Top 10 Defensive Players of 2012

I am beginning a series that will look at who I believe are the top 50 defensive players in the 2012 draft. Today we will look at the top 10.

1. Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: Couples had an incredible season filling in for the suspended Robert Quinn and another strong season should cement him into the top five of next years draft.

Follow the jump to see two through 10.

2. Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State: Burfict is the best LB prospect since Patrick Willis. He plays hard and physical but needs to remove some dirty plays from his arsenal.

3. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: Kirkpatrick’s measurables compare favorably to Patrick Peterson and a strong junior season should get him into the top 10.

4. Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: Gilmore has done more already in his college career than Kirkpatrick. He could be a top 10 pick with a good season.

5. Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State: Worthy is only going into his Junior season but he already looks NFL ready. A good season should put him in the top 10.

6. Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina: Paige-Moss is a sack machine that could be the highest rated 3-4 OLB in next year’s draft. He could be a top 10 to 15 pick.

7. Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon: Harris makes a lot of big plays but also gives up his fair share. He needs to improve his decision making because he is already able to blanket receivers.

8. Manti Te’O, LB, Notre Dame: Te’O is a great ILB prospect that plays hard and plays downhill. He should be among the league leaders in tackles every year.

9. Luke Kuchely, LB, Boston College: Kuchely is a very good dual threat as he is a good pass-rusher and also is advanced in run support. A strong season could put him in the top 15.

10. Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: Jenkins is one of the elite players in this draft class. He has major character concerns which will probably keep him out of round one but he is a baller. Whoever gets him, if they keep his head straight is getting a potential Pro Bowl player.

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