Read & React: Must improve here to be more than a role player or special teamer. Hesitates and takes too many false steps on misdirection plays or meeting elusive ballcarriers. Best when hustling to the ball when it is directly in his path.
Run defense: Generally strong anchor on the edge and keeps blockers at bay with his length. Good upper-body strength to punch off block to chase down ballcarriers. Keeps containment on the outside, and gets to the corner with speed and hustle. Provides backside run support with length and speed. Does not feel trap blocks, getting washed out of too many plays. Gets stuck in trash. Runs a bit upright at times, and needs to consistently keep his knees bent to flow to the ball and improve his change of direction ability.
Pass defense: Occasionally dropped into zone coverage. Better running straight-line than in his hip turn but still has quickness to get deep in his drops. Capable of running (and matching up physically) with many tight ends at the next level, but inexperienced in man coverage. Attacks receivers making catches in front of him, but must improve awareness of routes behind him in zones. No interceptions in his career.
Tackling: Good chase tackler, willing to push back piles or be the second or third man in. Hustles to opposite sideline when needed to prevent huge plays. Not explosive into the ballcarrier, but has strength and length to secure tackles laterally or from behind. Very good closing speed on plays in the backfield, including sacks. Slows down backs with arm tackle, but is only average in his strength and ability to corral elusive backs one-on-one in space.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Can explode off the snap when in full pass-rush mode, but lacks flexibility to turn the corner. Gives nice secondary effort to bring down the quarterback. Pushes back tackles with his strength but won't overwhelm NFL linemen. Needs to vary his pass rush moves, though his inside spin move can be effective. Hands are not violent enough to disengage from solid blocks. Must work on defeating the cut block with his hands, though he can recover quickly enough to get back into the play.
Intangibles: Worked his way up the depth charts during his time in Murfreesboro; some scouts consider him a one-year wonder. Good effort on the practice field and during games. Also puts in his time in the weight room. Loads of upside without any character red flags.