Marquise Copeland, DL
School: Cincinnati | Conference: AAC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 287 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Quinton Jefferson
Marquise Copeland arrived in Cincinnati back in 2015 weighing all of 230 lbs. The defensive line recruit has a background in wrestling and used that to win during his high school career. Copeland was a 3-star recruit as had his share of programs to pick from including Wisconsin, Indiana, and Kentucky to name a few. He decided to stay closer to home (he is from Bedford, Ohio) and got some playing time as a freshman. It wasn’t until his junior year that Copeland really broke out before then he was spending time get reps here and there as he developed his body. His vision improved, he learned how to use his leverage and hands better and get got really effective at being disruptive by stopping the run and putting pressure on the QB. Copeland was able to build upon that success his senior season and while he may not be a household name he has the skillset to be a key cog in the rotation of several defensive lines in the NFL as soon as next season. Copeland is and has been effective just about anywhere he’s lined up on the defensive line. Unfortunately, he did not get a combine invite and while I doubt he was going to light it up, it would have been nice to see how a player of his talent performed in comparison with his peers. Still, Copeland has a nice skillset and while he may be part of a rotation early on in his career I think he has the talent and potential to eventually develop into a starter.
- Plays with good leverage and hand usage. Can fight off would be blockers and counter to get around or through them.
- Eyes are always looking for the ball he has decent read and react ability. Particularly effective as a run defender as he knows how to disengage and make a stop at or close to the LOS.
- Plays with good effort and keeps working through the rep. Can provide pass rush pressure. Has the motor to pursue from the backside and make tackles upfield.
- Strong and can hold his own at POA, at times commanded a chip or double team because of his ability to penetrate. Has experience playing 0, 3, and 5 technique.
- Athleticism looks to be below expectations for his size. He doesn't move awful but it isn’t great either especially when he needs to be agile and show some flexibility. While he can provide some pressure he moves stiffly and doesn't have the athleticism of other DL prospects to finish and make certain plays.
- Get’s stuck if a lineman gets a good grip on him needs to develop counters for those situations and improve his strength to defeat double teams.
- His athleticism and agility may benefit from rebuilding his body. Remember he came in as a freshman at 230 its obvious he worked out but its also obvious he was eating whatever pleased him too. If he could cut some of the dead weight and replace it with muscle we might see a substantially improved player from an athletic standpoint.
Let’s see his work:
Received a request from someone who reps the AAC for some Marquise Copeland-Cincy. He’s not huge but plays NG in some games and looks comfortable at 5T. Here he and teammate Cortez Broughton (96) play contain vs mobile QB. pic.twitter.com/iACoLXNH6g— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) August 4, 2018
There's very few guys I've watched during my time evaluating that I honestly believed can play any position on defensive line. Marquise Copeland is one of the guys. Has the strength, athleticism, explosion and run/pass ability. Incredibly versatile guy. One of my favorite seniors— Daniel Parlegreco (@DTPDraftScout) November 26, 2018
Player- Marquise Copeland Position- DE/DT School- Cincy Height - 6’3 weight- 290 lbs Number #44 Draft Class- 2019 Projected Forty - 4.90. One of the quickest DT prospects at almost 300 lbs in this very deep 2019 draft. If you were to design a DT you would create Copeland. pic.twitter.com/qwz8mTD7S8— Big Time Players (@BTPlayers1) July 2, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
With this draft being loaded with defensive talent upfront there are some nice prospects that will last until day 3 of the draft. Copeland is one of those players, he’s a solid developmental DL in either base scheme and with his proficiency with read and react ability as well as getting off blocks he has a strong set of fundamentals to work with. I think the biggest questions surrounding Copeland will be just how long it will take him to develop a few more counters, get stronger, as well as possibly reshape his body. Some of those could develop in short order while others may take more time. When considering where he fits on a team like the Redskins the good news is that he wont be forced to play right away and he can have the that opportunity to improve himself without getting exploited too much in the beginning of his career. The Redskins still need depth on their defensive line given the injuries they have gone through in recent history. Because of those injuries guys like Payne and Allen have had to play upward of 80% of the snaps in games. They are young but we also want them around for awhile and don’t want their play to drop off in the latter half of games or in latter half of the season. Investing in young guys like Copeland, who play with motor and can help against the run and not high priced free agents who barely do the same would be the smart move to maximize the value of the team’s top performers.