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Prospect Profiles: DE Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech)

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I know you guys have shown a disdain for possibly drafting a Defensive End in the first round with the number 15th overall pick. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I am a big believer in Drafting Best Player Available (Especially when the BPA is at a critical position AND is rated much higher than the rest of the players left).

If Derrick Morgan is sitting on the board at 15th overall will he be the best available player?

Let’s get on with it.

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Derrick Morgan

Measurables (combine numbers posted when they are avaiable)

Born January 6th 1989. 6’4” 275 pounds. Junior.


Career: 112 tackles, 2 FF, 18 sacks (three years, but basically two years. First year had 9 tackles no sacks)

2009: 52 tackles, 12 sacks, 2 FF.

Big Games:

Vs Clemson 10 tackles, 3 sacks

@ FSU 5 tackles, 1 sack

vs VA Tech 5 tackles, 1 sack

vs Wake Forest 6 tackles, 3 sacks

vs Georgia 5 tackles

Some people are concerend that Derrick Morgan Just domianted poor competition and did not show up vs Good competition. I don’t necessarily think that is the case. Even if he did have 8 of his 12 sacks in just three games.

This much is certain there are teams that found him to be unblockable.

Over 50 tackles from the DE position is pretty good as well, which would indicate that he’s stout against the run.

Scouting Reports

Draft Board Insider

Scouting Report Physically Morgan certainly looks the part of an NFL defenseive end. He’s got nice bulk which really helps him hold up in the run game.  He keeps his butt low and head up and does a solid job engaging a lineman, and then breaking away.  He’s a pretty complete player with nice while not outstanding skills at anything. Sort of a jack of all trades, master of none.  I will say that he plays with an explosion and first step rare in a player his size. One thing that helps him especially in a pass rush setting is he has backup moves beyond the bulls rush which for a 20 year old player is a nice plus.  On the downside, I question his ceiling.   He almost looks maxed out to me and if that’s the case, I’m not sure how great he can be in the NFL beyond a rush specialist.  He is a good tackler, and shows nice pursuit in run support.

Draft Status-In a shallow pool for 4-3 DEs, Morgan gets the top slot by default. He seems to be getting a lot more than I am giving him, but he looks to be zeroing in on a top 20 pick.  I am going to go back and watch him again, but I guess I just don’t see top 20 pick in his play.

Final Analysis-Morgan is sort of a mystery to me. Normally I trust what I see 100% but with Morgan I second guess myself.  Yes, he has ideal size and is a good explosive football player.  But his conditioning is a little questionable, and I am not sold on his effort.  He’s quick but not fast, and explosive but isn’t dominant.  He’s strong, really strong, so you’d think he’d be a better run defender.  I hope I am wrong but something about this kid just doesn’t feel right to me.

Reminds me of:  Lawrence Jackson, DE Seattle-Jackson is a nice player.  He’s never going to lead the league in sacks, but has a limited upside and will be a nice not elite player in this league for a long time.  I think Morgan is a similar kind of player and should see success in the NFL.

The Football Fan Spot

1/21/10: Great combination of size and speed, and more important an excellent motor and initial explosiveness. He had 12 sacks this year and was also strong against the run at 275 pounds. The only thing stopping him from being a top ten pick lock is the fact that he won’t transition well to a 3-4 scheme, though I wouldn’t be surprised if a team tried to convert him to a 3-4 rush linebacker, though that’d be a mistake. He still has a good shot of going in the top ten and I think he has top ten talent at a possession of huge value in the NFL

11/18/09: Derrick Morgan is my top pass rusher in a weak pass rushing class. He has a great combination of size, physicality, and agility, quickness, and speed. He has a good pass rushing arsenal as well and has 12 sacks this season, improving on last year’s decent total. He gets into the backfield a lot and wreaks havoc with his combination of size and speed. He has average straight line speed, but is a crafty pass rusher and that makes up for that. He has good size against the run and isn’t blocked back easily. He has size to play on the left side and also the agility and mobility to play on the right side against left tackles. He has an excellent motor and has still a lot of upside as a 20 year old junior. He has good leverage and a good initial burst off the line which helps in both pass rushing and run blocking. He plays controlled and does not overpursue. He uses his hands well and has good extension on his arms to push off of offensive linemen to force holds or double teams. He doesn’t disengage from blocks that well and once a good, strong offensive lineman locks onto him, he doesn’t break away easily and he doesn’t have a great second burst or recovery after being knocked down. He is sluggish in coverage and doesn’t fit a 3-4 scheme as a rush linebacker for that reason and also because he is not fast enough. Rush linebackers are normally speed rushers, while Morgan is more well rounded as a pass rusher. He is as close to a first round lock as any defensive end and could be the first defensive end off the board, which may mean he’s a top ten pick when it’s all said and done because of the need for pass rushers in the NFL.

NFL Comparison: Justin Tuck


  • Solid height and great bulk/strength
  • Shows very nice burst off the snap; good first step
  • Good closing speed
  • Great flexibility
  • Dips and bends; runs the tight horn to QB
  • Has improved hand use
  • Gets good leverage
  • Nice pass rush repertoire (spin, club, rip, etc.)
  • Plays with consistent effort; love his motor
  • Really sets the edge
  • Can play left or right end
  • Balanced end against run and pass
  • Good range in pursuit
  • Competitive
  • Shown a lot of technical improvement from sophomore to junior season
  • Great all-around skill set
  • Very polished for his age (20)
  • Still has some upside
  • Weaknesses:
  • Very sluggish hips; can’t drop into zone
  • Not the most comfortable in space
  • Lacks some agility
  • Hand use could still be more consistent
  • Needs to develop some counter moves
  • Can’t play in the 3-4 at outside linebacker
  • Disengagement technique could improveSummary: Derrick Morgan’s stock has really risen this season and I expect him to come off the board in the top 20 picks now. There is so much value for pass rushers in the 4-3 scheme in the league since they are so hard to come by, but Morgan’s well-rounded skill set and potential will make him of value to NFL teams.NFL Fans of 3-4 teams: don’t get your hopes up. Morgan really struggles when dropping into coverage. He is most comfortable with his hand in the ground. I’ve really liked Morgan since his Clemson game in 2009 and he has shown great consistency throughout the year producing 12.5 sacks as of Nov. 15. His production and athleticism will get noticed by NFL teams.Player Comparison: Patrick Kerney. Kerney’s motor, strength, and initial quickness has made him a successful player in the NFL. I see similar traits in Morgan.
  • Where the Mocks Have Him Falling (2/16)

    Mel Kiper Jr. 6th Seattle 14th Seattle

    CBS Draft Scout 6th Seattle

    NFL draft Spot 8th Oakland

    Todd McShay 10th Jacksonville (Mcguire) 10th Jacksonville (Walt) 10th Jacksonville

    NFL Draft Site 9th Buffalo

    National Football Post 15th NY Giants

    DraftBoard Insider 8th Oakland Raiders

    Big Board Rankings

    Draft Board Insider 34th 8th

    CBS Draft Scout 8th

    The Football Fan Spot 7th

    Mel Kiper Jr. 7th

    Todd McShay (Scouts Inc) 8th

    NFL Draft Spot 10th 8th

    Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

    Derrick Morgan is probably the best all around 4-3 defensive end in this draft class. Carlos Dunlap is the most physicall gifted Defensive End in this draft class, and then after that it’s a lot of tweeners…guys who might be able to play 3-4 in the N.F.L. Maybe.

    Derrick Morgan was a super productive college player who imporved every year he was in college. He had 18 sacks in his final two seasons which is pretty good, especially the 12 he had this past season.

    Derrick Morgan has an explosive first step for a man who is 275 pounds, and becuase of his size he is able to hold up against the run much better than the new breed of Defensive linemen in the N.F.L. is (think Osi Umeinyora).

    He’s also a very well thought of prospect.  Draft Board Insider is the only Big Board anywhere I looked that had Morgan lower than 10th best player in the draft.

    Bartolis Final Verdict

    I’m a proponet of the Giants drafting Derrick Morgan 15th overall if he happens to fall that far becuase even the scouting report that knocks him (essentially) says “I usually trust my eyes…but for some reason I don’t think Derrick Morgan is top 20. It’s sort of a guy feeling thing”.

    Everyone else likes Morgan. I like Morgan.

    Think of having Justin Tuck on one side of the Defensive line, and then another Justin Tuck on the other side of the defensive line. That could be Derrick Morgan. Two Defensive Ends who can not only get after the passer, but actually play the run too! What a novel idea!

    Morgan has a very good first step, which is important in the N.F.L. He also plays with good technique, he is not as fast or quick as a Carlos Dunalp or a Sergio Kindle or a Derrick  Harvey, but he’s a better football player.

    He’s built JUST like Justin Tuck (tuck is listed at 6’5 275. Morgan is listed at 6’4 274)

    I also think if he were to be available at 15th overall he could potentially be the best player available at a position of importance, and probably will be the best avilable player by most boards becuase I do not believe that Joe Haden, Rolando McClain will be available. The only players who might be left rated higher on some boards are an OL (Anthony Davis perhaps) or WR Dez Bryant (who is getting up in the top 5 range on a lot of boards).

    Say what we want about the Defensive ends last year (we’re giving a lot of them passes, which I understand) but the Giants didn’t generate enough sacks from the Defensive end positions last year so it could be argued that they need to be upgraded.

    The thing you like about Derrick Morgan is that he has nice upside, while it seems that he has a low floor. What I mean is Carlos Dunalp Very high ceiling, very low floor. Could be great, could be terrible. Dunalp might be the next Mario Williams. He also might be out of the league in three years.

    Derrick Morgan lower ceiling, higher floor. Could be Good to very good, won’t be much worse than an average contributor. He could be Justin Tuck or he might be a player like Justin Smith who’s solid, but not spectacular.

    I think it’s very important to NOT whiff in the first round of the draft. It’s too costly to draft a player who won’t produce at all at the N.F.L. level.

    IF Derrick Morgan has a good combine…he won’t be available when the Giants draft at 15th.

    If he has an average combine he could be one of those players who slips becuase he doesn’t have great triangle numbers and he could be a bargain for the Giants at 15th.

    Derrick Morgan is making my list of top five wanted prospects at #15 overall (to go along with Earl Thomas, C.J. Spiller, Rolando McClain, and Best Offensive Tackle Available).

    I am FOR drafting Derrick Morgan if the situation arises and I think he fits what Jerry Reese likes to do (Bolster the trenches, get good value in the first round) and he’s from a legetimate BCS conference and a legetimate BCS School.

    Previous Profiles

    OL Mike Iupati

    S Chad Jones

    OLB/DE Sergio Kindle

    ILB Sean Lee

    S Eric Berry

    OT Bruce Campbell

    ILB Daryl Washington

    DT/NT Dan Williams (Updated with K.C. Joyner’s Draft Lab 2/7)

    CB Kyle Wilson

    DT Jared Odrick

    DE Carlos Dunlap

    ILB Micah Johnson

    DT Arthur Jones

    OT Bryan Baluga

    OT Anthony Davis (UPDATED 2/5/10)

    DT Brian Price

    ILB Brandon Spikes

    S Earl Thomas

    ILB Rolando McClain

    RB C.J. Spiller

    S Taylor Mays

    What do you guys think of Derrick Morgan?

    Combine coming up next week. Then we’ll really get rolling with these prospects.

    Have a nice day, everyone.

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    11 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: DE Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech)”

    1. Michael S says:

      I would be for it if the giants traded osi or kiwi for a safety or MLB and some draft picks. If they keep osi or kiwi, then we have 4 great pass rushers that wanna play. If they cab rotate and be fresh all game withought arguing for playing, then I’m for it. Other than that, the only way I’d draft Morgan is if we traded osi for let’s say Kerry Rhodes and a 3rd or something

    2. chris says:

      I love these reports….id like to see major wright, george silvea and myronn rolle

    3. CMH says:

      I’d love to see Reese do a deal w JVille to get Reggie Nelson and the 11th pick to grab McClain.

      Would Osi and 15 get it done?

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