If you study Doug Whaley’s drafts, you will realize that he really trusts his ACC scout. He has drafted 12 players from the ACC since since 2013. The conference has injected the NFL with some tremendous talent the last few years. It is also no secret that Rex Ryan has seen his share of ACC games, since his son Seth attends Clemson University.
I am sure that Rex has fallen in love with many Clemson players. Dabo Swinney has recruited some amazing athletes and put them in positions to succeed. One of the most unheralded players for the Tigers has been defensive tackle DJ Reader. The 6’3″, 330 pound nose tackle is exactly what the Bills need. Usually when I watch film on prospects I like to watch at least four games, with Reader after two games I knew who he was.
Reader played limited snaps in 2015, he only played in 26% of the defensive snaps. He took a hiatus for the first six games of the season, so that is definitely a red flag. His father had passed the year before and it sounds like he had to take some time away from the game to get his head on straight. Figuring out if that will creep up again will definitely need to be looked into, but on the field he was a monster.
In the 9 games that he did play he was a difference maker. The Tigers defensive line talent was probably the best in the nation. They compiled 48 sacks, and on a lot of those sacks Reader was being double teamed.
Here two offensive lineman have to account for Reader, which allowed the edge rushers to hunt.
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His numbers won’t wow you, he finished with 15 solo tackles, .5 sacks, 4 QB pressures and 16 run disruptions. Yeah, about those run disruptions, that is his forte!! Take a look at a few of his run stops in games versus the Sooners and the Tide.
He has very good lateral agility for a big guy. Look at him work down the line of scrimmage.
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Takes on the double team and doesn’t lose ground. He does his job so others can clean up. That’s the kind of player he is. Makes sense why he was voted as a Captain.
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He is just too powerful for most centers and guards.
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Power, he bench pressed 225 pounds 30 times. Squatty frame, low center of gravity and you have your prototypical nose tackle.
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Powerful, active hands. Sheds the guard and makes the tackle.
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If the offense decides to pass they have to double him or he can overpower lineman to the QB.
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Not the quickest defensive lineman, but he was here. Not too bad for a 330 pound man.
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Here Clemson executes a run stunt. Reader jams the center into the guard causing the run disruption.
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I know he missed some time in 2015, but I honestly believe that is behind him. He ended the season much stronger than he started it. The last three games were versus ranked opponents #8 North Carolina, #4 Oklahoma and #2 Alabama, Reader put up 9 tackles, 2 pressures and 11 run disruptions!! He is a guy that can control multiple gaps and occupy blockers to keep second level defenders free. If the Bills want to unleash Marcel Dareus, they need to draft this guy late on day 2 or even day 3. There aren’t many guys in this draft that can play the nose tackle position in the 3-4. He is one of the few and the Bills should do whatever they can to draft him. He’s a late round pick, but his value will be so much more to the defense.
Other draft breakdowns:
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