*Our DL grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.


**Researched and written after the Week-1 preseason game Jacksonville v. Pittsburgh**


Who the hell is that guy?” That was my first reaction to ever seeing Nordly ‘Cap’ Capi play in the NFL…and it was meant as a compliment.

Normally, watching preseason games can be a little dull/same ole’ same ole’ observing all the non-starting NFL players at work. Rare is it when something makes me sit up and my seat and take notice—and then alters the rest of my day, forcing me to drop everything to go back to do research. Capi’s performance against Pittsburgh in Week-1 of the 2015 preseason made me do just that.

In limited playing time, playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars on and off from the late 2nd-quarter on in a Week-1 preseason affair vs. the Steelers, Capi had two sacks and another near sack/a QB hit as a pass was released. It wasn’t so much that he registered some nice pass rush numbers in a preseason game. It’s how he did it. He was a Tasmanian Devil coming off the edge as a 4-3 scheme DE. Basically, the opposing O-Tackle was almost helpless trying to contain Capi…in his first ever NFL moments.

I didn’t even know the guy existed until I saw this game.

Capi had two pretty dull seasons, for a future NFL prospect, at Akron in his junior (2013: 31 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 2.0 sacks) and senior seasons (2014: 39 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 5.0 sacks). He didn’t even hit our computer scouting model screen as any type of ‘player of interest’. Two marginal years (for an NFL prospect hopeful) to end his college career, decent measurables, and a checkered past (more on that in a bit). What’s there to even waste time looking at?

…and then there was the Jacksonville Week-1 preseason game…and then there was me pulling his college career apart and scouring for video…and once I saw the full story and watched him at work in college; I knew he definitely needed more study.

In 2011, as a redshirt freshman in Colorado State’s (where he began his college career) season opener against New Mexico, Capi registered 3.5 sacks…and an NCAA record FOUR forced fumbles. The amazing thing is…Capi nearly missed 2-3 more sacks with his relentless pressure in that contest.

Five games into his freshman year, Capi had registered at least one sack in every game he played and was leading the NCAA in sacks (7.5) and forced fumbles (5) at the time. Over the next 3+ years/seasons…Capi would only produce 9.0 more sacks and 4 more forced fumbles in total.

What happened?

His play/numbers tailed off as his 2011 freshman season wore on. His numbers faded as CSU hit conference play and mounted perpetual losses (losing their final 8 in a row). His overall season numbers were nice, but definitely a ‘tale of two cities’—surreal first-half, kinda quiet second-half.

After the 2011 season, in the 2012 offseason, Capi was arrested with three other players for allegedly beating another student. Some accounts say ‘he got in a fight’ while other accounts alleged it was a 3-on-1, savage beat down (and Capi was one of the three). It was enough to get booted from Colorado State, quickly.

Capi transferred to Akron, sat out in 2012, and had two mild/decent seasons for the Zips in 2013-2014.

After seeing him look like a whirlwind on the NFL preseason stage, I went back and watched tapes of him in his record-setting game in 2011, and in random games in 2014. You can see ‘something’ is there. Capi had 5.0 sacks last season, but another five QB hits as well. Watching the video, there’s a lot of Capi forcing his way into the backfield and just disrupting a pocket. There are several near-miss moments for Capi getting into the backfield looking back over his career–he’s a disruptor…at times.

Don’t take this next statement too far, but watching at his best, Capi struck my mind as junior/very poor man’s version of Reggie White. A relentless pass rusher at times…one blockers can hardly contain one-on-one. Capi has a very quick first step, a high motor, and is upper body strong (31 bench reps at his Pro Day) to throw blockers off balance. At times, Capi drops your jaw.

However, there are also plenty of times where Capi puts you to sleep. I called him a Tasmanian Devil earlier, and it fits…too many times he will churn a ton of frenetic activity, and not all of it mattering much in a given play. Sometimes he rushes the edge so quickly the O-Tackle nudges him wide–and the next thing you know Capi’s 5-8 yards behind the QB, and the RB is running through a massive hole Capi just abandoned. He plays at such a frenetic pace, that I think he burns himself out and takes plays off to recover…or just tries, but lacks the energy. So, at times, he’s all over…then he looks asleep.

Some will see Capi as ‘inconsistent’ and a scout’s favorite ‘takes plays off’ (as if a DE is supposed to sack the QB every play…it would be nice), and there is truth to this, but what needs to be acknowledged is that at times Capi is a superior pass rusher with ‘a gift’…and few have that gift…and someone needs to help him develop it or he’ll be lost in NFL oblivion forever.

There are red-flags, but there is also ‘something here’ for the next-level…I’m just not sure what? Or how? Or where? Or why?


Nordly ‘Cap’ Capi, Through the Lens of Our DE Scouting Algorithm:

Here’s the problem with getting excited about Capi as ‘the next Reggie White’…the size isn’t there. Capi’s either under 6’1” or under 6’2” (conflicting data) and 247-pounds. He’s not a prototypical NFL Defensive End size, but he would also be a bit of a clunky, pure Outside Linebacker. He has the spirit of a Defensive End, but the college body type of an out of shape OLB.

He does appear to be more ‘beefed up’ watching his first NFL work in 2015. He was more streamlined in college. He looks like he is adding weight and trying to become more of a Defensive End.

The numbers you can get excited about: If you take Capi’s 1.62 10-yard split at face value (from his pro Day), then he’s among the top DE prospects in 2015 for initial burst…a critical measurement for the position. If you look for the 2015 Defensive End prospects with high-end burst and top bench press numbers along with higher-end tackles and sack per game numbers—in our database, you get Nordly Capi…and Vic Beasley (1st-round pick Atlanta) and Tennessee-Chattanooga star Davis Tull (5th-round pick Saints).

In the past two seasons, with Akron, Capi has faced four top college opponents—Michigan, C. Florida, Penn State, and Pitt. In those four games, he averaged: 3.5 tackles, 0.88 TFLs, 0.25 sacks per game…which is solid working for a poor, overmatched Akron squad.

There is something here with Capi, but it’s a difficult puzzle to assemble. There are so many mismatched pieces, and some really cool looking ones, and then some ugly ones, and a few ‘too small’ ones, and then potentially missing pieces. I’m not sure the puzzle can ever be put together here, but it’s worth an inexpensive try in the NFL.

The Historical DE Prospects to Whom Nordly ‘Cap’ Capi Most Compares Within Our System:

The Kamerion Wimbley comp is a stretch–because Wimbley had more height and wingspan. The Tim Fugger comp kinda-sorta works for me, because we could see some talent/gifts on tape there too, but he’s bounced around the NFL fringes to no avail to-date.

In reality, I’m not sure there is a way to compare Capi given his smaller size, but gifted pass rush instincts and aggression, mixed with much inconsistency, and off-field troubles…he’s ‘unique’.

DE Score








Tackle, Strngth Metric

Speed, Agility Metric

Pass Rush Metric

Tackle Metric









































Florida State




















*A score of 8.00+ is where we see a stronger correlation of DEs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL DE.

All of the DE ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Power-Strength Metrics = A combination of several measurements. An attempt to classify the DE prospect as more of a battle-in-the-trenches type of DE, a 'bull-rusher', and/or a DE prospect who has some DT capabilities.

Speed-Agility Metrics = A combination of several speed, agility, size measurements. A unique measuring system to look for DEs who profile more as speed-rush, stand-up DEs, and/or possible OLBs.

Pass-Rusher Rating = A combination of physical measurables, and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify whether a particular DE is likely to achieve high sack totals in the NFL. We know the 'system'/scheme the DE goes on to play in has a part in future success...but so do the player's skills and performance history. "You can't keep a good man/DE down," we'd like to think.

Tackling Rating = A combination of physical measurables, and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify the DE as one more likely to be involved in a heavy amount of tackles, tackles for a loss, and forced fumbles. Lower-scoring DEs in this subcategory tend to be more pure pass-rushers/specialists. This is also our attempt to quantify, if it's possible, the 'toughness' of a player.

2015 NFL Draft Outlook:

I would have projected Capi to go undrafted given the college red-flags off the field, and the inconsistency on the field since. He did go undrafted.

If I were an NFL GM, I would have missed Capi initially because I looked right past him based on his recent Akron performance numbers and Pro Day data. However, digging deeper, if I knew then what I see know…I’d definitely want to bring him in as a UDFA. I don’t think I would have burned a 7th-round pick because of his height (plus all the other up & down data).  

NFL Outlook:   

I do not have a strong feeling on what’s going to happen here quite honestly. He might be a 5-8 sack per year guy as a pass rush specialist, or he might be a preseason wonder who thrives against 3rd-team O-Linemen and gets crushed by 1st-team ones. All I know is, based on what I’ve studied…I want to see more.