Yesterday, I examined two cornerbacks that the Ravens could select on day three of the draft, whom could possibly turn into solid NFL players. Today, I’m going to look at pass rushers, starting with a player from Utah that dominated the Pac-12 all throughout the 2016 season.
Hunter Dimick, EDGE, Utah
After a senior season in which he totaled 14.5 sacks, Hunter Dimick somehow did not receive an invite to the NFL Combine. It’s not as if the 2016 season was the only one where Dimick produced big numbers. Dimick is the all time leader in sacks and tackles for loss in Utah history.
Throughout the season, Dimick breached opponents backfield with power, strength, and even a deceptive burst of speed. His five sack performance against Arizona State showcased these skills. Check out this video which does an excellent job of analyzing Dimick in that game:
At his Pro Day, Dimick opened a lot of eyes. According to SB Nation’s Utah affiliate, Block U, Dimick had 38 reps on the bench press with a weight of 225 pounds. Shane Roberts of Block U wrote, “Dimick put up an awesome 38 bench reps of 225, which was three more than his teammate Isaac Asiata did at the Combine, and Asiata had the high mark at the Combine.” This is extremely impressive. In addition, Dimick ran a 4.70 40 yard dash. At his Pro Day, Dimick showed not only that he has the power and the strength to come off the edge, but that he also has decent speed. Keep in mind, Terrell Suggs’ 40 time was a 4.84. Dimick could prove to be a day three steal for whichever team selects him.
Ejuan Price, EDGE, Pittsburgh
Despite the injury concerns, I’ve liked Price for awhile now. His tape shows a prospect with strength and burst. A few weeks ago, when doing research on Price, I read through his draft profile and saw a comparison that I think fit him perfectly. Lance Zierlein compared Price to James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harrison has an unquestioned desire to get to the quarterback. He can beat offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage with strength and burst. Throughout the game, Harrison is able to tire out offensive lineman. Price can do the same for whichever team drafts him.
The production is there too for Price. Price had 28.5 sacks in his career at Pittsburgh. In addition, Price was named to the All-ACC first team twice in his career. At the Combine, Price ran a 4.84 40 yard dash and posted a 4.34 in the 20 yard shuttle. Price had a 31.5 inch vertical jump, and a 117 inch broad jump. Finally, Price had 20 reps on the bench press.
The biggest concern with Price his injuries. Price has been at Pittsburgh for six years as a result of injuries. He redshirted in 2012 due to a pectoral injury. Price then missed half of the 2013 season with a back injury. In 2014, Price missed another full season with a with a chest muscle malady. Obviously this is concerning, but Price has not had a major injury since. Price is a calculated risk due to injuries, but he showed in college that he is a very productive player when on the field.
I want to give an honorable mention to Tyus Bowser, an outside linebacker from Houston. Bowser didn’t make this post because I no longer consider him a sleeper. After his stellar Combine performance, he has become more of a known commodity, and may not even be a day three prospect anymore.
Just like cornerback, the 2017 NFL Draft class is stacked with pass rushers. Players who normally would be early round prospects are being pushed back into the later rounds. The Ravens need to add depth at outside linebacker for the present and the future, this year is undeniably the year to do so.