Is a physical run defender with good anchor strength and is tough to move off the football. Possesses a good first step off the snap vs. the run game; however, at times is late and needs to do a better job getting off the ball on time. Does do a nice job extending his arms, gaining leverage on contact and holding the point of attack. Does a nice job keeping his base under him despite getting a bit upright at times.
However, he has a violent set of hands, good body control and has the ability to shed on contact and work his way toward the football. Displays an above-average motor, but lacks a great initial first step and doesn't close overly well in pursuit. Breaks down well in space, is more balanced/quick than rangy and has the kind of upper body strength to wrap up and make plays in a phone booth.
Isn't a real natural pass rusher. Too often his initial first movement is upright off the snap and wastes too much motion trying to get off the line. Displays some suddenness and power when trying to slip blocks into contact, but there's simply too much wasted motion and his upright pad level takes away from his closing burst when trying to close.
Has a good enough first step to threaten gaps inside, but doesn't do a good enough job using his hands to keep himself clean and struggles to stay low, allows himself to pop up after his initial burst and can be easily sealed from the play. Possesses natural power through contact and is a good enough athlete to fight his way through contact, but simply pass rushes too high and isn't the kind of sudden/sharp/explosive athlete to consistently make plays vs. the pass game in the NFL.
There are some concerns about his overall weight fluctuation and work rate off the field. Also, there is some concern about him handling a real complex playbook.
Impression: Looks like a physical five-technique who has some upside to his game because of his high pad level as a pass rusher, but his weight issues could ultimately keep him from ever living up to his potential and keep from ever being much more than a very good run defender who eats up blocks inside."
He did it despite starting only four of 14 games in a breakout sophomore season that saw him register 33 tackles and nine tackles for loss. But it was his team-leading 6.5 sacks and the big hit that knocked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the BCS championship game that grabbed everyone's attention.
With Terrance Cody, Brandon Deaderick and Lorenzo Washington moving on to the NFL, Dareus found the going much tougher in 2010 as opponents were able to key on him. Facing constant double-teams, Dareus struggled to produce the big plays that had characterized his sophomore year, finishing with relatively pedestrian numbers (33 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks).
Dareus' size and strength stood out as a five-technique in Nick Saban's preferred 3-4 scheme. Able to control his opponent, he clears the way for Alabama's linebackers to pad their stats and could play a similar role in the NFL. Dareus' short, stocky frame, however, is more conducive to playing inside at defensive tackle in the 4-3 alignment. The ability to play either role should make Dareus one of the first defensive linemen selected in the 2011 draft.
Pass Rush: Good initial quickness off the snap. Doesn't possess the burst upfield to cross the tackle's face and turn the corner. Quick enough, however, to split the gap and collapse the pocket from the interior. Explosive hands to disengage from blocks. Needs a clear lane to close, but shows a late burst toward the ball when he has it. Flashes some legitimate pass-rush technique, including a swim move and good inside rip. Possesses surprising lateral agility and balance to track down elusive quarterbacks.
Run Defense: Stout at the point of attack. Plays with good leverage and can anchor to create a pile. Cognizant defender who works hard to keep containment. Good lateral agility and balance to slide while fighting blockers. Long arms and good strength to lock-out. Explosive hands to disengage. Won't shed the block until he reads where the ballcarrier is going. Good effort laterally and downfield in pursuit. Surprising speed for a man his size.
Explosion: Can provide an explosive initial punch to jar the offensive lineman back onto his heels. Powerful and quick hands to shed blocks. Flashes some explosiveness as a hitter, needing little momentum to rock the ballcarrier.
Strength: Thick lower body, which helps him anchor well against the run. Powerful bull rusher with good hand strength to disengage quickly. Good upper-body strength to pull down ballcarriers while occupied with a blocker.
Tackling: Shows surprising lateral agility and balance to break down against elusive athletes. Isn't always capable of making the tackle in the open field himself, but often does a good enough job of forcing elusive ballcarriers to dance in an effort to elude him that secondary defenders are able to get there and help make the play. Good strength for the pull down tackle inside. Good effort laterally and downfield in pursuit. Will lay out for the diving tackle, showing good hand-eye coordination to trip up the ballcarrier. Flashes some explosiveness as a hitter.
Intangibles: Suspended by the NCAA for the first two games of the 2010 season when it was discovered that he'd accepted inappropriate benefits from an agent. Endured a troubled childhood. Father died when Dareus was six, leaving mother to support six children. Dareus has lived with others throughout much of his life, including an assistant coach in high school and a sponsor family while in college."
Pursuit: Consistently plays with high effort and is relentless. Shows good balance to maintain his pace when getting knocked around. Some questioned his effort as a junior, but Dareus routinely saw multiple blockers in 2010. He still finished with 11 tackles for loss as a junior.
Quickness: Dareus has surprising foot quickness for a player his size. Consistently gets across the face of offensive linemen. Is fluid in the hips to turn and move laterally down the line.
Run defend: Does a great job on the edge maintaining his position. Anchors his position nicely. Shows good leg drive to move blockers around. Although Dareus is stout against the run, he’s not necessarily the kind of lineman who can fill two gaps.
Strength: Dareus has NFL-ready strength throughout his frame. He’s thick in his lower body, which helps him bull rush. Got to show his strength playing the nose on occasion in 2010. That showed especially against Florida when he easily handled center Mike Pouncey with a bull rush.
Tackling: Is a sudden, hard-hitting tackler. Isn’t a big-time hitter like other interior linemen in this class. However, he’s more technically sound in his wrap-up.
Technique: An experienced five-technique, Dareus is the top 3-4 defensive end in the draft because of his long arms and technique. He consistently extends his arms to hold the edge. Stays low like a veteran to get leverage. Dareus’ technique is NFL ready and why he could be a good contributor early in his career.
Final word: It’s not often 3-4 defensive ends come along who are as polished, strong and athletic as Dareus. Playing end in Alabama’s pro-style 3-4 defense, Dareus should start as a rookie if a team with the same scheme picks him up.
He’s a good pass rusher for such a big player, but most teams will like him for his run-stopping ability. Dareus is powerful throughout his frame and should be able to hold the edge well.
Dareus really came on toward the end of the 2009 season and won defensive MVP honors in the BCS National Championship game. Suspended the first two games of 2010 after the NCAA found he accepted benefits from an agent. Has overcome a rough upbringing."
Where will Dareus fit at the next level?
Coming out of Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama, Marcell Dareus was never a huge prospect. Dareus came out as the 27th ranked defensive tackle in the nation, and was projected to be a decent starter, but was never really thought to be a huge play maker.
Dareus came out to start in 2010 in Week 3, after being suspended for the first two games for attending and receiving benefits from a sports agent party in Miami, Florida. He came out against Duke in Week 3 to open up his junior season as the Tide attempted to win back to back national championships.
It is quite easy to gauge the amount of success that Dareus has had in Alabama’s true 3-4 defense. He has been versatile as a nose tackle in some situations, and defensive end in most others. Dareus is an explosive defensive lineman who holds the point of attack well and is very strong. He’s great in anticipating the snap, and is a space eater as five technique in the 3-4 defense. He takes on double teams regularly, and quite disruptive, often having to be schemed against because of his penetration ability. He’s a natural run stuffer who is versatile enough to play a 4-3 nose tackle as well. Dareus will most likely be drafted by a 3-4 defense as it’s not common to find a Top 10 player that plays a natural five technique.
Dareus has been known to take some plays off, which is often a weakness of many defensive lineman. Some minor character concerns come into play as he attended the NFL Agent party which lead to a two game suspension. He’s not the most experienced player, as he received his first few starts in 2009. His arms are somewhat short, which may hinder his ability to get off blocks in the NFL. Sometimes he jumps straight up out of his stance, and he needs to work on maintaining his leverage consistently.
Due to the increasing number of teams running and converting to the 3-4 defense, Dareus’ value is as high as it ever will be. Dareus is thought to be a Top 10 to Top 15 pick in a draft that’s heavy with defensive ends. Of the top ten teams in the 2011 NFL Draft, six of them run a 3-4 defense, and each one of those teams need big time improvements on the defensive line. Denver will have trouble not selecting Dareus with the second overall pick, as will Buffalo with the third. As of now, the latest pick I could see Dareus being selected is 10, with Washington, but that’s assuming that San Francisco and Dallas both decide to pass on him, which is unlikely.
NFL Comparison: Richard Seymour"
Positive: Game-impacting defensive line prospect who can play a variety of positions up front. Athletic, fluid moving in all directions of the field, and quickly alters his angle of attack. Plays with great leverage and pad level, gets his hands up, and effectively uses them to protect himself. Displays an inside move, has the ability to pursue the action laterally, and has a strong lower body. Knocks blockers off the ball, runs over opponents, and viciously attacks ball carriers. Collapses the pocket and gets pressure up the field. Has better-than-average instincts and stays with assignments. Does more than pin his ears back and rush up the field and consistently makes positive plays.
Negative: Lacks elite first-step quickness. Has not always played with a great motor.
Analysis: Since breaking onto the scene in 2009, Dareus has been one of the nation's top impact players. He has the size and style to be used as a conventional defensive tackle or line up as a two-gap end in a 3-4 alignment. Dareus comes with great upside and should only get better if he learns to do the little things well and focuses on football."
Negatives: Shorter than ideal arms... Can give up on plays... Suspended first two games of this season for NCAA rules violation (attending agent's party)... Had just four games starting experience prior to this season... Would be best off at 285 lbs. playing as five-technique."
Strengths: Extremely athletic. He can collapse the pocket in a hurry, creating pressure on opposing QB's. Long, thick arms, capable of a powerful bull rush. Has the versatility to rotate from NT to UT and even DE.
Weaknesses: Will be a workout warrior. Still a little raw, only a 2 year starter. Might be asked to do too much, based on his athleticism.
Projection: Could very easily be a first round pick, possibly even amongst the top 15."
It has been more of the same for Dareus in 2010. Through eight games he leads the team in tackles for loss with eight and in sacks with 2.5, despite playing in just six of those eight contests (he was suspended for two games due to receiving improper benefits from agents). That should not affect his draft status at all; and it's a draft status that is sky-high right now. Dareus could be a Top 5 overall selection and anything less than a Top 10 pick would be a considerable surprise."
Pros: For a 3-4 defensive end Marcel Dareus is a unique player. The incoming junior, who stands at 6’4”, is expected by many to be one of the elite prospects in the 2011 draft. Dareus became a household name when he won Defensive MVP honors in the BCS Championship Game last season against Texas—Dareus not only knocked Colt McCoy out of the game with a devastating hit, he returned an interception for a touchdown. But that game is hardly the only reason he’s on scouts’ radar; he is no flash in the pan. What truly stands out about Dareus is that he has an incredible fluidity for a man his size. Watch the interception return against Texas and you can see what makes Dareus special. He is not clumsy in any way; every movement is deliberate, effortless, and displays excellent flexibility. This makes Dareus a true nightmare in space for a man his size, and as such you see him make a lot of plays in the offensive backfield (nine tackles for a loss). His 6.5 sacks in part-time duty, which led the SEC, were rather impressive for the sophomore defensive end. Dareus is a nightmare matchup for offensive linemen because he is so graceful and effortless in his movement that he is nearly impossible to mirror. Dareus also has the special ability to manipulate the size of his body. In other words, when he needs to shoot gaps he can make himself small, but when he needs to stack the line of scrimmage for his linebackers, he can play big. Dareus has already added more than 20 pounds since arriving in Tuscaloosa and is expected to tip the scales at over 300 pounds in 2010, with a frame that can easily support more weight. Dareus’ value is also enhanced by his versatility, as he has had success as a 3-4 end in Nick Saban’s scheme, with the potential to be a dominant three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment. As a true freshman, the Alabama native even moved inside to nose tackle in passing situations. Dareus also shows sophistication in terms of hand placement, leverage, knee bend and situational awareness. The Alabama man has the look of a true three-down NFL defensive lineman, equally adept at disrupting running lanes and a quarterback’s timing.
Cons: After starting in just four contests and recording a solid 33 tackles last season, we need to see more production and consistency from Darius in 2010 if he wants to be an elite prospect. While Dareus has long arms and legs, his natural strength is not yet at the level where the underclassman is ready to take on NFL level offensive linemen and win on strength alone. Along with adding muscle weight it is also evident that some of the weight in Dareus’ midsection is sloppy. While he is an incredibly smooth athlete there are questions about Dareus’ burst off the line of scrimmage and speed. Working on his body should help alleviate those concerns, while at the same time make him stronger and quicker. If he ends up kicking inside to play defensive tackle the SEC product will need to add a little more bulk if he expects to be anything other than a penetrator at the NFL level.
Our View: Not the most heavily recruited prospect coming out of high school, Dareus burst on the scene as a sophomore and with the likes of Rolando McClain and Terrence “Mount” Cody moving on to the NFL, we expect the defensive lineman to be the lynchpin of Alabama’s front seven in 2010. A truly fantastic prospect, Dareus may end up becoming a victim of the expectations placed on him and the position he plays. While Dareus gets penetration in the Nick Saban system, a lot of his responsibility lies in occupying blockers so others can make plays—don’t expect him to post numbers comparable to edge pass rushers such as Robert Quinn (North Carolina) or Greg Romeus (Pittsburgh). If Dareus does not have the splash plays many are expecting his stock may drop in the outer circles, but NFL insiders will be able to read between the lines. Dareus is a defensive lineman whose strength is in short-area movement and playing in space. In fact, he is so smooth and flexible that in many ways he is reminiscent of Ndamukong Suh, but unlike the number two overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Dareus lacks truly Herculean strength and still has to shed some of his baby fat. If Dareus can work his butt off in the weight room, sculpt his body and improve his burst while taking over as the focal point of the Crimson Tide defense, he has a chance to be a top 10 pick in next year’s draft. With several teams that run 3-4 defenses potentially picking near the top of the 2011 Draft, don’t be surprised if Dareus goes as high as number three, where former LSU Tiger Tyson Jackson went to Kansas City in the 2009 Draft."
Despite his experience in Alabama's odd front, he could warrant more interest inside in a 4-3 defense with the up-the-field quickness, positional instincts and competitiveness to become a very effective, gap-shooting penetrator. He is excellent against the run and, while not afforded a lot of opportunity to play in gaps, could be very productive rushing the passer from the inside."
Marcell Dareus brings tremendous versatility to the table. He could end up anywhere on the Line, and on either a 30 Defense or a 40, and I think his best possible fit would be as an Under Tackle in a 40, in my opinion. He's pretty good at Anchoring against the Run, he's got some Pass Rush moves, and he displays exceptional Lateral Agility for a big man. However, he strikes me, all in all, as a pretty good prospect, not an exceptional one. He seems to me like a 2nd or 3rd Rounder. And for a guy who is a clear Top 10 target, that, in my opinion, is a guy who is heavily overrated, probably because of the Championship Game, 15 months ago.
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