6’5” – 250 lbs. – 4.80e
Redshirted in 2011, then appeared in a reserve capacity the following season; stepped into the starting lineup as a redshirt sophomore and has been highly productive over the past three seasons. Named one of the team’s captains as a junior. Lines up at defensive end for the Spartans (often on the left side), playing on an even defensive front. Usually has two-gap responsibilities as a run defender. Built like a traditional end, with prototypical height, bulk, and length; really looks the part. Has more flexibility and agility than anticipated, with a tight spin move and the ability to change directions when pursuing. Gets off the snap quickly for a man his size and can challenge the edge. Has average speed, both when closing and in top-end terms. Will use his hands to avoid getting engaged. Once he’s blocked, however, tends to stay glued to opposing linemen, with a noticeably lower energy level and very inactive hands. Has the height and length to contest passing lanes when he’s unable to reach the quarterback. Powerful enough to anchor and set the edge; gets some extension with his arms. However, legs tend to go dead on contact and consequently isn’t much of a threat to bull-rush opponents into the backfield. Makes little effort to disengage from blockers. Rarely makes an effort to bring down ballcarriers while engaged; allows backs to get by him even when he’s in position. Looks considerably more interested in rushing the passer than he looks in defending the run. Motor wanes with distance and won’t pursue much outside of the box. Needs to do a better job of protecting his legs; susceptible to cut blocks on screens and rushing attempts. Has blocked some kicks o special-teams units. Probably not a great fit for teams running odd defensive fronts; best fit will come as a left end in a two-gap defensive front where teams will have to hope they can get him to use his hands and feet more and to apply consistent effort on a snap-to-snap basis. It’s hard to reconcile his statistics with the on-field product, which is highly inconsistent on a play-to-play and game-to-game basis. Has the tools to develop into a starting-caliber end and looks good when he’s committed, but hasn’t solved many of the issues which were present in his game as far back as 2013 and it may be wishful to expect the light to come on after he’s been paid. Will probably end up going somewhere on the second day, but has enough flaws on his game that he could easily end up being more of a third-day value.
Games watched: Michigan (’14), Central Michigan (’15), Oregon (’15)