I have been scouting DE’s because I think the Falcons could really use one considering John Abraham’s age and the limited playing time Lawrence Sidbury has received, but we will (hopefully) be picking late in round one so I was trying to look at guys who aren’t getting a lot of attention that I hadn’t seen play yet. The returns aren’t too good so far to be honest but there is a lot more to come. However, I don’t think there is a great fit for what we need at DE in this entire class. That said, here are my notes!

I scouted Jeremy Beal the other night against Missouri and he was not particularly impressive. Beal looks like a 3rd round pick to me right now, and doesn’t look like a dominant speed rusher to me either. I have read that he has a really good work ethic and motor, but he seems like a 5-6 sack guy in the NFL to me. If he was opposite a quality pass rusher he could produce more than that, but he did not look like a dominant RE pass rusher against Missouri. He flashed a good punch to create separation and he had a really nice swim move to beat his man inside, but he was mirrored pretty effectively by RT Dan Hoch of Missouri in this game which really surprised me. I thought Beal would be quicker off the line and off the edge, and I didn’t see a terrific motor in this game like I expected. Overall he seems like a solid DE prospect, but he doesn’t have a great combination of size, edge speed and burst off the line of scrimmage in my opinion which limits his value.

I also watched Andre Branch, a junior DE on Clemson (who plays opposite of Bowers) to see what kind of talent he had. He’s a little under the radar, but he struck me as a guy with potential. I watched him against Castonzo and he was blocked pretty effectively by him. He doesn’t look like he explodes off the ball very well, and he simply did not look like a dominant pass rusher. He has recorded a lot of QB hurries this year, but I was hoping he would look better than he did against Castonzo. He showed inconsistent burst off the line of scrimmage to me and seemed to have a solid motor, but I didn’t see much in the way of hand usage or pass rush moves against Boston College. I need to watch him more, but he didn’t look like a great pass rusher to me in this game.

Brandon Lindsey was another interesting player to watch. I was surprised how good he was versus the run, and he showed pretty impressive hand usage to shed blocks (especially for a converted linebacker). He has pretty good burst and speed but it didn’t look elite. He has pretty solid closing speed, an OK motor and he flashed a nice swim move twice in the game against USF. He didn’t show the flexibility to dip his shoulder to get the edge which I didn’t like, and he seemed to get worse as the game went on to me. He didn’t do a whole lot in the second half, and seemed to be going through the motions on some plays. He had some good plays to be sure, and flashed some potential, but he was not as impressive as I was hoping he would be. I think that if he stays for his senior season (which is what I think he will do) he could show some more improvement next year, but I think he will be a 3rd round pick next year based on what I have seen from him thus far.

Just some notes on a few DE’s that I watched last week, hopefully you guys found them interesting!

–Tom