Originally posted by SunDevilNiner79:Originally posted by 5280High:Question OTC, why has Upshaw fallen so far? Not impressive at the combine or pro-day, i get that... but he had knee tendinitis and was running at around 275-280 when he plays around 265. Is it the fear of a nagging injury? He did nothing but produce on the biggest of stages and dominated SEC tackles. Top end speed may not be "elite" but his 10 yard burst is quick as they come. Along with that he has some of the best hands and balance Ive seen out of this years tweener olb/de crop. He sets up his moves and transitions to his 2nd or 3rd move effortlessly.
Can you point to tendencies that caused this fall outside of the combine/pro day? It seems almost universal across the draft sites.
-lack of pass rush moves
-doubts over whether he can play away from the line of scrimmage
-tendency to not hold his lane against the run
-not particularly explosive or quick
The problem is he doesn't really translate as a pass rusher and he doesn't show the ability to play standing up LB.
In addition to unimpressive workouts, scouts definitely feel that his explosiveness on the field and lack of range are major obstacles making him seem more like just a 4-3 DE. Upshaw may have produced well and shown a lot of skill, but the NFL is becoming a league of quick-twitch athletes, and that's not Upshaw. He also measured in with much shorter arms for a pass-rusher, which believe it or not can hurt you a ton -- not just in terms of draft stock -- but in the NFL on the field. Shorter arms make it much more difficult to disengage because NFL tackles have the wider wingspan to keep a guy like him away, without him ever even being able to get his hands on the offensive lineman.
Aldon Smith's long arms are a huge asset to him and just one thing that has helped him have success.