2013 NFL Draft defensive end rankings: LSU's Sam Montgomery fronts exciting group

BATON ROUGE LA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers avoids a tackle by Sam Montgomery #99 of the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on September 25 2010 in Baton Rouge Louisiana. The Tigers defeated the Mountaineers 20-14. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It's difficult to not be excited about the upcoming class of defensive ends. In this year's draft, ends came off the board at picks 15, 16, 18, 19 and 21. Given the talent of the upcoming class, those numbers could be much lower in the 2013 NFL Draft.

The best player in the group is LSU's Sam Montgomery. He spent the offseason adding power, which will only boost his draft stock. Putting out draft rankings in August is based largely on projection. With Montgomery, I'm projecting a break out year. Don't be shocked if he's in the running for the top overall pick in the draft next year.

Right behind Montgomery is a pair of Texas ends in Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor. Okafor has a great burst off the line and Jeffcoat is wildly productive. The class also has plenty of size with William Gholston, Margus Hunt, Dion Jordan and Devin Taylor all listed at 6-foot-6 or taller.

Find the full defensive end rankings after the jump and let me know what you think.

SENIORS

1. Alex Okafor | 6'4, 260 pounds | Defensive end | Texas
2. Dion Jordan | 6'6, 246 pounds | Defensive end | Oregon
3. Devin Taylor | 6'6, 260 pounds | Defensive end | South Carolina
4. Michael Buchanan | 6'5, 240 pounds | Defensive end | Illinois
5. Margus Hunt | 6'8, 295 pounds | Defensive end | SMU
6. John Simon | 6'2, 270 pounds | Defensive end | Ohio State
7. Craig Roh | 6'4, 269 pounds | Defensive end | Michigan
8. Damontre Moore | 6'4, 250 pounds | Defensive end | Texas A&M
9. Malliciah Goodman | 6'4, 280 pounds | Defensive end | Clemson
10. Datone Jones | 6'4, 275 pounds | Defensive end | UCLA

JUNIORS

1. Sam Montgomery | 6'5, 260 pounds | Defensive end | LSU *
2. Jackson Jeffcoat | 6'5, 250 pounds | Defensive end | Texas *
3. Bjoern Werner | 6'4, 272 pounds | Defensive end | Florida State *
4. William Gholston | 6'7, 275 pounds | Defensive end | Michigan State *
5. Corey Lemonier | 6'4, 242 pounds | Defensive end | Auburn *
6. James Gayle | 6'4, 269 pounds | Defensive end | Virginia Tech *
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