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
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.
- 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.
- 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:
Ronald Blair ARE YOU KIDDING ME pic.twitter.com/XnwQ0hyzIW— Jeff Hyde (@PhinsScout_NFL) April 7, 2016
App State DL Ronald Blair Pro Day Numbers; 40 yard dash 4.84, 20 yard shuttle 4.53, Vert 33.5, BJ 9'11, Bench 32— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) April 6, 2016
What do y'all think about a Ronald Blair : Everson Griffen play style comp?— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) April 5, 2016
.@AppState_FB Ronald Blair shows versatility as 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE in predraft work. Really like this guy https://t.co/FKOdWivFg2— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) April 1, 2016
My favorite spot for Ronald Blair though is inside as 3T and I'm not sure the Dolphins need/want a high pick there.— Jeff Hyde (@PhinsScout_NFL) April 7, 2016
Potential Panther Ronald Blair || Official App State Highlights https://t.co/Y21kVaf8Bj— John. (@Hueston_) April 6, 2016
Someone mentioned him the other day, but Ronald Blair measured out just above average #RAS for a DT. pic.twitter.com/QoCwLIqsuy— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 31, 2016
One scout is interested in seeing Ronald Blair in DB drills. Didn't disappoint. pic.twitter.com/ejnrJTdicC— Brant Wilkerson-New (@BrantWSJ) March 31, 2016
Ronald Blair viciously assaults a tackling dummy pic.twitter.com/QecDi53jSW— Brant Wilkerson-New (@BrantWSJ) March 31, 2016
Based on his unique height / weight / length combo & overall playing style / skill set, I see a lot Charles Johnson in Ronald Blair.— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) March 3, 2016
Re: Ronald Blair - Cons: Level of comp. Tweener size. Didn't test great. Pros: 34" arms. Low COG, heavy/active hands. Strong. Mean streak.— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) March 3, 2016
I see Ronald Blair as a much more productive/active Emmanuel Ogbah...— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) March 2, 2016
Appalachian State's Ronald Blair led the nation with 50 stops. Here's more on the "stop" stat:https://t.co/dPN7W0DPAq— PFF College (@PFF_College) February 28, 2016
Ronald Blair is a good option on day 2 pic.twitter.com/2bPAa0THlg— Billy (@keeppoundingg) February 19, 2016
#AppState DL Ronald Blair - The OT is literally airborne for a moment #NFLDraft https://t.co/edKNQOjpQ9— Steve Frederick (@SportsGuyTweets) February 18, 2016
#AppState DL Ronald Blair - Part 2 https://t.co/mGZgLgmU9R— Steve Frederick (@SportsGuyTweets) February 18, 2016
Five NFL prospects I think I'm higher on than most:— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 17, 2016
DE Ronald Blair
CB Xavien Howard
WR Pharoh Cooper
WR Rashard Higgins
DT Hassan Ridgeway
Folks just haven't seen him yet. It's coming. The Ronald Blair awakening is coming. https://t.co/YKJ4MB5I6z— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) February 15, 2016
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.