Tim Settle - Virginia Tech
Overview...Perhaps it is fitting that this rising star attended a school named Stonewall Jackson, as he has been “stonewalling” offensive linemen throughout his breakout 2017 campaign after showing flashes of brilliance during his debut season in 2016. In twenty-six appearances at Virginia Tech, Settle has recorded at least one tackle-for loss in nineteen of those contests. It has become such common-place to see the nose tackle wreak havoc, as he has recorded a stop-for-loss as his initial tackle in twelve of those performances and in four other contests, his first tackle took down a ball carrier at the line of scrimmage for no gain.
The once five-star recruit has not only transformed his game, trimming down from 360 pounds to his current weight of 337, but he has also transformed the way the team’s defense plays. Thanks to his ability to dominate through the A- and B-gaps, Settle normally operates over the opponent’s center and left (weak-side or pulling) guard. What separates him from most nose tackles is that he is a wide-bodied type, but is blessed with impressive quickness that he consistently uses to beat those blockers into the backfield.
2017 Season...Regarded as the “rising star” at the nose guard position, Settle was named to The NFL Draft Report’s All-American Super Sleeper Team and chosen as their top interior lineman on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team
Body Structure...Settle has a squat, thick frame that has room for further tone development without having the additional weight impact his impressive quickness. He has good arm length and hand size, along with a big bubble and thick thighs and calves. He shows developing muscle tone throughout, especially in his broad shoulders, but could use more tone in his midsection, even though he has no problems sinking his pad level. With his wide hips and thick lower body, it is very tough for blockers to gain movement off the snap vs. him.
Athletic Ability...Settle shows excellent balance, quickness and burst off the snap. He plays with good urgency and has the long reach and hand placement to easily sidestep low blocks. He changes direction smoothly and closes in a hurry when working his way down the line (see 2017 Clemson, North Carolina, Boston College and Pittsburgh games). He has the leaping ability and reach to deflect passes at the line of scrimmage (see tip leading to an interception in the 2017 Delaware game) and when he keeps his pads down, he can generate a very quick push off the snap to penetrate and shoot the gaps. For a player with his thick frame, he demonstrates very loose hips, which allow him to slip off blocks and redirect without needing to gather. He has those quick short steps that lets him gain advantage on a lethargic blocker and shows nice flexibility and acceleration in long pursuit. You can see on game film that he knows how to “short step” getting through trash, and you have to be impressed with his all-out effort in attacking the backfield. With his balance and agility, he reminds some of former Buccaneer, Warren Sapp, as both excel when in motion working down the line and then capitalizing on creating room through even the smallest of creases to get in the backfield to pressure the pocket.
Football Sense... On the field, Settle shows keen awareness to the play developing. He is much more than just a run containment type, as he displays the savvy and agility to slip blocks and wreak havoc in the backfield. He has overcome his battle of the bulge and though he still has a wide girth, he displays excellent pursuit agility for a player his size. He is quick to find the football in pursuit and is not the type that will bite on play action or misdirection. He needs only a few reps to retain and does a good job of taking plays from the chalk board to the playing field. He has had some academic issues in the past (coming out of high school), but did work on improving his college entry grades. Talk to anyone in the program and all the coaches will tell you that he loves to learn the intricacies for playing his position.
Explosion/Pursuit...Few big men have the explosive initial step off the snap that Settle displays. Clocked at 5.29 in the 40-yard dash, he seems much quicker with his equipment on, especially when executing his initial step. He carries his equipment well and by keeping his pads down and hands within his frame, he generates good movement off the snap. Thanks to his explosion off the snap, he can surprise a lethargic blocker and slip past double teams with his burst, showing the strength needed to get a good push off his man (see 2017 West Virginia, Delaware, Old Dominion, Clemson, Boston College, North Carolina and Pittsburgh games). He excels at neutralizing multiple blockers and has that hip shake you want when trying to execute counter moves. He is so quick to get an edge on the blocker that his opponent will generally get put to the ground or be left grasping at air (that is why the coaches sometimes line him up at the zero- and 2-tech). When he gains advantage, he will generally keep it. He is very light on his feet, doing a nice job of working down the line when playing in the short area. He also shows the strength to shock blockers back when he explodes off the bal. While some compare his violent tackles to Warren Sapp, he reminds me more of ex-Pittsburgh’s Casey Hampton during his college days – very quick and balanced coming of the snap and can suddenly get on the edge of blockers. Once he gains advantage, he keeps it.
Strength at Point...Settle excels at neutralizing multiple blockers, as this allows a teammate to be free to make the play. He is quick to fill the rush lanes and shows good creativity and spin moves shooting the gaps. He is very combative with his hands and has the strength to shock and control and opponent when he locks on. He shows good power in attempts to disengage and is quite nimble when attacking the backfield. He is just the type that demands constant double team activity from his opponent, as he is very hard to move off the line. When he plants his feet and settles in for a battle, he uses his low center of gravity to gain leverage and he keeps his feet free (see 2017 Clemson, North Carolina and Pittsburgh games), demonstrating very effective two-gap potential. With his raw power, he can not be moved off the ball in one-on-one blocking situations, as he will settle in, anchor and willingly fight for his “piece of real estate.” He is quick to use his hands and is very consistent when working across the blocker’s face.
Use of Hands...Settle’s quick arm-over action and upper body strength lets him consistently beat his blocker off the snap. He keeps his hands active, even in tight quarters staying within his frame to do a nice job of protecting his body from cut blocks. He shows forceful strike ability and uses his hands well to shed. It is very rare to see him “short-arm” or expose his chest by getting those hands outside his frame. He stays after the blocker when doing so, using his body lean to get a push.
Lateral Pursuit/Effort...Settle has good pursuit ability in the short area, but despite his squat frame, he has the timed speed and quickness of a middle linebacker. Even at 337-pounds, he is not the type that will run out of gas when pursuing on long distance runs (see 2017 Clemson, Boston College and North Carolina games). Even in long pursuit, he will get stay low with his pads and it is rare to see him narrow his base, as he works hard using his hands to combat low blocks and keep his feet free, especially while working through trash. He also has good cadence recognition, as he has never been flagged or caught “jumping the gun” coming off the snap, as he generally plays with a very high motor and until the whistle.
Tackling Ability...When Settle gets his hands on a ball carrier, the play is quickly over. He has very good strength behind his hits and is an efficient wrap-up tackler with the long arms to engulf the perimeter runners. He has the lateral agility to push the outside running game back inside and the field vision to quickly locate the cutback lanes. Because of his wide frame and brute strength, when he makes a collision tackle, he instantly stops the ball carrier’s momentum (will generally attack the runner’s outside leg to impede forward progress). There is no leakage when working inside, but if he gets too high in his stance and narrows his base, he will get a little out of control and miss tackles when operating in space, though. However, when he locks up his opponent, they are not going to get away from him (see 2017 Clemson, Boston College, North Carolina, Miami and Pittsburgh games). If you see his game films, you will find a player who has the ability to deliver explosive shots to lead blockers when working in tight quarters.
Run Defense...This is his best asset. On 52 running plays directed at him, opponents were held to zero yards, as he’s made 28 of his 55 career tackles behind the line of scrimmage, giving him the best run-stop percentage for any defensive tackle since John Randle Texas A&M-Kingsville (1988-89), as 31 of those running plays ended with either a tackle-for-loss or the ball carrier being stopped at the line of scrimmage for no gain (28 TFLs, three for no gains; 56.36% of his total tackles). He is an immovable object at the point of attack and is quick to hunker down and fill the rush lanes. He has the short area burst to close in a hurry and comes out of his stance with his hands ready to lock on, control and shed his blockers. He is quick to stack at the point of attack and uses his low center of gravity and strength to gain leverage and hold his ground firmly. He is tough to defend in the short area when moving down the line and is very conscious of low blocks and how to avoid them. He is a master at stacking at the point of attack, as he consistently uses his low center of gravity, leverage and strength to not only hold his ground firmly, but to also attack and pressure the pocket at will. With the way he keeps his feet free working down the line, he also has nice two-gap potential, as his versatility could allow teams to use him similar to how Baltimore operates with Brandon Williams - wherever needed on the front wall.
Pass Rush...As good as Settle is vs. the run, he has almost as equal pass rush skills, again bringing back memories of John Randle and the consistency the Hall of Famer had in shooting the gaps all those years for the Vikings. While Settle gets most of his stops behind the line of scrimmage off sheer strength, he is also quite effective when asked to pressure the pocket (see 2017 West Virginia, Clemson, Boston College games). He has the speed to close, and in 2017, he seems to have developed more pass rush moves (uses mostly swim and rip moves, but with his hand strength, he has developed confidence when trying to club – see West Virginia, Clemson, Boston College, Pittsburgh games) and has become a serious threat in this area (holds the school and league game-record, as all five of his tackles in the 2017 North Carolina game were for losses) and led all of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s interior defenders tackles in tackles-for-loss in 2017 and at all levels of college football, he ranked fourth in that category among nose guards/tackles. He shows good agility squeezing the pocket, but when he gets narrow in his base coming off the edge, blockers can have some success forcing him out. If any opponent attempts to single block him, he will arrive on the pocket with great intent and will generally flush the quarterback out and force the passer to make ill-advised tosses (three of his nine pressures in 2017 caused interceptions and four others came on third-down plays).
Closing on the Quarterback...Settle is best when playing over the center’s head or giving a good arm-over action to gain advantage over the outside shoulder of the guards in attempts to apply pressure. But, when asked to come off the edge or pursue long distances, he has more than enough ability to close (can play the 1-, 5-tech positions). He does a nice job of forcing the quarterback out of the pocket and with his fluid change of direction, he is quick to redirect. With his hand strength, he can easily walk interior blockers back into the quarterback. In space, you can see his intensity and desire to get to the ball and you have to be impressed with a 337-pounder that has the acceleration and motor to close as often as he has (including solos and assists, he has made 28 of his 55 tackles inside the backfield and four more at the line of scrimmage for no gain).
Instincts/Recognition...One thing you see on film is that Settle won’t bite on play action or misdirection. He is quick to locate the ball, especially vs. the run. He knows how to time his leaps to get his fair share of deflections (his tipped pass resulted in an interception that was returned for a score by another Tech defender in the 2017 Delaware game and his blocked field goals vs. East Carolina in 2016 and again in 2017 also set up touchdown drives) at the line of scrimmage. He is very alert for angle blocks and traps, using his hands effectively to counter. When he recognizes the scheme and sees the play develop, he is quick to react. He has that uncanny feel and instincts for pressure, much like Geno Atkins and Casey Hampton. If he recognizes the scheme as it develops, it is rare to see him “out of the picture” on game films when the tackle is made.
Compares To...Casey Hampton-ex Pittsburgh Steelers...Like Hampton, Settle is an outstanding run stuffer. You won’t find his name mentioned much in the media, but scouts have been frequent visitors on campus. When you look at his statistical performances compared to the defensive tackles selected in recent drafts, you can see that he has the ability to become a dominant player at the next level. With his lateral agility, low pad level and quickness off the snap, he could see action as a one-tech type in a 3-4 alignment as most teams are looking at him as a zero-gap performer (nose guard) at the next level. I feel that he is also very capable of playing the “under-tackle” slot in a 4-3 defensive front.
Nathan Shepherd - Fort Hays
Body Structure...Shepherd has a thick body frame with room for additional growth. He has smooth muscle development, good-sized legs and calves, big bubble and adequate arm length. He might look squat, but his frame shows excellent lower body power and thickness, exactly what you look for in a stay-at-home nose guard candidate. He has a good-sized frame with solid bone structure. He has a barrel chest, long, muscular arms, good bubble, thick thighs and calves, wide waist and hips.
Athletic Ability... Shepherd is a defensive tackle, but seems to have better success when he tilts over to play nose guard. He is an adequate athlete with good quickness off the snap, but does not have the acceleration for long pursuit. He has adequate agility to adjust on the move, but plays better in a stationary position at the point of attack. He has the outstanding strength to hold ground when he plays at a good pad level. He looks stiff working his way down the line, but plays with a high motor and good effort. He is an extremely active player with the lower body athleticism and upper body power to stay unhinged from blockers and in constant pursuit of the football. He shows a baseline understanding of how to use his hands, but relies more on raw ability than technical know-how, which worked vs. Division-II competition, but won’t in the NFL.
Football Sense... On the field, he plays with a high motor and good effort, showing adequate ability to read and react. He can recognize blocking schemes, but does get fooled a bit by play action. Still, he understands the playbook well. He might not be a quick learner, but will grasp the play after several reps. He is quick to recognize blocking schemes and locate the ball, though. He picks up plays easily and is sharp spotting traps and pulls
Explosion/Pursuit...Shepherd flashes adequate initial quickness on ball movement, but lacks the suddenness to gain advantage. He plays with a very high motor and good strength, making him a terror to contain in the short area. While he likes to loop and twist, his lack of speed prevents him from getting much production doing this. His first step off the ball is not effective though, even when he stays low in his pads. He does have enough leg drive to beat the single block and get gap penetration, traits that make him better suited for nose guard. He is light on his feet working down the line and quick to deliver a blow, but is best when tying up blockers and clogging the rush lanes that slipping off blocks to impact the backfield. Despite his frame, he knows how to hunker down and stay low in his pads. He has a functional short area burst and his wide base and hand punch allows him to gain advantage out of his start. He also shows good body control working down the line, but is not the type that you want running long distances. He gets most of his success behind the line of scrimmage with his ability by angling and slicing to the play.
Strength at Point...Shepherd’s strength and base gives him the ability to play with leverage. When he gets high at the line, he will get pushed back by the double team, as he gets tied up and struggles to disengage. He is very combative with his hands, especially vs. down and single blocks. When he fires low off the snap, his surge lets him come off blocks to get a free lane to the ball.
When Shepherd keeps his pads down, he can be very effective at making plays at the point of attack. He is not easily moved out when he plays at a low pad level, but can be rooted out when he gets too tall in his stance, as he leaves his chest exposed, struggling to shed those blocks. He also has a nasty habit of turning his back on the blocker, losing sight of the ball as he is ridden wide from the play. He is strong enough to dominate up front when he plays with a wide base and has the ability to win battles vs. double teams.
Use of Hands... The thing you notice on film is that he has now developed the technique needed to use a swim or club move with efficiency. Shepherd gets a good reach coming off the snap and is quick to shed. When he stays low in his pads and keeps his hands active, he can dominate, shed and keep blockers away from his legs. He hits with authority to jolt and control at the point of attack. While he has explosive hands, he can get even better once he fills out and develops more strength. When he gets too tall in his stance, it is as if he forgets to use good technique and will let blockers get into his body.
Lateral Pursuit/Effort...For a player his size, Shepherd is quite nimble working down the line. He runs well for a player his size, but only in the short area. His change of direction agility allows him to move down the line of scrimmage and cause problems.
Tackling Ability...When Shepherd brings his hands up to wrap and secure, he will generally make contact with the ball carrier. But, when he tries to take a side, he will slip off a few tackles. He is strong enough shooting his hands to hit with authority, but could use more overall strength. When he locks on to a ball carrier, they are not going to get away. He is a powerful tackler who will explode into a blocker, but you know he is going to get even better once he puts on more bulk. He is a productive wrap-up tackler who will strike with consistency.
Run Defense...When Shepherd gets his anchor set, few blockers can move him off his base. At the point of attack, he can make the tackle, but is not as effective when he has to give pursuit. He keeps his pads down to gain position and does a good job of wrapping and securing, as few ball carriers will gain forward momentum when Shepherd makes the hit. He is aggressive shooting his hands when working to get leverage. With his large hands, he does a nice job of grabbing and shoving the lineman out of the way. He is effective parking in the gaps, staying low in his pads and clogging the rush lane by neutralizing the lead blocker. He has enough short area quickness to chase down the runner in the backfield. When he gets tall in his stance, he struggles to disengage, reverting to turning his back on the blocker (needs to develop a better spin move). He plays with good balance and body control and has shown the ability to fight through double teams. When they shift him from weak-side tackle to the nose, they unleashed him more often, resulting in quite a few scoring drives being thwarted. He still gets a little high in his stance at times and when this happens, he ends up exposing his chest
Pass Rush...Shepherd is not the guy you want to use as a pass rusher. He has few, if any pass rush moves and while he can get a decent push, he is more of a bull rusher. He can get initial penetration, but labors when he has to pursue and adjust to close on the quarterback in the backfield.
Instincts/Recognition...Shepherd does a good job reading and reacting to the run, using his power to get off blocks and tackle in the short area. His problem happens when he has to adjust on the move. Thrust into a leadership role as a senior, he took on more responsibility calling assignments on the front wall. He has no problems flowing to the ball, whether in passing or running situations. He plays with good alertness and showed improved ability to read and react to traps, pulls and play action than he did earlier in his career.
Compares To...Barry Cofield-ex New York Giants…Like Cofield, Shepherd can’t be judged on personal statistics, but needs to be reviewed based on the success of the team, as he is a classic mauler in the middle of the field.
Trenton Thompson - Georgia
Scouts see Thompson as a player similar to the Raiders’ Michael Bennett – a player that has proven that power trumps size any day, especially for interior defenders with explosive feet and “cement” for hands. He looks shorter than ideal to be a two-gap tackle, but he has good upper body thickness, a solid lower frame, firm midsection and good bubble. The Bulldog has above average acceleration off the snap and shows the flexibility and knee bend to consistently gain leverage. He moves with very good balance and coordination, flashing enough burst to be disruptive at times.
Still, Thompson has been set back by injuries during his career, including medial collateral ligament damage that limited him to just three starting assignments in 2017. He is a bit of an overachiever, but he is cat-quick when coming off the snap, and shows intelligence and a high motor to deliver steady production. He lines up mostly at weak-side defensive tackle, but is more suited for left end at the next level, as he has enough field smarts to play off blocks when attacking from the edge, even though he’s had very good success taking angles and shooting the inside gaps.
The first thing you notice is Thompson’s has outstanding feet, along with good agility and balance on the move, along with the smooth change of direction and flexibility to recover when he out-runs a play. He is not fooled by play action and shows good effort on every play. He is a tough blue collar type who will play hurt and likes the challenge. He is also a physically tough player who will throw his body around with reckless abandon to make the play.
Thompson flashes explosion as a bull rusher, and is quick into his second move. He is routinely quick off the ball to engage the blocker. He shows good feet in his straight-ahead burst and is sudden in his moves to gain advantage. He is a quick twitch type who is very active with his hands in attempts to disengage, as he is very successful in attempts to gain immediate edge at the snap, along with the quickness to get into the gaps and disrupt.
Thompson might lack the bulk you look for in a defensive tackle and will more likely move to defensive end in the pros, but much like the ex-Falcons’ Jonathan Babineaux, he can fight and stack when he is able to gain good leverage. He does get a little high in his stance and this allows taller offensive linemen to get into his chest, but he works hard to compensate by keeping his hands active while generating strong upper body power.
Thompson uses his hands very well to disengage, and has very good lateral and up field quickness to get past the offensive tackles. He does a nice job of using his hands to keep separation and get off the line while controlling the blockers. His excellent upper body power is evident when he generates a hand punch that consistently rocks the offensive tackles back on their heels.
Thompson shows very good strength when locking up the runner and will deliver explosive hits. He does get a little out of control at times, as he feels he has to make every play, but this is improving as he is maturing. With his strength he displays in locking up, he has had very good success vs. massive offensive guards the last two years.
Even when he encounters an obvious weight disadvantage vs. the bigger offensive tackles when playing off the edge (will slide to weak-side end in a 3-4 scheme), he has the strength to hold his ground and when he keeps his pad level low, he is tough to move out. A lethargic blocker can also lose the battle with Thompson, thanks to his quickness in the gaps, in addition to having the speed to disrupt the plays in the backfield when in pursuit.
Unlike most slow-footed defensive tackles, Thompson generates a sudden burst to get to the quarterback after he clears his blocker. He has very good up-field speed and is effective on the bull rush due to good counter moves when pressuring. You can see on film that he is a savvy player with above average snap reaction. A smart team that plays him at weak-side end in a 3-4 defensive alignment will also benefit by having him work in-line, especially on stunts and twists, where he can be quite effective because of his explosion and strength.
Compares To...Michael Bennett-Jacksonville Jaguars...Like Bennett, Thompson’s medical issues could scare away a few teams. He’s a well-coordinated run stuffer with impressive swim moves, using his balance and flexibility to easily slip through the gaps to make plays in the backfield. He has that powerful hand punch to jolt even the bigger blockers, along with keep vision to sift out the ball in a crowd.
B.J. Hill - North Carolina State
The N.C. State senior plays with a good motor, but does run out of gas late in games. He is best served playing in-line, where he can handle multiple blockers to free up his edge rushers and blitzers. When he plays at a proper pad level, Hill shows excellent tools for the two-gap system. He uses his hands effectively, but needs to do a better job of protecting his legs from low blocks.
Hill is a physical athlete with a thick, hard body. He has long arms, big bubble and large hands – the type that can easily add more bulk to his frame without adversely affecting his overall quickness. He is a rare-sized defender who is not only light on his feet, but also possesses very impressive strength. He shows a fluid running stride and a good feel for leverage and balance. His straight-line charge is explosive and he generates a bone-jarring hand punch coming off the snap.
When Hill is able of being sudden charging from the backside, he has the ability to shock blockers back on their heels with his quickness and strength. He holds his ground firmly at the point of attack, but will struggle to disengage when he gets high in his stance, letting blockers attack his body. He plays with a good motor, but does run out of gas late in games. He is best served playing in-line, where he can handle multiple blockers to free up his edge rushers and blitzers.
When Hill plays at a proper pad level, he shows good tools for the two-gap system. He uses his hands effectively, but needs to do a better job of protecting his legs from low blocks. He has the ability to set, anchor and hold ground at the point of attack when he hunkers down rather that getting too erect. He is also active with his hands to discard blocks.
As dominant as he can be “taking out the trash,” he is really not a great pass rusher. He is late at times locating the quarterback in backside pursuit and lacks an array of pass rush moves to get an edge on the offensive guard. However, he shows good force as a bull rusher shooting the gaps and gets a good push when he sees a free lane. When he spots the ball, he is capable of getting off his blocks and closing on the play.
Hill is not effective when used in long pursuit, as he will tire running distances. He has the body control to change direction working down the line, but is more effective when used in containment rather than in pursuit. He can collide and wrap with effectiveness and is a physical striker in closed quarters, tossing blockers around while showing urgency to make the play.
As a pass rusher, he gets some push, but does not generate a quick swim move. As a bull rusher, he has the ability to destroy offensive guards and centers in his path. He can mash the pocket with good power, but even with his timed speed, he will labor when having to chase into the second level. He keeps his feet moving through traffic in attempts to penetrate and shows natural hand usage to defeat combo blocks. However, he can get a bit top heavy, resulting in him lunging and overextending at times (mostly in backside pursuit).
Hill is much stronger and physical than he looks, doing a good job when asked to bull rush or take on multiple blockers. He will never generate gaudy statistics, but his presence on the field will allow other linemen to not worry about double team action to make the play. His knee injuries are a concern, but considering he will mostly serve as an anchor in the middle of the field, few teams will let that weigh in their draft factor. In a two-gap system, he could dominate immediately.
Compares To...Carl Davis-Baltimore Ravens...Hill is a powerful player who holds his ground firmly.
Deadrin Senat - USF
Senat continued to be a physical force vs. the inside running game, as he posted 10.5 stops-for-loss as a senior. While he barely reaches six-feet and is not an imposing looking athlete, he is capable of frustrating blockers with his tenacity as the game wears on. He has a shorter than ideal frame, but shows good thickness throughout his torso and hips. He is undersized for a 4-3 defensive tackle and “lacks sand in his pants” to play nose guard, but with his improved foot speed, he could be utilized as an under-tackle in sub packages.
The senior has a thick lower frame and shows the ability to flash quickly getting off the ball, but he does need to do it with better consistency. His lack of height is sometimes an advantage, as he stays low in his pads and gets his hands up on the rise to shock a lethargic blocker.
For an undersized player, Senat packs tremendous force behind his hand strikes (bench pressed 225 pounds 35 times at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine). When he stays low in his pads, he plays with leverage and has that low center of gravity to get under a blocker’s pads. He creates piles vs. the double team, but with better conditioning, he could be an effective terror shooting the gaps. He has a good feel for blocking schemes and is very combative with his arms, fighting pressure to work his way to the ball. He lacks sustained quickness or good lateral agility, but shows good hustle going down the line of scrimmage in pursuit.
Senat is a puncher, a mauler, a player who is very strong for his size, especially when shooting his hands. He can keep separation and handle larger players with leverage. When he attacks an offensive lineman, his initial hand jolt will usually knock the opponent off balance, allowing him to dip in attempts to shorten the edge. You can see on film that his strong stab action lets him easily separate and shed.
Senat excels at stacking and controlling, as he can make piles with the best of them, but he is more of a collision type of tackler than one with wrap-up technique. He is very strong in locking up ball carriers on plays in front of him, but if he has to give chase at the perimeters, he won’t win any of those battles. He will sometimes revert to wrestling the opponent to get off the block, losing sight of the ball.
The senior has above average strength to contain the ball carrier, showing strength, hip snap and roll on contact. He has good jolt and strike ability, but is best when working at the point of attack rather than in long pursuit along the sidelines. He has a very strong anchor and when he plays with a low center of gravity and squares his shoulders, he can easy split double teams.
Once he extends his arms inside his frame, he can deliver a jarring hit into the ball carrier, as the lead blocker is then obliterated and fails to get into Senat’s body. When he gets into the gaps, he is too disruptive for one blocker to contain. But when he gets high in his stance, he can get washed past the ball if he does not beat the combo initially. He stays up and gets involved in attempts to gain gap penetration, showing enough short area burst to collapse the pocket, but is more of a pressure type than one who will get to the passer.
Senat has a good feel for blocks and where they are coming from. He knows when to create a pile and likes being the “traffic cop” directing traffic in the middle of the field, as he knows he can’t generate relentless pursuit. He has good awareness and ability to read and react to the pass and run, and has a combative nature taking on combos and traps.
Compares To...Grady Jarrett-Clemson...If Bill Parcells was still coaching today, he might see a lot of one of his favorite “whipping boys” – Jim Burt – in the style of game that Senat plays.