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The Shutdown Corner Podcast with Greg Cosell: Evaluating the defensive ends

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UCLA's Datone Jones impresses with his versatility. (AP)

You didn't think that we were finished doing podcasts with our buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup just because the NFL season is over, did you? Well, if you did, fear not -- we're back in the saddle (and Greg's now writing for Shutdown Corner as well) to do a new series of podcasts in which we evaluate the draft prospects by position. We've already discussed the quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends, offensive linemen, and defensive tackles in this year's class, and how it's time to talk about a very intriguing group of defensive ends. Greg has taken his decades of experience, and oodles of coach's tape, and transferred both to the college side just in time for the pre-draft process.

The Shutdown Corner Podcast with Greg Cosell: Evaluating the defensive ends

A few words of wisdom from Mr. Cosell:

On Florida State's Bjoern Werner: "I struggled with him, and I don't mean that in a negative way -- I mean that I struggled with my evaluation of him. I watched a lot of games, and there were times I thought he was a very good player. There were times when I saw quickness and explosion off the ball. He does have natural athleticism. There were times when I thought he used his hands effectively to create leverage. When all was said and done, I thought a couple of things. He's not a natural "bend-the-edge" pass rusher, where he's going to get low with that great flexibility. I don't think he's that guy. He did show the ability to get his inside shoulder around the right tackle and close with speed."

On Florida State's Tank Carradine: "I think Carradine is a better athlete than Werner, even though he may not be as tall as Werner, when you watch the body type and the movement, Carradine is a longer, more flexible-looking athlete. His size, his length, his flexibility, and his overall athleticism were all positives to me. I think he also has to get a little stronger, and that's something you have to get in an NFL weightroom. The thing I really liked about Carradine was how active he was."

The Shutdown Corner Podcast with Greg Cosell: Evaluating the defensive ends

On BYU's Ezekiel Ansah: "Players like this are both exciting and dangerous. He's got a lot of natural athleticism you can't teach. He's clearly showed explosive movement and traits. BYU lined him up all over their defense -- you'd see him lined up as a pure nose tackle sometimes. One thing I did notice from his tape I watched was that he would almost always rush from the left side, which made me wonder, is he more comfortable from that side? Does he become a top NFL pass-rusher? If you're going to draft him in the top five or the top 10, you're basically saying that down the road, he's going to be a dominant pass-rusher."

On UCLA's Datone Jones: "Watching him, I had the sense that he has the potential to become an even better pass-rusher in the NFL, because he has the skill set to do that. I thought he had really quick and active hands, and he used them well. His short-area quickness was very good -- he was both powerful and explosive. He needs to improve taking on double teams, we'll see how that goes. At UCLA, he was a 3-4 defensive end -- didn't move around a ton. But the more I watched him, the more I believed he could play any defensive line position."

As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link. You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.

The Shutdown Corner Podcast with Greg Cosell: Evaluating the defensive ends

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