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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Ross Blacklock was a redshirt freshman in 2016 who played all 12 games in both the 2017 and 2019 seasons missing the 2018 season with an Achilles injury. Played under head coach Gary Patterson during his entire collegiate career as part of a defense that used odd fronts and a high number of stunts/twists. He possesses excellent size and length for the defensive tackle position with a thick and muscular upper body, and long, think lower body.

Blacklock’s quick-twitch athleticism is rare for his size. He wins with great length, power, heavy hands, flexibility, and athleticism. He plays with a high motor that teams will covet in the NFL. Has the burst off the LOS to create immediate chaos in the pocket and flashes multiple pass rush moves. He played primarily as a two-gap defender moving anywhere from 0 to 5 techniques along the TCU line.

While Blacklock possesses some rare athletic traits, he is still a somewhat raw prospect. There are flashes of pass rush moves, but his timing of counters is inconsistent and often late due to not having a pass rush plan previous to the snap. He will also need to develop when it comes to reading run blocking and building up lower body strength to anchor if teams want him to play the nose tackle position.

In the NFL, Blacklock projects best to a three-technique in an even front, allowing him to exploit his rare athletic traits to penetrate gaps. He has the versatility and experience in a two-gap system, which makes him viable for teams running multiple fronts.

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Blacklock has the physical characteristics to wreak havoc early on in his career with the potential to be the staple of a defense after a year or two. Even in a loaded interior defensive line class, Blacklock deserves to hear his name called either late first-round or early second.