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This is a re-print of my Senior Bowl experience and it might be helpful for your rookie drafts. 

Thursday was the final day that the media could view a semi-meaningful practice. The players were back to shells and helmets mostly ran plays at half speed. In yesterday’s article I ranked the offensive skill position players and the van noyimpressions they made.  Because there is not a lot more to gleam from walk-through practices, I will spend this article reviewing and ranking these defensive players by their positions.

Linebackers/defensive ends (mostly outside rushers, unless indicated)

1) Kyle Van Noy, BYU
This linebacker is the best defensive player here, just beating out the undersized DT Aaron Donald.  He flies to the ball with good vision and instinct.  Van Noy tackles with force, wraps his arms, and takes the ball carrier down hard. He sheds blockers out of his way quickly while rushing the quarterback or playing the run.  The linebacker is a leader and is better suited to play an outside linebacker spot, but can play inside backer as well.  Van Noy is in my top five rookie fantasy linebackers.

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Sometimes with dynasty leagues, the idea of ranking rookie defensive backs is quite silly. More often than not, it is the opportunity that decides their value. NFL teams that have great scoring offenses usually give defensive backs morepryor2 chances to make plays as the other team is playing behind and will be less conservative with the pigskin. This is my top ten pre-draft assessments of the defensive backs by talent and football IQ.

1.Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

This safety is the hardest hitter in his class. He reads the field well with excellent vision and gets himself in the best spot to make plays. Pryor uses his physicality and seems to be a bit of a head hunter. He isn’t smooth in coverage and can fall for multiple move fakes. If Pryor ends up with a team that has weak linebackers, he might lead his team in tackles. Read More »