Drake Nevis NFL Draft Scouting Report

Drake Nevis

6'2, 285 pounds | Defensive tackle | LSU

Pass Rush: Nevis's pass rush ability is going to rely heavily on his capability to read the football.  His ability to get off the ball quickly and penetrate is what makes him a dangerous player.  His snap recognition combined with this quick first step make it difficult for offensive linemen to keep him out of the backfield.  Nevis struggles to get good hand placement which limits his push on a bull rush.

Pursuit/Lateral movement and agility: Locating the football is an area where Nevis excels.  He is able to identify the ball carrier and get lateral to make a play on the football.  While he doesn't have elite quickness his motor and effort make up for the deficient areas in his game.  Nevis also is able to purse the football due to his good balance.  He is able to keep his feet underneath him and avoid ending up on the ground.  This balance allows him to remain on his feet and purse the football.

Quickness/Explosion: Among the defensive tackles in this draft class, Nevis has arguably the quickest first step of the group.  He explodes off the football and delivers a violent blow to the offensive line.  His excellent snap recognition and quick first step are a deadly combination and allow Nevis to penetrate the pocket.

Run defend/Recognition: Nevis can be caught shooting the gap to often which will take him out of a play from time to time.  However, Nevis has a good feel for where the ball carrier is located and he is always working towards that target.  Where Nevis struggles is getting his hands inside and controlling the offensive linemen.  His lack of hand placement allows the blocker to get into his body and control him.

Size/Length/Hand size: Size is going to be a question mark for Nevis as the draft approaches.  At 6'2 285 he lacks the proper length to effectively lock out a blocker and his lack of bulk might lead to him getting pushed around.  However, Nevis has a thick lower half which helps him anchor and hold strong at the point of attack.

Strength/Ability to shed blocks: I talked about Nevis's struggles with getting proper hand placement and this impacts his ability to shed blocks.  He allows the blocker to get into his body and take control limiting his ability to disengage.  However, he does possess heavy hands and a great effort which makes me believe that with some technique adjustments he could improve.

Tackling: Nevis is a devastating tackler that delivers a good pop.  He does a good job breaking down and making a sound tackle in the open field.

Technique/Hand use/Leverage: Nevis fires off the football keeping his pad level low and maximizing his leverage.  He uses a good swim and rip move to penetrate the pocket and get to the ball carrier.  He does a good job remaining balanced and on his feet while working his way through contact.  Nevis sits into his stance and anchors well at the point of attack.  He struggles to get inside hand placement which makes it tough for Nevis to disengage. 

Versatility: From what I saw watching Nevis play, I feel that he would be a perfect fit as a 3 technique in a 4-3 defense.  His deadly first step and ability to penetrate the pocket will give offensive coordinators nightmares.  Nevis will struggle at the other positions along the defensive line.  His inability to disengage effectively makes him an unlikely candidate for the nose tackle or 5 technique positions.

Games Views: Alabama, Auburn, and Texas A&M

Final Word: Nevis is a nasty defensive tackle that loves to get after the ball carrier.  His quick first step is among the best in this draft class and makes him a great fit at the 3 technique position.  When I watch him play he gives me a Tommie Harris vibe in the way he gets into the backfield.  Ultimately, Nevis may find himself sliding in the draft due to the limits of what position he can play.  However, the 2nd round is as far as he will fall and whoever selects him will get a guy capable of contributing right away.

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