6’3″ – 329 lbs. – 5.37
Redshirted in 2015, then recorded seven tackles for loss and two hurries as a rotational player the following year before becoming a full-time starter this past season, then declared for the draft with two years of eligibility remaining. Massive defensive lineman who plays various different techniques in his team’s defense; most frequently lines up as a three-technique, but also takes the occasional snap as a one-technique on four-man lines, and can play either nose tackle (zero technique) or end (five technique) on odd lines, most commonly the latter. While his frame is more consistent with that of a nose tackle, style of play is better-suited to playing the three-technique. Offers a high motor and very good stamina for a player of his size; played nearly eighty percent of his team’s snaps this past year and remained on the field in passing situations. Has very impressive burst off the line of scrimmage for a player of his size, with good reaction times to the snap and the ability to use an overhand swim move to penetrate into the backfield and blow up plays before they begin; recorded 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks this past season, his first as a full-time starter. Also has plenty of natural power; probably more impressive when he’s able to use his explosiveness to get upfield than when he’s anchoring against the run, but is big and strong enough to manhandle opposing interior linemen with his bull-rush in one-on-one situations and has clear potential as a possible two-gapper in either an even or an odd front. Thudding hitter who can help set the tone defensively. However, despite giving impressive effort and possessing the movement skills to flow toward the ball on stretches, tosses, and other outside rushing attempts, instincts and awareness are not where they need to be at this point; ability to beat his man and get to the ball is constrained by his difficulties locating at times, causing him to blow into the backfield and tackle the wrong man or take himself out of a play. Ends up on the ground more often than a player of his size should, and has some difficulties eating double teams on a consistent basis. Weight may be an issue for some teams. Has some special-teams value, having blocked one kick in each of his two seasons. Could have come back to school, polished his instincts further, and gone in the first round next year, but even as it stands, looks likely to come off the board within the top fifty picks or so because of his rare combination of size and athleticism.