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Washington Redskins 2016 Draft Profiles: Ronald Blair, DE

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2016 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Ronald Blair, DE
School: Appalachian State | Conference: Sun Belt
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 284 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd or 4th Round
NFL Comparison: Adrian Clayborn

College Statistics

Player Overview

Ronald Blair is a high effort player that was the heart and soul of the Appalachian State defense. Blair earned the Sun Belt's defensive player of the year award after his impressive senior season. A common hesitancy for people trying to evaluate prospects from smaller schools and conferences is if their production is because of technique and talent or if it was helped out by the lack of talent the player played against. For Blair I think those concerns have been put to bed. I wouldn't have called it, but his coached at Appalachian State seem to have taught him proper technique when rushing off the snap, he has good awareness and recognition is violent at the point of attack. Blair also had a very impressive game against Clemson this year where he was all over the field and created pressure from the edge and up the middle. Blair is far from a finished product but what he's been able to put on his resume has him in a position to be drafted in the mid-rounds.

Strengths

  • Has some serious motor to his game. Relentless in his pursuit and always seems to be in on a play.
  • Great ability to penetrate the o-line off the snap while Blair has fine athleticism he pleasantly plays with good technique including using his hands and maintaining balance and leverage. He also has a couple of nice pass rushing moves including a swim move, and one where he just slaps hands down.
  • Good at getting off blocks and cleaning up running plays sealing off potential cutbacks. Powerful in his attack and finishes strong with closing burst when rushing the passer. Can win matchups with pure power and quickness.

Weaknesses

  • Occasionally loses sight of the ball and gets lost in the trash.
  • Not as dynamic as other players who are considered edge rushers lacks the speed and flexibility to play standing up.
  • Only two years of college production after being granted a medical redshirt for the 2013 season after a severe thumb injury.


Let's see his work: 



Combine Results

How He Would Fit on the Redskins

Blair does have the motor, intelligence, and instincts for the position the Redskins are looking for but Blair is probably best suited to play DE in a 4-3 or even move inside to DT. His frame is really put together already and he doesn't have the height of a typical end prospect so I tend to think putting on an additional 16lbs of quality weight may be tough to do. While there are 3-4 DEs in the 280 - 290 lbs range and Blair played in a 3-4 while at Appalachian State the Redskins seem to be looking for heavier guys on the line. Blair however is an impressive player nonetheless and I wouldn't be surprised to see him frequently in a DE rotation in his rookie year. He should draw interest from 4-3 and 3-4 teams alike. While I can't predict the draft if the Redskins to decide to go DL in the 3rd round I think there will be other prospects still around that fit Joe Barry's 1 gap system better than Blair would.