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 Post subject: Thaddeus Gibson, OLB, Ohio State
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:08 am 
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THADDEUS GIBSON
6-2/243
Ohio State Junior
40: 4.78

PROS: Has a quick first step with potential as an edge rusher. More effective rushing the quarterback with his hand off the ground than on it. Has good speed and closing burst to make stop on the backside pursuit. Wraps up and shows ability to make tackle at the point of attack. Is athletic, moves well in space, and shows some potential to work in coverage. Has a good frame and long arms.
CONS: Overly relies on his edge speed and lacks an ideal counter move. Lacks technique that if he doesn't beat blocker with his first step, he's not a factor as a pass rusher. Has trouble shedding blocks and a tendency to try and run around them. Needs to improve his recognition and tends to rely on his superior speed and athleticism to make up for his mistakes. Has limited experience working in coverage and needs to show better awareness in space and get better depth on his zone drops.
OVERVIEW: Gibson is a good pass rusher that plays a hybrid end-linebacker role for the Buckeyes. He reminds a lot of Vernon Gholston, who he replaced, although he's not quite the physical specimen nor does he have the collegiate production. But like Gholston, he's raw, but has potential to be a very good rush linebacker at the next level. Combined for 22 tackles for loss and 9 sacks the past two years as a starter.
NFL FORECAST: Gibson needs polish, but you like his potential with his physical tools, athleticism, and speed. I'm not sure he's ever going to be a top pass rusher, but can be a guy that can give you 5-8 sacks as a 3-4 rush linebacker. He might need a few years to develop on the bench and there is some boom/bust potential with him. I don't think he'll be a complete bust, but it wouldn't surprise me if he never develops the natural feel for playing linebacker and fail to live up to his potential as a pass rusher. But I like his chances if he plays in a 3-4 scheme that will use him like a DeMarcus Ware (i.e. primarily as a pass rusher) and give him at least year if not two to develop. If he isn't impacting and starting by his third season, then he probably never will.
ATL FORECAST: Don't see him succeeding in the same role in Atlanta as he had at Ohio State, which is a hybrid end-linebacker. While he can do it, his length to impact is probably too long to realistically expect the Falcons to develop him. He's athletically gifted, but isn't quite as consistent as I'd want in a starter that replaces Nicholas. He could be an upgrade over Nicholas don't get me wrong, but I think it would take him the better part of two or three seasons before the coaching staff trusts him enough to hand him the starting job. By then, it's probably too late.
VALUE: For a 3-4 team looking for developmental pass rusher, I would take him in the late second or early third.

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

SPEED: 4.0
TACKLING: 3.5
COVERAGE: 2.5
POINT OF ATTACK: 2.5
INSTINCTS: 2.5
PASS RUSH: 3.5

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 Post subject: Re: Thaddeus Gibson, OLB, Ohio State
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:49 am 
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Pros: Has good size, speed and athleticism. Shows the ability to drop into coverage and make plays on the ball in space. Is a reliable wrap-up tackler and does a good job of breaking down and making tackles on quicker players in space. He gets upfield off the ball quickly and does a good job of keeping contain. Shows good edge speed and shows an effective swim move to get upfield past blockers. Has a good motor and makes plays in backside pursuit, and plays through the whistle.

Cons: Needs to improve his hand usage and his ability to shed blocks. Can get engulfed at the line by larger blockers when he can’t avoid them, and struggles a bit in close quarters because he needs to get stronger and is undersized as a defensive end. Will need to develop as a linebacker dropping into coverage. Needs to develop his pass rush moves more to be an effective NFL pass rusher.

Overall: Gibson has good potential in the NFL, but he needs time to develop. He will be able to contribute early as a situational pass rusher due to his edge speed and athletic ability, but he needs coaching up in coverage and needs to get stronger, improve his hand usage and develop better pass rush moves. He has potential and flashes the ability to drop into coverage effectively and also flashes an effective swim move, but needs to improve his moves. If he is given a year or two of good coaching he could develop into a quality pass rusher, perhaps 8 sacks a year. But while his ceiling is a quality pass rusher in a 3-4 defense, his floor is a situational pass rusher that never really develops into a well-rounded defender and only contributes 3-5 sacks a year in a situational role. That makes picking him early pretty risky.

Projection: Late 2nd/Early-Mid 3rd round: He could sneak into the late 2nd if a particular team thinks he has 10 sack a year potential, but I don’t think he is on that level. I think he could be a quality pass rusher in a 3-4, but would be better off opposite a stud pass rusher than being relied on to go against the offense’s best pass protector. That said, he should come off the board in the early 3rd round range if he doesn’t sneak into the late 2nd.

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

SPEED: 4.0
TACKLING: 3.5
COVERAGE: 2.5
POINT OF ATTACK: 2.5
INSTINCTS: 3.0
PASS RUSH: 3.5

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