2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU

Photo: David Purdy/Getty Images

 

Height: 6031

Weight: 290

Class: Redshirt Junior

D.O.B: —

 

ArmsHandsWingspan40-YDBPVJBJ3-Cone20-YD Shuttle60-YD Shuttle
Combine32 3/89 6/878 6/84.9N/A29.0107.07.774.67N/A
Pro Day
Strengths: Blacklock is a tall, imposing presence on the interior of the defensive line. He has been used in a variety of alignments from a 1tech right across to a 5tech, making him a scheme diverse player capable of playing in an odd or an even man front effectively. Blacklock’s first step is fantastic, he explodes out of his stance, getting deep into his pass rush early and quickly. He has the foot quickness to work laterally and change direction, shooting a different gap if needed. He plays with good, low pad level despite being a taller player. He stays low out of his stance and plays with good leverage. Blacklock’s hands are good as a whole, he has long arms and is able to make early contact with the O- Lineman, delivering a powerful punch that is able to stun the O-Lineman. He flashes some very nice pass rush moves incorporating arm overs and club chop moves. Converting speed to power is his go to move, he absolutely has the juice. He is able to power his way through the O-Line, shooting gaps at will and being a true penetrative force up front. For a bigger, more powerful player, Blacklock shows really good flexibility. He’s able to dip and bend on the interior, making him a surprisingly slippery player for O-Linemen to get their hands on. He’s often faced with double teams but shows the strength and motor to handle them comfortably and still make himself a nuisance for the opposition. Against the run, Blacklock shows two-gap ability, he has the length and strength to shut off running lanes and wrap up the ball carrier.
Weaknesses: In 2018, Blacklock suffered an Achilles injury, causing him to miss the full season. He plays from an unconventional stance, with both hands in the dirt. He may be required to make a technical transition to a three-point stance which may require an adjustment period. There is still a fair bit of development needed in terms of his mental processing, this could be due to missing a full season of game time. He will be slow to process the play and misread the run at times. There are times when he’s pressuring one side of the line and the run play is directed to the other side of the line and Blacklock effectively eliminates himself from the play. The play can pass him by as he’s not focused on the ball but on trying to beat the Offensive Lineman. He needs to focus his eyes on the backfield and not drop his eye level. Blacklock’s hand usage requires continued development, the raw technical aspects are there but some nuance is needed which will come with added experience.
Summary: As a true Freshman Blacklock exploded on to the scene at TCU, earning All- American honours in his debut year. Unfortunately, an Achilles injury in 2018 saw him miss the entirety of his Sophomore year. He bounced back in a big way this season, totalling 3.5 sacks and 9 TFLs, as a disruptive force in the Horned frogs’ front seven. Blacklock is typical of the modern day lighter Defensive Tackle, he’s a slippery interior defensive lineman, who has great athleticism for the position. He lined up as 1tech in an odd man front but for me projects best to a 3tech in an even front. Blacklock’s go to move is a speed to power rush, utilizing his explosive first step and powerful hands. Having only played two full seasons of college and football there could be an adjustment period needed for Blacklock, but his ceiling is super high.
Grade: Round 1
Pro Comparison: Gerald McCoy

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