DE Josh Paschal, Kentucky

6’3” – 278 lbs.

Background:

Started one of thirteen games played in 2017, finishing with 16-3.5-3.5. Redshirted the following year while undergoing treatment for a melanoma in his foot, then returned the following season and went 34-9.5-3.5. Junior year line was 32-6.5-1.0. Broke out this past season with 53-15.5-5.5. Also blocked three career kicks.

Positives:

Very thickly-built jumbo end whose physique recalls players like Allen Bailey. Took snaps on both ends of the line, playing inside and outside techniques; usually but not exclusively an end on both three- and four-man lines. Functional strength is very good, with the ability to anchor and hold the point of attack in the run game. Maintains balance well through contact. Gets good extension with his arms to lock out blockers, showing the ability to locate and make tackles while engaged. Plays with discipline on the back side and gives solid effort in pursuit. Can walk back opposing linemen and constrain a quarterback’s room to operate with his bull rush; solid leg drive. Able to get depth with his speed rush and then discard blockers while redirecting back inside; appears to have good power in his hands. Flashes impressive suddenness and a nice swim move on inside rushes. Shuffles to find clean rushing lanes in the passing game when his initial rush is unsuccessful. Has additional value on special teams.

Negatives:

Only one season of high-end production. Build-wise, is a bit of a ‘tweener; a little bit on the small side for a defensive tackle or five-technique. Would like to see him take more snaps as an interior pass-rusher. Reaction times to the ball being snapped are a little bit inconsistent. Can get out a little bit over his toes at times, bending at the waist. Overall coordination appears to be just adequate. High effort in pursuit but doesn’t have the raw athleticism to chase down from the backside. Not much of a threat to bend the edge and win with pure speed. Looks like he might not have a clear plan as a pass-rusher on some snaps. Medical evaluations may play a role in determining his draft stock.

Summary:

One of the most inspirational stories in this year’s class, he combines a thick build, impressive functional strength, tenacity, and flashes of impressive suddenness, traits which could allow  him to work his way onto the field on a defense, although at times he can look like a bit of a ‘tweener who’s not quite explosive enough for an end but maybe a little bit too small to play inside consistently. Might be best as a five-technique on a four-man line who slides inside on passing downs.

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