Originally Posted by WolverineFan
Donald is an insanely explosive gap penetrator off the snap. He excels in one-on-one situations because he's quicker than the guy across from him and strong enough to disengage. He gets upfield fast and makes plays. You're talking about taking him out of those kind of situations (that he excels in) and putting him in situations where he has no experience. Playing OLB? Playing ILB? The biggest flaw in his game is his weakness against double teams and he's going to be a 3-4 DE? Running a fast 40 or doing a bunch of bench reps doesn't suddenly make him capable of playing certain positions.
You don't take a guy with an explosive first step and inside penetrating ability and move him off the ball or to the edge. You like the guy and want him on the Texans. No issue with that, I love the guy. But he doesn't fit with the presumed defense RC is going to run. You're trying to square peg him into the system because you like him. This is the same kind of thing that ruined Glenn Dorsey's career.
You can find ways to implement a guy like him into your scheme, but not at the cost of a 1st-2nd round pick. Do you really want to use a high pick on a sub-package and situation specific player or do you want to use it on an every down starter?
This is a scouting report on Hali.
Positives: Has a relentless motor and explosive quickness in pursuit … Shows good leg drive and lower body strength to plant, drive and redirect with no loss of acceleration … Has a sudden burst into the backfield and can slip off an offensive tackle's outside shoulder with his quickness off the edge … Shows the valid speed to pursue ballcarriers into the second level … Stays low in his pads to slip past some trash … All-out hustler who plays until the whistle … Solid wrap-up tackler who takes good angles in pursuit and uses his hands well to lock on, drag down and make the hit … Has a good understanding of blocking schemes and is an explosive hitter when he beats a block … Has the long arms needed to reach out, lock on and get a piece of the ballcarriers when chasing along the perimeter.
Negatives: Lacks ideal size and his frame is at maximum growth potential … Does not have the upper body strength to stack and control … Size issues come into play when working in-line, as bigger blockers simply engulf him and when trying to shoot the inside gaps, he can be ridden out by a strong lead block (see 2005 South Florida and Cincinnati games) … Gets into the backfield quickly, but sometimes over-pursues the play due to his reckless abandon (needs to play with better control) … Beats the blocker around the edge, but has to be more active with his hands to combat counter moves and double teams … Relies more on his burst and quickness to get to the quarterback, failing to use an array of pass rush moves (effective rip, but struggles with club moves and rarely uses a swim) … Does not have the loose hips or pass drop agility to possibly make a move to linebacker.
Hali lacks ideal size and is close to maximum growth potential on his frame. However, he has good lower body muscle definition to generate a strong base and a big bubble. He does not have good upper body muscle tone and has to rely on his outstanding initial burst and explosion to defeat blockers coming off the edge rather than generate a power charge. His best asset is his pursuit speed and agility. He shows good balance on the move and is very active with his hands to combat low blocks at his legs.
Hali is a disruptive force in the backfield. He has the ability to explode past blockers when he stays low in his pads and comes off the snap with good urgency. He has good instincts and awareness to locate the ball and knows where the quarterback is. He flows to the ball well in backside pursuit and has the sustained speed to attack ballcarriers along the perimeter.
He is better vs. the pass than the run, as he sometimes generates poor hand placement, which lets blockers get into his chest to lock on. He has a good change of direction burst from the outside, but gets washed out by the bigger linemen when trying to get through inside trash, thus the move from tackle to end two years ago. Still, he is very competitive and rarely will you ever see him shut down on a play, even when beaten.
His lack of size causes him problems trying to play off double teams, but he has the flexibility to escape with his lateral moves. With his long arm length, he needs to do a better job of protecting his upper body from getting stymied on initial contact, but he lacks the strength to be effective winning battles vs. the larger offensive tackles.
Hali is best when given room to roam. He has an excellent closing burst and the redirection skills to make plays working down the line. He shows very good acceleration when dropping off to level two and showed in 2005 that he greatly improved his pass rush burst and rip-and-swim moves. He is an all-out hustler who can make plays in space on a consistent basis. He gets a quick push off the snap and while he certainly needs to shed better, he comes off the edge with good urgency.
In the past, Hali would burst into the backfield and get too reckless in his pursuit, getting taken out of the play. He showed better angles shooting the gaps as a senior, but his size and lack of upper body strength still make him a liability working around the pile. When he moves inside as a situational pass rusher, offensive tackles are quick to engulf him.
His all-out hustle will make him a very effective edge rusher, but only if given a free lane to the quarterback. Considering that offensive linemen are bigger, stronger and more physical at the pro level, a team will have to strongly consider if Hali is worth using a first-round draft pick on. He might be best served playing in obvious passing situations only. With little room for additional growth on his frame, "what you see, is what you get" here.
Tell me that doesn't sound like they are describing Donald. Minus a few of the negatives.
Here is what Roc did with Hali in KC.
Summary: When Romeo Crennel took over the defense in Kansas City, he wisely schemed Hali to match up against the open side where he exceled at Penn State, and it led to a surge in production that has carried into his sixth season. What he lacks in speed he compensates for with his relentless pursuit and effort. A versatile performer, Hali moved from defensive tackle to end in college and proved he could transition to OLB in the Chiefs' new defense, traits that endeared him to a new regime and led to a whopping extension in the offseason.
Now tell me what Hali had coming out that Donald doesn't. Donald is faster and uses his hands better and is stronger. He had better numbers in every single event they did at the combine. I think Crennel would use him exactly like he did Hali in KC. I know it won't happen but I have no doubt Donald could do it and do it well.