Is a bit slow to extend his arms into contact and consistently ends up with his hands outside the frame of blockers, allowing them to dictate to him on contact. However, displays impressive lateral quickness and body control on his counter back inside. Exhibits a clean inside arm over move and loves to take opposing linemen up the field and quickly break off a compact spin move toward the QB. Works hard in pursuit, fights to slip blocks and does a nice job breaking down on ball carriers once he puts himself in position to make plays.
Isn’t a factor vs. the run game. Is easily engulfed on contact, struggles to anchor and shed blocks and can routinely be handled by the tight end. Also is stiff and limited in coverage, doesn’t have the fluidity to turn and run and has only one gear to his game.
Impression: He’s really undersized, but there is some pass rush ability there. Could get some looks as a nickel rusher or 3-4 OLB, but needs to continue to add bulk and more strength to his frame to have a legitimate chance of making a roster."
Negatives: Not particularly fast for the linebacker position (4.7-40), lack of speed could explain why Rowe lined up primarily at defensive end at Oregon... Does not appear to have much pass coverage ability, lacks the speed and experience to defend intermediate or deep routes, is a liability in man coverage... Does not possess an explosive first step when playing at the line, not very powerful at the point of attack... Needs to do a better job of breaking down when tackling in space, plays much too high and will miss against shiftier ball carriers... Takes poor angles when in the backfield, misses out on a lot of sack opportunities by not breaking down and changing directions quickly enough... Is too small to play defensive end at the next level, but lacks speed and athleticism to be a full-time linebacker, may end up being a situational pass rusher in the NFL."
2010 — (updated Nov. 12) Leads the Pac-10, tied for fourth in the NCAA with four forced fumbles • Recorded a sack for the fifth straight game to go with a pass breakup and three tackles in win vs. Washington • Forced two fumbles, 2.0 TFLs, including a sack among his four overall stops in win at USC • 3.5 TFLs, forced a fumble and had one sack while matching season-high with six tackles in win vs. UCLA • Four tackles, 1.5 TFLs and a sack in win at Washington State • Had the game’s only sack among five tackles in win vs. Stanford • Six tackles, 1.5 TFLs and a pass breakup in win at Arizona State • Three tackles, including two solo stops in limited action during win vs. Portland State • Credited with his first sack of the season among 1.5 TFLs, had one pass breakup and one hurry in win at Tennessee • Forced a fumble, made two tackles vs. New Mexico • On the watch lists for the Ted Hendricks Award (top defensive end), Chuck Bednarik Award (top defensive player), Lott Trophy (defensive IMPACT player), Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman or linebacker) and Bronco Nagurski Trophy (nation’s top defensive player) • Preseason All-Pac-10 second team selection by Phil Steele Publications • Ranked No. 83 in Rivals.com Top 100 Players Countdown.
2009 — The honorable mention All-Pac-10 choice led the conference (tied for 9th nationally) with 11.5 quarterback sacks as well as a team-high 15.0 tackles for loss (T-3rd in Pac-10) • Oregon’s second-leading tackler among down linemen posted 43 tackles, equalling a career high with seven tackles in the postseason vs. Ohio State • Equalled a Rose Bowl record with a trio of quarterback sacks against the Buckeyes en route to the contest’s defensive MVP award • Also recorded seven tackles at UCLA while adding six stops at Boise State and vs. Arizona State • Included were two QB sacks vs. the Broncos, the Bruins and California, as well as 1.5 takedowns against Oregon State • Forced fumbles against Utah, the Golden Bears and UCLA (tying for 8th in the Pac-10), in addition to breaking up passes against Cal and UCLA • Returned a fumble 18 yards against Washington and added two pass breakups.
2008 — Continued his role as one of Oregon’s top reserves in passing situations, posting 10 tackles • Career-high three tackles – all unassisted – in the season opener vs. Washington • Had tackles in seven of his 13 appearances • Forced a fumble at Washington State and broke up passes vs. UCLA and Arizona • Saw the field for a career-best 41 plays at Arizona State and 38 plays at WSU • Returned to the defensive line after spending spring practices at linebacker.
2007 — Made the most of his opportunity as a pass-rush specialist, converting six of his eight takedowns into tackles for loss • Included were five quarterback sacks for a loss of 33 yards, as well as a forced fumble at Arizona • Credited with tackles in six of his 13 appearances, including two TFLs at Michigan and two tackles, including a sack, vs. South Florida in the Sun Bowl • Registered 30 snaps at Arizona, as well as 28 at Washington, and was a key component in substitution packages defending the pass.
HIGH SCHOOL — The SuperPrep All-American was voted to the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s Best in the West first team after emerging as one of the best defensive end prospects in the country • The four-star recipient (Rivals.com, Scout.com) was ranked as one of the top 20 prep prospects in California and among the best 25 defensive linemen in the country by SuperPrep • The pass-rushing specialist posted 31 quarterback sacks in three seasons for the Jackrabbits, including three QB takedowns on three separate occasions in 2006 • Packaged 17 quarterback sacks among his 99 tackles as a senior, in addition to adding one fumble recovery and two blocked punts (one for a TD) • Contributed 13 tackles vs. both Pittsburg and Millikin for the Moore League champions, who were ranked fourth in the state by USA Today • Also aided the school by securing eight receptions for 145 yards and two scores.
Strengths: Explosive pass rusher off the edge. Great first step off the snap. Beats offensive tackles regularly with his first step. Chops down the linemen's hands well as a pass rusher. Natural bend when turning the corner. Dips his hips well to get by tackle. Redirects well as a counter move, with effective spin and rip moves. Great closing burst to get to the QB and finish off sack. Punishes as a hitter and able to get many hits on the QB when he's not able to get the sack. Uses his quick feet and lateral mobility to slip blocks and make plays in the backfield. Takes good angles in pursuit, and has the closing speed to make plays from behind. Has shown that he can work from a two point, and has some experience dropping into coverage.
Weaknesses: Lacks size and strength at the POA. He'll be forced to transition to OLB at the next level. Can't anchor at the POA, as he gets widened or driven off the LOS. He struggles to shed blocks as well. He'll have to add some strength and power to compliment his speed as a pass rusher. Lacks the strength and balance at times when turning the corner, as tackles often are able to push him by the QB.
Projection: Fifth rounder. Despite Rowe's lack of size, his explosiveness off the edge and overall athleticism will make him a good special teams player and a situational pass rusher at the next level."
As an upperclassman Rowe turned into more than simply specialist; he finally stepped into a major role. As a junior he tallied 43 tackles, 15.0 tackles-for-loss, 11.5 sacks and forced three fumbles. The opposing offense is keeping an eye on him during 2010 and through the regular season Rowe has not put up quite as impressive of numbers. However, he still leads the Ducks with 6.0 sacks and has added 15.5 tackles-for-loss and four forced fumbles.
Rowe's lack of experience at linebacker is an issue and his 6-3, 232 pound frame is not big enough to play defensive end in the NFL. He pretty much does not fit into a position. He lacks the strength of a down lineman and the speed of a linebacker. That will certainly hurt his stock, but Rowe is a big hitter who can come in on passing downs and get some big hits on the quarterback."
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