6’3” – 270 lbs. – 4.75e
Played just 632 snaps as a reserve defensive end over his first two seasons with the Tigers, but recorded some impressive numbers as a pass rusher in that span. Has a somewhat thick, top-heavy build with big thighs; measuring to verify listed height will be important, although he appears to have relatively long arms. Often rushes out of a two-point stance, but puts a hand or two down frequently as well. Tenacious speed-to-power rusher; can put an offensive tackle on his heels with his speed, then drive them back into the pocket with his bull rush. Often a little bit slow to react to the ball being snapped, but has explosive movement skills once he gets going. Capable of bending the edge and dropping his shoulder to reach the quarterback. Has active hands and uses a rip move effectively; repertoire also includes a tight spin move. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes. Against the run, is usually patient in backside contain, maintaining his fits; however, will put down his shoulder and attempt to fill gaps on occasion, opening up cutback lanes to the outside. Once he’s found a clear path to the back, however, does a good job of closing and making the tackle. Can scrape down the line, but needs to do a better job of keeping himself squared to prevent linemen from attacking his outside shoulder. Gets good extension with his arms. Explodes into contact. Somewhat limited from a range standpoint and motor wanes with distance. Doesn’t always play through the whistle, especially when it looks like the ballcarrier’s been secured. Does some work in zone coverage, but footwork looks a little bit sloppy at this point. Only a one-year starter, but produced in a situational capacity last season and has shown that he can create pressure against some of the best offensive tackle prospects in college football, such as Ronnie Stanley. Not as sexy as former teammate and 2015 first-round pick Vic Beasley, but is considerably thicker and may leave teams with fewer question marks regarding his ability to hold up at the pro level from a physical standpoint. A very well-rounded, consistent player, especially on passing downs, where his explosiveness, power, active hands, and diverse set of rush moves should earn him plenty of consideration in the first round should he declare. Could conceivably play either defensive end in an even front or outside linebacker in an odd front, but may be more natural in the former capacity.
Games watched: Miami (’15), North Carolina St. (’15), Notre Dame (’15)