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2018 NFL Draft: Film room scouting report on Florida State edge rusher Josh Sweat

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A recent mock draft from CBS Sports predicted Josh Sweat would be taken by the Panthers at No. 55 overall. How does he look on film? Let’s take a look and find out.

NCAA Football: Delaware State at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Background

A five star high school prospect who comes by way of Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Josh Sweat carries significant medical red flags. He only played in two games during his final year in high school. Despite that. Sweat turned out to be a productive edge rusher for the Noles. He started all twelve games in 2017. Sweat finished with 56 tackles. 12.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5. sacks during his final year in Tallahassee.

Film Breakdown

Sweat was a versatile piece along the Seminoles defensive line. His primary role was at the 4i or 5-technique position.

With that said, it’s no surprise that Sweat did his best work as a wide 9 rusher. His tape showed a diverse pass rush arsenal. Furthermore, Sweat tested out very well at the combine. He hit many benchmarks that correlate well for NFL edge rushers.

Sweat’s speed rush is his strong suit. On this sack, he’s able to show his flexibility by dipping around the tackle with natural bend. As the wide 9 edge, Sweat doesn’t have to go through a rigorous process. He gets up field and causes havoc.

Here is an example of Sweat displaying his hand violence as he pressures the quarterback. He executes a double swipe on the tackle, but check out his footwork at the top of his bend. He remains compact and takes the shortest possible path to affect the pocket.

Sweat is again lined up at the wide 9 position for a pressure. Sense a theme? He executes a well timed club rip. His footwork also stands out.

Sweat isn’t just limited to speed rushes either. He can fend off down blocks with hand strength and lower body drive. The down block creates solid contact, but Sweat is ruthless at fighting off the contact by getting underneath the guard. It leads to a sack.

While Sweat clearly showed stronger potential as a wide rusher, he can still pressure the quarterback from the interior. His quickness on pass rushing downs is an asset. There aren’t many guards who have the foot speed or quickness to keep up with him.

When Sweat was unblocked, he presented his athleticism as a play maker. He doesn’t get aggressive at the mesh point. He stays low on his feet to force a tackle for loss.

Again, Sweat’s athleticism in outside contain shows up here. This is against the dynamic Lamar Jackson too. Not bad.

Sweat’s productivity on run defense was surprisingly decent. Per PFF’s 2018 draft guide, Sweat was 20th in the nation at run stop percentage. Sweat sets a strong edge keep his eyes up, get off the block, and makes a tackle. This is textbook run defense by an edge rusher.

It’s not necessarily his fault, but at the 5-technique role he was asked to play he struggled to set the edge. He gets off the ball a second late, but then gets driven back. The Alabama running back is able to get outside the tackle for a sizable gain.

Sweat fires off the snap anticipating a run through the C gap, but the run goes through the outside of the tight end. The linebacker is filling outside, which is picked up by the pulling guard. I’m cautious of putting this on Sweat because he could have been coached to attack the C gap instead of set the edge. Regardless, this is my entire premise of his game. If a team wants to maximize his potential, then he’s best kept out wide.

Grade and fit with Carolina

The Panthers have a clear need at the edge rusher position.Mario Addison is the only established member of their group. Josh Sweat is a perfect solution, but he has some medical red flags that need to be thoroughly vetted. He had an excellent workout at the combine, which makes me more receptive to the idea of drafting him. The Panthers desperately need edges and Sweat should be on their radar.

Games watched

2017 vs Alabama

2017 vs Louisville

2017 vs Miami

2017 vs Florida

Grading system

  • 95+: HOF talent
  • 90-94.99: Future All Pro
  • 80-89.99: Future Pro Bowler
  • 70-79.99: Day one starter
  • 60-69.99: Potential year one starter/year two potential starter
  • 55-59.99: Potential to make a roster
  • 54.99 lower: Training Camp/depth player

My final grade for Sweat is 71,25, which amounts to a day one starter.

What about you, Panthers fans? Do you think the Panthers should draft Josh Sweat?

Poll

Should the Panthers draft Josh Sweat?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Yes
    (93 votes)
  • 16%
    No
    (39 votes)
  • 43%
    Maybe
    (103 votes)
235 votes total Vote Now