Drew Boylhart   12/08

BJ Raji   DT   Boston College     



BJ is a powerful DT with good overall athletic ability to play his position.  He is quick off the snap and has those long arms that will do him well at the next level.  His best move right now is a bull rush -- and let me tell you -- he is a load to handle.  BJ has excellent talent and could be used in a 3-4 as a nose tackle or at either DT position in a 4-3.  He has the athletic talent to rush the passer and stuff the run.  



First big problem for BJ is that he tends to play to the level of his competition.  He also has not worked on any pass rush moves except to just bull rush his opponents when he feels he wants to.  He has long arms, but doesn't use them to hold and then shed his opponent and stuff the run.  He flashes, but the truth is, he doesn't work very hard on the field unless he decides to.  I think he is smart, but I also think he is lazy.  He is a boom or bust player.  He struggles to change direction, but all players over 350 lbs are going to struggle changing direction, so I don't hold that against him; however, he does not have good feet in general.    



In my opinion, BJ is the poster boy for a player who will play for a contract and then not show up until the last year of that contract.  He has way too much talent not to dominate at the college level.  He should be the talk of the DT's and if you watch him against certain teams, you will see just that -- a dominating DT!  However, if you have film on him against a lesser opponent like I do (Kent State) you will see him on the field, but in most cases, nowhere to be found.   He should have bull rushed and flattened the Kent State offensive line with his breath alone.  The Boston College coaches have used him to drop off the line, but he does not have the feet in the open field or lateral agility to make many open field tackles.  I don't understand why any defensive coach would want BJ to drop off the line at any time during a game, but I guess the BC coaches feel that BJ is useful that way!  My gut instincts tell me that they use him this way because they know that he will take downs off, therefore they might as well use him to drop off the line so they get something out of the kid on every play.  But, that's just me trying to figure why a 350-pound DT would be used in pass coverage or as a spy when that 350-pound DT is not a good tackler in open space!  BJ is a boom or bust player.  I think after he matures, he might become a hell of a DT in the NFL.  The problem is when will he mature and change his work ethic and have pride in his play?  I don't have that answer.