When Derek plays with the right techniques, it's a beautiful thing to watch. He has excellent power and is one of the better defensive tackles in this draft at shedding blocks and making a tackle in the hole. He shows quickness in small spaces and has good feet and balance when taking a direct path to the quarterback. When Derek plays as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense, he changes the line of scrimmage on almost every play. He is the best at pushing the pocket on passing plays and waiting for the quarterback to step up into the pocket, shedding his block and making a sack. If he is one-on-one with an offensive lineman, he will dominate his opponent. He gives effort on every play and will make the players around him better.
Derek struggles with using the correct technique on every play. This has nothing to do with work ethic or football intelligence and everything to do with anticipation and understanding his opponent's offensive line blocking schemes. He is still learning the game. When he starts a play off using the wrong technique, he can be buried. He also still struggles with using the correct technique against a double team and hasn't learned how to split them or make himself small or hold both up so others can get the job done. Sometimes he gets frustrated and turns his back to the double teams and pushes with his legs. I think most of the time, he doesn't anticipate the double team coming and the surprise shocks him into reacting instinctively instead of using good technique. It really comes down to learning more at the next level about technique, anticipation and teamwork. Right now, at the snap of the ball, Derek doesn't see the whole front seven and how it all is supposed to work together to complete the play.
Derek is a good football player and very underrated. He is still learning and once he does learn, he is going to be one of the better defensive tackles from this draft. He works better as a DT in a 4-3 defense. He works better with players on either side of him and in close quarters with a direct line to the quarterback. He has good athleticism and his college team uses him as a DE in a 3-4, but his change of direction skills are not the best and he seems to struggle more with gap control against the tackles than he does against guards. He doesn't have the foot speed to rush the passer effectively from a DE position in a 3-4 defense. I'm sure most of it is technique related, but he seems to be a more natural and impacting defensive player in a 4-3 defense. For this reason, Derek might not be rated higher on team boards who use a 4-3 defense than those that use a 3-4 defense. That doesn't mean Derek won't be a very good player, it just means the smart teams will be drafting a starting impacting football defensive lineman who will become a fan favorite and a core player for the team that drafts him in the later rounds. That's called value. This kid is going to be a hell of a player. Mark it down and trust the profile.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart April/12