Louis Leonard   DT   Fresno St

 

STRENGTHS 

Louis is one of the biggest DTís in this draft.  He is a two-down, run-stuffing DT that every team needs to stop the run in the NFL.  He does an excellent job of locking on to the man (or men) in front of him and controlling him so that the LBís can come up and make a play.  Louis has good feet; he does a solid job keeping his gap responsibilities while going down the line on sweeps and cut back plays. He understands his job and responsibilities and has no problems with doing the dirty work that is required of a DT in run defense.  Louis is quick enough and strong enough to give you the push you need off the line to flush a QB out of the pocket on passing downs.  He is a complete DT, but his strength for the next level will be in stuffing the run.   

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

It would be nice to see him jump higher, run faster and be able to leap small buildings in a single bound Ė but itís just not going to happen.  He will be an excellent, taken for granted, run stuffing DT that plays better than he looks.    

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 3

Do you want to know why the Seattle Seahawks and their defense failed to make the Super Bowl this year?  The downfall started when Marcus (Moby) Tubbs was injured.  Year after year, we go through this in the draft.  Run-stuffing DTís are taken for granted and rated low, but at the same time, everyone agrees you need a kid like this to stop the run to get to the big game.  I know that Louis does not look very athletic.  But thatís not the point.  The point is, he can play!  Iím telling you that not only can he play, but he also will help a team right away.  I rate players like Louis -- who can stop the run -- as important to a teamís success the same way most people rate having good special teams unit.  To me, a run-stuffing DT is like a special teams player and if you do not have a good one, then like a team with bad special teams, your team will fail.  Itís just that simple.  I always rate these guys higher than they are picked in the draft.  But the funny thing about that is that players like Louis always seem to live up to where I rate them after it is all said and done.  Maybe itís me that has to learn that players like Louis should be taken for granted.  No - I donít think thatís going to happen because as long as the success rate of a defense is directly related to how well a defense can stop the run Ė I will continue to try to make everyone understand that players like Louis are worth their weight in gold and thatís a whole lot of gold in Louisí case!   Look for Louis to be picked some time on the second day of the draft and then look right in the middle of your defensive line when a running play against your team has been stopped at the line of scrimmage.  I guarantee you Louis will be in the middle of the pile doing his job and letting someone else get the credit for the tackle.

Drew Boylhart

February/2007