However, possesses natural anchor strength inside one-on-one and is a tough guy to move off the football. Is a bit inconsistent when asked to shed blocks when engaged and isn't real compact with his hands to shed, but can be violent trying to fight his way off linemen in the run game with an elongated club, but needs to be more compact when trying to shed. Is at his best off the snap, reading his run keys and using his length and lateral quickness to simply side step the blocker outside, break down and wrap.
Does a much better job keeping himself clean than disengaging through contact. But at times gets hung up easily inside because of his high pad level, can still anchor one-on-one, but doesn't have the base to quickly shed and make plays on the football. Does an above-average job finding the football inside and putting himself in position to make plays on the football. Isn't the most consistent of tacklers and could do a better job wrapping on his man inside.
Possesses a good first step off the football inside as a pass rusher and has the ability to keep his pad level down when trying to shoot gaps and has the initial burst to consistently cross the face and knife his way into the backfield. However, is a bit linear as a pass rusher, does a decent job using his hands — the chop — and lateral ability to redirect and fight his way back toward the football through contact. But isn't real explosive laterally or sudden and isn't cleanly able to fight off the block.
Gains a step initially, but doesn't have the initial gear to consistently close on the ball and gets hung up too easily when engaged. Possesses some natural bull rush ability, can get under the pad level of opposing blockers off the snap, gain leverage and push the pocket one-on-one. Does a solid job finding off the block and closing on his man.
Lost a significant amount of weight coming into the year in order to improve his stamina and quickness inside, but it's something that needs to be monitored.
Impression: A strong anchor player who has the suddenness and length to slip blocks inside. Doesn't look real natural disengaging through contact in the run or pass game, but has a nice skill set with some upside to his game."
As a true freshman Liuget started two of the 11 games in which he played, making 26 tackles, five for loss and 1.5 sacks. He received only four starting nods in 2009, but still managed eight tackles for loss (of 36 stops), 2.5 sacks and three pass break-ups. His performance in the 2010 Texas Bowl win was certainly impressive (5 tackles, 2.5 TFL, sack), but he already been named second-team All-Big 10 for his play during the regular season. He finished with 63 tackles, 12.5, 4.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries on the year.
The Miami native's versatility may be what puts him among the top defensive tackle prospects in this class. His ability to get consistent pass rush from the three-technique and nose spots will excite teams using four-man fronts. His experience at the five-technique and nose tackle positions his season should intrigue 3-4 teams, as well.
Pass Rush: Tough for many college interior linemen to handle one-on-one in pass protection. Quick enough to beat lesser linemen off the snap at three-tech, uses his hands to free himself from block when there is enough space to do so. Gets his man on skates or pushes through a block (or double) to the quarterback to get pressure. Also strong and quick enough to play on the nose in obvious passing situations. Recovers from strong punch to run through a gap immediately. Does not have elite closing speed, but his hustle and ability to stay low make him difficult to escape within or outside the pocket.
Run Defense: Stout defender who plays with a strong base. Penetrates into the backfield with quickness. Lines up at three and five-technique spots. Capable of stack-shed inside or outside. Gets past reach blocks on inside runs with quick feet and strength to keep blocker on his shoulder. Usually keeps his head up to find the ball. Lacks acceleration to keep outside containment as a five-technique. Not consistent defeating cut blocks with his hands.
Explosion: Not elite in his first step, but has enough to be a pass rush and penetrating run-stopper inside. Ballcarriers feel every bit of his strength when he tackles them, and blockers are bruised up with his punching and swiping throughout the game.
Strength: His ability to play multiple positions not only comes from his quick feet, but also his strength. Lands a big punch into the chest of his man, swipes with aggression to move the blocker aside. Uses his low center of gravity to his advantage, getting leverage to stack one-on-one and shed to either direction when playing two-gap at nose tackle. Senses zone block, uses blocker's inertia against him with a strong push to get into the backfield. Usually anchors well against single and double blocks, but can get moved by NFL-caliber linemen.
Tackling: Strong upper body, hustle, and good length make him an excellent tackler. Engulfs running backs in the backfield when able to penetrate. Built low to the ground, displays excellent change of direction ability to stay in front of backs cutting against the grain. Hustles 10-15 yards downfield to make or help on tackles. Adds himself to piles when able. Lacks elite closing speed to chase down backs from behind. Tends to run out of steam when playing a lot at the end of games.
Intangibles: Coaches say Liuget is a leader in the locker and meetings rooms. Chose Illinois over southern schools because of head coach Ron Zook. Wished to transfer after two years in Champaign due to home sickness; mother said he would not be welcome home if he transferred."
Pursuit: I was really impressed by Liuget's motor which routinely had him playing to the whistle. Equally as impressive was his ability to close on the football. When Liuget identified the ball carrier he was able to use a quick burst to make a play. The fact that Liuget plays with good leverage and balance allows him to purse plays down the line of scrimmage. He possesses good lateral quickness that allows him to reach the sidelines and support on outside runs.
Quickness: Liuget has an excellent first step which permits him to quickly get up field and penetrate the pocket. That first steps off the ball leads to an explosive punch on the offensive line knocking them off balance and giving Liuget leverage. He also possesses a good short yardage burst that allows him to close on the football.
Run Defense: One of Liuget's biggest strengths is his ability to quickly locate the football. As a run defender you need to be able to quickly identify the ball carrier and work your way towards him. Liuget possesses both the awareness and skills to be an effective run defender. His first step and leverage allow him to take control of the offensive line and drive them towards the football. He uses his quick and heavy hands to disengage from the blocker and then his closing burst to make the play.
Strength: Liuget's strength comes from his leverage and thick base. He holds strong at the point of attack and uses his leverage to quickly disengage from the blocker. Liuget does a good job remaining balanced through contact rarely getting knocked off the line of scrimmage. He is a possesses a natural bend to anchor after contact.
Tackling: When I watch Liuget play I notice a controlled nasty streak. That nasty streak is noticeable when he delivers a strong pop to the ball carrier.
Technique: Luiget fires off the football keeping his pad level low while gaining leverage. His ability to keep good leverage and balance keeps him in position to make a play. He consistently gets inside hand placement and locks out the blocker. While making his way to the football he takes balanced steps which keep him on his feet and in good position. Overall he is a technically sound football player.
Games Viewed: Ohio State, Missouri, Michigan, Penn State
Final word: Liuget is growing on me and continues to rise up my draft board. He plays with such great leverage and technique that he is rarely out of position. He combines that good technique with excellent quickness and a non- stop motor. He has the versatility to play in either a 1 or 2 gap system which will appeal to may different teams. I look at him as a solid mid- 1st round selection."
Liuget's draft stock is on the rise.
The Hialeah Senior High School product was a highly touted four star recruit coming out of Florida. He had numerous offers from teams including Miami (Fl.), LSU, and even Florida State. Liuget played everywhere in high school, seemingly. He was always an athletic player as he played wide receiver, quarterback, defensive end, linebacker, and defensive tackle. Liuget even wrestled in high school, which is why his move to the interior line on defense seemed almost simple.
Liuget has experienced some weight problems, sometimes struggling to play 30 snaps in a game, and not being a full time starter. Despite his athleticism, he didn’t always seem to be as mobile or in shape as he could have been. However, prior to the 2010 season, Liuget dropped 30 pounds, and nearly doubled his snap average per game. He went from being a middle tier Big Ten defensive lineman, to one of the most dominant, yet under-rated.
Liuget is an excellent penetrating defensive tackle. He uses his strength and quick feet against guards, holding the point of attack with ease. Liuget gets a strong base, and does an excellent job getting leverage, and staying low when getting off of the snap. Liuget bullies the opposition with his strength, and throws offensive lineman off, so that he can make the play on the ball carrier. His athleticism makes him a versatile commodity as he’ll be able to make the transition to the five technique in a 3-4 defense if need be. He plays with a high motor, and gets a good punch off the snap.
The weight loss helped Liuget immensely in 2010. However, he still sometimes seems to lose steam in late in football games. He needs to work on his agility, and ability to move down the line with ease. Sometimes he gets caught up in traffic, often trying to run around a player, taking him out of position to make a play. When he’s lined up as a defensive end, he’s been prone to getting sucked in and not keeping contain properly. The weight issues are still somewhat of a concern if he can’t keep the weight down, and stay conditioned.
In a draft that’s filled with defensive line talent, it will be interesting to see where Corey Liuget falls in the 2011 NFL Draft. As of now, he’s looking to be a solid first round pick, and the second best defensive tackle in the draft. While he may not be as highly coveted as Nick Fairley, Marcell Dareus, or Da’Quan Bowers, it’s not hard to believe that Liuget could be selected in the Top 15.
I’d look for a team like Houston to take a hard look at him with the 11th pick overall, and Minnesota could look at him to groom behind the mammoths they have at defensive tackle. St. Louis, Miami, Jacksonville and New England would be ideal options, with the Miami and New England grabbing him as a five technique defensive end. Jacksonville could play him as an under tackle next to the dominant Terrence Knighton as well.
NFL Comparison: Sedrick Ellis"
Positive: Athletic interior lineman who plays with aggressiveness. Plays with good pad level, flows well laterally to the action, and has a closing burst to the ball carrier. Keeps his feet driving up the field, flashes power, and works his hands throughout the action. Uses his hands well to protect himself and rarely off his feet. Gets off the ball with a solid first step then quickly penetrates behind the line of scrimmage.
Negative: Struggles getting off blocks once engaged at the point of attack. Does not always play with a great sense of urgency. Lacks classic defensive tackle size.
Analysis: Liuget comes off a career season as a junior and decided to enter the draft early. He has size limitations yet his movement skills and quickness would could make him a three-technique lineman in a four-man front. He offers a nice amount of upside and Liuget's best football lay ahead of him."
Negatives: Doesn't have much of an arsenal... Average closing speed... Needs to improve maintaining containment as five-technique... Conditioning issues, wears down late in games, had some weight issues early in his career...
Strengths: Liuget has good size to play a number of positions. He's an ideal UT in a 4-3 alignment, but could also handle the DE (or NT on passing downs) in a 3-4. He's stout at the point of attack with a good anchor. He has violent hands and sheds blocks well to make the play. Excellent lower-body strength helps him bullrush on passing downs. He's nearly impossible to hold off on 1-on-1 situations. Gets good penetration and can split the double-team with his quickness. Liuget plays with good pad level and stays low, maintaining leverage. He's a high-energy player who hustles and will pursue to make plays from behind.
Weaknesses: Struggled with weight issues prior to junior season and it affected his conditioning, leading to limited playing time. Dropped 30 pounds prior to 2010 season and condition improved, although he played much of the season below 300 pounds. He'll need to increase his muscle mass and conditioning for the next level. Needs a bit more upper-body strength and has to develop a better arsenal of pass rush moves. Has a decent club move, but doesn't use it often enough. Relies too heavily on his athleticism at the collegiate level. Can get caught-up in the trash when trying to pursue. When playing on the edge, he too frequently loses contain.
Projection: Liuget needs to have a strong showing at the Combine, but it's not inconceivable to think he could be the third DT selected behind Fairley and Dareus. Right now is a very poor man's Warren Sapp, but with some NFL coaching and strength/conditioning, could become a Pro Bowl UT before long. He grades out as a mid- to late-first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft."
While he lacks pass-rushing moves, he gets after the play so hard that he is difficult to block, especially in one-on-one. Liuget could play as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 or an end in a 3-4. He will need to work on small technique issues, such as staying on assignment and keeping contain on certain plays.
Liuget is likely a top five amongst the defensive tackles of this 2011 class. With a strong combine performance, he could even be top three due to his athleticism, versatility and prototypical size.
Liuget projects as a second round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft."
Corey Liuget is very similar to Marcell Dareus, except without all the hype: He's extremely versatile, and could indeed play on either a 30 or a 40. And, like Dareus, he seems to me to have the best shot at success as an Under Tackle in a 40.
I'm not crazy about the kid. His resume is wafer thin, and he's raw as hell, and he had serious conditioning problems until this, his Contract Year. And yet he's become a clear 1st Round projection in a dubious Draft Class.
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