Thursday, May 10, 2007

Positional Analysis: Defensive End, Part 3/7

Today we continue our look at the Vikings defensive ends. Day one gave us an overview of the position and a look at Kenechi Udeze, day two we looked at the promising but oft injured Erasmus James. Today we'll be looking at Darrion Scott who may have been the best of the Vikings defensive ends last season.

Darrion Scott: #98/6'3"/289/Ohio State/88th overall pick of 2004 Draft

Pro Career: In 2004 he was the third pick of the Vikings draft behind Udeze and Dontarrios Thomas. He sat his first season but in 2005, with an injury to first round pick Kenechi Udeze, seized the opportunity and started fifteen games combined at both end positions. Known as a tackling machine and a run stopping clog on the line Darrion consistently racks up tackles, and for the most part far exceeds his defensive end teammates in that number. Over the last two seasons 104 tackles to only 9.5 sacks.

Last Year: After having his first season as a full-time starter in 2005, Darrion Scott had another opportunity to excel last year. However one would assume that Scott's opportunity arose less because of his talent and more because of the pressing need created by the injuries of Kenechi Udeze and Erasmus James in consecutive years. Last year in replacement of James he registered 5.5 sacks which pitifully led the team. A large defensive end he was one of the many reasons the Vikings were stout against the run last season and registered 46 tackles.

It'll be interesting to see how the Vikings utilize Scott this season. Clearly the team has already invested two first round picks into defensive ends and Udeze and James will be given every opportunity (and then some) to secure their positions as starters. However their inability to stay on the field due to injuries, and Scott's relative predictability may give them team a reason to make him a starter, using someone like James solely in passing downs. If not, Darrion is still likely to see the field almost every time the Vikings need a stop in a clear rushing situation. It's also possible, and maybe even likely that either Kenechi or Erasmus will perform so badly in camp that they could lose their positions outright to Scott.

Scouts Inc.'s take:

"Scott is strong, fairly quick and disciplined. He plays with good knee-bend and leverage. He can stack at the point of attack and uses his hands well to separate. He can be very successful against double teams. He stays home and won't run around blocks and open up holes in the defense. He plays with a good motor and is excellent in pursuit over short areas. He seems to have a very good feel for blocking angles and offensive concepts. He works hard to push offensive tackles into the pocket to slide off and try to make a play. He played some tackle in college. But Scott lacks great edge explosiveness and isn't big or powerful enough to move inside. He lacks perimeter speed and burst. He isn't very effective in space. He won't run down a lot of backside plays. He isn't big or physical enough to hold up against powerful guards working inside."

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