DJ Reader   DL   Clemson

DJ is one of the better two down, run stuffing defensive tackles in this draft. He has very good overall athletic talent with solid lateral agility. When playing on the nose, he has solid 2-gap ability to go down the line laterally without the line of scrimmage changing in favor of his opponent. DJ has excellent size and overall strength and handles double teams as well as most NFL defensive tackles and nose tackles. He shows good effort on every play along with the foot speed to chase down players and scare the living crap out of them all over the field. DJ has good enough feet to be used for stunts, but he is best when he uses good techniques and stays square to the line of scrimmage, stuffing the run. DJ is a natural nose tackle defensive lineman.

DJ has to become more consistent using his techniques and holding gap control. When he does that he has the potential to be as good as Vince Wilfork. DJ is a big kid and his physical stamina will depend on how a team uses him in their defense. Use him too much and for too many downs and DJ will struggle to be effective.

The teams that use a 3-4 defense with a big run stuffing nose tackle should rate DJ higher than those teams that use a 4-3 defense. Although DJ can play and has played in a 4-3 defense and he does a nice job pushing the pocket and stuffing the run in that style of defense, his potential to impact as a nose tackle I think is better. As long as DJ uses the correct techniques and stays square to the line of scrimmage, there are not many defensive linemen in this draft that are more effective, but DJ is inconsistent which is why he struggles to make tackles in the hole consistently against the run. All I can say is that DJ has excellent potential but, that word “potential” can sometimes be a frustrating a word. It can be as frustrating as the word “inconsistent” when used to describe a player’s play on the field. DJ has to have the work ethic to overcome both words and if he does (like I stated before) he could be as good as Vince Wolfork was for the New England Patriots.

Drew Boylhart  APR.2016