Derek looks on film like he fits a particular defensive system to be able to
impact at the next level. He has very good straight line speed. Derek shows
solid techniques and effort on every play. He looks on film to be a good
teammate and at times shows good instincts and anticipation to make impact
plays. He is a disruptive force on most passing downs and does a solid job
defending against the run. When Derek occasional, plays inside he shows
excellent strength and quickness into the backfield and does a very good job
splitting double teams. Derek shows enough talent to play as an Edge Rusher in a
3/4 defense and also shows enough talent to play at one or more defensive line
positions in a 4/3 defense. The big question is, for the next level, what is the
best position and style of defense Derek can play in for him to impact?
The “what position” question is based off Derek’s lack of change of direction
skills and lateral agility. He seems to be a straight line player who doesn’t
have the size to play inside. The very few times I saw him play inside and go
directly at the quarterback I liked what I saw. But as an edge rusher he’s
disruptive but struggles to finish plays. If he wants to stay on the outside he
has to learn more power rush moves, how to set up offensive tackles and when to
impact in a game to get the most out of his talents.
What I see on film for the next level is a developmental player who could become
a core player in the NFL very much like Patriots Rob Ninkovich. Derek has a lot
of work to do and has to be in the right system with the right coaches but I
think the potential is there if Derek’s is ready to work harder mentally and
physically than he ever has. He can become a player who is smart and a leader
and a player that if you make a mistake when blocking him makes an impact play.
Just like Rob Ninkovich who was selected in the 5th round of the 2006 draft by
the New Orleans Saints. The Saints cut Rob and then he was signed by the
Dolphins who proceeded to cut him. Than Rob got picked back up by the Saints and
was cut again. In 2009 Rob was signed by the Patriots and became a starting
impact player on Super Bowl team. See how hard work and being in the right
system with the right coaches can work?