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Scouting director: 2014 DL class 'worst I've seen in a long time'

  • By Dan Parr
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Jadeveon Clowney is far from the only defensive lineman in the 2014 NFL Draft an NFC scouting director doesn't hold in high regard.

The scouting director, who directed harsh criticism toward Clowney, doesn't see much to like in the entire class of defensive linemen this year.

"It's a bad year," he said, according to nj.com. "It's the worst group I've seen in a long time."

The consensus among evaluators seems to be that there is a big dropoff at defensive end after Clowney -- NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranks Clowney No. 1 in his list of the draft's top 50 prospects, and the second-highest ranked defensive end is Missouri's Kony Ealy, all the way down at No. 31. Not far behind Ealy among defensive ends are Auburn's Dee Ford (No. 33) and Notre Dame's Stephon Tuitt (No. 34).

As for the top interior defensive linemen this year, Pitt's Aaron Donald ranks 14th, Florida State's Timmy Jernigan ranks 18th, Notre Dame's Louis Nix ranks 28th and Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman ranks 30th on Jeremiah's list.

The nj.com story quoted the NFC scouting director as well as an NFC scout an an AFC personnel executive on several of this year's top DL prospects, and Clowney wasn't the only one that received the "lazy" label. Here's a look at some of their comments:

Stephon Tuitt

NFC scouting director: "Lazy. He's an underachiever. I would just say no."
AFC personnel executive: "I think he's better as a 3-4 end, than a 4-3 tackle. He has the size and build for it. But there were games where he just didn't do anything."

Kony Ealy

NFC scouting director: "He's got good size. He's big, fast, strong. There's a lot to work with there. Could he be a 3-4 linebacker? Yeah, he could, but I think he's a 4-3 end. He's a late first-round pick for sure."

Louis Nix

AFC personnel executive: "Classic nose tackle. He reminds me of (Packers NT) B.J. Raji. You put some people around him and he could make an impact."
NFC scout: "I don't see much there. He's not for us."

Aaron Donald

NFC scouting director: "I don't know about this guy. You look at him, and he's too small. But then you watch him and all he does is produce. I'm torn on him."

Ra'Shede Hageman

NFC scouting director: "When he wants to play, he can. You watch him for a couple of plays, and you see things. Then, you don't see him again."
AFC personnel executive: "He's big and talented. But he's lazy."

Timmy Jernigan

NFC scout: "He tapped out in the championship game. On that last Auburn drive, you couldn't find him."
AFC personnel executive: "He can do a lot of things. He's very strong. He's a first-rounder."

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