Continuing our Buccaneers’ draft profile series, we take a look at a Clemson defensive end.
Time to continue the speculation. The draft is two weeks from tomorrow. On April 28th, we will finally find out what the Buccaneers are going to do with the number nine pick, unless they trade it to move down of course. Until then, we continue to do what everyone else is doing and take our best guess as to who the pick is going to be.
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So far, we have profiled some of the best edge rushers that the draft has to offer, like Joey Bosa, Noah Spence, and DeForest Buckner. We have even looked at lesser-known edge rusher, Victor Ochi. Today we take a look at a young man from Clemson, but not Shaq Lawson, as we have already profiled him.
Today, we look at a player that has been chosen in some of the recent mock drafts. Today, we look at Kevin Dodd.
As always, we kick things off by looking at the stats:
Defense & Fumbles
This is a player that came on like gangbusters last year, after playing a backup role over his first three years. He made his living in the offensive backfield in 2015 totaling 36.5 plays behind the line of scrimmage, between sacks and TFL’s.
He spent a year at the military academy, so discipline will not be a problem for this young man.
WEIGHT: 277 pounds
ARM LENGTH: 34″
He only ran the forty yard dash, posting an modest 4.86 seconds. At his pro day, he posted solid numbers in the short shuttle (4.44 seconds), and the 3-cone drill (7.18 seconds), but didn’t run the forty.
Here are the strengths and weaknesses from his NFL.com draft profile:
"Strengths: Relentless competitor with NFL-ready frame. Refuses to give offensive lineman a play off. Not content to be around a play, wants in the action. Won’t lay on blocks and able to improve his position after contact through footwork and strength. Never drops eyes from ball location and is able to unhinge from blocks quickly to make a play when the ball enters his patch of grass. Extremely instinctive and well-coached. Snuffs out screens, bootlegs and shovel passes almost every game. Takes his contain responsibility very seriously. Insane production spike from last year to this season. Saw his quarterback pressures go from three to 46 and he was credited with 12 sacks in 2015 season. Athletic upfield burst with desired bend and hip flexion to corner the edge. Has length and leverage to become an effective speed-to-power rusher. Wore Alabama out with three sacks and two tackles for loss. Tape shows a player who played his best football at the end of the year.Weaknesses: Has just one year of full-time experience under his belt and was able to feast on some lesser tackles. Hand usage is still a work in progress. Too willing to take on blocks with a lowered helmet or allowing blocks into his frame rather than controlling the rep with his natural hand strength. Uses same hand swipe at the top of his rush and would benefit from greater diversity of approach. Still learning to consistently unlock his top play speed. Gets in a hurry to attack in space quarterbacks and running backs in space lunging after them rather than striking from balanced base."
All fair, but let’s look at the videotape to see the story for ourselves:
Sorry folks, this is the only full set of snaps I could find.
Anyhow, there is a lot to like about Kevin Dodd. He is versatile, playing with his hand in the dirt, and rushing from a standing position. NFL coaches like versatile players. Dodd also looked fairly smooth dropping back into coverage, something we don’t always see in young players. He also has one heck of a motor. Even when getting held, and that did happen several times on that tape, he fights through, and sometimes even makes the big play.
However, his inexperience does show as well. He doesn’t have a wide array of pass rush moves, going to a similar hand fighting approach each time. That does well in college, but he will need more when he comes to the next level. He needs counter moves. Dodd also too often jumps into the pile with his head down, jumping into the scrum rather than staying up to make the play.
This will improve with more snaps.
Here is the bottom line. He is a good player, but would be better suited later in the round. I just don’t think he is a player that is worthy of the top ten at this point. What say you?