PROS: Has good size and powerful. Uses strength well to overpower blockers and get off blocks to make stops at the point of attack. Has enough range to make some plays laterally along the line of scrimmage. Has a good bull rusher. Has a nice first step that he uses well to get leverage vs. the run and can sometimes push the pocket. Does a nice job taking on double teams.
CONS: Isn't a threat to get much penetration or beat a blocker with his upfield quickness. Has limited range after only a few yards to make plays in pursuit. Relies on his bull rush and lacks any other moves. At times has difficulty getting off blocks. Durability is a major concern.
OVERVIEW: He was considered the stud defensive tackle in the middle following a solid 2007 campaign (8.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks) until McCoy's emergence the following year. He missed time in 2008 as a junior due to a foot injury. And back surgery after the season sidelined him for all of this past year except the bowl game, where he did have 3 tackles. Going into 2008 season, he was considered a potential 1st round pick that injuries have sidetracked his career.
NFL FORECAST: THe injuries concern me because they are the type of injuries (back and lower leg) that don't often go away with bigger guys. The foot injury might be a fluke, because he suffered on a play where he was ganged up on by 3 Washington blockers, but the back injury does concern me. And the fact that he's getting little draft pub indicates to me that few of the so-called experts believe it will allow him to have a complete and healthy NFL career. But based off the way he played when he was 100% (or close to it), Granger has potential to be an impact NFL player. He fits best as a 3-4 nose tackle, but if he were to slim down (he was listed closer to 300 a year ago), he could make a nice two-down run stopper in a 4-3 scheme. And the slimming down might also help alleviate some of his injury concerns. BUt he flashed the ability to be a real force in the middle vs. the run. He tended to overly rely on his superior strength and power, and might not contribute a ton early on as he improves and develops better technique. But his strength alone should allow him to stick on NFL rosters. And if he could prove healthy, he could be a real find for some team looking for a big run stuffer.
ATL FORECAST: Granger is definitely a sleeper option for the Falcons. He is a widebody that if he can maintain his health for a full season has the potential to add a solid two-down run stuffer to help round out the rotation. He has experience playing both 1 and 3 techniques, although he projects better at the former. Although he is a bit of a project that may not be ready to contribute until his health, conditioning, and technique allow him to for a few years. But he definitely has the upside to be a player like Grady Jackson in his prime.
VALUE: If he was healthy, I would say he's a solid second round pick. But the injuries make me skeptical, and obviously the team doctors would have significant influence on where I target him. Assuming his injuries aren't too major or career-threatening, I'd still take a flyer on him in the sixth or seventh round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 4.0
PASS RUSH: 2.0
Scouting reports of defensive tackles in the 2010 draft.
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