Scouting Report: 

Drake Nevis has the potential to be a quality starter, but some of his physical and fundamental limitations concern me.

Positives: Nevis shows a good burst off the ball to penetrate upfield and can beat his man off the snap with his burst and hand usage. Shows good hand usage to disengage from blocks and has demonstrated a good swim, club and rip move. He also flashes a less effective/explosive spin move. Nevis shows a consistent motor and gives pretty good effort pursuing plays from the back side, and shows pretty good tackling. He has strong hands and arms and he shows that he can shock a blocker with his hand usage. He can also make arm tackles and trip guys up in the trenches, plus he shows that he is a pretty good wrap up tackler. He offers ability as a pass rusher and because of his good motor, hand usage and burst he should offer ability as a pass rusher in the NFL. He shows the ability to hold up at the point of attack versus one on one blocks in the running game. Seems to locate the ball fairly quickly. Has regularly demonstrated the ability to split double teams as a pass rusher and also as a run blocker. Despite having short arms Nevis uses his athletic ability and arms well to defeat cut blocks effectively. He also shows the ability to get his hands up in passing lanes.

Negatives: Nevis’ height and bulk are concerning considering he is slightly under 6’1” and under 300 pounds. Perhaps most concerning is his arm length, which was measured at 31.5 inches at the combine. That will make it hard for him to keep offensive linemen off of him in the NFL and may make it harder for him to shed blocks. He also struggles with leverage at times despite his height. He will stand up out of his stance, negating his natural leverage, and making it harder for him to hold up at the point of attack and harder for him to bull rush his man into the pocket. He is inconsistent off the snap because at times he will shoot off the ball and make it very hard for opposing linemen to block him but other times he will be one of the last (if not the last) defensive linemen off the ball. That inconsistency is a little worrisome to me. Nevis also plays a little out of control at times and will collapse the pocket but get pushed past the quarterback or end up on the ground. His lack of balance is a bit concerning in these instances. Nevis has pretty good hand usage and shows some moves as a pass rusher but his spin move is not consistently effective. Because of his lack of size and arm length he can be engulfed by bigger offensive linemen.

Overall: Nevis should be a good fit in a one gap scheme that is predicated on defensive tackles penetrating up-field to disrupt plays in the back-field. Nevis has potential in the NFL and I think he can be an effective defensive tackle but I don’t ever think he will be dominant because of his size and arm length limitations. That, plus his inconsistent get-off, leverage and balance issues make me a bit wary of him as a prospect. But on the plus side he has 24 TFL and 10 sacks over the past two years at LSU and he seems to have pretty good instincts and read and react ability. He has a good burst, good hand usage and seems to have strong hands. There is some bust potential with him because his size and arm length might hinder him to a point where his effectiveness is significantly limited, but I like to think that he’s a good enough athlete that he can overcome that and still be effective. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the NFL because I think he will have a tough transition at first, but if he can be coached up to not stand up out of his stance as often to help him with leverage I think he has the potential to be a quality starter. He may take a couple of years to work up to that level, but in the mean time I think he could start to contribute to a DT rotation.

Projection: Late 2nd/Early-mid 3rd. This is a very deep DT class and while I like Nevis’ production and penetration ability he definitely has question marks as a prospect that make him less ideal than some of the other prospects that will be available outside of round one. I have a feeling that he will not be very high on some teams’ boards for that reason.

SKILLS: 1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Strength: 3.5
Point of Attack: 3.0
Quickness: 3.5
Pass Rush: 3.0
Motor: 3.5

Thanks for reading!

–Tom