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Dorance Armstrong Jr. Has The Physical Traits You Want From An OLB But Can He Put It All Together?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

Texas Tech v Kansas Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Dorance Armstrong Jr., EDGE
School: Kansas | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 20?
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 257 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Jabaal Sheard

College Statistics

Player Overview

The former 3-star prospect from Galena Park, Texas received a lot of interest and quite a few offers coming out of high school. I would really like to know what the Kansas coaches said as part of their recruitment pitch that got Dorance Armstrong Jr. to choose their program over the offers he got from Houston, Cal, and Michigan State among others. Perhaps it was playing time as he played in 9 games as a freshman and got off to a decent start regarding his production as a pass rusher. Things really got great for him his sophomore year where he posted impressive career highs in TFLs and sacks. This past year things dropped off for him. Some say he was playing out of position and that he is much better suited as a 3-4 OLB standing up and rushing off the EDGE. I’m not sure about that take as his best year still came when he was playing DE in an even front. I think Armstrong has the physical skills and potential to play DE in a 4-3 or OLB in a 3-4. He’s very raw in my opinion but has the measurables teams covet at the position. His length is elite for his size and is probably his best quality. This past season he struggled to get off blocks, overpower lineman, and didn't generate a consistent pass rush but as is typical for a guy with his size and measurables if he puts things together he can be prolific and dangerous. Armstrong tested very well at the combine and for teams willing to take a day 3 flyer on a developmental EDGE the investment in him could reap rich dividends once he’s developed.

Strengths

  • Great size for the position with good athleticism and elite length.
  • Plays with good motor and effort and a few of his TFLs and at least one of his sacks this year came from him working overtime.
  • Plays with decent power and arm extension - hands are active more times than they are not.
  • Decent in pursuit and plays with decent flexibility.

Weaknesses

  • Gets caught up fighting with lineman. Needs better technique with his hands. His disengagement moves aren't consistently effective and he doesn't have the consistent ability to produce pressure. . .yet.
  • He is not going to beat many off the edge with his speed. He’s going to have to get stronger, play with greater power, and more awareness to beat his man and get to the QB.
  • Loses leverage battles when his feet stop moving. Needs to play lower more consistently -lineman will take him out of plays.
  • Doesn't have a lot of contact balance - if he bends the edge and a lineman gets his hands on him he’ll go to the ground.

Let’s see his work:

More Dorance Armstrong videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Armstrong is a traits prospect who may get selected higher than predicted because of his physical measurements and skills. He needs a lot of work to become effective at the NFL level though. I cant see him making many plays as a rusher or on run defense until he significantly cleans up his technique and improves his play strength. He isn't a speed rusher so he will have to beat guys with leverage, strength, and technique not unlike our own Ryan Kerrigan. Additionally having been a DE in college he has never really had to drop back in coverage and play defense so that ought to be a learning curve as well if he is indeed a 3-4 OLB. As far as the Redskins go he would be the 4th or 5th OLB on the roster depending on if Junior Gallete is re-signed and I don't think he offers much the team doesn't have already excluding his impressive length and wingspan. He tested well at the combine in agility drills so if he develops the analytics are in his favor but at this point, I don't think he beats out Ryan Anderson for snaps or in production. I think his best fit may be with a team like the Packers, Colts, or Chiefs who look for length and have a need at OLB.