Draft preview: Defensive line

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Carolina selected Charles Johnson (left) and Hilee Taylor in the last two drafts. (PHOTOS: ANDREW MASON / PANTHERS.COM AND KENT SMITH)


DEFENSIVE LINEMEN FROM AROUND THE NATION:

Ron Brace, Boston CollegeHeight: 6-foot-3 - Weight: 330 poundsNFL.com bio | BCEagles.com bio

Second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in 2008 ... Amassed 54 tackles, 18.5 stops for losses and 5.5 sacks in the last two seasons combined ... Started throughout the last three seasons and made one start in his freshman season (2005) ... Was sixth-best among Combine defensive linemen with 32 bench-press repetitions.

Evander "Ziggy" Hood, MissouriHeight: 6-foot-3 - Weight: 300 poundsNFL.com bio | MUTigers.com bio

First-team All-Big 12 as selected by the coaches last year after notching 62 tackles -- including seven for 42 yards in losses -- five sacks, two passes defensed and two fumble recoveries ... Had eight tackles for losses and five sacks as a junior in 2007 ... Finished his career with 15.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for losses ... Had 34 bench-press repetitions at the Combine, fourth among defensive linemen.

Ricky Jean-Francois, LSUHeight: 6-foot-3 - Weight: 295 poundsNFL.com bio | LSUSports.net bio

Started eight of the 25 games he played during his three seasons at LSU ... Finished with 56 tackles, 10 stops for losses and 5.5 sacks during his career ... Started six of 11 games he played as a redshirt junior last year ... Turned pro with one season of eligibility remaining ... Was the defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship Game in January 2007 after notching 1.5 tackles for losses, a half-sack and a blocked field goal in the Tigers' win over Ohio State ... Had 25 bench-press repetitions at the Combine.

Peria Jerry, MississippiHeight: 6-foot-2 - Weight: 299 poundsNFL.com bio | OleMissSports.com Bio

First-team All-America and All-SEC selection last year ... Led the conference in tackles for losses (18) and was fifth in sacks (seven) ... Had 109 total tackles, 32 tackles for losses and 10.5 sacks the last two seasons ... Added nine pounds to his frame before the Combine.

Alex Magee, PurdueHeight: 6-foot-3 - Weight: 298 poundsNFL.com bio | PurdueSports.com bio

Moved from defensive tackle to end as a senior, finishing the season with six tackles for losses, 3.5 sacks and 28 stops ... In 2007 tat tackle, he logged 38 tackles -- including 4.5 for losses -- two fumble recoveries and a pair of blocked kicks ... Became full-time starter during his sophomore season (2006) ... At the Combine, had 30 bench-press repetitions, placing him ninth among defensive linemen.

Sen'Derrick Marks, AuburnHeight: 6-foot-2 - Weight: 306 poundsNFL.com bio | AuburnTigers.com bio

Turned pro with a year of eligibility remaining ... Second-team All-SEC last year after logging 32 tackles -- including 10 for losses ... Finished his career with 114 tackles and 30 tackles for losses ... Had 38 tackles and 11 stops for losses as a freshman in 2006 and 44 tackles with nine for losses as a sophomore.

Fili Moala, USCHeight: 6-foot-4 - Weight: 305 poundsNFL.com bio | USCTrojans.com bio

Third-team All-America, Senior Bowl selection and first-team All-Pac-10 last season ... Notched 30 tackles, 10 tackles for losses, 4.5 sacks and blocked a pair of field goals as a senior ... Moved into the starting lineup midway through the 2006 season at defensive tackle and remained there for the rest of his time with the Trojans ... Had 23.5 tackles for losses in his career ... Logged 25 bench-press repetitions at the Combine.

B.J. Raji, Boston CollegeHeight: 6-foot-2 - Weight: 337 poundsNFL.com bio | BCEagles.com bio

Returned last year after missing the 2007 season for academic reasons, and was a first-team All-ACC and third-team All-America selection ... Finished the year with 16 tackles for losses, eight sacks, five passes defensed and 42 total tackles ... Became a starter in his sophomore season (2005) ... Had 33 bench-press repetitions at the Combine, placing him fifth among defensive linemen ... Posted a 32-inch vertical jump at the Combine.

OTHER DEFENSIVE TACKLES OF NOTE:

Demonte' Bolden, Tennessee
Marlon Favorite, LSU
Adrian Grady, Louisville
Ra'Shon Harris, Oregon
Sammie Lee Hill, Stillman
Corvey Irvin, Georgia
Mitch King, Iowa
Terrance Knighton, Temple
Roy Miller, Texas
Myron Pryor, Kentucky
Darryl Richard, Georgia Tech
Dorell Scott, Clemson
Terrance Taylor, Michigan
Vance Walker, Georgia Tech


FROM THE CAROLINAS:

Khalif Mitchell, East CarolinaHeight: 6-foot-5 - Weight: 318 poundsNFL.com bio | ECUPirates.com bio

Missed nearly half of his senior season with ankle and foot injuries ... Notched 8.5 tackles for losses Had 30 bench-press repetitions at the Combine, which placed him ninth among defensive linemen there ... Transferred from North Carolina to ECU for his final two seasons.


DEFENSIVE ENDS:

Connor Barwin, CincinnatiHeight: 6-foot-4 - Weight: 256 poundsNFL.com bio | GoBearcats.com bio

Switched from tight end to defensive end last year, and he responded by earning All-Big East honors as he notched 11 sacks, 15.5 tackles for losses and seven passes defensed ... Had the second-best 40-yard dash time of any defensive lineman at the Combine (4.66 seconds), and was clocked at 4.47 seconds at his Pro Day ... Notched the best vertical jump (40.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet, eight inches) and short-shuttle time (4.18 seconds) of any defensive lineman in Indianapolis ... Logged 21 bench-press repetitions at the Combine.

Cody Brown, ConnecticutHeight: 6-foot-2 - Weight: 244 poundsNFL.com bio

An All-Big East selection and Senior Bowl participant after logging 11 sacks, 16.5 tackles for losses, 56 total tackles and eight passes defensed last year ... Also amassed 16.5 tackles for losses as a junior in 2007, when he notched 7.5 sacks and 50 total stops ... Started every game in which he played from his sophomore season onward, but he also became the first true freshman to start for the Huskies since they moved up from Division I-AA, making one start in 2005 ... Finished his career with 24 sacks and 45.5 tackles for losses ... Had the seventh-best 40-yard dash time among defensive linemen at the Combine (4.84 seconds).

Larry English, Northern IllinoisHeight: 6-foot-2 - Weight: 274 poundsNFL.com bio | NIUHuskies.com bio

Was Defensive Player of the Year in the Mid-American Conference the last two years and was a three-time first-team all-conference selection ... Had 16 tackles for losses and eight sacks as a senior and finished with career tallies of 56 tackles for losses and 31.5 sacks ... Averaged 0.9 sacks per game the last two seasons ... His 40-yard dash time of 4.88 seconds was 11th best among Combine defensive linemen.

Jarron Gilbert, San Jose StateHeight: 6-foot-5 - Weight: 288 poundsNFL.com bio | SJSUSpartans.com bio

Added 40 pounds to his frame as he matriculated at San Jose State, moving from defensive end early in his career to defensive tackle the last two seasons ... Was last year's Western Athletic Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year ... Earned notice for a YouTube video of him jumping out of a pool; as of April 20 it had been viewed over 664,000 times ... Led the nation with 22 tackles for losses last year and added 9.5 sacks ... Finished his career with 42 tackles for losses and 21.5 sacks ... His broad jump of nine feet, 11 inches was sixth-best among Combine defensive linemen.

Tyson Jackson, LSUHeight: 6-foot-4 - Weight: 295 poundsNFL.com bio | LSUSports.net bio

Amassed 18.5 sacks, 27 tackles for losses and 122 total tackles during his four seasons with the Tigers ... Started 39 games over the last three seasons at defensive end after playing as a reserve during his redshirt freshman season (2005) ... Was invited to the Senior Bowl, but had to withdraw because of injury ... Recovered in time to work out at the Scouting Combine ... Ran the 40-yard dash in 5.00 seconds at the Combine and 4.91 seconds at his Pro Day ... Completed 20 bench-press repetitions at Pro Day.

Michael Johnson, Georgia TechHeight: 6-foot-7 - Weight: 266 poundsNFL.com bio | RamblinWreck.com bio

After starting just two games in his first three years in Atlanta, Johnson started all 13 contests as a senior and notched career highs in sacks (nine), tackles for losses (17.5), total tackles (46) and passes defensed (seven), earning him first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference plaudits ... Forced 10 fumbles in his career, including three in each of the last three seasons ... Had the fifth-best 40-yard dash time (4.75 seconds) among Combine defensive linemen.

Paul Kruger, UtahHeight: 6-foot-4 - Weight: 263 poundsNFL.com bio | UtahUtes.com bio

Earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors last year after helping the Utes to an unblemished, 13-win season with 7.5 sacks, seven passes defensed, 16.5 tackles for losses and 61 total stops ... Redshirted as a freshman in 2004, and then sat out the following two seasons while serving a church mission before returning in 2007, where he quickly became a starter at defensive end ... Logged 24 bench-press repetitions and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.00 seconds at the Combine.

Aaron Maybin, Penn StateHeight: 6-foot-4 - Weight: 249 poundsNFL.com bio | GoPSUSports.com bio

Did not make his first career start until the third game of 2008, but ended the year as a first-team All-American and All-Big Ten selection ... Finished the 2008 season with 12 sacks, 12 tackles for losses, 49 tackles, three passes defensed and two forced fumbles ... Tallied four sacks, 4.5 tackles for losses and 12 tackles in limited action as a redshirt freshman in 2007 ... Had the third-best broad jump (10 feet, four inches) and fourth-best short-shuttle time (4.38 seconds) and vertical jump (38 inches) among Combine defensive linemen ... Clocked in at 4.89 seconds for the 40-yard dash and logged 22 bench-press repetitions.

Brian Orakpo, TexasHeight: 6-foot-3 - Weight: 263 poundsNFL.com bio | MackBrown-TexasFootball.com bio

Winner of the Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi and Hendricks Awards last season ... First-team All-American ... Logged 11.5 sacks, 42 tackles, 19 tackles for losses, four forced fumbles and 30 quarterback pressures as a senior ... Became full-time starter at defensive end in his junior season (2007), overcoming an early-season right knee injury to return and eventually earn Defensive Most Valuable Player honors in the Holiday Bowl ... In the two bowl games he started, he amassed three sacks and four quarterback pressures ... Had the second-best vertical jump (39.5 inches), the third-best 40-yard dash time (4.70 seconds) and the seventh-best bench-press tally (31 repetitions) among defensive linemen at the Scouting Combine.

Lawrence Sidbury Jr., RichmondHeight: 6-foot-2 - Weight: 266 poundsNFL.com bio | RichmondSpiders.com bio

Capped his college career with four sacks in his final game -- the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division IAA) national championship game against Montana last December ... Ran the fastest 40-yard dash among all defensive linemen at the Combine, covering the distance in 4.64 seconds ... Also had the fifth-best broad jump (10 feet) and 10th-best time in the short shuttle (4.43 seconds) among defensive linemen ... Logged 28 bench-press repetitions ... Tallied 20.5 sacks in four years at Richmond, including 11.5 as a senior, and amassed 33.5 tackles for losses in his career, with a career-best 16 last season ... Became the first Richmond player in 11 years to take part in the Senior Bowl.

Brandon Williams, Texas TechHeight: 6-foot-5 - Weight: 252 poundsNFL.com bio | TexasTech.com bio

Led the Big 12 with 13 sacks last year ... First-team All-Big 12 selection ... Amassed 22.5 sacks in his three seasons with the Red Raiders ... Turned pro with one year of eligibility remaining ... Ran the 40-yard dash at the Combine in 5.00 seconds.

OTHER DEFENSIVE ENDS OF NOTE:

Chris Baker, Hampton
Michael Bennett, Texas A&M
Victor Butler, Oregon State
Ian Campbell, Kansas State
Rulon Davis, California
Will Davis, Illinois
Pannel Egboh, Stanford
Maurice Evans, Penn State
Tim Jamison, Michigan
Orion Martin, Virginia Tech
Kyle Moore, Southern California
Zach Potter, Nebraska
Matt Shaughnessy, Wisconsin
Stryker Sulak, Missouri
David Veikune, Hawai'i
Derek Walker, Illinois
Jarius Wynn, Georgia


DEFENSIVE ENDS FROM THE CAROLINAS:

Robert Ayers, TennesseeHeight: 6-foot-3 - Weight: 272 poundsNFL.com bio | UTSports.com bio

Had nine sacks and 31.5 tackles for losses during his four years in Knoxville ... First-team All-Southeastern Conference as selected by coaches last year; he notched three sacks and 15.5 tackles for losses in 2008 ... Earned Senior Bowl defensive MVP honors after notching 1.5 sacks in the all-star game ... Clocked at 4.90 seconds for the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine ... A native of Clio, S.C. and a product of Marlboro County (S.C.) High School, where he was an all-state selection in 2003 with a 112-tackle, five-interception campaign.

Everette Brown, Florida StateHeight: 6-foot-2 - Weight: 256 poundsNFL.com bio | Seminoles.com bio

Second-team All-American and first-team All-ACC selection last year ... Third in the country and first in the ACC with 13.5 sacks in 2008 ... Also led the conference in tackles for losses (21.5) ... Had 23.0 sacks, 46.5 tackles for losses and 100 total stops in his four seasons at FSU ... Ran the fourth-fastest 40-yard dash time among Combine defensive linemen (4.73 seconds) ... A product of Beddingfield High School in Wilson, N.C.; he was rated as the state's No. 5 prospect in the 2005 class by Superprep magazine.


PANTHERS DRAFT HISTORY:

Carolina has invested 22 draft picks on defensive linemen in its history -- an average of 1.6 per year. Only in 2004 did the team not select a lineman, but at that time the Panthers rode tall with a defensive line featuring three starters acquired over a four-draft span: Mike Rucker (1999), Kris Jenkins (2001) and Julius Peppers (2002).

By the end of last season, homegrown defensive linemen represented 75 percent of the rotation at defensive end in the form of Peppers, 2007 third-rounder Charles Johnson and 2008 seventh-round selection Hilee Taylor. A sixth-rounder from last year's draft, Nick Hayden, started the regular-season finale at defensive tackle after being promoted from the practice squad less than two weeks earlier.

**CAROLINA PANTHERS ALL-TIME DRAFTEES: DEFENSIVE TACKLES**
YEARROUND PICK NO.PLAYERCOLLEGE
1995236 Shawn King, DE Texas
19956188 Steve Strahan, DL Baylor
1996388 J.C. Price, DL Virginia Tech
19967234 Kerry Hicks, DL Colorado
19976189 Matt Finkes, DL Ohio State
1998114 Jason Peter, DE Nebraska
1998362 Chuck Wiley, DE LSU
1998373 Mitch Marrow, DL Pennsylvania
19987196 Viliami Maumau, DL Colorado
1999238 Mike Rucker, DE Nebraska
19996175 Robert Daniel, DE Northwestern State
20004120 Alvin McKinley, DL Mississippi State
20005147 Gillis Wilson, DL Southern
2001244 Kris Jenkins, DT Maryland
200212 Julius Peppers, DE North Carolina
20035145 Kindal Moorehead, DT Alabama
2005389 Atiyyah Ellison, DT Missouri
20056189 Jovan Haye, DE Vanderbilt
20067237 Stanley McClover, DT Auburn
2007383 Charles Johnson, DE Georgia
20086181 Nick Hayden, DT Wisconsin
20087221 Hilee Taylor, DE North Carolina

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