The 2020 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Big Board will be rolled out over the course of four weeks by position, featuring players to watch and a breakdown of what NFL scouts look for through the eyes of Collegiate Bowl Director of College Scouting, Dane Vandernat.
Today, we feature defensive ends:
THREE TO WATCH
Jabari Zuniga, Florida: The Gators aggressive defense under DC Todd Grantham has been very beneficial for Zuniga, who has thrived as a chess piece, playing up and down the defensive line, in addition to linebacker. Zuniga possesses size, strength and an explosive first step. He also owns great lower body strength (can squat over 500 pounds) and athleticism. In 47 career games, he has amassed 27.5 tackles for loss, including 15.5 sacks.
Alex Highsmith, Charlotte: From former walk-on to Conference USA First-Team honors, Highsmith has arguably improved as much as any player in college football. He busted out in a big way last year with 60 tackles, including a school-record 17.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and eight pass breakups. His “first one in, last one out” mentality has been echoed by coaches and teammates. The 49ers will implement a 4-2-5 defensive scheme under new head coach Will Healy this season
Ron’dell Carter, JMU: A big, explosive presence on the front line of the JMU defense, Carter has experience playing both inside and outside. The Baltimore native made an immediate impact during his first season with the Dukes, collecting 58 tackles (13 tackles for loss) to go along with 7.5 sacks in 13 games after spending the previous two years at Rutgers. His maturity and commitment to diet has helped improve his overall burst and conditioning. Carter is one of several JMU players on the NFL radar.
When evaluating college edge defenders, the first things I want to see are instincts to quickly locate the ball and toughness in taking on blockers to stop the run. To play on the edge means playing against longer-bodied offensive tackles. Because of this, longer arms are not just an advantage but almost a requirement to hold the point of attack (POA). If a prospect can use his length to maintain separation from blockers while staying in control of his gap, then he’ll have a chance to play in the NFL. Once the run is stuffed and attention turns to the pass, it’s the defensive ends’ job to explosively get out of his stance upfield and work a variety of rush moves to clear his way to the QB.
One of the main areas that college players need to work on when they transition to the NFL is acquiring a second dominant pass rush move. Most prospects have either a finesse or power rush, but seldom do they have both. NFL blockers are too good to let you beat them with the same thing. A counter that either looks similar to or plays off of the primary move is imperative to sustaining success.
2020 NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL BIG BOARD: DEFENSIVE ENDS
|First Name||Last Name||School||Position||Height||Weight|
|Nasir||Player||East Tennessee State||DE||6-5||241|