Scouting the NFL Draft: EDGE Kevin Dodd

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Kevin Dodd, EDGE, Clemson
Ht. 6'5", Wt. 277, Arm: 34", Hand: 10", Bench: -
40 yd: 4.86, 10 yd.: 1.70, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Louisville, Oklahoma, Alabama

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Clemson edge rusher Kevin Dodd had a rough start to his college career. He saw little action as a true freshman in 2012 and then suffered a season-ending knee injury after the fourth game of his sophomore season. He continued his role as a rotational defender during his redshirt sophomore season in 2014 and finished his first three seasons with 0 sacks and 2.5 TFL.

Then came 2015. Shaq Lawson was the Clemson defender who earned the most national attention during the season, but Dodd "quietly" matched his production. Dodd finished second behind Lawson in the ACC with 12 sacks and second (again to Lawson) in the NCAA with 21 TFL. If Lawson put his stamp on the national championship game against Alabama, Dodd wrote his name all over it with 5 TFL and 3 sacks.

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Strengths

• Size - Ideal length, frame
• Speed to Power - Strong bull rush, potential to improve
• Bend - Fluid outside rush
• Speed - Closes quickly, explosive burst
• Hands - Highly effective, violent usage
• Athleticism - Held his own covering an outside WR
• Run Defense - Reads, sheds effectively
• Disciplined - Maintains gap, run fit
• Diagnosing - Game slowed down for him as year went on

Weaknesses

• Pass Rush Moves - Decent rip, but needs to add counter moves
• Experience - Only one season as starter, needs reps
• Blockers Into Body - Occasionally lets blockers consume him
• Read/React - Tentative when he can't attack
• Competition - Lined up over the strongside OT almost exclusively

Verdict: First-Round Pick

Dodd lacks Lawson's technical ability, but he's every bit the athlete Lawson isn't. I'd bet on Dodd improving his technique before Lawson becomes more toolsy. He'll need some time and reps to learn the subtleties of the position, but you can see his potential when he's able to pin his ears back and attack.

Dodd has the size, strength and length to be a strongside defensive end for the Cowboys, yet the bend and burst to man the weak side. No. 4 overall is too rich for him, so he's another good candidate if the Cowboys decide to trade down into the teens.

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