Seahawks Player 1: OLB/DE Eli Mencer
Just one month ago I wrote an article detailing how Eli Mencer is the most likely UDFA to make the Seahawks roster. The more film I watch, the more I believe he could do more than just make the roster. I think he could make a real impact in his first year in the NFL.
Age: 23 years old
40-Yard Dash: 4.54 seconds
He is undoubtedly undersized for the defensive end position. However, the Seahawks have him listed as a defensive end. They obviously believe his frame could hold additional weight. Mencer split time between outside linebacker and defensive end in college. However, it was when he fully moved into the defensive end role, he found his niche.
During his senior campaign, he was absolutely dominant. He broke his school record for the most sacks in a single season at 14.5. He also recorded an incredible 24 tackles for loss and 5 forced fumbles.
He reminds me of Matthew Judon of the Baltimore Ravens. Both are small school wonders. Both put up incredible numbers during their senior campaigns, yet teams were worried it was just due to the level of competition. Fast forward to today and Judon has recorded 24.5, 41 tackles for a loss and 7 forced fumbles over the last 3 seasons.
There is a size differential. I mean Judon is 6’3″ and 275lbs. However, they both play with technical refinement and a plentiful toolbox of pass-rushing moves. Both have a red hot motor. The key difference would be how they rush the passer. Mencer wins with speed around the edge, whereas Judon wins with power.
I can picture Mencer starting the season as a special teams player. When the team finds they haven’t done enough with rushing the passer mid-season, they’ll give him a shot to produce. I believe he has the refinement to make a real impact in year one.
Pro Comparison: Matthew Judon
Year 1 role: Situation pass rusher as an EDGE