DL Neil Farrell Jr., Louisiana St.

6’4’ – 325 lbs.

Background:

Appeared in five games as a freshman, then became more of a regular rotational player the following year, finishing with 23-4.0-1.5. Became a part-time starter over the next two years, finishing with 46-7.0-3.0 and 24-1.5-1.0 in 2019 and the shortened 2020 season, respectively. Became a full-time starter at defensive tackle in 2021, finishing with 45-9.5-2.0.

Positives:

Mammoth defensive lineman who made 2021 his best year, but also produced pretty well when he was rotating in. Has experience at both five-technique and on the inside, playing both under tackle and nose. Surprisingly sudden out of his stance, with impressive reaction times. Does a nice job of consistently flowing toward the play direction; doesn’t take himself out of many snaps. Plenty of lower-body strength to anchor at the line. Does a good job of locating the ball. Relentless with his overall level of activity, especially for such a big man. Has heavy hands to shed and good timing to discard and make tackles. Offers a wide tackling radius. Flashes an effective swim move which, combined with his quickness off the snap, can create pressures from time to time.

Negatives:

Fifth-year senior with only one full season in the starting lineup. Can sometimes turn his shoulders and overcommit to a gap. Lapses into throwing his body around instead of engaging with hand technique at times. Susceptible to cut blocks. Gets washed out a little bit easier than anticipated by double-teams. Tends to go with a more finesse approach on passing downs; would like to see him work the bull rush more often. Usually ends up at the line of scrimmage on passing attempts; will probably rotate off the field after early downs. Would have liked to see him play more zero-technique in school; often lined up as a two-technique directly opposite the right guard during the games reviewed. Could be a little bit taller than some teams want in a true odd-front nose.

Summary:

An impressive combination of size, bulk, strength, and quickness who has played all over the defensive line, but might be best-suited for an odd defensive front which operates on two-gap principles, given his ability to anchor at the line of scrimmage and control/shed blockers in the run game. May never be more than a two-down run stuffer at the pro level, but teams looking for a true nose tackle in this draft should value him as a potential third-rounder or so.

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