Defensive End: Seahawks draft prospects, post combine
By Derek Tweedy
Sam Hubbard – 6’5″ – 270 lbs. – DNP 10 yard split – 6.84 sec. 3 cone – Ohio State
Hubbard is a real nice prospect. He had some flaws in his game, but this guy will be a player. Hubbard had an extra step in the club and rip, and pedaled wide around the corner. The Ohio State product is a true technician with his hands. He doesn’t look like a fluid athlete, but he definitely understood what and how you are supposed to do the stack and shed. Sam Hubbard is a starter in this league. Hubbard is technically sound, but not highly athletic. Although, his three cone numbers would beg to differ with my assessment of him as an athlete. He can do either job based on technique, but he looks more like a defensive end to me. He felt like a poor man’s Joey Bosa.
Kylie Fitts – 6’4″ – 265 lbs. – 1.61 10 yard split – 6.88 sec. 3 cone drill – Utah
Fitts really surprised me today. He is very injury prone, so he is a little under the radar. On the field, he moves well, but had some trouble breaking down coming forward. This showed he either hadn’t practiced the breakdown or his hips were tight. He bent well and handled the bags well in the club and rip, leading me to believe he hadn’t practiced the breakdown. He didn’t show the violent punch that others did, but ripped and bent well. One of the few prospects who actually displayed the rip technique. Fitts treated the stack and shed like a speed drill. Struck low and soft on the stack, looked down and bent at the waist on the shed. He chopped his feet through the cut in the pursuit drill slowing him down. Fitts looked very nice in the linebacker drills showing nice movement skills. His three cone and 10 yard times are excellent for a defensive end. He is worth remembering come draft day. Reminded me a lot of Matt Judon of the Baltimore Ravens.
Arden Key – 6’6″ – 238 lbs. – DNP 10 yard split – 7.16 sec. 3 cone – LSU
I was interested to see what Key is all about. Coming into the season, he was a top 10 pick candidate. Now he is leaning more toward the 2nd or 3rd round. At 238 pounds, he looks like he is a linebacker only. He will need to put on more weight to play at defensive end. He shows good quick movement, and looked really good through the bags. No violence in his hands; he pushed the bag hoping to just burst by it. He needs to be really quick off the ball to win. Looked really great in the stack and shed, which was surprising after the other drills. He bent well, looked like a basketball player in the stack and shed. Key’s hips were great. Really used his long arms to create a nice stack. He showed a good change of direction. He is a nice athlete, but he looks raw. I can see why he is falling.
Hercules Mata’afa – 6’2″ – 262 lbs. – 1.64 10 yard split – 7.24 sec. 3 cone – WSU
I wanted to see an amazing work out from Mata’afa. I know what kind of heart and motor he has, and I would want him on my team. He is a guy you find a place for, because he won’t stop working. During drills, he showed tight hips, but great burst. The former Coug looked good through the bags. One of the few players who kept his head up the whole time, but stepped on a bag because of it. Mata’afa got off-balance trying to club so hard, it made him miss the next bag almost completely. Initial burst was good in the club and rip. However, his club was still a little awkward, and he didn’t rip either time. Bent decently, which is a needed pass rush trait. Mata’afa understood the stack, but rushed it. He showed a good shuffle in the shed and bent the knees as you are supposed to. You could see glimpses of excellent change of direction, but played too fast all day. Lost balance. Not good for a lineman. Later, he cheated the linebacker drill, and wasn’t watching the coach. He broke before he was supposed to, thus making it difficult to determine how his lateral movement was. Got literally no distance in his back pedal. Looked like he had his feet moving for an up/down. Linebacker back pedal is about gaining distance in the drop, not just chopping your feet. I really like Mata’afa as a football player and I think he will be a special teams demon. I just don’t know where else he plays yet.
Josh Sweat – 6’5″ – 251 lbs. – 1.55 10 yard split – DNP 3 cone – Florida State
Sweat was an injury prone guy with a ton of talent in college. That trend continued. He ran a blistering 40 and then didn’t run another drill, apparently due to injury.
Trevon Young – 6’4″ – 258 lbs. – 1.62 10 yard split – 6.99 sec. 3 cone – Louisville
Young is intriguing. He didn’t jump off the screen to me as a freak pass rusher, but his 10 yard and 3 cone were among the best. Young didn’t back pedal well at all, and will be best coming forward. He cheated the change of direction drill, he purposely started behind the bag, making it easy to get through with speed. With that being said, he looked fluid still. During the club and rip, he resorted to a slap and back pedal to get around the bags. Swam each time, no rip even demonstrated. Good punch for the stack, but stiff in the transition to the shed. Then bent and looked at the bag in the shed. He definitely needs some work. High and tight hips in change of direction, although his 3 cone says otherwise. Looked away from the ball and the coach in the linebacker drill. That is important because a linebacker always needs to see the ball. Needs work on this too. He looks like a prospect who needs work, but he brings good size, speed and explosion.