2014 NFL Draft defensive end rankings

Tyler Smith

Jadeveon Clowney is the obvious No. 1, but then who?

Defensive ends are always a difficult position to rank. Depending on the scheme a team plays, what the front office is looking for in a defensive end will vary. Some of these players fit better into the 3-4 than the 4-3. Some can play standing up, while others have to have their hand in the dirt. More than any other position, defensive line is dependent on scheme fit.

Our top ranked defensive end is one of the few prospects in recent memory who can do it all. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney started the season as our No. 1 defensive end and has held onto the distinction with relative ease. After Clowney, things get crowded and tough to call.

Versatility is a big plus, which is why players like Vic Beasley, Stephon Tuitt and Kony Ealy find themselves highly ranked. Defensive end rankings will be a topic of a lot of debate, but there is a ton of talent in this class.

Here are our top 26 defensive ends.

1. Jadeveon Clowney | 6'6, 272 pounds | Defensive end | South Carolina * - Preseason notes
2. Vic Beasley | 6'2, 235 pounds | Defensive end | Clemson *
3. Stephon Tuitt | 6'5, 303 pounds | Defensive end/tackle | Notre Dame - Preseason notes
4. Shawn Oakman | 6'9, 275 pounds | Defensive end | Baylor **
5. Kony Ealy | 6'5, 260 pounds | Defensive End | Missouri *
6. Jackson Jeffcoat | 6'5, 250 pounds | Defensive End | Texas - Preseason notes
7. Aaron Lynch | 6'6, 244 pounds | Defensive end | South Florida **
8. Za'Darius Smith | 6'6, 254 pounds | Defensive end | Kentucky *
9. Scott Crichton | 6'3, 265 pounds | Defensive end | Oregon State *
10. Ed Stinson | 6'3, 282 pounds | Defensive end | Alabama
11. Michael Sam | 6'2, 255 pounds | Defensive end | Missouri
12. Demarcus Lawrence | 6'3, 245 pounds | Defensive end | Boise State *
13. Chris Smith | 6'2, 266 pounds | Defensive end | Arkansas
14. Kareem Martin | 6'5, 260 pounds | Defensive end | North Carolina - Preseason notes
15. Cassius Marsh | 6'2, 270 pounds | Defensive end | UCLA
16. Chaz Sutton | 6'4, 248 pounds | Defensive End | South Carolina
17. Ben Gardner | 6'4, 277 pounds | Defensive end | Stanford
18. Deion Barnes | 6'4, 249 pounds | Defensive end | Penn State **
19. Trevor Reilly | 6'5, 255 pounds | Defensive end | Utah
20. James Gayle | 6'4, 255 pounds | Defensive end | Virginia Tech
21. Henry Anderson | 6'6, 295 pounds | Defensive end | Stanford *
22. Martin Ifedi | 6'3, 265 pounds | Defensive end | Memphis *
23. Jamil Merrell | 6'4, 255 pounds | Defensive end | Rutgers
24. Darryl Cato-Bishop | 6'3, 266 pounds | Defensive end | North Carolina State
25. Jonathan Newsome | 6'3, 236 pounds | Defensive end | Ball State
26. Ryne Giddins | 6'3, 253 pounds | Defensive end | South Florida

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