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.
Big and powerful. Uses his hands and arms very well. Understands leverage and does a really nice job of protecting his legs. Didn't really show a burst to the ball, but neutralizes blockers and stays alive. Gets a push on pass rush and can definitely collapse the pocket. Don't know his weight room numbers, but shows a lot of "field strength". Committed to the University of Georgia. Would expect him to be a four-year fixture.
I REALLY liked his quickness off the snap. Thought he was the quickest and best reacting of all the players in this group. Plays end and tackle. Can get off blocks, shows excellent speed for big man. His functional speed has to be a lot better than his testing speed. He has the best combination of leverage and speed and can be used on both ends of DL stunts. I really liked his body angles when engaged. Can be a force in any scheme. Committed to Miami.
Powerful, especially in lower body. Played all spots in defensive line, can pass rush from either inside or outside. Played hard, really punished ball carriers when he tackled. Can definitely get penetration, almost impossible to block if shaded. Once he gets part of the shoulder pad, the play is over and he is loose. I liked the way he used his power to get off blocks. Clearly the best interior prospect in Texas and committed to the University of Texas.
I really liked Goebel's versatility. Plays DE, DT, and Nose. Had the best combination of height and speed. Has really long arms and very active hands. Has a nice swim move. Although I didn't see any chase plays on his highlight tapes, I thought he had really good feet and ran well. I don't see him as an "edge" player, but I do think he best suited to be a "five technique" and could play in either an even or odd scheme. Verbally committed to Ohio State.
I really like DL's with "eligible numbers" and Thompson wore both #34 and #35 on his highlight tapes. That shows he is an "athlete". Very quick off the snap. Big lower body, has power, gets off blocks, very disruptive. I thought he had the best highlights in terms of big plays and the best acceleration to the ball in this group (despite what every body's listed 40 times were). I definitely see him as a nose, who could be entrusted to control both A gaps and leave linebackers freed up to pursue.
Big and long. Has an elongated stance, which he will need to tighten up to play inside. May be best suited to be a "five technique". Needs to show more diversity. I thought he relied too much on "swipe and swim" techniques and needed to show more leverage in his play, especially when inside. However he definitely shows power when engaged. He would be a kid I would want to see more regular game tape on, rather than just highlights.
Definitely a power player. Shows good leverage on both sides of the ball. Appears to be very strong in lower body. Shows a lot of field strength when he tackles. Didn't see a burst to the ball, but he is a hustler and his team scheme would be wise to funnel plays inside, because I will bet he usually shows up at the ball.
Another player with excellent power and lower body strength. He plays a lot of DE, which is probably the best use of team personnel, but doesn't have the speed to play outside in college. Does have very good quickness off the snap, plays with a very good pad level, and does a really nice job of keeping his feet moving while engaged. Verbally committed to Texas A&M
He definitely had the most plays in his video, but with the worst quality of tape. Good quickness, good penetrator. Seems to just run through blocks. Wasn't blocked very much when he slanted. Has long arms but couldn't assess upper body strength, because he leads with shoulder pads rather than hands. Did make a lot of downfield plays in pursuit. Verbally committed to Mississippi State.