DE/DT- Alabama
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 319 lbs.
Great Fit For: Panthers, Broncos, Bengals

The 2011 NFL Draft is widely considered an excellent draft for teams in need of help solidifying their defensive line. When it comes to evaluating this incoming group of pass rushers, Marcell Dareus is considered the cream of the crop. His superior athleticism, speed, and versatility should ensure that he will be the first defensive lineman selected on April 28th.

Dareus was a standout pass rusher for three seasons at Alabama. He played nose tackle as a freshman before moving to defensive end and helping lead the Crimson Tide to the 2010 BCS National Championship. His junior year was delayed by an NCAA mandated two game suspension for receiving improper benefits, but his play during the 2010 season was good enough for him to declare early for the 2011 NFL Draft.

At the NFL Combine Dareus put on an impressive display and solidified his spot as a top five pick by running a 4.92 second 40 yard dash, which was the fastest time for any player listed over 300 lbs. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock called Dareus his “favorite player in the country this year”.

Scheme versatility is another advantage Dareus can bring to any team. He could play anywhere on the defensive line. His strength and ability to overpower blockers could force opposing lines to constantly assign a double team to him if he played as a defensive tackle in a 4-3. His speed around the edge could also see him be an excellent fit as a 4-3 defensive end or even as a 5-technique.

Current NFL comparisons have been no less impressive. Dareus has been favorably compared to 2010 rookie sensation Ndamukong Suh, Richard Seymour, Darnell Dockett, and former #2 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, Julius Peppers.

Most Scouts and draft experts don’t see a lot of risk in spending an early 2011 NFL Draft selection on Dareus. Some of the limited concerns have been about his relative lack of experience. He started only 15 games in college. A small concern for others was the suspension at the beginning of last year.

Marcell Dareus appears to have all the attributes that NFL teams are looking for in a cornerstone defensive player. He is considered an elite defensive lineman who is pro ready, scheme proof, and with a very low ceiling. He is thought to be about as close to a “can’t miss” player as there is in this year’s draft. The only question remaining now seems to be which John Fox coached team will select him…the former one or current one?

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Jody Smith

2012 FantasyPros Most Accurate Fantasy Expert. Member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. 25 year fantasy football veteran. Featured on, Fantasypros, Football Diehards annual magazine, local AM sports radio, podcasts everywhere and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Once scored 4 touchdowns in a single game or Polk High School.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • The Saints never had a shot to draft Dareus. He was pegged as a top five pick, and since New Orleans had no glaring needs, there was no chance they’d get him. Even without Dareus, the Saints had one of the top five 2011 drafts, and they’ll be Super Bowl contenders once again.

  • New Orleans did manage to add some help along the defensive line during the off-season signing Shawn Rogers before the lockout. Rogers is a space-eating defensive lineman but you can never have enough interior defensive linemen. Lets take a look at some of the top defensive linemen coming out in this years class who might find a spot with the Saints ….Marcell Dareus Alabama – NFL analyst Mike Detillier describes Dareus as a powerful inside force who has been extremely productive and very versatile.