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NFL Draft Preview: Defensive Ends

Redskins.com previews the NFL Draft position-by-position, with a focus on some of the top rookie prospects available in the April 29-30 NFL Draft. Monday: Defensive Ends.

The Redskins acquisition of defensive end Andre Carter was one of the team's signature off-season moves. Carter joins a unit that includes veterans Phillip Daniels, Renaldo Wynn and Demetric Evans. That group came on strong down the stretch last season.

Nic Clemons has worked hard to develop his skills the last few years and should be in the mix in training camp. But after Clemons, there are question marks and it appears the Redskins could use some more youth at the defensive end position.

For the Redskins, count defensive end as a position to watch in the NFL Draft. It seems more likely that the team could select one in the later rounds, however.

Redskins Draft History: The Redskins drafted Dexter Manley, the team's all-time sack leader, in the fifth round (119th overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft. Two years later, the Redskins drafted Charles Mann in the third round (84th overall).

Top Prospects

Williams, at 6-7 and 285 pounds, is thought to be the most complete player at the defensive end position in the draft and should be one of the top five players selected overall. Williams had 14.5 sacks last season, along with 24 tackles for a loss.

An explosive pass-rusher, Hali is 6-2 and 267 pounds who played with passion and intensity for the Nittany Lions last year. He logged 11 sacks as a senior and 17 tackles for a loss.

Lawson excelled alongside Mario Williams at N.C. State, but managed to stand out on his own, recording 10.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss. The 6-5, 240-pounder is thought to be light, but uses his size to be an elite speed-rusher.

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Second-Round Prospects

Originally regarded as a top 15 pick, Kiwanuka did not impress during Senior Bowl week and his stock dropped to the second round. The 6-5, 255-pounder could be a steal if he does fall to the second round, though. He had 9.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for a loss last year.

Tapp is another defensive end who plays with a lot of passion and a high motor. At 6-1 and 257 pounds, he lacks ideal height and will need to get stronger to dominate NFL blockers. Regarded as the biggest hitter of the defensive ends, he logged 10 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss last season.

Wimbley has been moving up draft boards ever since his strong showing at the Senior Bowl. He logged 7.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss last season, but his 6-3, 245-pound frame suggests he may be better suited as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

Dumervil dominated at Louisville last season, recording 63 tackles, 20 sacks and an NCAA-record 11 forced fumbles. So why isn't he rated as the top defensive end? He is 5-11 and 258 pounds and his lack of size could be a problem against mammoth offensive tackles.

Edwards turned in an impressive season as a sophomore in 2004, but his numbers dipped last year from eight sacks to 5.5. Edwards, at 6-6 and 270, is thought to be a prototype defensive end, but some scouts have questioned his work ethic.

Other DEs to Watch

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