Randall played sparingly in eight games as a true freshman, posting two tackles and a pass break-up. Though he started eight of 14 games played as a sophomore, his 2009 production was nominal (23 tackles, three for loss, two sacks) in comparison to his breakout honorable-mention All-Big 12 junior campaign (39 tackles, 13 TFL, one sack, three pass break-ups, two blocked kicks), even though Randall played a lot on the nose as the Longhorns often went with three-man fronts.
The success of Texas producing NFL talent in the interior also means young players have to step up to fill big shoes every year. Randall did that in 2010, and expects to continue his improvement as a leader and player as a senior. Though he hasn't looked like an elite prospect so far, his strength at the point of attack and ability to make plays when let loose into the backfield give him a shot to be an early-round pick.
Pass Rush: Does not rack up many sacks and gets only the occasional pressure, but could be more of a factor if asked to penetrate gaps more regularly instead of eating up blocks. When getting outside the shoulder of his man, he moves his feet bulls way into the backfield. Strength gives ends a chance to twist inside and linebackers free lane to the passer on blitzes. Looks agile on twists himself.
Run Defense: Played with lean and leverage against the run, tough for one man to move (sometimes double-teams, too). Frees up linebackers and safeties to make plays. Gets in the backfield when lined up or slanting into a gap because of his first step and agility. Lower than offensive lineman on every short-yardage play. Agile enough to move down the line with blockers. Sees the ball well but is stuck on blocks when head-up, does not shed to make plays often enough.
Explosion: Possesses the get-off and strong punch to hold up against NFL veteran offensive linemen. Not elite in his first step, though he proves capable of penetrating quickly enough to affect plays when allowed to slant.
Strength: Rarely moved by one blocker, holds the point very well despite his height due to strength in his lower and upper bodies. Typically stays upright and strong against doubles, though his height can be detriment when getting his pads too high. Flashes strong hands to rip off but needs to use them more consistently to make plays against ballcarriers coming through the hole.
Tackling: Good agility and ability to change directions for his size. Breaks down quickly, possesses strong upper body and long arms to corral ballcarriers coming into his general vicinity. Though he gives effort to chase when fresh, he does not have elite closing speed to make tackles regularly outside of the box.
Intangibles: Locker room and on-field leader. Teammates really like Randall, whose wit as is quick as his first step. Solid character, regularly performs community service."
Does a nice job keeping his base under him, pad level down off the snap and displays the lateral quickness to cross the face of lineman and work his way through contact. Looks natural dropping his shoulder when trying to fight his way up field and possesses the lower body strength to surge through contact.
Demonstrates good range in pursuit, looks a bit tight when asked to breakdown, but has the length to routinely wrap up. Can take on blocks and anchor in the run game. Awareness at times runs hot/cold, will be late off the ball at times and struggles to consistently find the football inside.
Possesses a naturally strong frame and can hold his own even vs. the double when trying to anchor initially. However, will get upright through the point and overwhelmed at times. Has a long set of arms and strong hands and exhibits the natural power to simply toss blockers aside when trying to shed.
Fails to shoot his hands quickly off the snap and routinely gets his hands outside the frame of defenders. Is still learning to shed through contact. However, is so long, powerful and athletic that he can maintain balance and just fight his way through the block down the line in pursuit.
Is an athletic guy vs. the pass game who can threaten gaps inside and cross the face of defenders. But isn't a natural pass rusher at this stage. Doesn't have any kind of an arsenal in order to shed/keep himself clean.
Is a linear rusher only who needs to win with his first step in order to be successful knifing his way into the backfield. Has the skill set to develop, but has a long ways to go working his hands + feet in sync in order to win inside vs. the pass.
Impression: Can bend for his size, but isn't a natrual pass rusher and struggles to disengage. Best chance to start looks as a 34 DE. Reserve at best inside."
Features a subtle shoulder dip to wedge himself in gaps but generally is a limited athlete with tight, unsudden, linear movement skills.
Hand use is poor and does not play with pop or power to disengage.
Lets his pads rise and gets washed down the line.
Marginal pass rusher who does not project as a playmaker in the pros and projects as a reserve 3-4 five-technique or 4-3 nose tackle."
Kheeston Randall is a very interesting prospect in that he seems to lack a defined position. He plays with good strength and leverage but lacks the explosiveness to be a 3 technique. His good strength helps him play two gap football but ideally he need more bulk to be considered a nose tackle.
Randall might best fit as a nose tackle in a 4-3 or as a run stopping 5 technique. The name of Randall's game is strength has he is hard to move off the line and able to push the pocket. He uses his leverage and strength to make is way to the ball carrier and disrupt the play.
His lack of explosiveness means that he has to control the lineman and clog the running lane. Randall doesn't provide much of a pass rush as he doesn't have the quickness to shoot the gaps. His best pass rush move is a bull rush but even that takes time to develop.
Overall, Randall will be considered a good NFL prospect but his stock might suffer because of his limited quickness. The players that make big plays and are disruptive tend to go higher in the draft. Randall isn't that type of player as he plays a better two gap game.
Bold Statement: Randall's scheme versatility will help him overcome his lack of explosiveness
Games Viewed: Oklahoma ('10), Baylor ('10), UCLA ('10), Texas A&M ('10)
- Randall has good size and a thick lower half
- He keeps his pad level low allowing him to maintain leverage
- His hands are routinely inside helping him control the offensive lineman
- Randall is able to hold at the point of attack b/c of his leverage, balance, and strength
- His thick lower half helps him remain upright after contact
- Randall often lines up over the center and shows that he can play two gap football
- He is extremely strong showing the ability to move linemen and hold his ground
- His hand usage, leverage, and strength are the key factors to his ability to collapse the pocket
- Randall does a nice job of remaining balanced as he works his way to the ball carrier
- He is a very good run defender with good instincts and nose for the football
- Randall is not an overly explosive player and lacks the short area burst to make a ton of plays away from his frame
- However, he has a good snap awareness which helps overcome his lack of explosiveness
- He doesn't provide much of a pass rush and his moves are limited to a bull rush"
Rangy player with long arms can disrupt passing lanes; can change direction and has good lateral range, but needs to keep pads down when absorbing double teams."
Can eat up blockers and collapse the pocket with power, does a nice job with hand usage and placement to get off blocks, good stack and shed type player...
Can occupy blockers and free up others around him to make plays, tough to move, often disrupted plays with his leverage and strength; knows his assignments and sticks with them, maintains gap responsibilities...
Plays with good balance, seldom on the ground... Wide base and low center of gravity, natural girth and thick trunk to anchor, is tough to move, can clog running lanes... Good character, active in community service, good locker room presence and on-field leader... Durability is not an issue, has not missed a game in the last three seasons...
Looks like a two-down run stuffer at the next level... Versatile, could play 4-3 DT (3-technique) or 3-4 DE (5-technique), best fit would be as a run stopping 5-technique, often lined up over the center as a 1-technique at Texas and would also fit well in a two-gap system...
Texas has been one of the best teams in the country for developing interior defensive line prospects... His skill set is intriguing and he has room to develop and improve in other facets of the game.
Negatives -- A bit of a straight-line athlete, lacks fluidity and doesn't change direction very well, can struggle to redirect to put himself in position to make a play...
Not a great pass rusher, lacks explosiveness, sack numbers are disappointing, had just five career sacks, and just one in each of the past two seasons, bull rush is slow developing and he does not possess the quickness to shoot gaps inside...
Is not a natural fit in a 4-3 defense, lacks the quickness to play as a 3-technique and the bulk to play the nose... Isn't going to dominate a box score and won't make many big plays, doesn't have the short-area burst to make plays away his frame... Instincts and awareness are just average, inconsistent get-off, can be slow to locate the ball...
Loses stamina as the game moves on, wears down toward the end of games... Had a lot of positive momentum heading into his senior season, felt he had a chance to move into the end of the first round with a solid season, but that never materialized."
Randall wasn't highly productive in 2011, but proved stout against the run by holding his ground and maintaining gap integrity. Randall's size means he should be considered a viable 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT, although his pass-rushing talents are limited.
He does not display an array of swim moves, but can at times use explosion to catch a blocker out of position. He relies on his size too often when tackling in space and needs to wrap up with his arms through the tackle.
What is very promising though is that Randall is athletic for his size and shows a lot of potential if coached up. Randall is such a natural physically that he doesn't consistently use the right techniques, which has limited him as a player.
He doesn't do well using his hands to set up where his body wants to go, but that said, he has long arms and a great frame. Currently a bit undervalued and could rise up the draft boards with a good combine."