Derrick Morgan – Georgia Tech
Scout: David Syvertsen
Height/Weight: 6’4 – 275
40 Time: 4.64
Pro Potential: Justin Tuck – New York Giants
Pass Rush/Closing Ability/Moves and Counter Moves: Top notch edge rusher that can win the battles time after time with the explosion that gives him the free outside shoulder. Has tremendous short area quickness, as fast as it gets in a five yard window. Uses a healthy balance of moves. Struggles to stay low when using the spin move, but does a nice job of keeping the blocker mentally off balanced.
Pursuit/Lateral Movement and Agility: Relentless in pursuit of the ball carrier. Locates the action well and gives full effort play in and play out. Does not have the elite speed in space when chasing. Can make himself small and keep his explosion, but the hips well get tight at times and he will fall to the ground as his feet don’t move as quickly as his body.
Quickness/Explosion: Fires out of his stance with top tier explosion. Can jump the snap well and be a step by the blocker before the blocker is set up. Outstanding short area quickness that is always on display within the tackle box.
Run Defend/Recognition: Does a nice job of extending the arms on to the blocker and reading the action. Will control the blocker and get himself in position to open up a shoulder and close in on the ball carrier. 27 tackles for loss over the past two years.
Size/Length/Hand Size: Very strong base, big rear and thick thighs. Has very long arms that are used very well.
Strength/Ability to Shed Blocks: Tremendous strength that shoots up through his legs and in to the blocker. Holds his ground against double teams. Can toss away a blocker when his technique is lined up. Struggled to get off the blocks from his best competition which is a red flag. Spends a lot of time on the ground because he loses his balance when trying to shed a block.
Tackling: Gets in on a lot of tackles for a defensive end, over 100 in 2008-2009 combined. Uses his long arms to wrap up and secure the ball carrier. High effort tackler.
Technique/Hand Use/Leverage: Morgan’s consistently effort and ability to play lower than the blocker across from him is what makes him such a lethal threat. He plays with top notch pad level, keeping his butt down and arms up, maximizing his use of strength. NFL ready technique that can be used inside and out. Always has his hands inside.
Versatility: Was moved around throughout every game. Played end on both sides, even saw time inside the guard. The quickness off the snap and consistent technique allows him to excel at any spot along the defensive line. Even as the explosion to play standing up in a 3-4 scheme.
Final Word: Morgan is by far the most versatile defensive end in this draft class, but the talent is right there to match it. He has the ideal frame, measurables, technique, and attitude for life in the trenches. The thing that needs to be looked in to the most however is the issue he has with balance. He spends way too much time on the ground, as he gets too reckless and loses his sense of footwork. He also struggled against some of his toughest competition while beating up on lineman that just might have a shot at the NFL. With that said, it is rare to come by such a talented prospect that understands the importance of technique and work ethic. If he is put in to a system that allows him to move around and exploit matchup problems, Morgan can turn in to an All-Pro very soon.