Drew Boylhart   4/09

Terrance Knighton   DT   Temple         



Terrence is a  big, strong, athletic DT who has not yet touched the surface of his talent.  He does a good job using his hands and is athletic enough to change direction and run players down from behind at the college level. He shows solid overall DT skills with the potential to be an excellent 2- gap run stuffing defensive lineman or a nose tackle for the team that drafts him.   



This past year, Terrence played in a 1-gap defensive system that was not a good fit for his size.  When he shoots the gap (because of his size), it is easy to turn him and push him away from the play.  Terrence also needs to get a lot stronger, learn better leverage and to shed his block and fill a hole.  This kid has the athletic potential to be an impact DT when he learns all of these skills.   



Teams that run a 3-4 defense should look hard at this kid and maybe draft him as high as the second round.  He will take some time to develop, but the potential, size and athletic ability is too valuable to wait until the fourth or fifth round to draft him (in my opinion).  This is the type of kid that could make your 3-4 defense successful.  Terrence has the same athletic talent and potential as Haloti Ngata (DT Ravens), but is not as developed in his play as Haloti when he came out.  Terrence has not played in a system that best shows off his ability to dominate and that, along with his immature DT skills, will make him drop in this draft.  I rate him high because I am always looking for potential 2- gap DT's.  When I see one, I always seem to rate them higher than most.  The reason for this is I believe you build from the O-lines and D-lines first.  This kid will be excellent DT in any style of defense, but his strength will be in stopping the run in a 2 gap system or clogging the middle as a nose tackle and letting others make the plays.  The kid already has the right attitude and understanding for his job.  With DT 's coming out of college, the right attitude for the position is half the battle.  In the pros, DT's do not get half the credit for doing their job as they do at the college level.  When you find one that understands that and has the athletic talent as well, you are smart to draft him before anyone else can.  At least I would!