There were a couple lessons to be learned from Sunday's game against the Saints; IMO, one of the most important was that our defensive front is unable to pressure QBs on their own. As to whether that is mainly due to the defensive ends or tackles is a fair debate. What's not open to debate is the fact that there are some very talented DT prospects in the 2010 NFL draft. While there's not too many games left for some of these future professionals, there's enough time for some fluctuation among each other and on big boards as a whole.
1 - Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska (ESPN)
First, I feel I have to help out Van here - it's en-dom-ah-ken soo. Of course, if you would rather call him damn-you-Kong!, feel free. Name aside, Suh is an absolute terror. He's stronger than his 6'3"-295 lb. frame suggests, and he's incredibly quick. Less than two weeks ago, the Cornhuskers faced off against Oklahoma; Suh made the most out of one of the bigger stages he's played on. He anchored a line that brought pressure on OU QB Landry Jones all day, resulting in a Cutleresque 5 picks. For good measure, he blocked a FG too.
Next notable evaluation: Nov. 27 at Colorado, 3:30pm ET (ABC)
Rest of the board after the fold.
2 - Gerald McCoy*, Oklahoma (ESPN, MTD)
McCoy has been disrupting offenses for three years, missing just one game due to a hand injury two years ago. I've seen him at the top of many a DT board, and it's hard to argue; he explodes out of his stance. Once he does so, he's got a full menu of moves that he executes very well: swim, power rip, spin, and even his power rush, though that last one still needs some work. Really, that's his one flaw is raw power, and juxtaposed against Suh, it's even more evident. Still, he's been a model student-athlete at Oklahoma, acting as president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving as a team captain, and avoiding the kind of off-field troubles that many of his peers seem to enjoy.
Next notable evaluation: Nov. 28 vs. #12 Oklahoma St., 12:30pm ET
3 - Marvin Austin*, North Carolina
Austin heads up the second tier of DTs right now, IMO. He's got a great skill set that applies to both run and pass defense, but he's part of a very funky D-line, that includes two other solid DTs (Cam Thomas & Aleric Mullins) and a 375-lb. DE (Earl Wilson). I think that he could be a great pick in a 4-3 or even as a 3-4 DE. His biggest flaw is his technique; he's still a bit raw, but with a coach to mentor him (Spagnuolo?), he could be very successful in the NFL.
Next notable evaluation: Nov. 21 at Boston College, 12:00pm ET (ESPN2)
4 - Arthur Jones, Syracuse (ESPN, MTD)
Jones is the first real injury plagued prospect on this board. He tore a chest muscle working out this spring, and he injured his knee in the Pittsburgh game earlier this month. Still, what he was able to prove in his 4+ seasons at Syracuse was plenty to go off of. He's a very good run-stopping DT who competes every play. and he succeeded from time to time facing double teams. He's not a strong pass rusher, but that shouldn't hurt his draft stock. Plenty of teams would love to get his run stuffing skills on their lines.
Next notable evaluation: N/A
5 - Terrence Cody, Alabama (ESPN)
Terrence Cody is large human being. At 6'3" and anywhere from 370-400 lbs., he obviously presents a huge roadblock for offensive lines to deal with. Since transferring to Bama last year, he's been a fan favorite for obvious reasons. Still, you have to wonder if he can play anything but a 3-4 NT in the NFL. He's slow (in NFL terms. For his size, he's blazing fast. Try and find someone around 400 lbs. who can A.) run and B.) run anywhere near as fast as Cody), and he's sloppy. His technique revolves around the power rush, and that includes his stints on the offensive side of the ball as a FB or RB where Alabama has used him from time to time. The bottom line is, a body this big will be in demand, especially for 3-4 defenses who need a true NT.
Next notable evaluation: Dec. 5 vs. Florida (SEC Championship - neutral site), 4:00pm ET (TBD)
6 - Jared Odrick, Penn St. (ESPN)
Next notable evaluation: Nov. 21 at Michigan St., 3:30pm ET (ABC)
7 - Vince Oghobaase, Duke (ESPN)
Next notable evaluation: Nov. 21 at Miami, 12:00pm ET (ESPNU)
8 - Brian Price*, UCLA
Next notable evaluation: Nov. 28 at USC, 10:00pm ET
9 - Dan Williams, Tennessee
Next notable evaluation: Nov. 21 vs. Vanderbilt, 7:00pm ET (ESPNU)
10 - Geno Atkins, Georgia (ESPN)
Next notable evaluation: Nov. 21 vs. Kentucky, 7:45pm ET (ESPN2)