In "The Breakdown," veteran talent scout Randy Rodgers is analyzing film of a select group of the nation's top prospects for Rivals.com. Rodgers has more than 35 years of experience in the college recruiting arena. He was the recruiting coordinator at the University of Illinois (1988-91) and the University of Texas (1992-97) and is one of the leading authorities on high school football talent analysis in the country. In this edition, Rodgers takes a look at defensive tackles.
Really dominates at the point of attack. Gets an excellent push in pass rush. Very good pad level player, who protects his legs. Does a really nice job of keeping his shoulders square to the LOS. Benches over 400 as a junior. Good feet for big man, able to get off blocks, pursues well. Shows a lot of power when he tackles, because he accelerates his feet on contact. Really finishes plays. Runs really well for 300 pounder.
Excellent field strength. Really strong legs and powerful lower body. Doesn't get knocked off the LOS, despite getting double teamed a lot. Plays with really good pad level. Really active hands. Has some already developed pass rush moves. Would like to see a little better initial takeoff, but that maybe the technique he is taught.
Special player. Has the size and speed to play DE, but also the strength to play inside. Even stood up like LB on several highlight plays. Has a really good takeoff for a big, young guy. Runs well in open field. Has excellent COD for tall player. Uses his long arms to advantage both in pass rush and being able to grab ball carriers while still engaged.
Ole Miss commit. Could play a DT or Nose. Protects legs well, has excellent field strength. Shows a burst to the ball when uncovered and really extends when he tackles. Very good at slipping blocks and avoiding blockers. Uses hands and shows really good agility. Has good lateral movement. Is more of a finesse rusher than pure bull rusher, despite size and strength.
Simi Fili, 6-4, 315, Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood
Powerful lower body. Protects legs well, doesn't get knocked off the line of scrimmage. Needs to use hands more, but is able to compensate because of superior lower body strength. Really gets a push. Excellent strength with 435 bench. Able to dominate at the point of attack. Could improve the use of his legs when he tackles.
Really doesn't look as big as listed, but plays faster. Has a really good takeoff. Excellent weight room numbers with 340 bench, but doesn't really use all his strength on the field. Needs to lower pad level to take advantage of natural gifts. Athletic player whose best football is ahead of him.
Really tall and long limbed. Plays inside, but more suited to play end because of height. Plays with high pad level and needs to do better job of bending his knees. Plays hard, runs well in open field. Kind of a long strider. May be a college projection to OT.
Thick legged, has good takeoff, does a nice job of getting extension once engaged. Plays with good pad level, protects legs. Shows very good lateral quickness, excellent recognition and reaction to offensive technique, can dominate at the point of attack. Power rusher. Can play inside despite height. I was impressed with his ability to stem and stunt.
Playing against smaller school competition, but does dominate. Uses size to advantage, but will need to improve technique work as he moves to college. Needs to use hands better and get off blocks. May not be as tall as listed, but does give good effort. Does stay on feet and get to plays.
Small school player, playing against many smaller players. Does dominate the competition. Can over power at this level. Has good initial quickness and runs well. Good reactions and change of direction skills. Will probably develop more as he reaches the college level in terms of strength and size. Being heavily recruited on more than a regional level.