If you recall, in Defensive End Tips… (click here for part 2), we covered a lot of what NFL scouts look for in defensive ends, but in my

Two-time All-Pro Defensive End Osi Umenyiora (ICON Sports)

opinion, that info is useless, if you’re a you’re not working to get better at what they look for.

If you’re like most guys that have dreams of playing pro football, you might have to train yourself, so I’ve put together a litle list of drills you can do.

But not just any drills.  These are drills that will help you get better at most of the things NFL scouts look for when they’re analyzing defensive ends.

>>Related: Can’t Afford a Trainer? Try this Defensive End Workout – Part 2

A lot of drills out there require equipment of some kind.  But to help those on a budget, the drills listed below require little-to-no equipment to be purchased.

Disclaimer: If you’re injured, or have health issues, please consult with a doctor before doing any of this stuff.  I, nor Get2TheLeague.com is responsible if you hurt yourself, or tear-up your mom’s house trying to do these drills.

Ready?  Let’s go.

Ability to Tackle


>>Related: How to Tackle Hard in Football – 3 Exercises that’ll Help You PUNISH the Enemy.

I’d be careful doing these, and unless you have some friends that are training for football as well, you might have a tough time finding someone that would wanna go through these drills with you.

Here are some more drills that you may want to pick and choose from.  As you can imagine, getting better at tackling can be challenging without wearing equipment.


This is a drill you can do on your own that’ll help you get used to the feeling of exploding through the ball carrier and shooting your arms properly.


Loose Hips


Increasing the range of motion in your hips is crucial for DE’s.  The drills in the video below can help you with that.

You may look funny in the gym doing this one, but it works wonders on helping you get the flexibility in your hips that scouts want to see.

If you have an exercise ball at home, you can do this one at home as well, obviously..

This video gives you some additional stretches you can do to stretch out your hip flexor to increase your mobility in your hips.



This drill, courtesy of Velocity Sports Performance, will help you develop your balance.

This is a simple drill you can do to work on your balance in your own living room.

Some of the exercises in this video are in the one above, but there’s a few new ones in here, too.


Knee Bend

These drills’ll help you get in the habit of being a natural knee bender, instead of bending at your waist.


Quickness off the Snap

This drill may not look like much, but getting accustomed to firing off the line the split-second the ball is snapped is crucial.

You’ll need a friend in front of you to snap the football.


Body control


I don’t think much explaining is needed on this one, just watching the video makes it pretty apparent that this’ll help you develop better body control.

This is the same drill as the one above, except this one is done with one leg, instead of two.
This drill will help you with you body control as well.  (Courtesy DreAllDay.com)

The 90 degree “hip popper” drill is great for body control. (Courtesy basesathlete.com)


Change of Direction/Lateral Agility


This drill, courtesy of DominantFootball.com, helps defensive linemen improve their change of direction abilities.

This video introduces the 2-3-2-3 drill, which’ll help you with your lateral agility and quickness.

They’re using speed hurdles on the video, but you might be able to find, or make, something around the house that you can use instead.  (Courtesy SKLZ.com)

This drill is designed to help you develop your lateral speed and agility.

This drill reminds me of my db days back in college, but it’s great for defensive ends, too.

I really like the drills in this video.  You can just watch these guys perform these drills and see how helpful they can be in helping you develop your abilities to change directions on a dime.




It’s often overlooked, but hip flexibility plays a huge part in developing explosion in your hips.  The drills in the “loose hips” section near the top of the page’ll help you with explosion too.

You may also wanna check out the exercises mentioned in our How to Tackle Hard in Football post are all about explosion and burst.

They’ll help you develop the explosion that scouts look for in defensive ends.


You should be able to do the first and last drills in this video without equipment.

You need a sled for the second drill, but you might be able to put something together around the house or in the backyard that you can use instead if you don’t have access to one.

Don’t get thrown-off by the fact that there’s little kids doing this drill.

This drill is effective at helping you develop more explosion in your hips.


Stay tuned…  Part 2 comin’ soon!

Do you have any suggestions for DE drills that we should add to the post?  Yea?  Well leave a description to the drill, or a link to it, in the comments!

Catch me on Twitter!  @alvingrier

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