Texas Tech Senior
Does a nice job getting leverage, using his hands at the point of attack. Can make the stop at the point of attack or eat blocks. Can anchor and rarely gets pushed off the ball by most blockers. Shows some upfield burst so split the A gap and get pressure up the middle. Can also line up in the 5-technique outside and occasionally get a tackle off-balanced with a quick inside move and upfield burst. Has a decent swim move and is most effective getting pressure on stunts. Has good short-area power with the ability to jolt blocker back and flashes potential to be a dangerous bull rusher inside. Has decent recognition to sniff out a screen pass. Can work laterally down the line in pursuit and plays with a good motor.
Doesn't show a consistent first step to get pressure or penetration. Doesn't really have any great pass rush moves and tends to rely on his strength and motor to beat blocker and work his way to the quarterback. Has minimal range and it shows when you force him to try and make plays in pursuit. Doesn't consistently show ability to get off blocks at the point of attack when he can anchor. Gets pushed back at times in short yardage because he doesn't get low enough.
Whitlock is a powerful run stuffer that is good at anchor and eating space in the middle. He'll occasionally get penetration and be disruptive, but it's not to a level where he can do that much on the next level. He fits best in a 3-4 scheme, where he fits best as a nose tackle, but can also kick outside to end on occasion. A four-year starter that combined for 188 tackles, 30.5 for loss, and 8 sacks.
Whitlock is a player that is going to add quality depth at the next level, but also has the potential to be a starter. As a 3-4 nose tackle, he's the type of guy like Kelly Gregg, that doesn't really stand out, but can eat space, stuff the run, and frees up the linebackers behind him. He can kick out to end on occasion if a team really wants to get beefy and has another quality nose guy on the roster. He's a two-down guy that occasionally can get upfield and put pressure on the QB, but he's not going to get more than 1 or 2 sacks in the pros. And those sacks will only come at points where his motor works and the QB is stepping up in the pocket. He's strong, powerful, and has a high motor, so he'll definitely stick in the pros. The only question is how good does he become. He has the upside to be an impactful starting nose tackle on a quality defense because of his ability to eat space and absorb blocks to free up playmakers at linebacker. Or he could just wind up being a good backup and depth guy like Mike Wright or Mike DeVito.
Whitlock would be a good two-run stuffer, but he's not quite disruptive enough to really be more than a backup in Atlanta. He would probably need to drop around 10 or so pounds to maximize his ability in a one-gap scheme because of his inconsistency as a pass rusher. But you're going to have to pull him on most passing downs and only be a guy that fills a similar niche as Vance Walker. He would probably be better vs. the run than Walker, but like Walker is a guy that is really only good for 20-25 snaps per game and nothing more due to his one-dimensionality.
For a 3-4 team, Whitlock is a good depth guy and potential starter that makes sense taking in the fourth or fifth 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 the defensive tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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