Defensive ends 1. Brian Orakpo, Texas, 6-3, 263 Concerns over his durability surfaced again at the combine when Orakpo pulled a hamstring. He benched 225 pounds 31 times and hopes to impress in other events at his March 25 Pro Day. Orakpo doesn't have a great burst off the line but manages to bully his way into leverage position and collected 5.5 sacks in 2007 and 11.5 last season. In 2005, he was named Defensive Freshman of the Year and last season he won the Lombardi, Hendricks and Nagurski Awards. Scouts are not convinced his many awards are a measure of his production and that he has played up to his abilities. Even before the combine injury, they were taking a close look at medical reports because he missed time each of the past two seasons with knee issues. 2. * Everette Brown, Florida State, 6-2, 256 He was moved all over the front seven in college to create mismatches, and he might become a 3-4 rush linebacker in the NFL, especially after measuring only 6-feet-2 at the combine after being listed at 6-4 during his college career. Brown is an explosive pass rusher who had 21.5 tackles for a loss and 13.5 sacks last season. Beyond pure speed, Brown knew how to use his hands, arms, quick footwork and excellent balance to frustrate college blockers. Brown described his skills well in Indianapolis: "I feel that my skills, my knowledge coming off the edge, the way I utilize my speed against opposing tackles, running backs and tight ends. ... I feel I am the best pass rusher to use my speed, quickness and strength to get to the quarterback and create constant pressure all game." 3. Tyson Jackson, LSU, 6-4, 296 A fan of Rocky movies, Jackson plays with tremendous hustle that often compensates for his marginal overall athleticism and agility. In 2007, he played alongside the great Dorsey, creating perhaps the most formidable side-by-side defensive line duo in the nation. Jackson is a versatile defender who operated as an end in LSU's base 4-3 alignment but could be moved inside as a 4-3 tackle or as an end in the 3-4. He has excellent size and strength to make a pile at the point of attack and can be disruptive with initial quickness and ability to shed blocks. 4. * Aaron Maybin, Penn State, 6-4, 249 He decided to leave school after an excellent redshirt sophomore season, but NFL teams aren't sure where he can fit in or if he can at all. In 2008, Maybin was one of the college football's premier pass rushers, ranking fourth in the nation with 12 sacks and sixth with 20 tackles for loss. A tenacious defender with excellent quickness and speed, Maybin recorded at least one tackle for loss in all 13 games and forced three fumbles, two that resulted in Penn State touchdowns. Teams running 3-4 schemes have been taking a close look at Maybin as a potential outside linebacker, but he might not be agile enough and didn't help the cause with a best 40-yard time of 4.78 at the combine. However, he obviously faded after going the first 10 yards in 1.57. What makes Michael Johnson stand out among defensive ends? Athleticism, height, nose for the ball. (Getty Images) What makes Michael Johnson stand out among defensive ends? Athleticism, height, nose for the ball. (Getty Images) 5. Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech, 6-7, 266 He has unusual height, long arms and the burst off the snap that can generate an instant pass rush. Johnson was selected first-team All-ACC as a senior after collecting 17.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. But his play was inconsistent and undisciplined and many of his stats came against poor competition. At the combine, he acknowledged scouts are questioning his consistency and responded by saying, "Any negative energy is motivation and fuel." A star tight end in high school, Johnson might need to bulk up to be able to fend off blockers in the NFL. He had an excellent pro day March 9, impressing scouts -- who also wondered why such an athletically gifted player didn't put up bigger numbers. 6. Robert Ayers, Tennessee, 6-3, 272 Just when scouts were wondering if he would ever play up to his potential, Ayers posted career highs in tackles (49) and tackles for loss (15.5) in 2008. That earned him first-team All-SEC honors from conference coaches, which acknowledges how far he has come since getting arrested in April 2005 for aggravated assault. He lacks great pass-rush speed but has the overall ability to be a consistent force. His improved work ethic resulted in a senior season that lifted his draft ratings dramatically, as did an impressive week at the Senior Bowl. 7. * Paul Kruger, Utah, 6-4, 263 His road toward the NFL has been an interesting one, including having his kidney removed as a child following a car accident, a two-year Mormon Mission and being severely stabbed outside a party in January 2008 when he came to the aid of a friend. But he is all business on the field, where he made All-Mountain West in 2008 with 61 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and seven pass breakups. He enters the draft as an undergrad because he turned 23 years old on Feb. 15. A Charlie Hustle-type who is very consistent, Kruger has the ability to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 and could probably handle a little more weight. 8. Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State, 6-5, 288 He has gained an odd celebrity for a YouTube video in which he showcases his unusual athleticism by jumping out of the shallow end of a swimming pool in one motion. "I found out that I could do it, so I put it on film to make everybody else believe me," Gilbert said at his combine interview. He was 2008 WAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year after making 22 tackles for a loss and was arguably the most dominant player at the East-West Shrine Game. The question isn't whether Gilbert can play, but at which position to utilize his unique combination of size and athletic ability. He is the son of former New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Daren Gilbert. 9. Lawrence Sidbury, Jr., Richmond, 6-3, 266 A small-school player on the rise as the draft approaches, Sidbury also competes in track and field for the Spiders. It speaks to his athleticism, which was on display at the combine. He led all ends with a 4.53-second 40-yard dash and bench-pressed 225 pounds 28 times to go along with 35 5/8-inch arms that help keep offensive linemen at bay. An All-Colonial selection, Sidbury had 7.5 sacks last season, but scouts are increasingly intrigued by his measurables and workout numbers. 10. David Veikune, Hawaii, 6-3, 257 Call him Veikune the Vagabond, who hopes his next stop is as a starter in the NFL. Born in Alaska, he went to high school in Hawaii, spent one year at Colorado and another at Fresno City College before finishing his college career back in Hawaii. He gained a lot of attention against Florida in the first week of last season when he had six tackles, including one for a loss. Veikune finished the season with 73 tackles, 16.5 for a loss, nine sacks and four forced fumbles. Uses strength and determination to overcome lack of elite athletic ability. Defensive tackles 1. B. J. Raji, Boston College, 6-2, 337 Despite constant double-team blocks, Raji was one of the most dominant defensive lineman in the nation last year with 42 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Scouts were extremely impressed at the Senior Bowl practices, where Raji might have been the most consistently dominant player. Raji sat out the 2007 season because he didn't meet academic requirements, but he came back with a vengeance in 2008 and seemed to be absolutely unblockable at times. Looks the part of Jim Croce lyric "...like a 'Frigerator with a head" and should be able to help an NFL team increase the value of real estate owned by the nose tackle. 2. Peria Jerry, Mississippi, 6-2, 299 He might need to be in a system that keeps it simple so he can maximize the animal in him. Jerry explodes off the line and is sometimes impossible to handle even with two blockers when he is intent on collapsing the pocket. He led the SEC with 18 tackles for losses in 2008 and was selected conference Defender of the Week four times. Scouts loved him in the Senior Bowl workouts, but they are reviewing game tapes closely to validate his sudden burst to stardom. Over the previous two years he was inconsistent and will turn 25 in August. Cousins Eddie Strong and Dwayne Rudd both played linebacker in the NFL 3. Evander Hood, Missouri, 6-3, 300 His size, technique and tenacity are what make him an intriguing draft prospect. A great week of practice at the Senior Bowl re-established faith in Hood's ability after scouts watched him become stymied in 2008 when offensive line schemes keyed on stopping him. He managed to get only 23 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 2008 after a 2007 that included career highs in every category -- 49 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, five sacks and three forced fumbles. 4. Ron Brace, Boston College, 6-3, 334 After playing in 2007 without Raji by his side, Brace took advantage of playing alongside his talented teammate in 2008 and made marked improvement in most phases of his game. Brace shows the body control and acceleration to close on the ball. With added strength, combined with his explosion, he could develop into a very effective under tackle or nose tackle. He is quick in a small area, but his main gear is compound low and he won't chase down many people from behind. He helps make plays more than he makes them himself, as evidenced by two-year stats that total only 54 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. 5. * Sen'Derrick Marks, Auburn, 6-2, 306 Like his entire Auburn team, Marks was a disappointment in 2008. He enters the draft with a year of eligibility remaining even as scouts are wondering if he is ready. An All-SEC player in 2007, Marks was inconsistent and appeared to be out of shape and unable to perform at his best at times in 2008 despite the fact that he was being rotated in and out of the lineup. His career stats show 114 stops, including 30 tackles for a loss. He has shown the ability to fire off the line, outmuscle blockers and even run down plays away from him. But he just didn't do any of it consistently last year. 6. Fili Moala, Southern California, 6-4, 305 Moala has an imposing frame that is still developing. He shows excellent lateral agility in a small space -- reminiscent of Vince Wilfork -- and an explosive burst off the snap. Before the 2008 season, he relied more on his natural ability than technique. Last season he showed instincts for the position, especially finding the football. Originally signed with USC out of high school but had to rehabilitate his academics in junior college before rejoining the Trojans in 2004. His cousin is defensive lineman Haloti Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens. 7. Dorrell Scott, Clemson, 6-3, 312 After averaging 50 tackles and four sacks in his previous two seasons, Scott entered last season as an Outland Trophy candidate. But he was hampered by a strained knee and was not very productive until the last few games. Still, scouts like a lot of things about him. He is a determined athlete who takes great pride in his leadership role, and is an emotional type who will not make the same mistake twice. Scott is a tireless worker in the training room and practices and takes pride in mentoring younger players. 8. Mitch King, Iowa, 6-2, 280 Here is a picture of consistency. A four-year starter and two-time All-Big Ten first-team selection, King averaged 57 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks per season. His lack of height for a defensive end belies his strength and refined technique at the point of attack. King is a passionate player whose style can be described as violent. He has excellent field instincts and an advanced feel for the game. King played linebacker and running back in high school, where he rushed for 1,400 yards, including 850 as a senior. 9. Ricky Jean Francois, LSU, 6-3, 295 He had an inconsistent but interesting college career. Here is a strong run stuffer whose quick initial burst off the ball usually puts the blocker in a bad juxtaposition. He gets a little too high in his stance at times, a liability against double-team blocks, and lacks a great pass rush move. Back injuries have robbed him of any lateral agility. He missed the first 12 games because of academic problems as a sophomore, then won defensive MVP honor in the national title game against Ohio State after making six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and blocking a field goal. 10. Alex Magee, Purdue, 6-3, 298 After starting 22 games at defensive tackle for three seasons, Magee was moved to defensive end last year and had a rather mundane season statistically -- 28 tackles, six for a loss and 3.5 sacks. But the move did allow him to show versatility and scouts were impressed at the Senior Bowl practices by his combination of size, strength and hand technique. As the draft approaches, his stock continues to rise because he can find a place to fit in and help on any defense. His given name is Arcilla Alexander Magee, and when he is done with the NFL, he wants to work for another three-letter enterprise, the FBI. 11. Vance Walker, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 304 He is an alert player who does a nice job of reading schemes and reacting in a 5-yard area. Walker has some quickness to gain penetration, but is not the type who would cause a quarterback to lose sleep. He has decent initial move off the ball and good lateral quickness, but lacks a sudden closing burst to get more pressure. He has good upper body bulk, but does not generate enough force to own an area so he doesn't appear to be a candidate for nose tackle.