6’4” – 231 lbs. – 4.60e
Started eight of thirteen games as a freshman, then eleven of twelve as a sophomore. Usually plays on the outside of Georgia’s odd defensive front, occasionally putting his hand down to rush from a three-point stance; however, is a versatile player who also does some traditional linebacker work on both the inside and outside. A long, lanky linebacker who has the frame to accommodate more weight and will probably be asked to do so; built a little bit like a wide receiver. High-effort player. Bends the edge well on the outside, with good explosiveness, flexibility, and leverage. Controls his body well. Also relies heavily on inside moves, which allow him to knife into the backfield and close on the quarterback. Has active hands and works hard to shed blocks; integrates some different moves into his repertoire and is pretty creative in working them in, the most effective rush move being his rip. Length gives him an impressive tackling radius. When he recognizes them, is fast enough to split double-teams. Draws chip blocks from tight ends and backs, which are effective at knocking him off-balance. Production may be slightly inflated from plays in which he’s schemed open; also gets a lot of his production against right tackles. Doesn’t always backpedal with great balance, but clearly has the athletic ability to work as a coverage linebacker, something he’s done a few times per game at the college level. Usually has zone-coverage responsibilities but will occasionally work against a slot receiver. Will pursue screens to the sidelines. Fairly patient when diagnosing plays in the run game and gives good effort; however, is sometimes just slightly out of position to make a play, seemingly because he’s thinking a bit too much. That said, rarely bites on misdirection. Not a forceful tackler. Lacks the bulk to anchor effectively but has some upside as a run defender owing to his willing, aggressive on-field temperament; gets extension and works to set the edge. Can be knocked back by a powerful initial punch. A very intriguing prospect from a physical standpoint, with the flexibility, length, and motor to develop into an effective edge rusher at the next level; also possesses plenty of schematic versatility after handling diverse responsibilities with the Bulldogs. The biggest question mark is whether he’ll retain his special athleticism at a more typical weight; will probably be asked to gain anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five pounds to hold up from a physical standpoint. Could end up in the top ten if he bulks before the Combine and puts on a show there.
Games watched: Clemson (’14), Alabama (’15), Vanderbilt (’15)