Jadeveon Clowney*, South Carolina 6-5 266
Kony Ealy*, Missouri 6-4 273
Dee Ford, Auburn 6-2 244
Scott Crichton*, Oregon State 6-3 273
Trent Murphy, Stanford 6-5 250
Marcus Smith, Louisville 6-3 251
Demarcus Lawrence*, Boise State 6-3 251
Kareem Martin, North Carolina 6-6 272
Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas 6-3 247
Chris Smith, Arkansas 6-1 266
Will Clarke, West Virginia 6-6 271
James Gayle, Virginia Tech 6-4 259
Taylor Hart, Oregon 6-6 259
Ethan Westbrooks, West Texas A&M 6-3 267
Brent Urban, Virginia 6-7 295
Josh Mauro, Stanford 6-6 271
Ben Gardner, Stanford 6-4 277
Michael Sam, Missouri 6-2 261
Sleeper: Zach Moore, Concordia, 6-6, 282
Clowney saw his sack total drop from 13 to three last season, yet he’s such a phenomenal physical specimen he’s the top talent in the draft. Coach Steve Spurrier didn’t rave about his work ethic. Draft him and make sure he has a great mentor in the locker room. Ealy can play in the 4-3 or 3-4, had 9.5 sacks in ’13 and was all-state in hoops in high school. … Ford is comparable to Jerry Hughes. He had 10.5 sacks and was good at the Senior Bowl. … Crichton isn’t as good an athlete as Aaron Schobel but he’s a good football player. He had 22 sacks in 37 games. … Opinions vary on Stanford’s Murphy. He was good vs. top teams. Might be Mike Vrabel. He’s a 3-4 guy. … Louisville’s Smith isn’t real powerful but he’s good off the edge. … Lawrence seems best as a 3-4 edge rusher. He was suspended three times in his career. … Jeffcoat, son of an ex-Bill, is an undersized end who’s a bit of a “tweener.” But we like him, too.
Another tweener who produced well is Arkansas’ Smith. He was dominated by Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews. … Mauro and Hart both are 3-4 DEs. Gardner is a fine athlete who could be a third-day steal. … Missouri’s Sam is small and not that fast. That’s why he will slide down draft boards, not because he’s gay.
The News’ 10-page NFL Draft Preview is part of Wednesday’s editions.