This is the 2018 NFL Draft profile for defensive end prospect Josh Sweat. We take a look at the strengths, weaknesses, and if he makes sense for the New York Jets.
Josh Sweat may be one of the more underrated defensive players on the board for this month’s NFL Draft. He seems to have a lot of upside, but his focus has limited that. The edge rusher just needs to find himself in a situation where he is held accountable. Why? Because if he is, then he can become a dominant player at the next level. Sweat would be a phenomenal pick for the New York Jets. The team is in dire need of a defensive end, and they may need to make a splash in the middle rounds without a single pick in round two.
First off, Sweat is a physical monster. He stands a looming 6’4″ and weighs 251 pounds. You may be asking “is that ideal size for a defensive end?” and the answer is absolutely. Sweat’s size is comparable to current Houston Texan Jadeveon Clowney and Tampa Bay Buccaneer Jason Pierre-Paul. He can be compared to many others as far as physique goes, so this indicates that the framework that is needed is there.
The former Seminole performed well at the 2018 NFL Combine. He didn’t do every drill, but he did have a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical jump, 124-inch broad jump and a 4.28-second 20-yard shuttle.
Sweat opted out of the three-cone drill and bench press at this year’s combine, but he made both workouts up at the FSU Pro Day. He banged out 16 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and ran a 6.95-second three-cone drill.
The 21-year old played three years in the ACC with FSU. While he didn’t play in a powerhouse conference like the SEC or BIG10, he still played extremely well in a respectable conference. Sweat didn’t do too much his freshman year, but he made up for the limited production in his last two seasons for the Noles. He tallied 12.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss as a sophomore and junior.
The Virginia native finished his collegiate career with 138 total tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks and one interception. He is seemingly overlooked by many teams, but he could end up being a middle round stud.
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According to NFL.com, Sweat has a lot of attributes that NFL teams will be attracted to. His most important asset seems to be his athletic ability. This ability allows him to play and transition into multiple different stances as well as drop into space.
Sweat has a great tackling ability. He uses his long wingspan to finish tackles and he can get into a tackling position quickly.
The long-armed defensive end also has good hands that he uses to wreak havoc as a pass rusher. He has the potential to serve as an edge rusher against tight ends.
Overall, Sweat shows strong technique, athleticism, and solid tackling ability.
Sweat’s biggest weakness is his attention and effort. He will sometimes take a play off here and there. The lack of attention hinders Sweat’s form and starts off the line. This effects his ability to burst off the line and keep up with offensive tackles.
The physical frame of Sweat is also concerning. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of power in his legs, so he finds himself leaning into contact and losing his balance. Sweat doesn’t show a lot of finesse moves or block shedding, which makes him decelerate as a pass rusher sometimes. However, another major concern is his medical history. He suffered a knee injury in high school, as well as a meniscus injury as a sophomore in college.
Sweat has been projected as a second to third-round pick. So, him being selected by the Jets could be a real possibility. The Jets obviously will not have a chance to get Sweat in Round 2, but they can easily take him if he slips into Round 3. The addition of Sweat would add size and youth to the Jets defensive line.
The former Seminole may find himself on Gang Green if all goes well on draft day. If he is available in Round 3, the team should be inclined to select him. Imagine Sweat and Leonard Williams? This scenario is something to pay attention to as the draft inches closer.