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philfree
01-09-2012, 10:52 PM
Analysis




Read and React: Essentially asked to pin his ears back and rush the passer as a weakside defensive end in this scheme, though he shows enough play recognition to project as a linebacker. Feels screens coming and locates the running back rather than giving himself up by pursuing the passer. Locates the ball quickly and hustles in pursuit.

Pass defense: Not often asked to drop back into coverage in this scheme. Shows surprising fluidity when he does so, however, and keeps his head on a swivel. Reads the quarterback's eyes and breaks on the ball quickly, showing better agility than you'd expect for a player of his height/weight. May be unable to perform well in this role on a full-time basis, however, which could prompt the move to inside linebacker rather than outside at the next level.

Pass rush: One of his best traits. Possesses good burst off the snap and as effective a swim move as you'll see in college football. Adept at whipping either arm over the head of the blocker and twisting his body around his opponent to gain clearance with remarkable efficiency. Heavy, active hands which he uses to bat away the tackle's initial punch. Good lateral agility to elude and possesses good straight-line speed for the position. Has a legitimate burst to close on the quarterback and arrives with explosion, creating potential fumble opportunities.

Run defense: Stouter at the point of attack when run at than you'd expect given his lack of ideal size as a hybrid defensive end in this scheme. Plays with excellent pad level and has very good upper and lower body strength to anchor. Uses his impressive swim move and quick, heavy hands to slap away the blocker's attempts at getting into his chest, showing the ability to disengage quickly. Good lateral agility to slip past the blocker and set the edge. Unselfish player willing to take out blockers to create a pile and provide easy tackle opportunities for his teammates. Good effort laterally and downfield in pursuit.

Tackling: This is the area in which scouts from 4-3 teams will want to see more from Upshaw, as he's rarely put in position to make tackles in the open field. Shows good lateral agility and balance when breaking down in tight quarters to tackle elusive ball-carriers, so there is plenty of evidence to believe that he can make this transition. Good upper body strength. Capable of slowing the momentum of the ball-carrier with one arm while simultaneously engaged with a blocker, before slipping off the block for the pull-down tackle. Good effort and speed in pursuit. Physical, explosive tackler who can make the intimidating hit.

Intangibles: Established "The 41 Fund" during the spring of 2011 to help establish funds for the victims of the tornadoes that swept through the state of Alabama Was arrested for domestic assault for an August, 2009 altercation on campus with his girlfriend, which police happened to be on hand to witness. The charges were ultimately dropped by both parties Made his initial impression as a special teams standout, leading the Tide with 18 tackles on this unit in 2008 Highly touted prep prospect who signed with Alabama rated by some recruiting experts among the top 30 players in the country, regardless of position. Was the Alabama Class 5A Lineman of the Year, as voted by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.

--Rob Rang



So is Upshaw really a candidate to play ILB? Even more could he be able to play both inside and out in our 3-4?

He could be a hybrid player who could play OLB, ILB and a down linemen in a sub package.

Yeah we need a QB.

O.city
01-11-2012, 06:47 PM
I like Hightower alot more actually.