6’3” – 265 lbs.
One of the most prolific pass-rushers in this year’s draft class. Redshirted, then started two of fourteen games the following year, playing heavily and ending up with 33-13.0-11.0. Officially became a starter as a sophomore, playing the Stud position (essentially a rush linebacker off the edge) and compiling 43-15.0-9.5, then enjoying his best season in 2019 (52-18.5-13.5) before declaring for the draft. A thickly-built edge rusher with just adequate height; official measurements may be somewhat important, as 6’3” is already on the low end of what teams like to see. As a run defender, generally plays with the type of discipline you like to see on the edge. Gets good extension with his arms, maintains outside positioning, and keeps his head up to locate the ball and funnel runners back inside. Has pretty heavy, active hands which he uses to shed at the appropriate time. Doesn’t have the best short-area quickness or tackling radius, so can have some trouble bringing down ballcarriers in space. Racked up a ton of sacks in college despite seeing extra attention from opposing blockers on a pretty high rate of snaps, but is not as explosive as his collegiate production would suggest. Overall speed and flexibility on the edge are adequate, but relies more heavily on his solid hand use and deep, varied repertoire of rush moves to succeed. During the games reviewed, used swim and rip moves particularly effectively, also mixing in a spin. Does a good job of setting up opponents and using his hands to slip around the edge, bending back to the passer in a smooth arc; surprisingly difficult for opposing tackles to get their hands on. Also looks reasonably powerful when working in his bull rush; can convert speed to power successfully. Overall balance leaves a little bit to be desired; can play out of control at times, particularly when working his spin. Also made fairly regular drops into coverage, being asked to make spot drops and also to carry some opponents in pattern-matching zones, but appears to have just average athleticism and technique when making drops; does, however, compensate for his athleticism with a conservative approach to coverage. Generally considered a possible first-round pick, although he is not quite as explosive or balanced as the defensive ends who typically come off the board then. Given his production, bulk, and advanced rush approach, seems like a fairly high-floor option whose ceiling may be a bit lower than some of the other options in that range. In the mold of guys like LaMarr Woodley and Larry English.