Looking at 2014 NFL draft DE prospects

Mel Kiper Jr. is taking the week to look at 2014 NFL draft prospects by position groups. Not surprisingly, Notre Dame makes its presence felt at the defensive end spot.

Kiper lists Stephon Tuitt as his No. 2 defensive end prospect for this draft class, pending Tuitt's decision on the NFL following this fall. He loves the junior's burst, and he says that, combined with nose guard Louis Nix, Tuitt can help the Irish form a scary defensive front this season.

Right behind Tuitt? That would be fellow ballyhooed 2011 recruit Aaron Lynch, now at USF. Kiper sees Lynch as a matchup nightmare this season, which is hardly a surprise considering he will be playing in the Big East two years after notching 5.5 sacks as a true freshman against Notre Dame's schedule in 2011.

Jadeveon Clowney tops the list, which should be a foregone conclusion at this point considering most analysts were in agreement that the South Carolina star would have been the No. 1 overall selection in this past month's draft.

Kiper this week has also looked at top-five receivers, top-five running backs and top-five safeties, many of whom -- Marqise Lee, Silas Redd, Damien Williams, Ed Reynolds and Jordan Richards — Notre Dame will see during the 2013 season.