Chris Long DE Virginia
Chris has good size, speed and quickness for his position. He is a smart player and understands situational football. He uses excellent techniques and leverage in defending against the run and when rushing the passer. He reminds me a lot of Michael Strahan (DE Garden State Giants). He is not as big, but because of his strength and ability to out-smart and use leverage against an opponent, he plays the same style of game. Chris knows how to set up his opponent and impact during a game with a tackle behind the line or a sack at the most important point of a game. Chris is just a hell of a football player and the strength of his game is how well he uses his hands. He has excellent leadership skills and makes the players around him better. He is the type of player you draft and then build your defensive scheme around. I call him Chris (Stone Hands) Long because when he gets his hands on an offensive lineman, he stones him right at the line of scrimmage.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Chris does not have “lights out” speed or quickness that will impress a lot of scouts and coaches when he gets to the combine. Because of this, some teams will think that this kid is limited to working in just one type of defense. Those teams will be making a big, big, big mistake!
TALENT BOARD ROUND 1
Chris could be the first pick in this draft or he could also drop right out of the top ten. He is not as big as Michael Strahan, but he plays the same style of game. Chris could be a strong side DE in a 4-3 and also play a DE in a 3-4 defense. On passing downs, you could use him at a DT or DE position. He is smart and instinctive and does not get fooled very often during a game. You may fool him once, but you will not fool him twice. As I said, Chris uses his hands better than most DE’s when coming out of college and it is his hands that are the secret to him playing and impacting at the next level. This technique will allow Chris to have a long career because when he loses a step later in his career, it will not affect his ability to impact like so many other speed rushers. I would not hesitate to pick Chris as the very first pick in this draft because he will never let you down. He has good overall talent, excellent character, a strong work ethic and will never stop trying to make himself better mentally and physically. Peyton Manning (QB Colts) does not have very good natural athletic skills to play his position. What makes Peyton a HOF player is his character, work ethic and his drive to improve his game mentally and physically every year. Chris (Stone Hands) Long has the potential to be a HOF player and that is the type of player you pick if you have the very first pick in a draft. You don’t downgrade a player like Chris because his athletic talent is not at the most perfect levels; believe me, you will be sorry and most likely lose your job if you do.