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2015 Senior Bowl Preview: Defense

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Who are the best defensive prospects to watch in Mobile?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports


1. Za'Darius Smith 6'5 263 DE Kentucky

- Coming off a dominant performance in the East-West Shrine game, Smith got "promoted" to the Senior Bowl.  Smith is a huge defensive end prospect that had a great career for the Wildcats. He really blossomed under the tutelage of defensive mastermind and HC Mark Stoops. Mr. Smith has a real chance to be drafted within the first four rounds if he continues on the path that he is on.

2. Doran Grant 5'10 193 CB Ohio State

- Grant is a late bloomer in that he really came on during his junior season after two years of not doing much. 2014 was another good year for him as he was the leader of the Buckeyes secondary after Bradley Roby graduated. He's a smart corner in that he makes the receiver show their cards first before countering. Very disciplined in the art of playing cornerback.

3. Jordan Hicks 6'2 244 OLB Texas

- Hicks would be gone by the third round just based on his film alone but his medical history is an extensive one so thus he falls right into the Titans' laps in the sixth. He finally showed the promise and potential of a five star recruit this year. Hicks was the defensive general for the Longhorns and played like it. Possesses very good tackling ability and form. The instincts are off the charts. Agility and speed is above average as well.

4. Nate Orchard 6'4 255 DE Utah

- Orchard was possibly the Pac-12 best pass rusher in a conference that was full of elite pass rushing talent.

5. Kurtis Drummond 6'1 200 S Michigan State

- One of the best safeties in the country. He's a leader of the vaunted Spartans secondary. A big hitter that needs to refine his pass coverage skills.

Honorable mention:

1. Danny Shelton 6'1 339 DL Washington

2. Hayes Pullard 6'0 230 LB USC

3. Quandre Diggs 5'10 200 CB Texas

4. Hau'oli Kikaha 6'3 260 DE Washington

5. Jeff Luc 6'0 251 LB Cincinnati


1. Stephone Anthony 6'2 245 LB Clemson

- Anthony is one of the better and underrated inside linebackers. He isn't in Denzel Perryman's class but a good athlete in his own right. A field general type of linebacker that commands the entire defense.

2. Denzel Perryman ILB 5'11 242 Miami

- Perryman is one of the best inside linebackers in this class. He's a big hitter with a nose for the football. A good athlete that can cover fleet footed slot receivers and is almost impossible to block due to his instincts and strength. He also has the talent to play outside 'backer as well but is better suited inside. Would I take him on the Titans? Yes. He can pair with AJ Williamson inside and move Wesley Woodyard outside where his freelancing might be better utilized.

3. Grady Jarrett  6'1 295 DT Clemson

- Jarrett is a bit undersized for the tackle position but has a consistent motor that doesn't stop. He's in the mold of the Titans' own Jurrell Casey.

4. Kevin White 5'9 174 CB TCU

- White had a great game against Kevin White the receiver. He effectively shut him down in that game. White does come with size questions. He will need to continue his great form in Mobile.

5. Markus Golden 6'2 260 DE Missouri

- The "other guy" on Missouri's standout defensive line combo. Golden is just as good as Shane Ray. He will need to show out during one on ones to improve his stock into the early rounds.

Honorable mention:

1. Lorenzo Mauldin 6'4 252 OLB Louisville

2. Trey Flowers 6'3 262 DE Arkansas

3. Gabe Wright 6'2 290 DL Auburn

4. Senquez Golden 5'9 180 CB Ole Miss

5. Amarlo Herrera 6'0 244 LB Georgia