Evander "Ziggy" Hood
Pros: He is a disruptor that does a nice job penetrating. Shoots gaps well and can make stops in the backfield. Uses hands very well and has a nice repertoire of pass rush moves. Has a good rip and swim as well as a spin move. Has a good motor that can make plays in pursuit and laterally down the line. Closes well on the quarterback. Can get leverage vs. the run using good size and strength. Shows some good coachability.
Cons: Not explosive off the line. Often relies on stunts to get favorable match-ups due to lack of a great first step. Needs to get off blocks better and not that great at the point of attack. Needs to improve recognition and can take himself out of a play by shooting upfield. Not as powerful a tackler as you'd expect with his size.
Overview: Predominantly plays the 3-technique, but does get a few reps at nose tackle. But fits best as a 3-technique defensive tackle in the 4-3 scheme. Missed 3 games with a broken foot in 2006. Productive his final two years as a full-time starter, combining for 10 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Earned nickname of "Ziggy" from his grandmother based on the cartoon character.
NFL Forecast: He's one of the more polished pass rushers I've seen come out of school, since he uses his hands very well. The only downside to him is that he's not that explosive off the line and basically relies on good hand use and pass rush moves to beat blockers. But I don't think this is going to be a major problem in the pros. Has good pass rush potential and the type that could routinely tally 5-8 sacks a year, making him one of the better interior pass rushers in the league. Would work best in a 4-3 scheme that likes to get upfield and disrupt the backfield. He could be a project if he was moved to the nose, since he doesn't have great size or strength to take on the constant double teams. But with his good hand use, he could be effective there eventually.
ATL Forecast: Hood could work in Atlanta, because he's got more upside as a pass rusher than Jonathan Babineaux. May not be as explosive as Babs is off the line, but it's not a far drop. Within two or so seasons, Hood would probably take over for Babs as the team's starting under tackle. But he could also tried to be converted to nose tackle, although his length to impact will likely increase. If he had a good rotation behind him, he could make an effective starter, but probably wouldn't excel at the nose. He'd definitely improve the Falcons pass rush and rotation, but not necessarily would be the long-term fix at the nose.
Value: Hood is a late first round pick, and if he was more explosive off the line would merit a Top 15 pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 3.0
PASS RUSH: 4.5
Scouting Reports of defensive tackles in the 2009 NFL Draft
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