Scouting Report-Ayers definitely looks the part of an NFL defensive rush end. He also sort of looks the part of an outside linebacker. And with about 10 or 12 pounds looks a lot like a defensive tackle. Do you get my point that Ayers looks to be pretty versatile in the NFL? This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, some teams covet guys who can do a lot of things and so he's a real steal. Other teams look at him as an unfinished product at all positions, and not worth the pick. Looking at his strictly as a DE, Ayers shows a nice burst off the ball, solid punch, and really is a gifted athlete. He is probably the best defensive end in run support in the draft, and that counts for a lot in a draft full of pass rush specialists. That is one thing Ayers is not. And it's probably his greatest weakness. He has little in the way of pass rush moves, and doesn't always put great effort into rushing the quarterback. He's got great range particularly against the run, and plays angry which is always a good thing.
Draft Status-Ayers is a sort of a golden goose in this draft. Other than Brian Orakpo who's the best 4-3 end in the draft, and Tyson Jackson whos the best 3-4 DE in the draft, Ayers has a distinct advantage of bulk. 4-3 teams don't want a 250lb defensive end. Ayers looks to carry his 270+lbs well and could carry a bit more. This alone almost assures him of a first round pick and if a team thinks they can make him as good at rushing the passer as he is against the run, he's almost a lock for a pick in the top half of the round.
Final Analysis-Coming soon.
Reminds me of: Aaron Kampman-Yes, it's true. Kampman wasn't always the big beefy pass rusher he is today. He got bigger, and better in all fascets of his game, as his career has gone on, and I see that same type of potential in Ayers. I think he can play DE at 280+lbs, and I think he has enough natural athletic ability to become a better pass rusher. Having said all this, Ayers has shown to be a bit of a knucklehead in college so that's the one wild card you can never account for.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy