Pros: Has an OK first step with a nice motor. Has strength to play the run and shows pop as a tackler when moving in space. Has a decent swim move.
Cons: Lacks the quickness to beat a guy off the edge. Can get pushed back at times vs. the run and struggles to get off blocks at times. Lacks recognition.
Overview: Plays primarily the 5 and 3 techniques for Stanford, and projects best at the former. Is a nice effort pass rusher that lacks the explosiveness to really be a factor as a rush end. Only played 1 year of HS football, and he's more athlete than football player at this point. Production declined sharply this past year, having 13.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks as a junior, and only 3.5 and 1.5 sacks as a senior.
NFL Forecast: If he gets into the 3-4 scheme, I think he can be a capable starter. Needs to get bigger and stronger, but not by a large margin. Just needs to learn to play with better technique and leverage to become a solid run-stopping end. His upside in the 4-3 isn't that much since he'll never really be more than a 3-5 sack guy in that scheme. Biggest impact there would be stuffing the run from the outside. He'd be best in a rotation in the 4-3, but could be a full-time starter in the 3-4. Won't ever be a star player, but the type of guy that is a significant contributor to a team's success.
ATL Forecast: In Atlanta, he wouldn't be much of an upgrade over a player like Davis. He's more athletic than Davis, which might give him a leg up, but he's a similar player in that his primary role would be stopping the run not rushing the quarterback. Could ﬂip inside on passing downs, but is not going to be more than OK there. I'd rather have him as a reserve to Davis than Anderson, but doesn't significantly upgrade the spot. Just adds more effort and may make the group only a half step faster. He could be decent in Atlanta, but nothing special.
Value: For a 3-4 team, he'd be worth a fourth or fifth round pick. For a 4-3 team, better wait until Round Seven.
Scouting Reports of defensive ends in the 2009 NFL Draft.
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