Best “Not First Round” Defensive Line Prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Josh Mauro Stanford
Josh Mauro, Stanford

My mantra for the Packers’ off season has been the Defensive Line needing to be up graded more then any position on the team. A better line makes everyone behind them better and there is no doubt that after being ranked 8th in total sacks, the defense needs to be much better against the run and apply a lot more pressure.

Mike McCarthy stated he wants to change the defense, adding players with more length on the defensive line. And when you look at the traditional 3-4 DE it makes sense to add more of that type of player.

Jones is a good start but with a pesky ankle injury the entire season he flashed but did little else. Worthy got back on the field late last year and his quickness off the ball was impressive, but he was not in football shape, he will be 100% and at over twenty months past his surgery.

Daniels should never be on the field as a base DE like last year, They really had no choice but to rotate him there last year, but he is not suited for it. He was washed out against the run and if he did not beat his man with his quickness he was not that effective. He is perfectly suited to the 3 technique DT spot with his great motor and quickness. With moving Raji back to NT and adding Guion, Daniels can be more effective in the role he should be in.

Boyd is one of the players I want to see most this coming season, He worked his way on the field learning the techniques for the defense, he was a NT in college and showed he can play DE, I think he can be effective at NT, 3 technique and DE.

I am just as excited to see Peppers at DE as standing up and playing OLB. He can play left or right side, and was very effective when playing 3 technique.

I don’t think Pickett will be back and his play dropped off last year.

Jolly should get a chance to compete.  I wonder if he will even be back, But I hope he is. He can add to the defense.

A lot of how the defense does this coming year is on Jones and Boyd taking that second year step up and Worthy basically doing the same in his third after missing most of his second.

I think the talent level is there and hopefully Capers and MM find ways to use them all.

I would not be surprised to see them take a Louis Nix, RaShede Hageman or Stephon Tuitt early, but the development of Jones, Boyd and Worthy could make adding a Defensive lineman less of a priority early in the draft.

The 3rd day of the draft has a number of prospects that fit the bill of Longer 3-4 DE types. Lets check some out.  One last thing, all rankings are subject to change or would that be, all depends on where you look?

Josh Mauro, 6-6 280#  Stanford.  My favorite kind of player, might not be the most gifted but never gives up, high motor.

Brent Urban  6-7 295# Virginia another high effort player, good off the snap, can hold point and play inside or outside. Needs to get better at shedding blocks.

Taylor Hart 6-6 281#  Oregon.  Can hold point, sheds tacklers, more run stuffer then a pass rush player, but you need both.

And maybe my favorite last day pick, Zack Kerr 6-1 326# DT Delaware. Quick off the snap with a nice swim move, good lateral movement, can hold up against double teams.

Honorable Mention: Will Clark West Virginia, Ed Stinson Alabama, Beau Allen Wisconsin

32 thoughts on “Best “Not First Round” Defensive Line Prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft

  1. We need intensity on that line. Last year all you could see is them getting bitchslapped all over the field. I don’t care if you are playing out of position, you can still play with intensity, instead of waiting to get launched on your azz. MM could use a little intensity too.

  2. I’m not sure how anyone can look at GB’s defensive roster can call DL the greatest area of need, when at Safety we currently have:

    Burnett – Good, when he has someone good playing playing alongside him.

    Hyde – Can he make the transition?

    Richardson – Pretty decent backup in-the-box type, but questionable at coverage.

    Banjo – Has “career Special Teams ace” written all over him.

    I also think replacing Jones at ILB is a bigger need than DL at this point.

  3. Best Player Available. I don’t care if it is a QB. No NFL football team can afford to do anything other than BPA. Perfect example was Darrelle Revis vs Justin Harrell. Packers need a DL and the bigger they are, the more TT loves them. However, the BPA to go after was DR. The Jets realized it and leapfrogged GB to grab him. Yet another reason why I don’t think TT is a good GM (especially on draft day).

  4. Al… Curious that you now as excited to see Peppers play DE and DT as you are OLB/Elephant.

    Does this mean you’ve chanced your stance and think he should be moved around the DL to take advantage of his abilities? Have you softened on him playing just OLB/Elephant?

    I’ve always thought the best way to utilize him is to move him all over the DL. Use him at Elephant DE, some 34 DE and especially at DT in pass rush. Last thing I want to see is him lining up at OLB and then being forced to drop in coverage.

    As of now the late round DL I would look at in the 5-7 rounds is DeAndre Coleman. 6’5 315, really good natural strength and length for LDE in base 34 D. Won’t offer much in pass rush, but would be a good candidate for a base 34 Power DE. Needs to learn to play a little lower and w/ more leverage, but that can be learned.

    I agree Brad… DL is not a high priority. Should be looking for a good role player. If Hageman or Tuitt are available at #53 they would represent great value so should be considered.

    1. Peppers is washed up. Big waste of money. DeMarcus Ware was the guy he should have gone after. They cost the same over 3 years, only difference is we will cut Peppers after one year and pay out $15MM for one year whereas DEN will keep Ware for 3 years and pay an average of $13.333MM/yr. So Thompson paid more for less. What else is new.

      1. I would say Ware is the one that’s washed up. Only 6 sacks last year, he doesn’t have nearly the scheme diversity that Peppers does either. He, Matthews and Perry can’t all be on the field together w/o leaving one of them in coverage, whereas Peppers, Matthews and Perry CAN all be on the field together.

        It might help if you thought a little before spewing your typical Packer hatred. Might not make you look bad.

      2. Peppers only has 7.5 million guaranteed so how do you figure we waste 15 million if we cut him after a year? His salary cap hit this year is 3.5 million. Maybe learn how the cap works genius.

    2. Actually, this was not my article. I goofed and didn’t set it up correctly. I’ll fix that. And no, I haven’t changed my stance on it at all. Peppers will be on the edge for the packers, whether in a two point or three point stance. he wasn’t given #56 to be a DT…

  5. byw – I think Shazier will be BPA when GB is on the clock. The nice thing about that is that he also fits a major need. However, if TT thinks there’s a S or DL or CB or whatever that is BPA, he should grab him.

    Two more examples of TT forgoing BPA for need:

    (1) Raji – Crabtree was the #1 rated player on his board.

    (2) Bulaga – He let two WRs get away with this pick. First, he let DEN leapfrog him to grab D Thomas and then he left Dez Bryant on the board. Dez Bryant was made to seem risky mentally but all you had to do was watch the guy for 5 mins and you knew he was as good as it gets.

    (3) This was not need over BPA, it was just not recognizing BPA — D Sherrod over Muhammed Wilkerson. Yes, TT would have had to leapfrog the Jets, who were picking two slots ahead of them, but what a stud DL.



    Bryant or Thomas

    Wow, TT missed on all four and all four are now Pro Bowlers.

    1. So easy after the fact,Monday morning QB. We won a SB and are always in the playoffs.Enough said, I’m concentrating on the present.

    2. The choice at #9 in ’09 was either Raji or Matthews. Thompson had Matthews rated in the top 12 players and seriously considered taking him at #9 instead of Raji. Brilliant move to take Raji and wait, since Matthews fell and Thompson trade up to get Matthew too don’t you think?

      Crabtree would be the #3 WR for the Packers. Not as good as Jennings was and isn’t better than Nelson or Cobb either. Beside Crabtree was a diva and held out. Even now I don’t think he’s better than a couple WR’s on the Packers roster.

    3. Nice Revisionist history! We just used a high 2nd on Nelson the year before and he’s turned out to be better than Crab. Didn’t have the chance to draft Revis or Wilkerson and our WR group hasn’t been a position that required a 1st round pick on!

      Try again next week w/ your revisionist crap Archie!

    4. How is TT responsible for other teams trading ahead of him? That’s twice you’ve tried to use that as a negative when really that has nothing to do with him, it’s the other 2 teams involved not the Packers. You clearly think trades are just super easy to pull off whenever one has the inkling. If you’re going to troll at least try and be good at it.

    5. You and your hindsight, bagging on TT and questioning why 5 years later. The Packers had Jennings, Jones, Driver, Nelson, and Finley. WTF would Thompson take Bryant for? Not to mention the off field issues he had, no thanks.

  6. Really archie? Crabtree and Dez Bryant? Wow your reaching deep for the daily dose of packer hate today. TT also has another factor When he makes his picks. It’s not being a determent to the team and a cancer in the locker room. These guys where, are, and always will be divas. You can’t stand the pack now then wait till he picks a dez Bryant type in the first. I mean we haven’t seen that since he gave Farve the boot.

  7. TT signs Woodson and Pickett, gets lucky with Collins and moves up to get CM. Raji was awake in those days and it looked like a home run first round Ted triumph….first one since AR. Results in a somewhat fluky SB, but who cared? Wouldn’t one think the occasionall FA signing and leap frog to get another, God forbid, impact player that worked once might work again? Obviously not old Ted! Now, with great anticipation knowing rookies will have to make a major impact this year, we sit here only 13 days removed from another WTF Ted Thompson swing and a miss. Anybody seen him since Feb?

    1. So the good picks were “lucky”. The Superbowl win was a “fluke”. And the occasional free agent signing that never happens…uhem.. cough, peppers, cough..Really? Anybody screen these guys?

    2. Go back to your ViQueens blog. Everyone knows Bob Dylan is from Minn. Let us know when you can put together of team w/o having to use cast off Packers to contend for an NFCN title!

    3. ha ha like the old saying goes, “when you see a big dog you always see a bunch of little dogs nipping at his heels” a true packer fan says in Ted we trust I would trade his track record against anyone in the league (past or present )

  8. Gagging on the Kool Aid Ted? Peppers, a 34 yr old released by the Bears?? Hey, u forgot Saturday, Matt Mulligan and who can forget the immortal Duke Preston? Uhem? What is that? Your sarcasm is only surpassed by your lack of reality Bucket

    1. I’ll just say Scoreboard. We’ve have a heck of a lot more wins then losses and the ultimate win under TT. Don’t know why I’m happy with that and your still whining. Heck, I’m downright giddy. TT is my Precious.

    1. Come back when you’re Vikings win a Superbowl. Or maybe just come back when they are not drafting in the top 10 yet again. I’ll take TT over spielman any day lol. (ponder at 12???!!!!)

      1. Saw the Vikes lose to the Saints in that 2010 championship game on NFL Network today. Never get tired of watching Bert throw the pick at the end of regulation when he could have gone to the ground and rolled for 5-10 yards & FG range.

  9. My way of saying it is that they lack team strength on defense. If not a direct replacement, one or more prospects for the defensive line should be seen as a necessary addition.

  10. And your girlfriend has drafted how many pro bowlers lately? Agree on Ponder. However, with even an adequate qb, beware. You and Ted may wind up all alone in that closet very shortly

  11. I always enjoy reading all the info my fellow Packer fans have on inside team stradgedy. (I know I spelled that wrong)
    Everyone seems to know so much about what position each player is best suited for, & which college player fits our needs. I wish I had taped certain guys to see if they really know anything or if it’s just a crap shoot like everyone else.

  12. The draft is a crapshoot, which is why MY two cents:

    I like TT’s strategy of getting more picks. The players he chooses may be questionable at times, but you would have to be a genius to select 7 players all of whom make the team and contribute. No NFL team has ever done that year after, so by getting 10 or 11 picks you get better odds.

  13. Sorry everyone – this was NOT my article – my mistake on the setup. Article was by Don “Yoop” Christensen. I will fix that…

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