6’5” – 254 lbs. – 4.69
Appeared in fourteen games as a redshirt freshman, posting 22-5.0-1.5, then has been starting for the past two seasons. Went 37-11.5-5.5 as a sophomore and 41-15.0-7.5 as a junior before declaring for the draft. Tall with solid bulk and good length, although he has a high-cut frame. Lined up as the left defensive end for the Nittany Lions, often playing out of a four-point stance. Has good reaction times to the ball being snapped, firing out low with some explosiveness. As a run defender, sets a pretty hard edge, gets some extension with his arms, and has enough power in his hands to occasionally reset the line of scrimmage. Can attack the B-gap and knife into the backfield to create congestion on inside attempts. Has some power in his hands to shed blockers. Gives good effort in pursuit, but range is a little bit limited; capable of making tackles in backside pursuit when given a free release but won’t usually make it out toward the sidelines. Also has a solid tackling radius but doesn’t bring down a high percentage of the ballcarriers he’s in position to make a play on because he resorts to arm tackles instead of framing up opponents. More of an attacking defender than a read-and-react player but appears to have the sand in his pants to hold the point of attack. Not quite as impressive as a pass-rusher. As mentioned before, has a high-cut frame with long legs and consequently looks a little bit linear. Struggles to win the edge with his first step and bend back to the quarterback, tending to take a more direct approach to rushing which involves using his power and hand use to try and find lanes. May need to vary his rush approach more and try to improve his flexibility so there’s at least a threat of him lowering his shoulder and bending a smooth arc to the passer. Shows balance issues when he’s trying to bend and needs to gather when he wants to change direction. Flashes some straight-line speed to close when he’s schemed open on twists/stunts. Wasn’t asked to make drops into coverage during the games reviewed and may not be an ideal choice for that type of role; could be a defensive end only. A player with the size, length, and power to rotate into a defensive line, but who may lack the flexibility and creativity to produce as a pass rusher at the pro level. Mid-round consideration.