Name: Jordan Willis
School: Kansas State
Position fit: Edge defender
Stats to know: Was second in the country with 80 total pressures.
What he does best:
- High-motor, high-energy player who brings it down after down. Played 841 snaps, ninth-most of any defensive lineman in the country.
- Explosive get-off for size. Can stress the offensive tackle’s upfield shoulder and counters that with an effective inside spin move.
- Already proficient with an outside swim move. Easily his go-to. Has the height and strength to effectively swat away an offensive lineman’s hands on a consistent basis.
- Flashes power to be a consistent threat as a bull rusher and collapse pockets.
- Possesses enough flexibility to play from an extremely low stance and win initial leverage battle.
- Can get skinny around edge and force offensive tackle to open up the gate.
- Despite his power, Willis all too often wants to dance with offensive linemen. Plays patty cake in run defense and will cede ground.
- Plays far too high at times which leads to balance problems. Can get absolutely washed out of runs.
- When he loses the first punch battle he’s finished. Almost never won with a secondary move.
- Stopping/starting and changing directions is an issue. Would not want him playing in any kind of space.
- Stiff around the corner, falling to the ground regularly even after he’s won.
Player comparison: Emmanuel Ogbah, Cleveland Browns
The immense size and explosion that Ogbah and Willis possess were more than enough to beat up on right tackles in the Big 12. The refined skillset it takes to do the same at the NFL level though isn’t quite there at this point.
Bottom line: There was no more productive edge player in our grading system than Willis, but when forced to go up against quality competition at the Senior Bowl practices he was one of the lowest-graded. The massive leap from junior year to senior year is encouraging as he’ll need to continue that improvement to be an effective starter at the next level.