August 8, 2004
Buying in Bulk
by Warren DeLuca
Note: This is first in a series of college prospect profiles in preparation for the 2005 NFL Draft next April. This week, we take a look at the top five prospects for the defensive line.
Size does matter…at least to the Texans when they are looking for defensive linemen. Their 3-4 defensive scheme requires linemen with the bulk to stuff the run and take on multiple blockers. It is no coincidence that each of the Texans’ projected starting D-linemen (Gary Walker (6’2”, 305), Seth Payne (6’4”, 303), and Robaire Smith (6’4”, 310)) is built for power rather than speed.
As a result, some of the defensive line prospects that top the draft boards of many of the other NFL teams, especially the lighter 4-3 ends, are found elsewhere on the Texans’ rankings. Houston projects the more athletic of those players to outside linebacker and pushes the others down on their defensive line rankings as they lack the size to be every-down players in the Texans’ defense.
HoustonProFootball.com’s top five defensive linemen meet the Texans’ specifications. Anttaj Hawthorne of Wisconsin, Haloti Ngata of Oregon, Mike Patterson of Southern Cal, Marcus Spears of LSU, and Rodrique Wright of Texas can butt heads with the big boys, and each has also shown the potential to wreak havoc on NFL offenses. For more information on each of them, check out the profiles.
Five more defensive linemen to keep an eye on:
Chris Canty, Virginia
Dan Cody, Oklahoma
Shaun Cody, Southern Cal
Albert Means, Memphis
David Pollack, Georgia
Anttaj Hawthorne Home