football Edit

Self-Scouting: Evaluating recent five-star defensive ends

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

Myles Garrett
Myles Garrett (AP Images)


Last week and into this week, is taking a look at five-stars at each position from 2012 to 2015 (classes that are now nearly completely out of college football and off to the pros) and how they fared compared to our ranking to determine which spots we got right and which ones we got wrong. We move to defensive ends.


Byron Cowart, Keisean Lucier-South, CeCe Jefferson, Kyle Phillips, Rasheem Green, Josh Sweat, Da’Shawn Hand, Myles Garrett, Chad Thomas, Malik McDowell, Robert Nkemdiche, Carl Lawson, Jonathan Allen, Chris Jones, Frank Herron, Jonathan Bullard, Noah Spence, Darius Hamilton, Adolphus Washington, Aziz Shittu, Dante Fowler, Jr.


This is an interesting position group because a lot of the top-ranked players ended up going early in the NFL Draft and many others were drafted but felt like slight misses because of how late they were picked.

If you consider getting drafted in the first three rounds a 'hit', Rivals went 11-for-21 (52 percent) on five-star defensive ends, and 16 of the 21 were drafted.

Let’s start with the hits first: Nothing could be better than Garrett being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and that was closely followed by Fowler as the third overall pick in 2015. Nkemdiche and Allen were also first-round selections so that’s exactly what we’re shooting for - five-stars who are picked that early.

McDowell went in the second round although he didn’t pan out as an NFL player yet, if ever, and then Jones and Spence took different routes to the second round as well.

Green, Thomas, Bullard and Washington were all third-round picks and then Sweat, Hand and Lawson went in the fourth round. Cowart was a fifth-round guy. Hand and Cowart especially as former No. 1 overall prospects feel like misses but both were drafted and will have a chance to make their impact in the pros.

Jefferson, Phillips, Herron, Hamilton and Shittu went undrafted. Lucier-South is still playing at UCLA.


This isn’t bad overall especially when you consider the number of five-star defensive ends drafted. However, the misses are notable as it’s one of the easier positions to scout out of high school. This will get better with guys like Nick Bosa and others drafted high, but overall this is very solid.

The biggest surprise bust for me? I really thought Herron would be a star. The biggest hit? Garrett, of course. Hand and Cowart are former No. 1 overall prospects and were picked later but they will have good professional careers. I like this group a lot.