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 Post subject: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:44 am 
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Pros: Very quick off the ball, is very good at anticipating the snap count and recognizing the QB’s cadence patterns. Has good size, athletic ability and edge speed to beat tackles off the edge. Uses his hands well to shed blocks, shock the offensive lineman and uses them well for counter moves. Stands up well to the run when he plays with good leverage, can even blow up plays versus a double team from an OT and TE when he does. Has a great motor, just keeps going after the QB, flashes a spin move in addition to his good speed rush and bull rush. Good on backside pursuit.

Cons: Needs to develop his spin move more into a good pass rush move, needs to play low or else he can be washed out by a strong TE. Flashes ability to dip underneath the blocker’s arms to get the edge, but I’d like to see more of that. Needs to work on shielding his knees from cut blocks to keep himself alive for the play. Occasionally won’t read screens well.

Overall: Morgan is my #1 DE in this draft class and for good reason. He is good versus the run and can disrupt an offense single-handedly with his pass rushing ability. He has good instincts from what I can tell, is good at stretching a play out and forcing the running back to cut back in. Will play contain on an edge with good discipline. Flashes elite pass rushing ability which is very rare from a 4-3 LE prospect. He is very quick off the ball and with some development and coaching he has the potential to be one of the better 4-3 LE’s in the NFL.

Projection: Top 10: There is no way he makes it out of the top 10 in my opinion. He is well rounded and while DE’s don’t often contribute immediately as an every down player, he could certainly give a team a lift as a situational pass rusher while he develops into an every down player over the coming seasons. I expect him to be a feared pass rusher from his LE spot as well as a player who can defend the run.

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

STRENGTH: 4.0
QUICKNESS: 4.0
PASS RUSH: 4.0
POINT OF ATTACK: 4.0
RECOGNITION: 3.5
MOTOR: 4.0

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 Post subject: Re: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:26 am 
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DERRICK MORGAN
6-4/272
Georgia Tech Junior

PROS: Has a dangerous first step and the ability to turn the corner off the edge as a pass rusher. He's a good athlete that has experience working in coverage and playing with his hand off the ground. Gets upfield and able to get leverage versus the run and can press the line of scrimmage to force a runner to change direction. Shows ability to stack and shed blockers. Has good short-area burst and a capable bull rusher. Has a nice swim move and has a developing spin move, along with a nice inside counter move. Breaks down well in the backfield. Does a good job on the backside pursuit and has closing burst on the ball. Has a good motor.
CONS: Will get pushed back at the point of attack and doesn't have the ability to hold it. Needs to get off blocks better and improve hand use. Needs to play with better recognition vs. the run at times. Will take some false steps at times when trying to turn the corner, making him a less effective edge rusher. Not natural when playing with his hand off the ground, and lacks the instincts and natural feel to play in space.
OVERVIEW: Morgan has elite potential as a pass rusher. He has the size, athleticism, and burst to be an impact pass rusher and one of the premier ends in the league. He didn't play too well in the bowl game vs. Iowa, where he looked kind of heavy and lacked flexibility.
NFL FORECAST: I'm not sure how heavy Morgan was vs. Iowa, but he looked to be around 285 pounds or so. And I think he's a guy that his ideal weight will be in the 275-280 pound range. I'm sure teams will bulk him up in order to make him like Mario Williams and Julius Peppers, but that's not really his game. His game is more like Michael Strahan. Morgan needs more polish, but he should be able to contribute right away as a starter in the NFL. Although 3-4 teams might be interested in him as either an end or an outside linebacker, he really wouldn't fit in that scheme. He's athletic enough to play outside linebacker, but he doesn't have the high upside to excel there. And he could eventually develop into a capable five-technique defensive end, again he wouldn't excel there. So his best scheme is working as a left end in a 4-3. I'm not worried about Morgan being a bust. There's nothing about his game to make me think he won't be a solid pro. The question really is going to be how good a pro he can be. If he's handled right, then he can be a feared pass rusher. If not, then at the very least he'll be a good starter on a comparable level with Will Smith. But I think the best way to handle him will not be asking him to bulk up and be this 290-pound demon. That will only slow him down. He's already a strong player and he doesn't need to be huge in order to be most effective.
ATL FORECAST: Morgan would be a dream come true for the Falcons. He could immediately fill in as the starting left end and be an every down player. He's not the most polished run stopper or pass rusher, but the team would be hard-pressed to keep him on the sideline. While I wouldn't predict him to have a monster rookie year for the Falcons, probably 4-6 sacks, he would be effective. He'd be the guy that can in the short-term play across from Abraham, and elevate each other's games. And then a few years down the line, he'd be able to supplant Abe as the team's top pass rusher. He would have a very long career here in Atlanta like the last former Yellow Jacket the Falcons used a high pick on.
VALUE: Morgan is a definite Top 10 pick. For a team looking for a pass rusher with elite potential, there would be no problem taking him in the Top 5.

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

STRENGTH: 4.0
QUICKNESS: 4.0
PASS RUSH: 4.5
POINT OF ATTACK: 3.0
RECOGNITION: 2.5
MOTOR: 4.0

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