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NFL Draft Report

 
By Joe Buscaglia
 


DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama


Courtney Upshaw, #41
Alabama
6'2", 265 lbs., 22 years old
Eufaula, AL
52 tackles, 18 TFL, 9.5 sacks (7 in '10, 1 in '09), 2 FF, 1 INT


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PROS
- Tough, physical player that gives you all he has on the field. A big hitter.
- Very, very good at sniffing out the run. Sets the edge well, too, and has the lateral movement to contain. Relentless at getting after the ball carrier
- Smart player. Can sniff out trick plays and misdirections.
- Makes a quarterback pay for holding on to the ball too long. That was the majority of his sacks.
- Has experience playing as a 3-4 OLB and a 7-technique DE.

CONS
- Speed is a major concern. Is he fast enough to get to the quarterback in quick-paced offenses in the NFL? Lacks closing speed.
- Doesn't have explosive moves to get to the QB. Relies on physicality more often than not.
- Does not do well with cut blocks.
- Height is right on the border where teams start to worry if he's going to be an OLB. Combine check-in will be huge for him.

Special Notes:
- Had a sack in 7 of his final 9 collegiate games for the Crimson Tide.
- First-Team All-American
- Finalist for Lombardi and Butkus Awards

Projection: Mid to Late 1st round.
- If you want a smart, physical player that's great against the run, Courtney Upshaw is your man. If you want a player that can really get after the quarterback, there are better options in the draft. He will get sacks in the NFL, but he'll never be elite in that category. A solid starter for many years no matter how you look at it.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR


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Locations : AlabamaDelaware
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