Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.
Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Scout: Jon Ledyard
Name: Derrick Nnadi
Position: Defensive Tackle
Date of Birth: 5/9/1996
College: Florida State
High School: Ocean Lakes (VA)
Games Played: 35
Games Started: 24
Team Captain: No
Production: 112 tackes, 8.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries
High School: Consensus 4-star prospect. Played in the Chesapeake Bowl, a Virginia all-star game, and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. First Team All-Beach District and All-Eastern Region honors as a junior. Chose Florida State over offers from Penn State, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Mississippi, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
College: Social Science major. 2015 All-ACC Third Team (Media). 2016 First Team All-ACC (Coaches), Third Team All-ACC (Media).
Strengths: Pad level is excellent, due both to built-in leverage and excellent flexibility to always be the low man. Physical gap-setter, firing hands to opponent’s chest with excellent placement. Good first step and head-snapping power to win first contact. Terrific arm extension to maximize space between himself and the blocker. Eats space and clogs gaps brilliantly, very tough to displace at the point of attack. Good mental processing to read and react to keys. Can run a bull rush deep into the pocket due to powerful leg drive. Plays with great energy and violence.
Weaknesses: Despite ideal arm extension, lack of length can be noticeable. At times struggles to get off blocks cleanly, or work off of bull rushes to finish as a pass rusher. Not a great athlete and may lack the range to make plays behind the line of scrimmage with regularity. Better moving north-south than laterally. Change of direction is methodical, tight in the hips. Tackle radius is limited. Lacks a deep array of pass rush moves and does not always exhibit a clear plan of attack.
Summary: Nnadi has been Florida State’s starting nose tackle for the past two years, and few defensive linemen in college football do what they’re asked to do as well as Nnadi. He’s a ferocious competitor at the point of attack, snapping opponents’ heads back with thunderous punches that are well-timed and placed. Nnadi checks in at just over 6-feet tall, but the built-in leverage allows him to consistently win the low man battle and hold his gap.
He’s extremely difficult to move due to his fire hydrant build, but Nnadi is more of a space eater and gap clogger than he is a penetrating force as a defensive linemen. He won’t make a ton of plays in space or moving laterally behind the line of scrimmage, but he makes up for his lack of range by consistently playing assignment sound football and refusing to be moved off his spot, even by double teams.
Nnadi is a bully in the run game, but fails to really stand out as a pass rusher. It’s not his fault as much as it is a reflection of his athletic limitations. The Florida State senior works his tail off with a relentless motor and a powerful bull rush, but he lacks variety as a pass rusher and may not have the movement skills to ever be very successful, even with a diverse attack plan. He’ll push the pocket and get effort sacks however, and I certainly wouldn’t consider him a complete non-factor as a pass rusher. Nnadi is a tough, aggressive grinder in the trenches that every team would love as a part of their run defense, and while he may not play a full workload of snaps at the NFL level, he has starting ability on early downs in base personnel.
Predicted Value Range: Round 2-3