Eli Harold   DE   Virginia

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Eli is a freaky strong, mentally tough athlete with excellent physical stamina to play on your defensive line at a very high level. He has those long arms and legs that make it easy to get into the backfield and disrupt. He is excellent at playing his position against the run and when he comes out of a three point stance and gains leverage against his opponent, he has one of the best power pass rushing moves in this draft. Although he is not the same size as former Giants DE Michael Strahan, his overall style of how he plays and his natural freaky strength reminds me a lot of Strahan and I believe he has the same developmental potential. Eli wears you down and, in the fourth quarter, he will use his power moves and take more of a direct line to the quarterback, which is when he is at his best. When I watch him play in spite of his lack of bulk, right now I see a future strong side defensive end in a 4-3 defense as the best fit for him in the future. I like him coming out of a three-point stance against a right tackle because of his power and ability to handle the double team and change the line of scrimmage against the run.

CONCERNS
Eli has trouble changing direction once he gets off the line of scrimmage when using an up field pass rush to get by his opponent. He also struggles with his balance when being used that way also and cannot seem to be able to drop his shoulders and get around his opponent to make a sack. Eli is more of a straight line pass rusher who uses power moves to gain advantage when rushing the passer. Thatís why to me he is not an edge rusher for a 3-4 defense in spite of the fact that he has the size and athletic talent to look like he would be. He has to bulk up and put on more weight and once he does he has the strength already and the power moves to become a very talent and complete defensive lineman.

BOTTOM LINE
Eli is really something to watch. When I put the tape on in any game for the first quarter, you look at him and say to yourself there is no way this kid can play at the next level. Then as each quarter goes by, Eli becomes more impacting and by the time he gets to the 4th quarter he is dominating with strong hands and power moves that require his opponent to double and triple team him. He is still beating them into the backfield, but he is not beating them with fancy speed moves; he is beating them with strong pass rushing moves. If I didnít know better, I would think I was watching a 290 lb player pushing his opponent around wherever he wants to on the field. Itís very strange to watch him play and if you donít watch the whole game you will come away with a whole different impression of this kidís potential. Eli is relentless and never stops coming at his opponent and wears his opponent down, physically and mentally. There is excellent potential in his play to be an impact player, but he is not an edge rusher for a 3-4 defensive scheme. This kid is a natural pass rusher for a 4-3 defense. At least thatís how I see him.

Drew Boylhart
MAR/2015