Derrick has strong overall athletic talent to play his position. He shows solid quickness and burst off the line and understands his responsibilities within the concept of the overall defensive scheme. He looks to be a good teammate and does a nice job when defending against the run at the point of attack. Derrick does show some solid pass rush moves; he's adept at using his hands to keep offensive linemen off him so that he is in a position to shed a block and make a tackle. Derrick should be a solid defensive end at the next level with room to improve his overall abilities to become a core player for the team that drafts him .
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Derrick, at the college level, plays his position like a player who is much bigger and stronger than he is. This will cause him problems at the NFL level because he is not big enough or strong enough to play that style of game. He will get bigger and he should get stronger, but I just don't see him being able to do what Reggie White was able to do and that is his style of play right now. He is never going to be the type of player who is going to overpower a right tackle and is not quick enough or fast enough to be an impact pass rusher without using strength and power to accomplish this.
Unless Derrick has some LB skills that he can show in his workouts to play as a OLB/DE in a 3-4 defense, I feel he will struggle to impact at the next level playing the defensive end position in a 4-3 defense for the team that drafts him. Don't get me wrong...he can play in a rotation system like the Giants use and be pretty good, but that doesn't make him a 1st round draft pick in this draft. Right now, people are suggesting that Derrick is an impact 1st round draft pick and I just disagree with that. I do agree that Derrick can become a good player; in fact, in my opinion, Derrick is the type of player the New England Patriots look at and draft because he is a bit of a tweener. In the right defense, Derrick could become a player who is similar to Mike Vrabel (LB/DE Chiefs). If you remember, Mike was drafted in the 3rd Round of the 1997 draft and then cut before he was picked up by the New England Patriots and became a core player. Derrick is smart, knows his assignments and does have solid athletic skills. I think the answer for him is to slim down a little bit to gain some quickness and he should become a solid player.
Drew Boylhart 1/10