Scouting the 2020 NFL Draft: DT Ross Blacklock, TCU

Ross Blacklock, TCU (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Ross Blacklock, TCU (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Critical Factors

These are traits that are incorporated with every position.

Athletic Ability – Possibly the most athletic defensive tackle in the class. Possesses elite lateral quickness and change of direction thanks to his loose hips and ankles. Has the flexibility to flash some cornering ability and make sharp angles without losing speed, which showed up when he was performing stunts/twists from the A gap bouncing out to the C gap.

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Flexibility also showed up when he showcased his ability to get skinny and slip between gaps. Very good acceleration for his size shows up when he breaks his block and pursues the QB. Has some explosiveness to him, but some lower body strength could be added.

Mental Processing – Blacklock displayed the ability to play numerous positions along TCU’s defensive line. He shows a very good understanding of angles that shows up in his stunts/twists and pursuit from the backside. On the other hand, there are areas for improvement when it comes to reading blocks against the run and establishing a pass rush plan pre-snap. There were too many plays where he would find himself unable to disengage from blockers being late with counters.

Competitive Toughness – One of the first traits that will pop off the screen for Blacklock is his relentless motor. Whether it be splitting double teams to make a play in the backfield or chasing ball carriers ten-plus yards downfield, he’s going to give it his all. His motor made up for some of the lacking development with counters and wore offensive linemen down as the game went along.

Play Speed – Displays good play speed for the defensive tackle position. His versatility to line up all across the defensive line and athleticism to make sudden changes of direction is impressive. Has the speed to wreak havoc from the backside of plays chasing running backs to the sideline.

Play Strength – Blacklock displays excellent power, especially as a pass rusher. A real bully in the middle, his bullrush sent centers flying into the quarterback’s lap. His upper body strength shows up in highlight reels as he tosses offensive linemen aside. To improve against the run at the NFL level, he will have to build some more strength in his lower body to deliver a better anchor when facing double teams.