The NFL draft is still a ways away, but the draft order has been set. I've been asked by a couple of the SB Nation NFL sites to profile Ndamukong Suh. Here's the email regarding the profile:
Can you provide us with a brief writeup on Suh...his strengths/weaknesses, what kind of defense he'd flourish in, what NFL player, if any, that he reminds you of, what are his overall prospects for success in the NFL.
Here's the answers I'm going to give them, and I'm certainly interested in any opinions you might have.
I'm not going to pretend that I know about NFL defenses.... well, yes, I guess I am. The one place I can't see Suh playing is as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. He just doesn't have the size for that position, and being caught up in the middle would waste his agility. He could play as a defensive end in the 3-4, as he's got the speed to hold the edge and provide pass rushing as well.
I can see him excelling at defensive tackle or end in the 4-3. As a tackle, he could use his arm strength to keep blockers off him and his athleticism to disrupt passing lanes. He'd also hold his own in the running game, and his ability to snuff out screens would benefit at that position.
NFL Player He Reminds Me Of
If I say Suh reminds me of Warren Sapp am I committing blasphemy? I've have to admit that I never disliked Warren Sapp... in fact, I'll admit - I liked the guy a lot. First of all, we beat his team (along with ) for a national title. I also liked the fire with which he played. Where the comparison breaks down is between Suh's quiet strength and Sapp's constant need to run his mouth.
Another thought would be Reggie White. White had the best bull-rushing ability of all time, and as much as I like Suh, I'm not sure he is better than White in this regard.
If you've got some good comparisons here, I'd love to hear them as well.
Prospects for Success
Suh's prospects are very high. Other than a ticket for a minor traffic altercation (which could happen to anyone), I can't think of a single time that Suh has caused problems or done anything negative. He's a decent guy, he's respectful of others and he's a leader. He has no baggage, which makes him even more desirable for NFL teams. It's no wonder the guy won so many awards.
This is where I'm lost. It may be homerific, but I really can't think of any weaknesses Suh has, with the exception of the size necessary to hold down the middle in a 3-4. He's a smart player and has a great understanding of the game. He's quick, and more agile than nearly anyone his size has ever been in college. He's got great hands. He's versatile. What the heck are his weaknesses?
There has to be something.... perhaps his biggest weakness is his name, although I have to believe that if he has one fourth the success he had in college, NFL announcers will be more than willing to learn how to properly pronounce "Ndamukong" and leave that "Mr Suh" stuff behind.