Name: Haason Reddick
Position fit: Played on the edge in college but may need to transition to more of an off-ball linebacker role at the next level. Pass-rushing ability should be utilized regardless of position name.
Stats to know: Led all 3-4 OLBs (third among all FBS edge players) in pass-rush productivity from the left side (31 total pressures on 127 rushes with eight sacks).
What he does best:
- Athleticism he showed at combine pops on film; explosive first step, changes directions in a flash.
- Extremely effective on stunts because of his athleticism.
- Despite tendency to over-pursue he does a good job of sniffing out plays from the backside when left uncovered.
- Can flatten out and turn the corner.
- Able to disengage from blockers at line of scrimmage because of his quick feet and willingness to initiate contact; size doesn’t appear to limit him against blocks.
- Consistently one of the first men moving at the snap, a sign of excellent instincts and anticipation.
- Second among all draft-eligible FBS 3-4 OLBs in run stop percentage despite 10 missed tackles against the run.
- Gave up receptions on just eight of 22 throws into his coverage in 2016 for a total of 99 yards allowed with no touchdowns against, one interception and two breakups.
- Shows off outstanding top speed when pursuing from the back side.
- Struggles to break down, get square and tackle consistently. Missed 15 tackles on only 76 attempts in 2016 and missed 28 on 150 attempts over last three seasons.
- Overruns too many plays because of his aggressiveness and desire to penetrate into the backfield.
- Not nearly as productive when rushing from the right side; 11 pressures on 115 rushes.
- 54th out of 61 qualifying 3-4 OLBs in tackling efficiency.
- May lack the bulk to consistently hold up at the line of scrimmage against NFL tackles.
- Needs to learn a countermove for rushing the passer; large split in productivity between rushing off each edge likely explained by physical comfort level of bending the left side on speed rushes over the right.
Player comparison: Jamie Collins, Cleveland Browns
Similar to Reddick, Collins is an elite athlete capable of producing in all three phases of defense. Also like Reddick, tackling is Collins’ single biggest issue (50 combined misses in the past three seasons).
Bottom line: Reddick is an explosive athlete that can consistently win the edge when rushing the passer, and has the physicality to get off blockers at all three levels. While teams will certainly want to take advantage of his pass-rush ability first, he also shows the instincts, speed and change of direction to help on coverage drops as well. Because of this, he is a scheme-independent player, and despite his frequent overrunning of plays, he warrants selection in the first round.