2016 NFL Draft Profile: DE Kevin Dodd
In this 2016 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of defensive end Kevin Dodd out of Clemson.
Dodd entered this past season flying under the radar because of the attention his teammate Shaq Lawson was getting from the media. Lawson was overshadowing Dodd because Lawson was filling in the shoes that former Clemson player Vic Beasley left behind. Dodd went on to record 12.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss which was second best in the nation right behind Lawson who was first in the nation. Dodd recorded these incredible numbers in just his first full season as a starter for the Tigers. When you look at the tape of Dodd’s performances, he looks like he is the real deal.
Related Story: 2016 NFL Draft Profile: QB Carson Wentz
He is a tremendous player in a 4-3 defensive scheme. No one was really aware of Dodd until the way he performed in the College Football Playoff games against Oklahoma and Alabama. In the national title game against Alabama, Dodd collected 4.5 tackles for losses and had three sacks. As an edge rusher, Dodd has been a nightmare for opponents all season long. He is a master of utilizing his body effectively on the attack, showing a forceful punch to initiate contact every single time he sets his eyes to take down a quarterback or ball carrier.
Nov 21, 2015; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive end Kevin Dodd (98) celebrates after a sack during the third quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Clemson defeated Wake Forest 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Dodd will be a big contributor in helping out any franchise that is in need of a smart edge rusher to help improve their pass rush. If teams were to bring him in slowly and want to use him in third downs than that would be a smart choice to utilize his ability to wreak havoc when it matters most.
He has so much quickness to pressure the quarterback and strength to set the edge against the run that he will be a force to reckon with right off the bat. He has an excellent first step and is quick to attack blockers before they are able to set themselves. Dodd is also an incredible run defender much in part to his motor and strength. Unlike most rookie edge rushers, Dodd is able to play under control and stay in the lanes he is supposed to be in.
With his length, Dodd is able to create leverage which is important to have against the many talented offensive tackles that are currently in the NFL. He has a real good knack for snuffing out screen passes and misdirection plays. With the type of speed and athleticism Dodd has, he could be a starter in a year or two on most teams. He isn’t a player who gives up on the play as he will play till the whistle is blown.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets should target TE Hunter Henry in free agency
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
With only having one year of starting experience, it could possibly be a question mark in wondering if he is ready for the next level entering his rookie season.
He is not a complete package kind of pass rusher like most defensive end players currently in the league. He will need to learn to lineup on the left side of the ball and not just rely on being on the right side of it. What will be important to watch is how healthy is his knee because he is coming back from a serious injury in college.
Dodd will need to develop a deeper bag of tricks in how to get past offensive tackles. He will need to learn how to use other ways in getting to the quarterback by not relying heavily on the rip and try to learn other moves for his arsenal. He will need to become quicker because his 40-yard dash time was a huge negative with a 4.86. The time that he recorded was not impressive and will make teams question how much stamina he has.
More jets: Time for Marcus Williams to shine with Jets
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
Dodd will likely be drafted in the middle of the 1st round or early 2nd round (20th- 41st pick) in this year’s draft. He seems like he has the potential to be a very good player but he will need to fix some areas of his game in order to be a successful edge rusher in the NFL. If he is able to fix his problems, then he shouldn’t have any problems in taking his game to the next level with good coaching and development.