DT MICHAEL BENNETT, OHIO ST.

DT #63 MICHAEL BENNETT, OHIO ST.

6’2” – 288 lbs. – 5.15e

Was a first-year starter in 2013. Listed height and weight are barely adequate for a pro defensive tackle, but looks bigger on tape and may weigh in higher than expected at the Combine; however, doesn’t look like he has the frame to effectively handle much more bulk. Typically lined up as the three-technique under tackle in Ohio State’s defense, but has also lined up in the nose tackle spot on occasion; in three-man fronts, plays five-technique defensive end. Possesses a bit of a squat build and predictably does a nice job of staying lower than the offensive linemen he’s up against. Lack of ideal height and length should prevent him from receiving too much consideration from teams with 3-4 defenses, though. Lacks the elite first-step quickness of a top interior rusher, as he is often the last Buckeye off the line of scrimmage; more successful because of his leverage, power, and tenacity than because of his initial explosiveness. As a pass rusher, is capable of mixing in a few different moves, including spin and swim moves, but is most successful when he’s bull rushing his opponent; is more powerful than he looks and is capable of reestablishing the line of scrimmage or walking blockers back into the quarterback. Gives good effort on a consistent basis, even when faced with extra attention from blockers. Effective block-shedder thanks to his natural strength; can knock blockers off-balance with his initial punch and ragdoll them around to clear himself a path to the ball. In run defense, he flashes the ability to dig in against a double team, but can be driven off the ball on occasion. Looks more comfortable when he’s allowed to try and penetrate into the backfield than when he’s asked to hold his ground against double teams. Could exercise a bit more gap discipline; attempts to reach the backfield occasionally carry him out of his assigned area, opening a path for runners to easily maneuver through. Also appears to lose track of ballcarriers at times and miss opportunities to make tackles away from his frame. When in position, is a reliable wrap tackler who exhibits a high motor in pursuit versus the run; above-average range for the position. Much stronger and stouter than you’d expect given his measurables and could start at either 4-3 tackle spot.

Games watched: Northwestern (’13), Penn St. (’13), Wisconsin (’13)

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