Player Name: Angelo Blackson
H/W: 6'4 320
Position: Defensive Line
Measureables: 5.02 40, 4.57 20 yard shuttle, 7.50 3 cone drill, 20 bench press reps
- Frame - Blackson is in the mold of a classic space eating nose tackle type with some range of motion. He's a big body at 6'4 320. A mountain of a man that compares to a poor man's Vince Wilfork but less athletic (relatively speaking).
- Strength - He uses his massive bulk to hold up at the point of attack, which frees up the other defenders to make plays. Above average ability to use strength to bust open double teams by his bull rushes. On the game tapes, I've noticed him quite a bit just blowing the guard back nearly every time he has a chance to do so.
- Fundamentals - A disciplined run stopper and a sure tackler. Constantly outworking his assigned gap and willing to pursue plays past the line of scrimmage. High motor. Finishes tackles very well once he gets there. Underrated athleticism as shown at the Combine. Lateral quickness was a surprise.
- Experience - He played in most of the games in which he was able to play but didn't start a lot. By that measure, Blackson needs more seasoning. I do have questions if he was conditioned enough to play more than the allotted snaps given to him. Fortunately for the Titans, defensive line is relatively well stocked ahead of him so he can sit and learn the playbook, get adjusted to NFL strength and conditioning, etc.
- Fundamentals - Although he is generally in the right place and time to make a play, it's a tedious process getting there. Frequently gets lost in the wash and rarely beats double teams. Plays too high at times and subsequently is easily blocked out of the play. The base in which he operates from could use a little work as well. Limited ability to explode upwards on the blocker instead of coming high all the time. Gives away leverage as a result. Pass rushing ability is severely limited but he wasn't asked too much to do that in college so there's that. Hand usage is subpar.
- Frame - AB needs to shift some of the bad weight he carries into good weight. A year in a NFL S&C program without the pressures of college life will do wonders. Doesn't exactly have to be built like Herschel Walker but a passable weight would be great.
The highlight films for Blackson were somewhat limited so I had to pull from full game footage. I chose the three games in particular as each presented unique opportunities for him. Kansas State with their limited passing game, Ole Miss because of their spread concepts, and Miss State for their old school grind them out bowling ball downhill style mixed in with new school spread. Auburn's 2014 defense in totality was still a disaster but wasn't as bad as the 2013 national title runner ups (that defense was some kind of terrible). Interesting note: Former Titans assistant Tracy Rocker was his position coach at Auburn.
I do see the logic behind the pick of Blackson but not the round nor the pick that was used on him. The Titans do need depth on the line especially given Blackson's capabilities as a 5 tech and Ropati P's surprising fall off in play last year. He's purely depth at this point in his career. A lot of coaching and a year in an NFL S&C program will get him on the right path. If he manages to fulfill his potential, he can provide similar production that of a Casey Hampton or Vince Wilfork. The frame is certainly ideal for a future move to nose tackle if Sammie Lee Hill is ultimately let go. I can also see him settle down in a 5 tech position as well.