2010 NFL Draft Profile: Ndamukong Suh

SB Nation college sites are assisting our NFL brethren by posting 2010 NFL Draft Profiles of players that will be selected in the first two rounds. I'm pretty sure that our beloved Ndamukong Suh will be one of those guys. Climbing on a pretty slim limb there, aren't I?

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Ndamukong Suh, projected as #1 2010 NFL Draft Pick, as long as St. Louis doesn't decide they need a quarterback more than a sure bet.
Photo by Dennis Hubbard

Height: 305 lb

Weight: 6' 4"

High School - Hometown: Grant High School - Portland, Oregon

Birthday: January 6, 1987

Position:
Defensive Tackle

Class: Graduated 2009, Construction Management


2009 Awards:

AP Player of the Year
Outland Trophy
Chuck Bednarik Award
Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Lombardi Award
Bill Willis Award
Heisman Trophy Finalist

Consensus First-team All-America
Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year
Big-12 Defensive Lineman of the Year

THE TWITTER SUMMARY:
Nebraska's most decorated player in school history. Considered the best NFL defensive line prospect in 20 years.

THINGS THE PROS GET RIGHT:

Ndamukong Suh, or "SUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHH" as he's known to Nebraska fans has been ranked as the #1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, that is, before nitpickers and second-guessers have spoken up and somehow moved Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy ahead of Suh. (I've seen people mention Suh's knee surgeries. Looks like those reaaaallly affected him last season.)

A pretty complete NFL draft scouting report can be found here. Suh would be effective in the 3-4 as as end, but a waste as a nose tackle. He doesn't have the bulk, and it would be a waste of his speed. He'd be better off as a defensive tackle in a 4-3. He regularly dominated games as a senior, despite being double-teamed in every game. His hits were vicious, as was his ability to quickly recognize plays.

As a college player, Suh was unblockable. It will be interesting to see how he fairs against NFL-caliber offensive linemen. It's not like he didn't play against some NFL-caliber college linemen, so it will be interesting to see what he does against multiple NFL linemen.

THINGS THE PROS MAY NOT ACCOUNT FOR:

NFL fans (and analysts) are used to looking at sacks as a measurement of great defensive lineman. It's natural given that NFL quarterbacks aren't the mobile types seen in college and especially in the Big 12 conference. Sacks are not the only stat by which he should be measured.

Suh finished the 2009 season with 12 sacks, tied for fifth nationally. However, he also finished with 28 quarterback hurries and 34th in the nation with 10 passes broken up. He was one of only two defensive linemen to finish in the top 100 players in that category.

Suh lead his team in tackles two years in a row, something that's unheard of for a defensive lineman.

NON-FOOTBALL THING YOU MAY FIND ENDEARING/CHARMING/INTERESTING:  

"Ndamukong" translates to "House of Spears". If that isn't impressive enough, let me give you some alternatives

Suh credits his quickness and his footwork to his youth soccer experience. He so endeared to Nebraskans that someone created and named a soup after him.

The best thing one could say about Suh is that that he was an exemplary human being at Nebraska. He was a team leader during Nebraska's rebuilding years, 2008, and 2009. The only blemish I'm aware of was a ticket he received for a traffic accident in which he hit some cars when he swerved to avoid running over a cat, or a dog, or maybe it was Dan Hawkins wandering the streets of Lincoln in despair. If that's the worst thing he ever did in college, he faired better than 95% of us (considering the fish bowl that college players live within these days, we'd have heard about anything else).


TOTAL SUMMARY GRADING OF OVER/UNDERRATED.

I can understand the possibility that Suh could drop to the #2 pick in the draft because of the St. Louis Rams' need for a quarterback, but Suh appears to be about as close to a sure thing as you can get. One thing's for certain - if St. Louis doesn't pick Suh #1 and he turns out to realize his potential - you can count on at least one web site making fun of the Rams for eternity.

A pretty fair (and short) cross-section of some of his plays are shown here. The last play in this sequence is a play from the 2008 Colorado game in which Suh intercepted a pass at the line of scrimmage, then returned it for a touchdown, running over Colorado's quarterback Cody Hawkins in the process.

 

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