Greg Middleton, DE, Indiana

Scouting reports of defensive ends in the 2010 draft.
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Greg Middleton, DE, Indiana

Postby Pudge » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:49 am

Indiana Senior
40: 4.96

PROS: Uses his hands well when working on the inside move. Shows some ability to make things happen in pursuit. Has a decent first step and recognition.
CONS: Has an inconsistent motor. Lacks speed to beat a guy around the corner. Doesn't always get a good jump off the snap, which hurts him as an edge rusher as well as getting leverage vs. the run. Needs to show more consistent recognition. SHould be better at the point of attack vs. the run and needs to get off blocks better. Doesn't break down well when working in space.
OVERVIEW: He flashes the physical tools, but has been inconsistent, particularly with his discipline and motor. He led the nation in sacks as a sophomore with 16, but since then has combined for only 7. He was suspended for disciplinary reasons in the season opener in 2008. For his career, he has 30.5 tackles for loss and 23 sacks. He was the more highly touted going into last year between him and Kirlew, but has been steady outplayed and outproduced by him the past two seasons.
NFL FORECAST: I have to say that going into the 2008 season, many had pegged Middleton as one of the top pass rushers in the land, but I was very disappointed with his play when I first saw him. And after watching him again this past year, I saw no significant improvement. It's just his motor that kills him. And he doesn't have great burst to be an edge pass rusher. He's really a player that if he has any chance of sticking in the pros, is going to have to bulk up and become a better run stopper. Because he just doesn't have what it takes to be an impact pass rusher which is crazy thing to say about a guy that once led nation in sacks. I think he could be a decent 3-4 defensive end if he was to get bigger. But I think at this point, unless he plays above 280 pounds, he's not going to be a factor in the NFL. I don't see him projecting well to the 4-3, unless he bulks up enough that he can play tackle. He has a chance of impacting somebody's rotation, but even if he's in the league five years from now, it'll likely be as an average reserve.
ATL FORECAST: Unless the Falcons envisioned him as a long-term project at defensive tackle, they should pass on him. His poor motor will make it hard for him to make the team's roster. He might be good enough to land a practice squad spot, but without a major attitude overhaul that's about the best you can hope for.
VALUE: For a team looking for a developmental 3-4 end, I might take him in the seventh round. For a 4-3 team, you're better off passing on drafting him altogether.
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Re: Greg Middleton, DE, Indiana

Postby Mr. Offseason » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:22 am

Positives: Good size, good strength, good hand usage, decent quickness off the snap and for the speed rush, plays with good leverage, played on almost every single snap in the game that I watched, is definitely an every down player. Seems to maintain ok gap responsibility, only occasionally flies up-field and notices that it is a run. Does not have many pass rush moves, has the swim, can knock away the opponents hands and has something of a burst to beat the blocker. Seems to be a reliable tackler with long arms. Seems to have a pretty good motor.

Negatives: I don’t think he has the quickness off the ball or the speed off the edge to be a pass rushing threat as a LE in a 4-3. Sometimes is blocked for too long but when he sheds he tosses the OT aside, which while impressive is not as impressive as it might have been if he had shed less forcefully and made a play on the ballcarrier. Doesn’t pack much of a punch as a hitter, but flashes some ability to blow up blockers because of his strength. Is inconsistent when shedding blockers and has a tendency to jump off-sides a bit. Doesn’t always maintain gap responsibility and doesn’t always read and react to plays well.

Overall: I think he is a 3-4 DE or a 4-3 UT. I am not sure how he would do as a UT, so I personally think he would be better as a 3-4 DE. I don’t think he has the quickness or speed off the edge to consistently apply pressure from the LE spot in a 4-3 even if he was able to bull rush to collapse the pocket. If he added weight and still maintained some of his quickness off the snap and into the pads of the blocker I think he would be fine at 3-4 DE. This is already inconsistent at his current weight however. He would have 2 gaps to be responsible for but would have no reason to be trying to beat the OT off the edge regularly because that is the OLB’s job in a 3-4. If he can stand up at the POA against OT’s and OG’s, play with good leverage and continue to improve his hand usage and ability to shed I think he could be a contributor in a 3-4. Obviously it isn’t an ideal fit, but it is a better fit than he is at LE in a 4-3 in my opinion.

Projection: 6th-7th round: He is kind of a ‘tweener right now. He doesn’t project well to UT, he doesn’t have very good edge speed or quickness to project to LE in a 4-3 and he doesn’t have the size right now to play DE in a 3-4. However if he were to gain some weight and get stronger he could have some potential to be a solid 3-4 DE or at least a rotational DE in a 3-4. That is probably his ceiling, and it would take some development and some time for him to gain strength and weight to hold up better at the POA.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

MOTOR: 3.0
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