Saturday, 6 February 2010

POTD: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

By Kip Earlywine

Height: 6'4"
Weight: 305 lbs.
Unofficial 40: 5.00


-Ridiculously powerful
-Very good hand use, disengages with extreme ease
-Has a knack for batting down passes
-Incredible 2009 production
-Is often totally unblockable, even by double teams
-Good combination of size/athleticism/effort
-Leader on the field


-Isn't super fast and probably has average quickness.
-Some knee injuries in his past
-Kind of a tweener
-Is stood up easily (plays with high leverage)
-Relies on brute strength to shed blockers more than skill

Sound bites:

"Suh is maybe the most dominating defensive tackle I've seen in 32 years of doing this."
-Mel Kiper jr.

My thoughts:

Suh is a monster who doesn't even seem to be slowed much by opposing offensive linemen. What might be the most unnerving thing about watching him is how he makes every dominating play look so effortless. Its almost as if he glides without resistance into the backfield almost at full speed, even when double teamed. If Suh stays healthy, he'll be at least an above average DT at the NFL level.

There are some worries with Suh. One is that he's a bit of an injury risk. Whoever takes him will have to worry about the chance that he could become the next Glen Dorsey. Another problem is that because he's so strong and dominant, he's never really had to develop pass rush moves and against elite NFL competition, its conceivable that he could be slowed down quite a bit. Finally, Suh is versatile, but that is also kind of a weakness. He's not a prototypical 4-3 pass rusher DT (doesn't have a lot of quickness or pass rush moves- his methods look like that of an elite pass rushing 1 tech). The problem with him being a 1 tech is that his leverage is pretty bad. Its not every day you see a DT dominate with such a high stance and lack of leverage, and in the NFL, he might not be able to continue doing that as well as he had been in college. Suh could play a 5 tech 3-4 DE pretty nicely, but ~$70 million is a lot to pay a 3-4 DE. Suh can play a lot of positions, but isn't really a perfect situation for any of them either.

Still, Brandon Mebane fell to the 3rd round because he was considered a tweener type, and the Seahawks turned him into an elite pass rushing 1 tech. Whoever drafts Suh, I'm sure they'll find a great use for him somewhere. If he stays healthy, he could continue to be a breathtakingly dominant force at the pro level. And unfortunately, he'll probably give Max Unger and the rest of us nightmares for the next 8 years.


Anonymous said...

Exactly. If the mutton heads don't get "Jimmied", then Unger can look forward to getting drop kicked through the goal post of life twice a year.

Anonymous said...

"Still, Brandon Mebane fell to the 3rd round because he was considered a tweener type, and the Seahawks turned him into an elite pass rushing 1 tech."

I love Mebane, but "elite" might be stretching it a bit. He was solid to above average in the last six games of his rookie year playing the 1-Tech.

Rotak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyle Rota said...

Anon - I believe Kip is referring to Mebane's superb 2008 campaign, where he started most if not all of the season playing with a 1-tech, but put up sack numbers that would've been way above average for all but a few 3-tech. It was a great year, and if Seattle had been a better team Mebane would've had a great case for the Pro-Bowl (he did anyways, but people would've cared if Seattle had been winning). We've been strong against the run with Mebane between guard and center as well.

Anonymous said...

Kip can I request a POTD on Anthony Davis, I'm quite interested in that guy and want to hear your opinion.

Kip Earlywine said...

I'll actually get to AD pretty soon. The other day I decided to do the remaining POTD roughly by projected draft order, starting with Suh. So I'll probably cover Davis after McCoy, Morgan, and Berry.

Anonymous said...

Kyle, I realized what Rob was referring to (1tech/2008), but I don't think any player should be referred to as "elite" after a very good 6 game stretch. Mebane started off the season okay for a rookie but nothing special.He did finish the year strong. Beyond statistics, he just flat out looked comfortable and disruptive. In addition, there's the Rocky factor.

Rocky Bernard's last 6 games:
7 of his 11 QB pressures (64%)
5 of his 8 QB hits (63%)
1 of his 4 sacks. (25%)

Mebane's last 6 games:
6 of his 17 QB pressures (35%)
8 of his 13 QB hits (62%)
2 of his 5.5 sacks. (36%)

Both of our tackles stepped up their play down the stretch. As a rookie, Mebane was impressive - not elite.

Kip Earlywine said...

I wrote the article, not Rob.

In 2008, Mebane's 2nd year, he nearly led the team in sacks (led the the team almost all season but lost it at the very end), and had one of the highest QB hits totals in the NFL. In 2008, IMO, Mebane was a top 5 one tech.

The word elite is kind of subjective though. "pro-bowl deserving" is fine with me.