6’4” – 290 lbs. – 5.10e
Became a full-time starter in his third season after working into the defense in a rotational capacity the first two. Usually plays left defensive tackle in Ohio St.’s even defensive front, often with two-gapping responsibilities. Tall with a thick, slightly top-heavy build and long arms; looks a little bit heavier than his listed weight, although his frame’s nearly maxed out. Very strong player. As a run defender, does a nice job of getting low despite his height. Keeps his feet churning after contact and can reestablish the line of scrimmage in the backfield. Needs to do a better job of extending his arms and keeping track of the play while engaged; awareness is below average, often tackling the wrong opponent. Capable of crashing down on the center and creating an obstruction in the middle of the offensive line. Has some burst to knife into gaps and disrupt the backfield. Allows too many blockers to attack his outside shoulder successfully. Ends up on the ground regularly; doesn’t protect his legs effectively. That said, anchors well and is rarely pushed off the line of scrimmage. Exhibits an impressive motor and will pursue plays to the sidelines. Found his way to the quarterback more often than a typical nose tackle, although he’s not the type of elite athlete who should create a ton of pressure on passing downs at the next level; flashes some ability to skinny between the line, with a nice overhand swim move and a wide tackling radius due to his length. Gets his hands up when he’s unable to reach the passer. Has benefited from being able to play with the likes of Michael Bennett and Joey Bosa on the defensive line, drawing plenty of one-on-one matchups. A somewhat strange prospect who, at 6’4” and 290 pounds, lacks the typical physical profile of a pro nose tackle, but whose natural strength has allowed him to two-gap effectively and should lead him to be considered for the same role in an even front (or as a five-technique end in an odd front.) Ideally the type of player who would be rotated off the field on passing downs, but who can create a little bit of trouble in the backfield and being removed from the game is not a foregone conclusion. Most impressive qualities as a prospect are his size, motor, and ability to hold up against a high level of competition without having extended his arms effectively on a consistent basis. Probably more of a second-day prospect overall, as he lacks the freakish height and bulk of comparable first-round prospects such as Michael Brockers.
Games watched: Michigan (’14), Michigan St. (’14), Navy (’14)