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Prospect Profiles: Drake Nevis

DRAKE NEVIS, DT, LSU

Triangle Numbers: 6-2, 285, 5.00

Scouting Reports:

Draft Countdown:

Strengths:
• Athletic with outstanding quickness, agility and balance
• Explosive w/ great speed and a burst to close in a hurry
• Impressive strength and plays with excellent leverage
• Violent, active hand use and is able to shed blockers
• Showcases varied repertoire of rush moves / counters
• Gets skinny through the line and can split double teams
• Extremely intense and aggressive with non-stop motor
• Covers a ton of ground and is relentless in pursuit
• Solid instincts and awareness with a good football IQ
• Tough, durable and will play through pain / injuries
• Productive, making lots of impact plays behind line
• A hard worker and team leader who is still improving

Weaknesses:
• Lacks ideal size with short arms and small hands
• Can get engulfed when massive blockers lock on
• Lacks power, not real stout and won’t get big push
• Will probably never be a standout against the run
• May not be an ideal fit for every defensive system

Notes:
Just a one-year starter for the Tigers — Named 1st Team All-SEC and a 2nd Team All-American in 2010 — Played in a deep, talented rotation with guys like Glenn Dorsey, Ricky Jean-Francois, Marlon Favorite, Charles Alexander and Al Woods for most of college career — Really stepped up and had a monster final campaign for the Bayou Bengals when finally awarded more playing time — Was honored for his work off the field on the SEC’s Football Community Service Team — A bit of a ‘tweener who may get some looks as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense — Optimal fit at the next level will likely come as a one-gapping three-technique in a 4-3 scheme — Significantly improved stock and shot up draft boards as a senior after starting out the year as more of a mid-to-late round value — Exceptionally disruptive force with the ability to penetrate and wreak havoc in opponents backfields.

Sporting News:

Against the run: Is a constant disruptive force against the run. Does a good job of anchoring against double-team run blocks and is often able to split them and disrupt the run in the backfield. Is quick off the ball, keeps the blocker on his shoulder, accelerates to full speed fast and has the explosive closing burst to finish the play and make the tackle in pursuit. Grade: 8.0

Pass rush: Has consistently shown the ability to jolt and drive offensive linemen into the quarterback’s lap when he bull-rushes aggressively with good leverage. Has a good variety of pass-rush moves. Rushes with good leverage and uses his hands well to defeat one-on-one blocks. Can be tied up and kept on the line too easily because of his short arms. Grade: 8.0

Initial quickness: Consistently gets backfield penetration because of his ability to explode off the ball. Has shown the ability to shoot into the gap and drive through contact to make plays. Is able to consistently get inside reach blocks. Grade: 8.5

Run/pass recognition: Is a naturally instinctive defender who is consistently able to read and react quickly to the play. Doesn’t get fooled by misdirection or trick plays. Shows good awareness, which helps him to make important plays in key situations. Grade: 8.5

Pursuit/tackling: Gets to full speed fast and has the explosive closing burst to finish consistently on running plays away from him. Has strong hands, enabling him to make the tackle even when he doesn’t have the best position. Shows the ability to make violent hits and tackles. Grade: 8.5

Bottom line: Nevis is the type of defensive tackle who will be highly productive in the NFL. His best fit to start immediately is in a 4-3, one-gap scheme. Nevis would also be successful as an end in a 3-4 scheme like San Diego’s or Pittsburgh’s.
NFLDraftGab:

Strengths: A disruptive interior pass rusher; Nevis has the athleticism to release quickly off the snap of the ball and penetrate the line of scrimmage. Extends arms and closes quickly once he gets inside the backfield. Uses his hands and arms well to fight for position, showing a quick swim/arm & over move to work into the backfield and fight off attempts to sustain blocking.

Will work to create trash at the line of scrimmage by dropping down and slightly tugging defender to close the inside running lane. Very aggressive in his play and gives maximum effort consistently; pursuing hard to the opposite side of the field. Keeps his legs churning and arms moving when walled off on initial release. Moves well laterally and shows effectiveness on inside stunts. Good tackler at the line of scrimmage; wraps and falls down. Emotional player and encourages teammates.

Needs Improvement: Strength and size will need to improve in order to be consistently effective on inside runs. Technique is off/on and he’ll be driven off the line or neutralized in his pass rush when he releases high off the snap. Has a hard time against double teams; doesn’t apply much technique to fight through. Strictly a one gap player. Wasn’t asked to drop into coverage in games I observed.

Bottom Line: Drake Nevis flashes the ability to be a good pass rusher at the NFL level. He has the prototypical skill and mind set to be let loose as 1 and 3 technique pass rusher from a 4-3 alignment. Just give him his one gap responsibility and let him fly off the snap off the ball. When Nevis’ technique was on (feet under hips, low pad level) and he was able to anticipate the snap count, he showed that he was a consistent threat in his pass rush, while forcing double teams.

His playing demeanor and non-stop motor is evident in his play, allowing him to regularly get around the football. Nevis’ size is a drawback to his overall value as he does have a hard time consistently anchoring one gap against the run, and it looks like his frame is maxed out in size if he hopes to maintain his overall quickness and athleticism. It will be important for Nevis to be in the right system to be effective, and he won’t be equally valued by all teams. Overall, his athleticism and playing demeanor isn’t matched by many tackles in this class and his size and skills indicate that he may be able to work in as a 4-3 end on some occasions.

VIDEO:

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htpcIDTOOcw[/pro-player]

GiantsGab Thoughts:

Drake Nevis is an extremely explosive, extremely athletic defensive tackle prospect, who has to be shooting up draft boards. Had a great senior season. He is a tremendous pass rusher, can get a good push, and is disruptive. His size, or lack thereof, will prevent him from becoming a solid run stopper. However, the Giants love pass rushers. Nevis, outside of Dareus and Fairley, might be the best in this class, from the inside. He’s probably going to be a late first round pick, on talent. There are a lot of defensive ends and tackles, and Nevis might fall because of the depth and the amount of 3-4 teams that he can’t play for. It’s a possibility he might be available in the 2nd round. I think he would be someone you trade up for. Tremendous potential, tremendous ability. Fits perfectly in this system.

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