Tag Archive: 3-4 scheme


Scouting Report:

Watt has ideal size, length and athleticism for the 3-4 DE position in the NFL.

Positives: Watt has great size, very impressive length and impressive athletic ability for a man his size. He has an uncanny feel for getting his arms up into passing lanes and does a great job of deflecting passes at the line of scrimmage which can be incredibly frustrating for quarterbacks. He should do a great job of this in the NFL too, especially if he is drafted to play in a 3-4 scheme as a DE. Watt has a non-stop motor too and he has an incredible passion for the game which makes him very easy to like as a prospect. He is a very hard worker and should continue to improve like he has since he transferred to Wisconsin from Central Michigan. He still has a lot of untapped potential, but he has flashed impressive hand usage, he has great length for tackling, he has above average burst off the line of scrimmage and off the edge for a guy his size and he has shown some ability as a pass rusher even in a 4-3 scheme.

Negatives: Watt is still a very raw player so while he has shown a lot of ability and potential he still needs technique work and coaching up. His recognition skills leave something to be desired as he struggled to make decisions against the zone-read against TCU and other teams that used it. He would often collapse on the running back looking for a quick TFL which allowed Dalton or another QB to get outside and gain solid yardage. He flashes good hand usage at times but he needs to get stronger at the point of attack by gaining some more weight to fill out his huge frame and by continuing to learn how to use his hands effectively. He won’t ever be a stud pass rusher but he could still stand to learn some pass rush moves beyond his bull rush and occasional swim move or move to the inside if a tackle opens his hips too early.

Overall: Watt has really improved his stock over the past season or two and I really think he has top fifteen ability. He has the potential to be a pro-bowl defensive end in a 3-4 scheme and he is tailor-made for that defense. He has great size, length and has big hands that will only get stronger and as they do he will get better at shedding blocks versus the run. Until then he will still be a disruptive force but as he matures and envelops himself in film study he should improve his recognition skills and help avoid running himself out of gap assignments by going up-field in pursuit of a ball-carrier. Regardless I think he has stud written all over him and with his great combination of size, athletic ability and passion for the game I think he will continue to improve and be a potentially dominant NFL defensive end.

Projection: Top 15. Will he go in the top 15? That is hard to say, it’s an extremely talented defensive end class. I do think he should, but if he doesn’t I don’t think he will slide much farther than the Patriots at #17 or the Chargers at #18. He is just too talented of a player to get beyond those teams.

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

Strength: 4.0
Point Of Attack: 3.5
Quickness: 3.5
Pass Rush: 3.5
Motor: 4.5

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Scouting Report:

Von Miller has all-pro potential as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme and if he can develop a spin move I think he can be a lethal pass rusher.

Positives: Miller is a pretty incredible athlete. He is incredibly fast and quick, he is a very fluid athlete and he has a good get-off and very impressive acceleration and speed off of the edge. He seems to go from 0-60 very quickly and he shows good hip flexibility to get the edge and shows the ability to dip his shoulder to get the edge when rushing the passer. He has tons of speed off the edge but also does a good job of darting back inside when the tackle opens his hips up too early which makes him a very dangerous pass rusher as he isn’t only a speed rusher, he can beat you inside too. Miller also showed a lot of fluidity in coverage during the offseason which was good because I had not seen him a lot in that capacity during the season at Texas A&M. He is what a lot of people look for in that he is a “quick-twitch” athlete and that makes him a very valuable commodity. He is a solid tackler and shows good pursuit from the backside, demonstrates some pop as a hitter and has a knack for forcing fumbles when rushing the passer. He also closes well on quarterbacks when he gets around the edge. He plays with effective leverage and shows some ability to shed blocks despite being undersized and does a pretty good job of setting the edge against the run. Seems to have an impressive motor.

Negatives: He needs to get bigger and stronger because he struggles to shed blocks against bigger, stronger players when they get his hands on him and when he is flying off the edge he can be forced wide by a stronger, slower player if he can engage him and sometimes just a shove will do. He needs to get stronger so he can absorb more contact and still remain in control as a pass rusher. I don’t know that he will ever be very effective versus the run but he should at least be able to shed blocks from TE’s and make some TFL’s in the backfield using his burst and elusiveness. He doesn’t have much experience in coverage which has to be a bit concerning, but he has more than enough fluidity and has flashed comfort in space that it shouldn’t be a problem once he gets some experience dropping into coverage during games, though I don’t think he will ever be as good in coverage as some expect him to be. He will also run himself out of plays at times by going too far upfield and this happens a lot when he is using a speed rush. That is coincidentally one of his only pass rush moves, so his pass rush repertoire needs some work and development because right now he is more or less a one trick pony. He could be absolutely lethal if he worked a swim/rip move and a spin move into his game, especially with his great edge speed and acceleration that he already has.

Overall: Von Miller is a very impressive player. He doesn’t have elite size but he has great athletic ability and he makes up for it with that and his great motor. His edge speed is absolutely lethal and it makes his potential very high as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme, but he will need to get stronger before he is able to start. He is definitely vastly more effective standing up than he is with his hand in the dirt, so the 3-4 scheme is the scheme for him. He should be able to contribute as a situational pass rusher right off the bat, but he won’t be able to do much outside of speed rushing OT’s and countering inside if they open up too early in their drops. However, I think he has all-pro potential in the NFL, especially if/when he gets stronger and develops some pass rush moves. I can’t wait to watch Miller if he learns a spin move, he would be the 3-4 version of Dwight Freeney if he pulls that off. He would be borderline unblockable.

Projection: Top 10. I don’t expect him to make it out of the top 5 (heck, he may not make it out of the top three) but Buffalo and Arizona seem like very likely landing spots for him since both of them really need a pass rushing stud and Miller is the best 3-4 OLB prospect in the draft without a doubt.

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

Speed: 4.0
Tackling: 3.5
Coverage: 3.0
Point of Attack: 3.0
Instincts: 3.5
Pass Rush: 4.0

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Scouting Report:

Dareus was overshadowed for much of this season but people have begun to realize just how good of a prospect he really is.

Positives: Good size, impressive strength and athleticism for a man his size. He anchors very well versus the run and has starting experience at DE in a 3-4 defensive scheme which is where I think he will fit best on the next level, though I think he could be a very good starter at DT in a 4-3 as well. He has very good hand usage, he sheds blocks very well, and he stands up well to double teams because of his strong lower body and good leverage. He is quick off the ball for a man his size but he does a good job of keeping contain and was clearly well coached not to get too far up-field and negate his assignments on any given play. He shows a pretty good motor though he doesn’t always pursue as well from the backside as I would like. He can collapse the pocket from the DE spot or from the DT position thanks to his good bull rush and his swim/rip moves. He is very consistent and while he may not be flashy he always gets the job done, and should be a very stable commodity in the NFL.

Negatives: Didn’t have incredible production on Alabama, probably because there was so much talent around him for his tenure there. He shows ability as a pass rusher but if his initial move does not work he has really no secondary pass rush moves to slip blocks and continue his pursuit of the quarterback. Often when he is blocked as a pass rusher he will simply wait for the quarterback to get flushed and then chase after him, but you’d like to see him keep fighting to be one of the players to flush him out. Dareus does not have ideal size to play at 3-4 DE in the NFL, but I think he could still play the position very effectively despite not being a 6’5”, 330 pound player. As I said before, Dareus doesn’t have a great motor but it is better than a lot of defensive tackle prospects.

Overall: Dareus may not be the flashy, dominating type of player that Nick Fairley is but when you watch him play you know you are going to get a very fundamentally sound player if you draft him. He may not get 8+ sacks a year at DE or DT (depending on the scheme he is drafted into) but he will defend the run well, stand up to double teams effectively and shed blocks consistently. He will immediately improve any defensive line and while he might not be ready to start from day one I do think he can start and contribute effectively as a rookie regardless of which scheme he is drafted to play in. A lot of people overlooked Dareus this year as Fairley emerged and continued to dominate, but they forgot about how good of a player Dareus has been at Alabama.

Projection: Top 5. For a while I thought Dareus might last to #9 and Dallas might get a steal, but after his combine performance all doubt should be removed about Dareus’ ability. If he makes it out of the top five it would be a travesty, but I’m sure the Browns wouldn’t mind.

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

Strength: 4.5
Point Of Attack: 4.5
Quickness: 4.0
Pass Rush: 3.5
Motor: 3.5

Thanks for reading! More top prospect reports are on the way!

–Tom