>\n\nComparing the NFL drafts 2009 v. 2010 - Defense \n\n\n\n

Comparing the NFL drafts 2009 v. 2010 - Defense

Written by Curt Popejoy on 03/23/2010


2009 Defensive Judgement 2010

Brian Orakpo

Defensive End - In 2009, Brian Orakpo was head and shoulders the top defensive end in the draft. Beyond him, the group was a little iffy with several hybrid DE/LBs like Aaron Maybin and Robert Ayers and a big 3-4 DE in Tyson Jackson. This year we have several high potential guys but guys with lots of questions like Jason Pierre-Paul, Brandon Graham and Derrick Morgan. Top end of the position goes to 2009, but in terms of volume of talent, I give the slight edge to 2010  Even though I had Orakpo ranked so high last year and he would trump anyone he goes up against in 2010, in terms of players I give 1st-round grades, 2010 scores by a wide margin.
Advantage: 2010

Jason Pierre-Paul

B.J. Raji
Defensive Tackle - This one really isn’t close. In 2009, B.J. Raji was a great NT prospect, but beyond him, the talent level really fell off the table. 2010 is loaded to the gills with all of my top 5 in 2010 ranked ahead of Raji, including Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy being top 5 players. This edge goes huge to 2010.
Advantage: 2010

Ndamukong Suh

Aaron Curry
Outside Linebackers - This one is always a little tricky to evaluate because you have to consider where to put the hybrid DE/OLB players. I am going on who I put into the OLB rankings only, and in 2009 the class was highlighted by Aaron Curry and Clay Matthews with a couple more guys close behind. In 2010 things are close when you figure in Sean Weatherspoon, Daryl Washington, Sergio Kindle, Navarro Bowman and Ricky Sapp all figuring in the first two rounds. This one is really too close for me, and even though I think Curry and Matthews would rank ahead of anyone in 2010, having 5 really good players keeps it close enough I give it a push.
Advantage: Push

Sean Weatherspoon

Rey Maualuga

Inside Linebackers - Last year, the draft had two elite prospects in USC’s Rey Maualuga and Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis - 2 guys who were proven winners and incredibly productive players who really looked the part of NFL linebackers. This year you essentially have Alabama’s Rolando McClain. McClain is sort of the cutest ugly girl at the prom, as this inside linebacker class is pretty mediocre. If all 3 of these guys were in this draft, I’d probably still put McClain slightly ahead of Maualuga and Laurinaitis, but not by much and they’d be well ahead of the next best player in the 2010 class, so I’ll take the 2-for-1 in this case and give the advantage to 2009.
Advantage: 2009

Rolando McClain

Vontae Davis

Cornerbacks - Comparing CBs is always a slippery slope because their success is so system dependent. And just looking at the top isn’t enough. On that alone, I would put Joe Haden ahead of Vontae Davis for sure, and probably well ahead. But looking at it in terms of guys I project to go in the first two rounds, I put my count at 7guys in 2009, but a whopping 13 in 2010. So, this one is really a slam dunk for 2010.
Advantage: 2010

Joe Haden

William Moore
Safety - I was going to throw together some sort of clever analysis or witty commentary comparing the 2009 safety class that while solid, was not spectacular, and the 2010 class that is not only crazy top heavy, but really deep. 2 guys, Tennessee’s Eric Berry and Texas Earl Thomas could both go in the top 15 of the draft. Meanwhile the first Safety last year didn't get picked until round 2 (Louis Delmas). So this one is an easy win with a huge advantage for 2010.
Advantage: 2010

Eric Berry

Kickers/Punters-Really? C’mon man!

Last Edited: 03/23/2010

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