*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.

 

I don't know how anybody watches/studies tape of Joey Bosa, and then watches/studies Carl Nassib work in the same conference, and then walks away thinking..."Yep, Bosa is the best player in this draft, and I just don't know about this Nassib kid. Doesn't have the athleticism." This is essentially what most scouts and analysts are telling the world. However, Nassib had basically the same 40-time that Bosa did (Nassib slightly better). Bosa tested with a fantastic agility, but Nassib tested at the NFL Combine with pretty good agility as well…better than average for a defensive end prospect. Both of them may be considered pretty nimble, but Nassib is about two inches taller and 10 pounds heavier…and oh, yeah – Nassib won the conference Defensive Player of the Year, and he put Bosa's numbers to shame in the Big Ten.

Of what value is a guy playing the same exact position and on the same side of the D-line as the purported best player in the draft, Bosa, if he clearly outproduces Bosa? People decide they don't like Carl Nassib because he is taller and leaner, where Bosa looks thicker – Bosa more 'looks' the part. We're going to let our eyes tell us what we want to see in a defensive end? We just throw out who was more successful, if they are roughly the same athlete/possess approximately the same athletic skills?

I think there is a legit debate over who is a better draft prospect – Joey Bosa or Carl Nassib. If I'm correct about that, then one of two things has to be true: (1) Nassib should also be a top 10 overall prospect, or (2) Bosa is not a top 10 prospect, and belongs in the second or third round. You can't tell me the gap between these two is that much different. Analysts and scouts cling onto Bosa because of the agility times at the NFL Combine, and I get that, but Nassib is not without his physical gifts…he belongs in that conversation. I don't push that to say Nassib is a top 10 overall prospect, or even a first-rounder…it just more goes to prove my longstanding point that Joey Bosa doesn't belong there either. Bosa and Nassib should be in the #25-50 overall range discussion for this draft.

As far as Nassib goes, the reason I would rather have Nassib over Bosa is not only because of the cheaper price tag, because I see him as the smarter NFL player. I think both players will wind up as run-stopping defensive ends, and not known for their incredible pass-rush ability. Bosa may be a little more nimble, but Nassib is just the smarter, more savvy, more hard-working player (no slam on Bosa for that, but Nassib may be the hardest worker in the draft).

I don't believe Nassib is a future superstar, but if you came to me today from the future and told me one of these two guys was a Pro Bowl player in 2020, I would bet it would be Nassib. I would bet that Nassib outsmarts his way into becoming a very good NFL player.

I see it in the Nassib tape – he's not an athletic freak, but he’s fine…and the guy just finds a way into the backfield at key times. He's not a guy who puts his head down and charges into the backfield, using sheer force to push his blocker backwards, and winds up with a couple of sacks against failed college blocking. Nassib is more of a heady player. He contains his area, but given the down and distance and alignment – Nassib reads the situation and has a knack for playing the run smartly, or putting the pressure on the backfield on passing downs, and using technique to get past his blocker.

Nassib is a guy who went to Penn State as a walk-on, a tall skinny kid who was 6′6″/210+ pounds. He became a workout warrior and added 60+ pounds to his frame. He earned a scholarship (and an all-Big Ten academic player as well). His work ethic is off the charts. He went from skinny walk-on to Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in the first real season he had a chance to start. Why this kid is so discounted with analysts, I have no idea. But Nassib is condemned to third-round draft grades with a 'not that athletic' label, even though he's pretty close to the same athlete Joey Bosa is – but produced at a much higher level in 2015, and his work ethic is unquestionably better. You take Bosa at #3, I’ll take Nassib at #103.

Scouts and analysts fell in love with Clemson DE prospect Kevin Dodd the past few weeks, and never use the words 'one-year wonder'. Carl Nassib destroyed the Big Ten last year, and people always call him a 'one-year wonder'… without even considering the reason he was more of a 'one-year wonder' was because he was building up his body for two seasons, and trying to get on scholarship. Nassib had nothing handed to him; he went out and took everything via hard work. Kevin Dodd had all the gifts in the world and did nothing with them for three years, and was an enigma until late 2015. Yet you will see Dodd in the first-round in a lot of mock drafts, and you will never see Nassib in there. It makes no sense. Dodd and Nassib have about the same Combine numbers, except Nassib is taller…and was the better producer on the field in 2015 (on a per game basis). Dodd may be better, but not by 50-75 picks of value better.

Nassib is a 3-4 scheme defensive end fit in the NFL. He can probably hold his own as a 4-3 defensive end as well – he's just never going to be a major pass-rusher off the edge. However Nassib will be used in the NFL, he's going to give you 150%...and he will not be a bust. He may never be a star, but he will not be a bust in the NFL.

 

Carl Nassib, Through the Lens of Our DE Scouting Algorithm:


The following stat, when considering that all the other DE prospects cannot claim this, is impressive: Nassib played in 10 games in 2015 (end of season cut short with a hamstring issue), and in every single game Nassib had at least 1.0 sacks and 1.0 TFLs. He did not start a game where he didn't produce numbers.

Nassib played in parts of seven games in 2013, and he had just 12 tackles, 2.0 TFLs, and 1.0 sacks. The following season, 2014 – he played in parts of five games with only 6 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and 1.0 sacks. In 2015, he exploded in his 10 games: 46 tackles, 19.5 TFLs (7th in the NCAA), 15.5 sacks (1st in the NCAA), and 6 forced fumbles (1st in the NCAA). Keep in mind he led all the NCAA in sacks and forced fumbles, and missed three games.

In terms of the NFL Combine, Nassib ran as fast and measured as agile as other more notable DE prospects. There is not much physical difference between Nassib and Joey Bosa, or Kevin Dodd, or Bronson Kaufusi or Shaq Lawson, for that matter. Why Nassib is considered so unworthy, so much less of an athlete than those top DE names, is a little odd to me.


The Historical DE Prospects to Whom Carl Nassib Most Compares Within Our System:


Our computer scouting models produced the comparison list below, but in reality they are all pretty weak comparisons to Nassib. Our system had a very difficult time trying to compare Nassib…there are really no prospects like him over the course of draft history. There are few top prospects who kind of came out of nowhere, as walk-ons who radically changed their bodies to become Defensive Player of the Year in a major conference. Nassib has NFL physical tools, but they are not off-the-chart ones. He's going to have to rely on savvy more than athleticism to become a starter/star in the NFL, and if there's anyone who could do that, it's Carl Nassib.

We show Chandler Jones as a comparison, and that would seem strange, but keep in mind that Jones was a mild disappointment at Syracuse. He was not the guy you know today. I thought it was a stupid pick by New England at the time, but they chased his wingspan/reach and effort upside – and they were right. I don't know that Nassib will be a double-digit sack guy in the NFL like Jones, but he's going to be a good player, and may surprise with how many sacks he does get it because he just outfoxes blockers. I don't love the Jones comparison, but that's what the computer thinks...


ILB Score

Last

First

Yr


College

H

H

W

Tackle, Strngth Metric

Speed, Agility Metric

Pass Rush Metric

Tackle Metric

7.239

Nassib

Carl

2016

Penn State

6

6.7

277

8.29

3.27

7.31

9.13

5.398

Jones

Chandler

2012

Syracuse

6

4.5

266

7.38

3.26

5.61

9.13

4.188

Smith

Preston

2015

Miss State

6

4.7

271

8.54

4.72

6.35

4.91

6.825

Johnson

Rufus

2013

Tarleton St

6

5.4

288

8.30

-1.92

8.93

7.89

4.900

Campbell

Calais

2008

Miami, Fla

6

7.6

290

6.53

-6.38

5.97

8.35





*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.

2016 NFL Draft Outlook:

You will find Nassib projected in mock drafts between picks 50–100. Some late-bloomer guys like him get draft buzz, like Kevin Dodd, while others get ignored…like Nassib. It makes no sense. Dodd played in the playoffs, and I think that's why people are pushing him. Nassib and Dodd are similar physical creatures, but Nassib possesses vastly superior mindset and effort. I have to believe somehow Nassib will go in the second-round late.

If I were an NFL GM, I would have my eye on Nassib, but he would not be the centerpiece of my draft plan. I'd play it by ear as I got to the late second-round. However, if that guy falls to the third-round…to add a superior character guy like that to a team that maybe needs more guys like him, he's going to be a steal for an NFL team in need, in some way shape or form – even if just a rotational defensive player, but a leader in the locker room. I want Nassib on my team, but I would try to get him as a steal, hoping others overlook him.


NFL Outlook:   

If I had to bet, I would bet on the fact that Nassib goes on to have a sneaky good/great NFL career. A guy who just leaves people scratching their head…kind of like Rob Ninkovich has. There are just some guys who go beyond average measurables, and become great NFL players. Nassib has a chance to follow that path. If any player ever deserves to make it, it's this guy.

Note: I've made Nassib comparisons to Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, so look for him to wind up in New England…either in the third round, or three years from now...when his original draft team misuses him for years, and the Pats pluck him on the cheap.






4/3/2016