DT SHELDON DAY, NOTRE DAME

DT #91 Sheldon Day, Notre Dame

6’2” – 285 lbs. – 4.95e

Appeared in a rotational capacity over thirteen games as a true freshman, then started eight games as a sophomore, eleven as a junior, and all thirteen as a senior. Has a thick, somewhat top-heavy build which looks pretty much maxed out; height and arms are a bit below average. Is a five-technique defensive end in Notre Dame’s odd defensive front; most of his snaps come as a right end, but will slide to the left side as well and occasionally takes snaps out of a two-point stance. Team captain with a tenacious on-field temperament; has a high motor and will pursue sideline-to-sideline. Takes a high percentage of his team’s defensive snaps. Has good play recognition skills and is rarely caught out of position. Scrapes down the line well to defend the run. Anchor isn’t great and can be pushed off the line; best chance of creating problems in run defense is by lowering his shoulder and attempting to create congestion with his body. Also struggles to reestablish the line of scrimmage with his bull rush; not really a two-gap player, although he does shed blocks well. Lacks the length to make tackles while engaged and gets preoccupied with blockers at times, missing opportunities to make tackles. Could do a better job of protecting his legs against cut blocks. Very good penetrator who creates consistent pressure throughout the game; will probably be more useful on passing downs than anything else. Draws extra attention on a handful of plays each game. Excellent first step; is often the first player to react to the ball being snapped. Can challenge the edge with his speed, but sometimes rushes too deep, creating a hole for ballcarriers to run through; also has a bit of trouble bending back on a consistent basis and would probably benefit from working inside moves into his game more often. Has active hands and can slap an opposing offensive linemen’s punch away on a regular basis; best move is his overhand swim, but also works a rip move in. Spin is a bit too deliberate to be considered a weapon at this stage. When he has a clear path to the quarterback, has the closing burst to finish plays with sacks; however, a fair amount of his opportunities are the result of finding a clear lane on a stunt. Generates some force on contact, more of a thud than a whip. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes when he’s unable to get into the backfield. Has also made a few zone drops and looks surprisingly capable in that capacity. A likely second-day pick who would be best as a one-gap penetrator in an even front.

Games watched: Clemson (’15), Southern California (’15), Texas (’15)

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