The NFL Season has come and gone as has the Combine and it is officially NFL Draft season. Over the next two or so months, we will attempt to provide and publish about 100 unique scouting reports on potential NFL Draft picks. The aim of these scouting reports is to provide a detailed breakdown of each player based off of extensive film study. You can check out our Scouting Reports Page to see all of the reports we have published. Today we will take a look at Oregon’s talented defensive linemen, Arik Armstead. Armstead has the ability to play all over the defensive line and is very strong and powerful, but must learn to play with more consistent technique in order to succeed in the NFL.
Name: Arik Armstead
Position: 3-4 Defensive End, 4-3 Defensive End, Defensive Tackle
Weight: 290 Pounds
College: University of Oregon
2015 Stats: 46 Tackles, 2.5 Sacks, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 6 QB Hurries, 1 Forced Fumble
Pros: Armstead has a phenomenal frame and a ton of room to add additional strength. He has very long arms and great functional strength already. Uses his hands well to shed blockers. Can use his height advantage to bat down footballs as well as locate the ball. Is very quick and light on his feet. Has the ability to drop into coverage and has good balance and coordination. Has an impressive spin move and shows good closing burst. He is raw with tremendous upside.
Cons: Is not an explosive athlete and tends to stand upright on the snap. Does not play up to his physical gifts due to inconsistent technique. Doesn’t have elite speed to chase down ball carriers and still learning to play the game. Has to develop other pass rushing moves besides a bull rush and a spin move.
Our Take: Armstead is a physically impressive prospect who has a ton of potential, however, he is not yet ready to contribute at a high level. He is going to need to put the work in to master technique and learn how to stay low off the snap. If he can do that, he can become a very good prospect as he has great natural talent. I believe his best fit is as a 3-4 defensive end, where he can primarily be used to eat up blockers and allow the linebackers to make plays. This will negate his inability to rush the passer as he will not be asked to do that. His long arms and great recognition will allow him to deflect a lot of passes as well.
Final Grade: 91 Out of 100
I am not as high an Armstead as many other scouts are but I still believe he is a solid late first round prospect due to his upside and positional versatility. He will not play a ton as a rookie but once he puts it all together, he could become a dominant lineman at a variety of different positions.
Possible Draft Spots: I have seen Armstead mocked all over the first round, going as high as 13th overall to the Saints in some mock drafts. While I believe that is too high for him, I feel like there are many teams picking in the 20s who could use a player like him, starting with the Eagles at 20. Following the Eagles, I believe teams like the Bengals at 21, Steelers at 22, Lions at 23, Cardinals at 24, Ravens at 26, Cowboys at 27, Colts at 29, and Packers at 30 will give a long look at Armstead.