Shilique Calhoun   DE   Michigan St

Shilique has the size and length NFL teams like to see in their pass rushers. He shows excellent balance and foot speed and has the explosion off the line that will make him very hard to deal with on passing downs. Shilique does a good job against the run playing in a 2-gap defense holding his man up and turning him so that all the runs are forced back inside to the defensive tackles and linebackers to make plays. He is a smart pass rusher using counter moves to free himself up to make sacks and tackles for losses. In fact Shilique might be one of the smartest defensive ends I have seen in a long time in setting up his opponents for those counter moves. Shilique looks on film to be a good teammate working well within the structure of the defense and game plan. Shilique does his job and when his team needs him to step up and make an impact, he does that as well.

Shilique is a fit as a pure defensive end in a 4-3 defense, which may affect where he is rated in this draft. He looks like he has the athleticism to be an OLB/DE in a 3-4 defense, but his ability to set up offensive linemen for his counter moves might not be as impacting and could cut into his ability to put pressure on the quarterback in that style of defense. Shilique will have to learn to shed blocks quicker at the next level and not just turn runners towards his teammates to make tackles.

Some players are just a perfect fit for a certain style of defense and I think Shilique is a perfect fit as a defensive end going up against a left tackle in a 4-3 defense. The intelligent way Shilique plays his position reminds me a lot of the same intelligent way the Buffalo Billsí Bruce Smith played his position in a 3-4 defense. By that I mean they both set up their opponents all game long for pass rushing moves and pass rushing counter moves they will use later in a game to impact at the most important part of the game. Shilique plays the game with different gears, burst and hand usage. He will lull his opponent to sleep letting him think he is handling Shilique and then bam! He will explode with sudden feet and quick hand movements that will overwhelm and make his opponent think he is blocking a ghost. Like I said, this kid is smart and although he might not be the leader type while on the field, he is the type you can build your defense around if you have a smart defensive coordinator. If youíre the offensive lineman who is supposed to be blocking him and all of a sudden you canít find Shilique, all you have to do is look behind you where he will be sacking your quarterback. Shilique plays like a ghost: now you see him, now you donít.

Drew Boylhart  FEB.2016