Chad Diehl is put on the football field for one reason: to destroy people. Whether he is blowing open lanes as a fullback or blasting people on special teams, any time Diehl is on the field he will be hitting someone and hitting them hard.
Sound like the perfect fit for the Ravens?
A player cut in the same mold as the Jets' John Connor, Diehl brings energy and personality to the field and will most certainly add a sense of toughness to the running game.
There is some concern about Diehl because he missed the Senior Bowl with a head injury (not a good sign for a battering ram like him) and was not invited to attend the NFL Combine. However, at Clemson's pro day, Diehl put up strong numbers for a fullback.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING
Diehl's toughness was identified as his main strength by nfldraftscout.com via CBSsports.com.
Diehl is a classic sledgehammer fullback. He handles any blocking assignment he's handed from blitz pickup to straight-ahead drive blocking, and he almost always gets the job done with authority. Diehl also played on punt and kick coverages, kickoff returns, and won Clemson's Hustle and Dedication awards.
Brad Noel of CBSsports.com also stressed Diehl's physical nature as a strong positive in his game.
Has a stout physique and excels at blocking. Accelerates off the snap, stays low, bends knees, sinks hips, punches well, and almost always hits the mark. Has good power and will drive defenders back. Has a comfortable set in pass protection and knows how to use hands effectively.
Noel, however, noted that Diehl isn't very versatile and isn't the greatest athlete.
Doesn't offer much more than blocking. Is not a great athlete. Not fast and doesn't turn that well either. Was not given much opportunity to do anything except block in college.
EXPECTED IMPACT AS A ROOKIE
At 6'2", 265 pounds, Diehl is an absolute load at fullback and on special teams. It's tough to call him a "bowling ball" type of player because of his height, but that is the style he plays. If he can earn a spot on the roster, you can bet coaches will be clamoring to get him on special teams immediately.
The pure fullback may be a dying breed in the NFL, so Diehl's impact in the NFL will be based on how he is used. He doesn't possess any pass-catching ability, so if he is not incorporated in a big way in the run game, he could be limited to special teams.
Basically, Diehl is as tough as they come and a player who fits in perfectly with their personality. Even if they just use him on special teams, he has the viciousness to make an impact.
It's actually too bad the "wedge breaker" is no longer needed in the NFL, because Diehl might qualify as one of the best.