Derrick Morgan came to Tech a highly touted prospect from Coatesville, PA. and leaves as the reigning ACC defensive player of the year & one of our best defensive players ever. Morgan always plays with tremendous effort & desire, a quality hard to find in many players. The NFL seems to think very highly of Morgan also, as he's a sure bet to be a first round pick and many "experts" have him as a top ten selection. Here's my scouting report on Morgan:
- Frame/Size: 6'4", 270 pounds. Very thick base & long arms.
- Agility/Lateral Movement: excellent short area quickness. Pursues the ball relentlessly. Needs to keep a wide base as feet sometimes get tangled & he can go to ground easily.
- Quickness/Explosion: tremendous burst off the snap. On the offensive lineman in a flash, often before they can set their base. Able to dip shoulder around the outside edge. Very good short area quickness.
- Strength: not huge up top but not weak, either. Wide strong base with a thick butt & thighs - this is where he generates his power. Frequently played against double teams & held his own. Low pad level & excellent technique help him play very strong.
- Pass Rush: gets off the ball very quickly. Uses long arms to keep defender away from his body. Very adept at dropping his shoulder & turning the edge. Pad level is excellent. Shows a variety of moves; swim, bull, spin, has a complete arsenal. Tremendous effort player; if he's stopped on his initial push will continue to play until the whistle blows.
- Run Defense: good instincts & recognition. Active at the line. Long arms & good technique allow him to stack & shed blockers. Able to get through trash at the line. Would like to see more size & physicality from Morgan in the run game.
- Tackling: an active & solid tackler. Will make plays behind the line of scrimmage.
- Technique: outstanding technique; low pads, wide base that generates great power, low butt-high hands. Needs to work on punch but hands are generally inside. Superior in this area.
It's hard not to love a player that plays with the motor Morgan does. An effort guy with great technique, he's proven durable & versatile on the college level. I do think that scheme will be important to his success on the next level. Morgan is really a 4-3 left defensive end; his greatest attribute is his ability to rush the passer. He'd be challenged to play DE in a 3-4 (size) & isn't fast enough to play rush LB in that same defense. Landing with a team that plays a 4-3 would really benefit Morgan. We've seen projections of him going as high as number 3 to Tampa Bay & while we'd love for that to happen, it's a stretch. I expect if he's around at #10 the Jacksonville Jaguars will snag #91. Tennessee at #16 is also a possible landing spot & there's no way he lasts beyond the Falcons at #19. In sum, we expect Morgan to be an excellent pro. That player he compares himself to is Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen. Morgan is clearly the better citizen, but on the field we think it's an apt comparison; both guys have great motors & are relentless rushing the passer. We expect that kind of success from Derrick on the NFL level...