Robert Nkemdiche, 3-4 DE Scouting Report

Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss

6’5 293 lbs

Nkemdiche

OVERVIEW

Height, weight, speed is impressive. Looks like a much smaller man, built very well. Impressive burst upfield, good array of pass rush moves.

Heavy penetrator but not very patient, can take himself out of plays and does often. Comparable against the run versus pass, probably a better pass rusher though. Can get washed out by double teams and beaten by talent one-on-one.

Plays like a much smaller man and needs to learn to use his size to dominate, that comes with understanding of pad level. He uses swim, rip, spin and can slide through double teams with ease when pass rushing. He’s also as sure a tackler as there is in this draft.

PASS RUSHING

Technique: 5 out of 5

Nkemdiche is an impressive technician, using a wide array of moves to work his way to the quarterback. His rip and swim moves are his best, but he uses the spin move better than most. He has the abiltiy to slide through double teams with ease or beat guards one on one.

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

His sack numbers were on par for a 3-4 DE prospect. He has elite pass rushing ability from the position and showed it by being a constant presence in the middle of the pocket.

Potential: 5 out of 5

With his impressive size, athleticism and pass rush moves, there’s no reason to believe Nkemdiche couldn’t evolve into one of the NFL’s most disruptive inside rushers.

RUN STOPPING

Technique: 4 out of 5

While he’s effective at clogging gaps and disengaging from blockers, he gets washed out by double teams due to poor pad level. This is, however, less of a problem in a 3-4 since his nose will likely be seeing more attention than him. He slides between linemen with more grace than most.

Effectiveness: 5 out of 5

His tackle numbers are fairly on par for the position and amount of games (11) he played in 2015. But what really impresses is Nkemdiche’s ability to wrap up and bring down the ball carrier by himself in space. He is such an effective tackler that an inside position should just increase his value.

Potential: 4 out of 5

The one thing that keeps Nkemdiche from being an elite prospect against the run on the inside is his slightly low play strength compared to his size. He should be able to push his assignment more than he does. Other than that, he has all of the tools and could find a niche as an explosive play specialist.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 27/30

NFL Comparison: Sheldon Richardson, DE, New York Jets

RichardsonNkemdiche 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A near match in terms of size. Nkemdiche shares Richardson’s natural pass rush gifts despite his bigger size. Both have elite short area quickness which they use to split double teams and wreak havoc in the backfield. Both are also better pass rushers than run defenders.

A Prospect A Day: Quarterbacks, Jared Goff Scouting Report

Jared Goff, QB, Cal

6’4 215 lbs

Jared Goff, Dylan Wynn

California quarterback Jared Goff (16) scrambles out of the pocket from Oregon State defensive end Dylan Wynn (45) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

OVERVIEW

Poise and moxie in abundance. Can miss throws high, low and wide, most common when trying to compensate for his lack of a rocket arm.

Has adequate arm strength for a standard NFL route tree, accuracy is solid and can fit into tight spots. Ideal size and play strength, decent athleticism and average pocket awareness.

Struggles with accuracy when throwing on the run, will make questionable decisions, but only once or twice a game. Will sometimes force to his first read, even if he isn’t open.

PASSING

Throw Accuracy: 4 out of 5

Can miss in all ways, but fits into tight windows better than most quarterbacks coming out of college on a given year.

Throw Power: 3 out of 5

Can unload the deep ball with the best of them, but doesn’t do it consistently, also has to manufacture power on deep outs from the opposite hash.

On the run: 2 out of 5

Accuracy really suffers on the run. A couple of nice plays on tape, but more bad than good.

Consistency: 4 out of 5

You get what you get from Goff, he rarely has an awful game and fairly steadily brings his best from the moment he steps on the field.

Field vision: 4 out of 5

Reads defenses as well as anyone in this draft and very often identifies the open man.

Athleticism: 3 out of 5

Can outrun defensive lineman to the edge if needed, scrambles for first downs when lanes are open.

Pocket awareness: 3 out of 5

Can sometimes be blind-sided, but slides around and steps in the pocket more often than not.

Poise: 5 out of 5

No moment is too big for Goff. He doesn’t seem to have a stressed bone in his body, and he often elevates his play against higher competition.

Clutch: 5 out of 5

He’s a guy who can engineer the miracle drive at the end of the game, or the three possession comeback out of halftime.

Size: 4 out of 5

Goff has the look, makeup and build of the modern day NFL quarterback. Could stand to put a little more weight on.

TOTAL PLAYER RATING: 37/50

NFL Comparison: Matt Cassel, QB, Dallas Cowboys

CasselGoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both have prototypical size for the position and more accuracy than arm strength. Both Goff and Cassel remain poised in all game situations, can use their legs if needed and can routinely fit balls into tight windows.

A Prospect A Day: 4-3 Defensive Ends, Robert Nkemdiche Scouting Report

Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss

6’5 293 lbs

Nkemdiche

OVERVIEW

Height, weight, speed is impressive. Looks like a much smaller man, built very well. Impressive burst upfield, good array of pass rush moves.

Heavy penetrator but not very patient, can take himself out of plays and does often. Comparable against the run versus pass, probably a better pass rusher though. Can get washed out by double teams and beaten by talent one-on-one.

Plays like a much smaller man and needs to learn to use his size to dominate, that comes with understanding of pad level. He uses swim, rip, spin and can slide through double teams with ease when pass rushing. He’s also as sure a tackler as there is in this draft.

PASS RUSHING

Technique: 4 out of 5

Nkemdiche is an impressive technician, using a wide array of moves to work his way to the quarterback. His rip and swim moves are his best, but he uses the spin move better than most. He has the balance to get around the edge but the bend is still being developed.

Effectiveness: 3 out of 5

His sack numbers were low, but rushing from primarily the DT spot limited his opportunities. On tape, he’s a consistent presence in disrupting the quarterback and forcing the ball out quicker.

Potential: 5 out of 5

With his impressive size, athleticism and pass rush moves, there’s no reason to believe Nkemdiche couldn’t evolve into one of the NFL’s most dangerous rushers on the edge of a 4-3.

RUN STOPPING

Technique: 3 out of 5

While he’s effective at clogging gaps and disengaging from blockers, he gets washed out by double teams due to poor pad level. He slides between linemen with more grace than most, though.

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

His tackle numbers are fairly on par for the position and amount of games (11) he played in 2015. But what really impresses is Nkemdiche’s ability to wrap up and bring down the ball carrier by himself in space.

Potential: 4 out of 5

The one thing that keeps Nkemdiche from being an elite prospect against the run on the edge is his finesse nature as a player. He doesn’t appear to have the ability to anchor and hold against stronger lineman. Other than that, he has all of the tools and could find a niche as an explosive play specialist.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 23/30

NFL Comparison: Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo Bills

Mario Williams, Cam NewtonNkemdiche 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps a lofty comparison, Williams is the best pass rushing 4-3 end in the league, using his size to dominate and complete array of pass rush moves to beat tackles of all sizes and skill sets. Rushing off the edge, Nkemdiche is the most complete pass rusher in this draft and easily the most pro ready. He might have 10 sacks by year 2 in the right system.

A Prospect A Day: 4-3 Defensive Ends, Emmanuel Ogbah Scouting Report

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

6’4 269 lbs

Ogbah

OVERVIEW

Ideal frame for the position, plus he’s built like a Greek God and has the strength to boot. His bull rush is second to none in this draft.

Transfers speed to power with such ferocity that he gets nearly every lineman on his heels immediately. He lacks a versatile arsenal of pass rush moves, relying on swim and bull rush mainly.

Lacks the natural bend around the edge of an elite edge rusher, but more than makes up for it with nifty hand and feet usage. His main move is to use his strength to drive back his opponent and close the pocket.

In the running game, he lacks gap discipline which causes him to rush himself out of plays at times. He’ll need coaching to be a three down player, but has all the potential to be one of the best defensive players in this draft class if he can put it together.

PASS RUSHING

Technique: 3 out of 5

Ogbah employs the swim and bull rush beautifully. In two games of tape, he attempted a spin move once and sometimes attempts to dip under rushes, but not near enough. He needs to experiment with that aspect of the game but could develop that under the right coach.

Effectiveness: 5 out of 5

He was among the league leaders with 16.5 in just 13 games. He was relentless in collapsing the pocket on tape. He even had a measure of success against top-rated tackle Laremy Tunsil.

Potential: 5 out of 5

He’s got the body type, high motor, power to speed transfer and length to be a league leader in sacks in the NFL with the proper coaching. He’s that naturally gifted.

RUN STOPPING

Technique: 2 out of 5

Ogbah consistently failed to stay in his gaps and missed several tackles due to being out of position. He has very little sense in how to set an edge. He is, however, very capable of taking on double teams and shedding to make the play in the backfield. He’s always looking to produce a negative play for the offense.

Effectiveness: 3 out of 5

In all of the tape I’ve watched, I can count on one hand the number of times I saw Ogbah make a positive play in the run game. It stood out. However, his 63 tackles are the best of his college career and the 16.5 for loss show a player that is able to shoot gaps, which is something you either have or don’t as a player.

Potential: 4 out of 5

He has the body to hold up in the run game and not get washed out. I don’t think he’ll ever be an elite run stuffer, but if he’s able to maintain more gap discipline, he’d be an asset on most rosters in that capacity.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 22/30

NFL Comparison: Robert Quinn, DE, Los Angeles Rams

QuinnOgbah 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both Quinn and Ogbah combine power, speed and length to impose their will on offensive tackles off the edge. While Ogbah has to refine his play against the run, Quinn represents what Ogbah could potentially become as an edge player.

Projection: Top 20 pick

A Prospect A Day: 4-3 Defensive Ends, DeForest Buckner Scouting Report

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

6’6 287 lbs

Buckner 1

Oregon Ducks defensive lineman DeForest Buckner (44) celebrates after bring down a back hind the line. The No. 18 Oregon Ducks face the Oregon State Beavers in the Civil War at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. on Nov. 27, 2015. (Cole Elsasser/Emerald)

 

OVERVIEW

Prototype height, weight, speed combination for a defensive end. Has scheme versatility as a 4-3 or 3-4 end but his best pro fit looks to be the 4-3 due to his difficulty with handling the power of inside guards in the run game.

Does a great job of engaging and disengaging from blocks. Probably has the best arm extension and hand usage of any prospect in this draft. Has ideal athleticism for the position and plays with high effort.

Had some serious struggles against Michigan State’s Jack Conklin and seems to thrive against weaker opponents, where he racks up his numbers. Possesses a strong bull rush if he wins at the point of attack, pushing lineman back into the pocket.

Must improve transferring speed to power and bending around the edge if he will be a viable edge rusher in the NFL, but has all the physical tools and is begging to be coached.

PASS RUSHING

Technique: 3 out of 5

Buckner has two moves, swim and bull rush. He uses both effectively and usually in the right situations. He also does a great job using his arm length to keep opponents from getting into his body.

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

Buckner was among the NCAA leaders in pressures, hits and sacks, though it can be argued that it came against the weaker teams in the Pac-10, he still had a standout year rushing the passer.

Potential: 3 out of 5

Because of his struggles against superior opponents, particularly Michigan State’s Jack Conklin, I fear for Buckner’s viability as a pass rusher on the edge. He could potentially be effective rushing inside with his hand usage and size, but he must learn to transfer speed to power or he’ll be stonewalled by the NFL’s better interior lineman.

RUN STOPPING

Technique: 3 out of 5

He can be easily fooled by misdirection and is a little over-eager to make an explosive play rather than remaining disciplined in his gap, this is also the reason he was a leader in tackles for loss in 2015.

Effectiveness: 5 out of 5

He had over 80 tackles from the 5 technique. That’s impressive in and of itself, couple that with the tackles for loss number, 17, and you understand why he’s such a highly thought-of recruit.

Potential: 4 out of 5

Though he didn’t get to do it much, I think he could anchor a line in a 4-3 as a very good edge setter. He has the size and strength to take on even the toughest tackles in the league and elite disengaging ability with efficient use of his hands and feet at the same time.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 22/30

NFL Comparison: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Cincinnati Bengals

Dunlap.jpgBuckner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a rotational starter at defensive end for the Bengals, Dunlap offers the size and strength, coupled with an elite bull rush to anchor the defensive line and get after the quarterback at times. Like Buckner, Dunlap uses arm extension to effectively disengage from blockers to make plays in the run game and stay effective as a pass rusher.

Projection: Top 10 pick

A Prospect A Day: 4-3 Defensive Ends, Joey Bosa Scouting Report

JOEY BOSA, DE, OHIO STATE

6’6 276 lbs

Bosa

OVERVIEW:

The ideal 4-3 edge player. He could likely play as a DE or a LEO in a scheme like that of the Jaguars or Seahawks.

He sets the edge better than any prospect I’ve ever seen coming out of college. He’s disciplined and because of that, teams don’t run outside to his side.

This is one area where he improved tremendously from 2014 to 2015. He, however lacks the bend around the edge to consistently produce sacks against the double teams and chips he saw much more of in 2015.

Because of this, his potential as a pass rusher in the pros will be limited if he is forced to continue taking on those double teams. One-on-one, though, he’s a mismatch against most tackles.

PASS RUSHING

Technique: 3 out of 5

Bosa typically bull rushes for the quarterback inside or speed rushes outside. He rarely uses any varied moves to get off tackles, relying on his athleticism and motor over sound technique.

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

A standout pass rusher in 2014, Bosa saw near constant double teams in 2015. From what I reviewed though, he was a constant disruptive force as a much smarter and more patient rusher in his junior season.

Potential: 3 out of 5

Still, Bosa lacks the natural balance and ability to bend around the edge with speed and power that’s typical of premiere pass rushers. He’ll likely command double teams early in his career but he could have some excellent games if teams leave him one-on-one.

RUN STOPPING

Technique: 5 out of 5

In 2015 Bosa was elite at setting the edge of the Ohio State defense. Teams simply didn’t run to his side very often and they had a very difficult time getting outside his shoulders when they did. He never over-pursued plays like he did in his sophomore season.

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

The main problem with this was that he was so steady and patient that often teams could find lanes inside his shoulders, and the strength of Ohio State’s defense is not on the inside. He also had less tackling opportunities overall. Still, he was an ideal edge player.

Potential: 5 out of 5

Bosa should immediately step in as one of the dominant run stoppers in the NFL, he should help lock down a side of the field in the running game while getting effective push on that side of the line with his brute strength.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 24/30

NFL Comparison: Cam Jordan, DE, New Orleans Saints

JordanBosa tackling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his first pro season, Cam Jordan came from Cal to New Orleans and immediately became the best run stopper on the team. In 2013, seeing far fewer double teams due to the emergency of fellow edge rusher Junior Gallete, Jordan notched 12.5 sacks. I expect a similar trajectory for Bosa.

Projection: Top 5 pick

A Prospect a Day: 4-3 Defensive Ends, Shaq Lawson Scouting Report

January 15, 2016

A Prospect a Day: This series, launching today, will outline one prospect per day, every day up to the upcoming draft. However, it is entirely possible that some days may feature more than one prospect.

The series will be starting with 4-3 Defensive Ends

SHAQ LAWSON, DE, CLEMSON

6’4 260 lbs

Shaq Lawson

 

OVERVIEW:

Very nice height, weight, speed combination, but probably larger than you’d want from an edge rusher in a 3-4.

Ideal fit is as a 4-3 end, though may even be effective as a 3-4 end due to his strong pocket-pushing ability and well-rounded abilities as a pass rusher and run-stuffer.

Can get sideline-to-sideline when needed and has a relentless motor, often making plays due to sheer effort.

Lacks a versatile arsenal of pass rushing skills, will sometimes use a spin move, but mostly sticks to a swim or bull rush, which is effective due to the massive strength in his lower body.

He’s a strong tackler and usually a strong finisher at the point of attack, which makes him effective even in goal line situations.

Could be an asset on an NFL roster, if not right away then within the first two years, though he has a relatively low ceiling to other prospects available in his range.

PASS RUSHING

Technique: 3 out of 5

Lacks a versatile arsenal of pass rushing moves to go along with his bendability, functional strength, speed, and tackling technique.

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

The sack numbers (12.5 in 15 games) are plenty impressive as a full-time starter on the edge who constantly sees chips and double teams, he’s a relentless effort guy that makes plays in the backfield more often than not.

Potential: 3 out of 5

Even if he can shore up the pass-rushing technique, he doesn’t possess the explosiveness or first-step quickness of the elite rushers in the NFL and will have a hard time competing against premiere left tackles at the pro level for sacks.

RUN STOPPING

Technique: 3 out of 5

Lawson does a great job in play recognition, but can sometimes fail to set the edge, getting caught up in the backfield and opening lanes for runners.

Effectiveness: 3 out of 5

The 24.5 tackles for loss in 2015 shows Lawson’s strength: he lives in opponents’ backfields. It is also reveals his weakness as he often runs himself right out of plays rather than relying on sound technique to set the edge and hook the runner. His 59 tackles this season were due more to effort and motor than effectiveness in stopping the run.

Potential: 4 out of 5

The good news is, Lawson has all of the functional strength to be an above-average edge setter at the pro level, he just needs to be coached up. I would hesitate to project him as a premiere run stopper unless he puts on a little more weight, since I think he may get bullied by some of the bigger road graders in the NFL like Phil Loadholt, but he should find a nice niche on an NFL roster in this regard as his career progresses.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 20/30

NFL Comparison: Jeremy Mincey, DE, Dallas Cowboys

Lawson

Mincey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Mincey, Lawson thrives as a pass rusher, but possesses the dimensions and leg strength to be an effective edge-setter. They’ll never set the world on fire with their sack numbers but can be a very effective part of nearly any 4-3 defensive rotation.

Projection: Top-15 pick