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PFF scouting report: Darius Hamilton, Edge, Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Quentin Gause #50 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights celebrates with teammate Darius Hamilton #91 after a play during a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at High Point Solutions Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Name: Darius Hamilton

School: Rutgers

Position fit: 3-technique

Stats to know: Ranked 14th overall among defensive tackles as a sophomore.

What he does best:

  • High effort, consistently plays to the whistle and battles to stay in reps even when initially blocked.
  • Solid lateral agility, able to win with bend against solo offensive lineman in pass protection.
  • At his best shooting gaps, needs to play in a one-gap scheme.
  • Occasional flashes of stack and shed ability at the point of attack.
  • Enjoyed his best statistical season as a sophomore prior to injury, might have been slowed as a senior.
  • Quick to recognize down blocks, rides across them effectively to disrupt perimeter runs.
  • Uses the push/pull move in the run game to force offensive lineman to overextend.

Biggest concern:

  • Might lack the requisite burst to play 3-technique in the NFL, somewhat slow off the ball.
  • Generates very little traction using power moves when rushing the passer.
  • Struggles to change direction in the backfield, whiffed on a number of free shots at the QB.
  • Poor finisher generally, missed 15 of 108 attempted tackles in two full seasons.
  • Size/length appears problematic, only 6-foot-1 and 280 pounds.
  • Appears to frequently lose first control and subsequent control because of poor reach.
  • Has difficulty holding the point against double teams, needs to add bulk.
  • Shows extreme difficulty re-anchoring, can be driven yards past the hole once he starts to move.
  • Fails to display consistent gap discipline, can be widened at the point of attack by strong OL
  • Frequently has difficulty with heads up blockers.
  • Flat track bully — put out dominant performances against New Mexico and Minnesota’s weak interiors.
  • Instincts are a concern, often the last to recognize misdirection/play action.
  • Missed the entirety of 2015 with a knee injury.

Player comparison: Frostee Rucker, Arizona Cardinals

Hamilton and Rucker have a couple similarities. Like the Arizona Cardinal, Hamilton’s physical attributes are uncharacteristic for playing on the interior in the NFL. Second, Rucker has experienced some inconsistency as a tackler throughout his pro career.

Bottom line: Hamilton’s season-ending injury his junior year was a major blow to his quest of making a career out of football. His sophomore season suggested he had the potential to draw admiring glances from NFL evaluators. Sadly, Hamilton failed to build on his strong start. Perhaps he was hampered by the injury as a senior, and his development will gain pace further from the incident, but investment in that project is hard to justify based on the tape alone.

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