Has good size and flashes good pop, able to deliver the blow as a lead blocker. Can hit his assignments when leading the back on the edge. Shows some ability to adjust in space when blocking in space, able to get low and cut a defender on the second level. Effective when he works as an H-back. Does a good job finishing his blocks.
Not explosive or quickly gets to his assignments, especially when working as an H-back. Will miss assignments because he's looking to deliver a blow rather than square up the defender. Won't always play with good base when delivering a blow, losing his balance, especially when he has to hit a moving target.
Diehl saw less reps this past year thanks in large part to Clemson fully embracing the spread offense. He was effective in limited reps, but their running game wasn't their strength this past year, and in truth their tailback Andre Ellington wasn't always the ideal back to run behind a lead blocker. But in the past for other Clemson tailbacks he was more than solid. Diehl has the power that NFL teams prefer in their lead blockers, he just doesn't offer much more than that. He wasn't even much of a runner in high school, spending his career as a fullback, guard, and linebacker. Had 6 specail teams tackles throughout his career at Clemson.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(10/1) at Virginia Tech: Lead Block: 1/1
(10/22) vs. North Carolina: Lead Block: 1/4
(1/5) vs. West Virginia: Lead Block: 1/1
2011: 14 GP/2 GS, 1 att., 0 yds, 0.0 avg, 0 TDs; 0 rec., 0 yds, 0.0 avg, 0 TDs
2010: 13/10-2-4-2.0-0; 4-13-3.3-0
2009: 14/3-3-4-1.3-0; 2-20-10.0-0
2008: 0-0-0.0-0; 1-6-6.0-0
2007: 3/0; redshirted
- broke his leg in 2007 and was a medical redshirt
Diehl won't give a team a whole lot as an offensive player in terms of his ability to carry the ball or catch it. But he does have potential worth developing as a lead blocker. There he can be a physical situational player. Because the fullback position is going by the wayside, Diehl may find himself in a similar situation in the pros as he did at Clemson. There, he'll be a situational player that can come in when the team needs a physical blocking presence in short-yardage or the goalline situations, but won't get a ton of play between the twenties otherwise. In that environment, he'll only stick long-term if he can produce on special teams, a role that he shouldn't really have much trouble adjusting to. The question really is not whether he can play special teams, it's how good will he be. And will he be good enough for a team that will only use a fullback on 10-15 snaps to carry on their roster because he offers plus-value there. But that's not to say that Diehl won't find himself on a team that does make ample use of the fullback still and be an effective role player there. But there aren't many teams like that, and certainly probably will be even fewer teams five years down the road. So his ability on special teams will be heavily tied to his NFL longevity. He is probably a capable enough lead blocker that he can start right away as a rookie, although he's probably not going to be any better than average.
Diehl brings a comparable physical disposition to the fullback position, which on the Falcons roster would probably be second only to Ovie Mughelli. And thus that could endear him to the Falcons coaches, but at this point in his career he doesn't really bring a whole lot to the table that Mike Cox doesn't, except maybe a bit more upside as a smashmouth lead blocker a few years down the line as a replacement for Mughelli. But unless he was able to show he was a really solid special teams player right off the bat, he'd be more likely to be headed to the practice squad as a rookie, with the hope that by the time his second year comes around he can push for time. Assuming if Ovie and Cox are both gone at that point, Diehl could be an effective guy to split reps with Jason Snelling. With Diehl specailizing in the plays where the Falcons need a smashmouth guy.
Because Diehl is a very one-note player, he's not really worth drafting. HIs role at the next level is one that is slowly and surely going by the wayside. But he would be a nice camp pickup for any team as a priority free agent.
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