This is an exciting draft class of players on the defensive line. From the burst and penetration of Neville Gallimore to the power and dominance of Derrick Brown, there is undoubtedly a lot of talent at the top of this group. However, one of the best players in this draft isn’t getting nearly enough buzz from this position and that is TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. Here’s how I see him.
- Powerful. Play to ever bit of his 6’3, 330 lbs size.
- Uses his hands very well. Keep linemen out of his chest.
- Can rush the passer with a variety of moves.
- Uses leverage to his advantage.
- Aware of where the ball is and can get off blocks to make tackles.
- Can take on double teams and let linebackers flow.
- Not an explosive athlete and lacks the penetration ability to make plays in the backfield consistently.
- Lacks closing speed to stretch out plays as a 5 tech or get to the quarterback in space.
- Missed all of 2018 with an Achilles injury.
- Might be limited to playing from guard to guard and may not fit as a 3-4 DE.
Blacklock is powerful and polished. He can dominate the A and B gaps, both as a run defender and as a guy who can break the pocket with interior pressure. He isn’t a flashy pass rusher like a Gerald McCoy type, but he can be disruptive in other ways. I see him as a plug and play starter who can make a difference from day one.
His best fit is a 4-3 defense playing as a 1 tech or 3 tech. To me he is a top 20 player, but because he lacks the explosive playmaking ability that others do I wouldn’t be shocked to see him fall to the second round.
Player Comparison – Linval Joseph