Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Ndamukong Suh.
NFL position: DT
Height: 6-3 7⁄8
40 time: 5.10
Current projection: First-round pick
NFL comparison: Richard Seymour, Raiders
Against the run: Is highly productive against runs both at him and to the outside. Has good strength and does a good job of getting hands on the blocker q u i c k l y. Locks out and presses b l o c k e r , sheds and makes the tackle on inside runs. Flashes the strength to jolt run blockers upright and backward to disrupt plays in the backfield. Can disengage and make tackles. Has quickness off the ball, hand use and strength to get inside reach blocks easily. Can keep the blocker on his shoulder, get down the line quickly and use his explosive closing burst to finish plays. Flashes rare hustle at times and, combined with elite speed, is able to easily chase down ballcarriers in pursuit. Grade: 9.0
Pass rush: Flashes the ability to be a good pass rusher but is not consistent. Has the strength to jolt and drive his opponent backward into the pocket; can force an early pass or get the sack. Can defeat one-onone pass blocks when he has space. Rushes upright and without leverage sometimes and does not attack the blocker; ends up having his initial pass-rush move stopped and can’t defeat blocker with a secondary pass-rush move. Grade: 7.5
Initial quickness: Is almost always the first defensive lineman moving at the snap but does not show the explosiveness off the ball to shoot through gap and get into backfield in a flash. Combines quickness off the ball with strength and excellent hand use to jolt and control his opponent on both run and pass plays. Is consistently able to make contact with blockers before they can get a hold of him, enabling him to defeat blocks and make plays despite not always creating good leverage. Could boost initial quickness to outstanding with improved technique and aggressiveness. Grade: 8.0
Run/pass recognition: Is naturally instinctive; consistently sniffs out the play quickly and can react and make plays based on his reads. Has good snap anticipation. Does a good job of reading the run away from him, gets inside attempted reach blocks and flies down the line to chase down the ballcarrier. Does a good job of reading the screen pass; gets outside fast and consistently makes the play. Grade: 8.5
Pursuit/tackling: Has a combination of instincts, competitiveness, athleticism, speed and explosive closing burst that enables him to consistently track down plays in pursuit. Has uncommon speed to chase after plays in pursuit. Closes quickly on the ballcarrier and finishes plays much better than most NFL defensive tackles. Gets upright when chasing after the ball in pursuit but has the athleticism and strength to get a hold of ballcarrier and take him to the ground. Is productive making plays in pursuit and does not miss tackles. Grade: 8.5
Bottom line: Suh is a wrecking ball who causes major problems for offenses. He is a step above the defensive tackles taken in the first round of the past several drafts, and he has the tools to be a highly productive starter. Though we believe Suh is best suited to playing tackle in a 4-3 scheme, he could be highly productive as an end in a 3-4. He is the top overall prospect in the draft.
For more than 600 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.