Khalil Mack Scouting Report

Khalil Mack LB Buffalo #46
Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 251

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Size/Athleticism: Excellent blend of speed and strength. Lacks elite height and length, but more than makes up for it with athleticism.

Run Defense: Elite range. Almost exclusively played off the line in college, giving him plenty of room to operate in space. Was rarely engaged off the snap, so his power and ability to quick shed blocks was not often tested. Extremely weak at the point of attack when engaged off the snap—should not be put outside in the 3-4 scheme in run situations as a result. Impressive speed to make plays in pursuit. Displayed patience and an understanding of his assignment against the read option.

Pass Rush: Lines up off the line and does a great job converting speed to power. Played with his hand on the ground in certain sets, but often from a wide-nine position which still gave him room to build momentum. Delivers a nasty initial punch to linemen in a deep set, frequently knocking them on their heels. The better linemen he faced, were often able to recover if he didn’t immediately follow up his initial punch with a second move. Once engaged, he struggles to effectively shed the block and continue to pursue. Plays a little out of control sometimes and loses sight of the quarterback/ball carrier. Also got unsuspectingly popped by a lineman coming in for a double team on a few occassions. Uses a spin move, but with inconsistent balance.

Coverage: Looks very fluid dropping in zone coverage. Awareness and ability to read the quarterback are still developing. Very limited experience in man coverage, but has the athleticism to develop in this area.

Intangibles: Suspended for one game in 2012 for getting into a fight with a teammate in the locker room.

Durability: 48 career starts with no known issues.

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Comments: Mack has elite potential, but it does somewhat depend on where he lands in the NFL. He projects as an elite strong-side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, where he’ll have plenty of room to operate and will rarely be engaged off the snap—his one significant weakness. Mack’s strength is adequate, but he needs room to move and to build up momentum as pass-rusher and he will struggle to find that consistently if playing outside in a 3-4 scheme. In the 3-4 system, he could shift inside but his limited experience dropping in coverage raises some doubt. 4-3 teams should view him as a elite prospect, worthy of a top-five pick. 3-4 teams will almost certainly still view him as a first rounder, but there he is less of a sure thing in that system.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment

Anthony Barr Scouting Report

Anthony Barr LB UCLA #11
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 255

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Size/Athleticism: Elite athleticism for the position. Played tight end/running back early in his career before switching to defense prior to 2012 season. Closing speed and range are impressive. Moves through traffic fluidly.

Run Defense: Patient and disciplined when containing on the edge. Awareness and ability to spy in the backfield improved in 2013, but is still a work in progress. Doesn’t always pick up the ball carrier and bites on play fakes. Really struggles at the point of attack when he’s engaged off the snap.

Pass Rush: A pure speed-rusher on the edge. Does a nice job lowering his shoulder to slide past linemen on the edge. Elite change of direction ability allows him to throw linemen off balance with subtle fakes when blitzing off the edge when he has room to built momentum. Strength is marginal and he’s easily stood up and thrown off balance when a lineman is able to get set and deliver a solid punch. Not a threat once he’s engaged due to a limited bull-rush ability, but he does do a great job converting speed to power and get walk a lineman back into the pocket if he uses a deep set and builds momentum.

Coverage: Has the potential to develop into a quality zone coverage linebacker, but has limited experience and awareness is below average. Still learning how to keep an eye on the backfield while remaining aware of movement around him. Struggles to read the quarterback and seems to guess a lot.

Intangibles: Made a smooth transition from offense to defense. Coaches praised his work ethic. Made significant stride in terms of fundamentals from 2012 to 2013.

Durability: Missed time due to knee surgery in 2011.

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Comments: Barr projects as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 or a strong-side linebacker in a 4-3 system. He has the skill set to be a true three-down linebacker. At this stage of his career, he’s still winning mostly with raw talent but he has made huge strides his terms of his knowledge of the game and technique since switching to defense two years ago. There may be some growing pains early in his career and he may not be guaranteed a starting job in 2014, but his potential is up there with the elite prospects in this class.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment

Stephon Tuitt Scouting Report

Stephon Tuitt DT Notre Dame #7
Ht: 6’6″
Wt: 304

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Size/Athleticism: Prototypical build for a three-tech interior lineman or a 3-4 end. Long arms allow him to keep physical linemen out of his pads and help him shed blocks. Modest overall athleticism, but fairly impressive for his size. Shows quickness in short bursts.

Run Defense: Can be a dominant anchor. Tough to move off his spot. Keeps his eye on the backfield a quickly sheds blocks to make plays in pursuit.

Pass Rush: Does a great job converting speed to power, especially when lined up on the edge. Has tools to collapse the pocket in a variety of ways. Quick enough to split gaps. Also strong enough and plays with the leverage necessary to bull-rush his way through the line. Long arms and does a nice job getting them up into passing lanes. Quickness and speed are an asset when lined up inside, but he lacks the elite burst to be a consistently effective edge-rusher in a 4-3 scheme.

Intangibles: Questionable and inconsistent work ethic. Dedication and work ethic were praised in high school and early in college, but dropped off prior to 2013 season which led to weight gain and sub-par performance. Weight ballooned up to 328 pounds by end of senior year, but dropped to 304 during NFL Combine. Comes across as a little immature during interviews, in a very innocent and impressionable way. Will need to be surrounded by leaders to ensure he stays focused.

Durability: Doctors discovered a fractured foot at the combine. Suffered a sports hernia in 2012 which required surgery.

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Comments: Tuitt has the tools be elite, but how motivated is he? It was impossible not to notice his weight gain and overall decline in 2013. However, he also had a strong track record of working hard prior to the 2013 season. He may not have been surrounded by the type of leadership he needs at Notre Dame, with fellow lineman Louis Nix also suffering from a questionable work ethic and weight issues. His potential is elite, and if surrounded by the right teammates and coaching staff he could be a dominant lineman in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment

Timmy Jernigan Scouting Report

Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State #8
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 299

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Size/Athleticism: Lacks ideal height, length and size. Doesn’t have the length and power to keep offensive linemen from getting into his chest and shutting him down. Doesn’t really look like an athlete. Clearly carries some extra weight that ideally would be converted into muscle.

Run Defense: Struggles at the point of attack due to his lack of elite size and strength. Does a decent job anchoring in one-on-one battles, but lacks the power to ploww through and blow up the play in the backfield. Decent speed and is capable of making some plays in pursuit. Shows the ability to disengage and chase after the ball carrier. Plays smart and seems to consistently keep an eye in the backfield to react to the ball carrier.

Pass Rush: Can be extremely explosive off the snap, but shows very inconsistent snap anticipation. Occasionally flies off the line and gets immediate penetration, but is often the last lineman to react. Impressive closing speed when he’s disengages and has a clean path to the quarterback. Plays out of control and times and loses balance. Has a tendency to get too upright and can be knocked back by a single punch from a powerful offensive lineman. Doesn’t show an array of pass-rush moves and relies heavily on winning with speed off the snap by shooting the gaps.

Intangibles: Conditioning may be an issue. Was noticeably winded and sat out significant portions of the second half of the National Championship Game. Younger than the average prospect, will be a 21-year-old rookie. Only 16 career starts.

Durability: Suffered torn MCL during spring workouts in 2012.

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Comments: Jernigan is an impressive athlete and has potential to impact the game in a variety of ways, but he’s inexperienced and doesn’t have many polished skills which will immediately translate to the NFL. He has a reputation for being immature, and how he interviews could have a dramatic impact on where he goes in the draft. Given this reputation and the amount of refining he needs to do, he clearly falls into the boom-or-bust category.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment

Dominique Easley Scouting Report

Dominique Easley DT Minnesota #2
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 288

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Size/Athleticism: Lacks ideal height and length. Arms are slightly shorter than ideal for his position. Not the type of guy who can greatly impact passing lanes. Weighed in at 288 at the combine, but it’s tough to believe he played at that weight in 2013 based on how he appears on film—likely added weight in offseason and probably needs to add some more. Has experience lining up as a 3-4 end and three-tech interior lineman in the 4-3 set.

Run Defense: Impressive speed to make plays in pursuit. Swallowed up at the point of attack. Lacks the anchor to hold his ground and can be easily pushed around by road grader offensive linemen. Quick enough off the snap to penetrate the gaps and blow up the play in the backfield.

Pass Rush: A pin-your-ears back and fire full speed ahead type interior pass-rusher. Does a nice job staying low and playing with leverage. Stays low, is exceptionally quick off the snap and delivers a nasty initial punch. Consistently blows up the middle of the line, collapsing the pocket and forcing the quarterback to roll out. Lacks dominant strength but shows violent hand fighting technique and can consistently shed blocks.

Intangibles: Team captain in 2013, but reportedly struggled with maturity issues early in his career. Shows a ton of emotion on the field (usually in a positive way) and acts a little bit crazy pre-snap sometimes (waving arms, playing air drums, etc). He’s definitely emotional and a little crazy on the field, but some coaches will love that.

Durability: Suffered torn ACL in both knees in college, one in 2011 and the other in 2013. Missed time with undisclosed injury in 2012. Got into an altercation with an Alabama player after their game in 2011 outside the stadium.

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Comments: I’m admittedly biased towards players with a slightly crazy side who play with consistent positive emotion and relentless effort, and Easley fits that description perfectly. He’s a wild ball of energy from start to finish every game, and while it will lead to some mistakes, it comes from a positive attitude and strong effort. If he can be reined in just a bit, he could further improve his ability to be a disruptive force on the line. But for all the positives Easley brings to the table, the two ACL injuries (in both knees) raise concerns that can’t be overlooked. He’s a first-round talent, but there’s just no way his injury history makes him worth the risk in that range. He may be a Day 2 steal, but the injury history gives him high bust potential.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment