Colts.com takes a closer look at the 54 defensive linemen invited to this year’s NFL Combine. The 2013 combine takes place Indianapolis and begins on Feb. 20, spanning six days. The defensive linemen invited are as followed:
Defensive Linemen (54)
*Indicates eligibility remaining
Ziggy Ansash – Brigham Young
–Ansah, a native of Ghana, came to BYU thinking he was going to play basketball. After unsuccessful attempts on the hardwood, Ansah excelled on the gridiron and has morphed into one of the most enticing prospects at the 2013 combine.
T.J. Barnes – Georgia Tech
-At six-feet-seven-inches and somewhere north of 340 pounds, Barnes is one of the biggest defensive tackles heading to Indianapolis. After playing sparingly in his first three seasons in Atlanta, Barnes became more of a consistent factor in 2012 and earned All-ACC honorable mention honors.
David Bass – Missouri Western St.
-Bass tore up the Division II ranks, racking up 40.5 sacks in starting 50 consecutive games over the last four years. Bass has the size (six-feet-four-inches and 263 pounds) and projected speed that would appear to equate quite well as a defensive end at the next level.
Josh Boyd – Mississippi St.
-After Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox was chosen in the first round of last year’s draft, the attention towards Boyd grew in 2012. Boyd was a consistent player for the Bulldogs, playing in all 51 games at Mississippi State.
Armonty Bryant – East Central
-Another Division II All-America finds himself on the list as Bryant set a school record with 27.5 sacks in three seasons at East Central. Bryant had 17.5 tackles for loss during his senior season, including four forced fumbles.
Mike Buchanan – Illinois
-Buchanan, a defensive end, earned All-Big Ten honors in his final two seasons in Champaign. Buchanan started 32 games over his four seasons, piling up 26 tackles for a loss and 14 sacks.
Tank Carradine – Florida St.
-Health will be the main topic of discussion in Indianapolis for Carradine. In the fourth quarter of a team-high 11 tackles effort against Florida, Carradine, a defensive end, learned that he suffered a torn ACL and missed the final two games of the 2012 season.
Everett Dawkins – Florida St.
-Dawkins was an important part in the middle of a stingy Seminoles rush defense. In 2012, Dawkins earned All-ACC honors just a year after Florida State finished second in the nation allowing 82.7 yards rushing per game.
Quinton Dial – Alabama
-Dial was apart of a rotating corps along the Crimson Tide defensive line. At six-feet-six-inches and 304 pounds, Dial lined up at a variety of positions for one of the nation’s finest defenses.
LaVar Edwards – LSU
-The Tigers have another haul on the defensive side of the football that are looking to continue their careers in the NFL. Edwards played in 52 games (15 starts) along the defensive line and tailed 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks during his four seasons in Baton Rouge.
*Sharrif Floyd – Florida
-Floyd entered Florida as one of the top defensive linemen in all of football and enters with the same notion. Floyd is considered a top round prospect with the ability to play multiple positions along the defensive front.
*Kwame Geathers – Georgia
-Geathers, the brother of current Colts defensive end Clifton Geathers, is another in a line of a handful of family members that have played in the NFL. At six-feet-six-inches and 355 pounds, Geathers is the biggest of all his family members.
*William Gholston – Michigan St.
-At six-feet-seven-inches and 278 pounds, Gholston is an intriguing prospect to scouts and leaves East Lansing with 30 tackles for loss in his three seasons. Gholston is the cousin of former 2008 first round draft pick Vernon Gholston.
Malliciah Goodman – Clemson
-Goodman is thought to have some of the biggest hands among those arriving in Indianapolis next week. He came to Clemson as one of the nation’s top defensive ends and leaves after playing in 48 career games, recording 127 tackles.
Cory Grissom – South Florida
-Early on in his career, Grissom battled injuries but emerged to start his final 37 games at defensive tackle. Grissom piled up 105 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss during his time with the Bulls.
*Johnathan Hankins – Ohio St.
-In high school, Hankins teamed with Gholston to form a stifling defensive line. Moving on to Ohio St after high school, Hankins trimmed down to 320 pounds and became a defensive tackle prospect that has worked his way into the first round of many mock drafts.
Jordan Hill – Penn St.
-Hill battled through a torn meniscus in his left knee for much of his senior season but that did not deter him from being named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice. Hill had surgery following the end of the regular season and the defensive tackle should be good to go next week.
Montori Hughes – Tennessee-Martin
-After two seasons as a mainstay along the Tennessee Volunteers defensive line, Hughes was dismissed from the football team and transferred to Tennessee-Martin for his final season. Questions will arise about why the six-foot-four-inch, 330-pound defensive tackle was dismissed from Tennessee
Margus Hunt – SMU
-A native of Estonia, Hunt moved to the United States in 2007 to further pursue a career as a track thrower of the discuss, hammer and shot put. When the track program at SMU was dropped, Hunt found himself on the gridiron with scouts now salivating over the six-foot-eight-inch, 275-pound defensive end prospect.
Brandon Jenkins – Florida St.
-Jenkins was considered one of the nation’s top defensive ends at the start of the 2012 season but a broken foot in the first quarter of FSU’s season opener ended his final campaign. Jenkins finished his Seminoles career with 22.5 sacks.
John Jenkins – Georgia
-Splitting time with Geathers at nose tackle, Jenkins was the starter in the middle of a very formidable Bulldogs defensive line. Jenkins was a two-year starter at nose tackle for the Bulldogs and even recorded an interception during the 2012 Outback Bowl.
Abry Jones –Georgia
-Jones heads into the 2013 combine having not been played in a game since suffering a season-ending ankle injury on Oct. 6. In 2011, Jones recorded 48 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and four sacks.
Chris Jones – Bowling Green
-A Brownsburg, Ind. native, Jones was the 2012 MAC Defensive Player of the Year. As a 291-pound defensive tackle, Jones wrecked havoc with 12.5 sacks and 19.0 tackles for loss in 2012.
Datone Jones – UCLA
-After suffering a fracture right foot in 2010, Jones started the final 28 games of his career at defensive end. Jones can play both inside and outside along the defensive line and turned some heads at the 2013 Senior Bowl.
Dion Jordan – Oregon
-A tight end upon arriving in Eugene, Jordan made the switch to defense before the 2010 season and seems to fit the hybrid defensive end/linebacker role that numerous scouts covet. Jordan was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker, in 2012.
*Joe Kruger – Utah
-Kruger is the brother of Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger. Joe leaves Utah will a year of eligibly remaining and is coming off a junior season where he started 14 games and finished the season with six sacks.
*Corey Lemonier – Auburn
-Known as a pass rusher, Lemonier was an All-SEC selection in 2011 with 13.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Lemonier only had 5.5 sacks during his junior season at Auburn as teams keyed on the 246-pound defensive end.
Kapron Lewis-Moore – Notre Dame
-As as senior captain for the Irish, Lewis-Moore had 5.5 sacks before suffering a torn ACL during the 42-14 National Championship loss to the Crimson Tide. Lewis-Moore put on over 60 pounds during his time in South Bend to get up to his 300+pound weight at defensive end in the Irish’ 3-4 scheme.
*Bennie Logan – LSU
-Known as a run-stuffing defensive tackle, Logan started his final two seasons at defensive tackle for the Tigers. In Logan’s final game at LSU, he tailed a career-high nine tackles in the Tigers’ 25-24 Chick-fil-A Bowl loss to Clemson.
Star Lotulelei – Utah
-The All-America defensive tackle had five sacks in his final season at Utah while maintaining his stock as one of the top players in the 2013 NFL Draft. Lotulelei began his career at BYU before transferring to Snow College for two seasons.
*Stansly Maponga – Texas Christian
-In just three seasons of playing in Fort Worth, Maponga earned all-conference honors each year. Maponga finished his career with 23 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks.
Stacy McGee – Oklahoma
-For McGee, staying on the football field has been a problem in 2012. The talented defensive tackle was suspended for the first six games of his senior season and then was arrested for DUI on Dec. 26, missing the Sooners’ Cotton Bowl loss to Texas A&M.
*Barkevious Mingo – LSU
-The LSU defense continues to produce NFL prospects and Mingo fits the mold of a pure pass rusher. During his time in Baton Rouge, Mingo had 29 tackles for loss and 15 sacks in his three years of playing time.
*Sam Montgomery – LSU
-Lining up opposite Mingo for the last three seasons has been Montgomery. In 2011, Montgomery turned in an All-America season with 13.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks.
*Damontre Moore – Texas A&M
-A consensus top-10 pick, Moore enters the draft after an All-American season with 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. In his three years in College Station, Moore had 45 tackles for loss and 26.5 sacks.
Alex Okafor – Texas
-Okafor came to Austin as the nation’s top defensive end and after 52 games, he leaves Texas with 40 tackles for loss and 22 sacks. He forced four fumbles during his senior season, including two against West Virginia.
T.Y. Powell – Harding
-At the Division II level, Powell is looking to become the first Harding player to be chosen in the NFL Draft since Bruce Baldwin in 1983. Powell, a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker, had 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2012.
*Sheldon Richardson – Missouri
-The ultra-talented Richardson was the leading tackler in 2011 for the Tigers and his 75 tackles this past seasons led all defensive tackles in the SEC. Richardson has had some off the field issues but there is no denying the on-the-field talent of this potential first round pick.
Kawann Short – Purdue
-A native of East Chicago, Short is next in line for Purdue defensive linemen to transfer to the NFL. Short had 49 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks from the defensive tackle position during his four years on the field at Purdue.
John Simon – Ohio St.
-As an undersized defensive lineman, Simon wrecked havoc in his four seasons along the Buckeyes front. Simon finished his 50-game career (37 starts) with 154 tackles and 43 tackles for loss.
Jared Smith – New Hampshire
-Smith played as a smaller defensive tackle at New Hampshire but used his speed to cause trouble in opposing backfield. Smith finished his four-year career with 26 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks.
Quanterus Smith – Western Kentucky
-In the midst of a tremendous senior season, Smith suffered a torn ACl in mid November and will be limited in his physical preparation for the draft. During his final year in Bowling Green, Smith had games of 3.0 (@Alabama), 3.5 (@Arkansas St.) and 5.0 (@Florida International) sacks.
*Akeem Spence – Illinois
-Spence started every game for the Fighting Illini over the last three seasons. From his defensive tackle position, Spence had a career-high 11 tackles in his final game for Illinois.
Damion Square – Alabama
-One of the leaders of Alabama’s National Championship defense, Square started on both of the Crimson Tide’s title teams in 2011 and 2012. Square started a total of 31 games during his four years in Tuscaloosa and was apart of some of the nation’s top rush defenses.
Walt Stewart – Cincinnati
-Stewart is one of the most interesting stories of the 2013 combine. He played just six games during his senior season after a spinal cord injury put his football career in jeopardy. However, Stewart has been cleared to participate and is looking to show off the player that had six sacks in six games this past year.
Devin Taylor – South Carolina
-Playing for one of the strongest pass rushing attacks in the nation, the six-foot-eight-inch, 267-pound, Taylor piled up 18.5 sacks while taking part in 51 games for the Gamecocks.
*Bjoern Werner – Florida St.
-Werner, a native of Germany, is the most impressive prospect of the rest of the Seminoles defensive linemen that will head to Indianapolis. During his All-America season this past season, Werner had 13 sacks and finished his three-year career with 35.0 tackles for loss.
Brandon Williams – Missouri Southern St.
-Williams is one of eight Division II players invited to Indianapolis. The defensive tackle was the Division II National Defensive Player of the year and finished his career with 27 sacks and had at least one tackle for loss in all but one game he played in.
Jesse Williams – Alabama
-One of the strongest players at the 2013 combine, Williams started all 26 games he played in during his two National Championship seasons in Tuscaloosa. The 320-pound defensive tackle is a native of Australia and also saw some time at fullback in short yardage situations for the Crimson Tide.
Nate Williams – Ohio St.
-Williams appears to have the body type of a player that could excel as an edge rusher in a 3-4 defensive scheme. His playing time fluctuated during his time at Ohio St. and he finished his career with 132 tackles and 13 sacks.
Nick Williams – Samford
-The 310-pound Williams has the ability to play all over the defensive line. During the 2012 campaign, Williams had six sacks from his defensive tackle position.
Sylvester Williams – North Carolina
-At the age of 24, Williams is one of the older players heading to Indianapolis this week. Williams had a strong performance at the Senior Bowl and is considered one of the top defensive tackles in the draft.
Tourek Williams – Florida International
-Williams is another player that provides the dynamic of possibly turning into a hybrid 3-4 linebacker at the NFL. Williams was a consistent force on the edge of FIU’s defense with totaling at least 13 tackles for loss in each of his final three seasons in the Sun Belt. Williams was a collegiate teammate of the Colts’ T.Y. Hilton.
Trevardo Williams – Connecticut
-Behind back to back double-digit sacks seasons, Willaiams heads to Indianapolis as one of the lightest (233 pounds) but most dominant (30.5 sacks) pass rushers.
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Today is President’s Day, causing me to remember a special occasion for the Indianapolis Colts.
After winning Super Bowl XLI in 2007, the team was invited to the traditional White House visit made by championship teams.
There, the team would be hosted by President George W. Bush.
The date was April 23 and if President Bush ever had a slow day, this may have been one of them. One week earlier, his day had been marred by the terrible shootings at Virginia Tech.
It was a beautiful day in the nation’s capital and after visiting soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, our entourage hit the White House about 1:00 p.m.
The players, coaches and staff toured the White House prior to the ceremony on the South Lawn.
It was a great time seeing the White House in a way many people never will have the chance to see it. It was fun watching the reaction of our guys. None acted like a caddy at Bushwood.
Joseph Addai chided Peyton Manning that he had been there before. Addai had been part of the LSU football contingent that visited after winning the 2003 national championship. Manning kept asking Joe to knock it off since it was his first time visiting on such an occasion. I think Joe enjoyed applying the needle.
The team assembled on the South Lawn and waited for President Bush to arrive for the ceremony. We were prepared for his arrival and waited to present him with a jersey and a specially-made wooden Stetson.
As many presidents are, Mr. Bush was pleasant, witty and a warm host. When the ceremony was done, I was to take Tony Dungy to do an on-line chat as well as a group of players to meet the media outside the West Wing. The rest of the travel party was to go back to our buses.
This is when a special day became even more so.
The group going to meet the media included Dungy, Bill Polian, Peyton Manning, Gary Brackett, Adam Vinatieri, Dwight Freeney and Jeff Saturday. (That Bill chose to meet the media was amusing to me.)
After taking a few moments to assemble the bunch, we were moving past the Rose Garden and were ready to enter a door when someone to our left whistled like a coach and shouted, “Hey, where are you boys going?”
Stopping, we saw President Bush standing with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and he was holding a door open.
He motioned for us to join him, and we passed through the door and into the Oval Office.
Having home turf advantage to the extreme, President Bush spent 25 minutes telling us stories about the room and moments related to him and other presidents.
He talked about the artwork, how each president chooses the color scheme, and he spent time explaining decorations that adorned his office.
He spoke about his desk which went back through many presidencies.
At one point, I glanced at my watch. It was 3:45 p.m. I wondered what I would be doing the next day at this very time since where I was standing at the moment likely was going to be a bit more special.
A White House photographer captured the action, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush joined the group.
To this day, I can recall President Bush’s comments almost word-for-word. It was that compelling.
President Bush shook our hands as the occasion adjourned. It was off to the on-line chat and the assembled reporters. Five buses of people had to wonder where we were.
President Bush was not the first to host a sports team. He is not the last as well, and it is a special moment when the leader of the free world can make time for small ceremonies.
Thank you again, sir, and here’s hoping the Colts get that moment again. If so, we can take Joe Addai. He knows the layout quite well.
By the way, on Tuesday, April 24 at 3:45 p.m., I was in my office. I volunteered to write a free agent biography for our media guide. I waited until that very time to do it, so I could be truthful whenever I relayed the anecdote. I specifically chose Craphonso Thorpe, a nice kid (who made the team) but one whose first name I thought added to the story.
Happy President’s Day.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Bill Polian, Dwight Freeney, Gary Brackett, indianapolis colts, Jeff Saturday, Joseph Addai, Peyton Manning, President George W. Bush, Tony Dungy
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