speed to play outside as well. (3) Richard Seigler Oregon State 6-2 238 Dependable plugger most effective against the run. (3)

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*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Rod Davis So. Mississippi 6-2 239 Many think he'll have to work on intensity to reach the next level. (3) Niko Koutouvides Purdue 6-2 238 Emotional run-stuffer plays bigger than his size. (3) Carl Diggs Michigan 6-1 242 A vocal leader with good instincts. (4)

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TOP CORNERBACK PROSPECTS

*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) DeAngelo Hall Virginia Tech 5-10 197 His athleticism allows him to take gambles lesser players wouldn't attempt. (1) Chris Gamble Ohio State 6-1 181 Former receiver still learning position. Nice size and hands. (1) Dunta Robinson South Carolina 5-10 186 Very fast and can stay with the quickest receivers. (2) Ricardo Colclough Tusculum (Tenn.) 5-10 186 Raw talent could blossom under the right coaching staff. (2)

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*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Keiwan Ratliff Florida 5-10 187 A ball hawk, always looking to make a big play. (2) Will Poole USC 5-10 193 Hard-nosed corner who relishes contact. Has matured after a rocky start. (3) Derrick Strait Oklahoma 5-11 189 Aggressive corner, reads and reacts with a veteran's confidence. (3)

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TOP SAFETY PROSPECTS

*--* Player School Ht Wt Comment (projected round) Sean Taylor Miami 6-2 231 Built almost like a linebacker, hits like one too. (1) Matt Ware UCLA 6-2 209 Smart defensive leader; some say he could use more of a mean streak. (2) Sean Jones Georgia 6-1 212 Coverage technique could use some fine tuning; solid against the run. (2) Bob Sanders Iowa 5-8 204 Deceptively strong, hits low and keeps driving. (2)

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