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Joe Kruger: Video Highlights for Former Utah DE

John SheaContributor IIIApril 26, 2013

Joe Kruger: Video Highlights for Former Utah DE

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    Former Utah defensive end Joe Kruger is a hard-nosed player who utilizes brute strength to overpower his opponent.

    Kruger isn't the type of player that will shed would-be tacklers because of superior athletic ability. Instead, he uses bulk to punish offensive linemen, frequently avoiding the block. He sustains swift agility and suave movement to outlast opponents and burst into the backfield.

    Kruger is currently projected to be selected in the sixth round of the impending draft, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

    The following slideshow is a breakdown of video highlights for Joe Kruger: 

Joe Kruger vs. BYU (2012)

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    Kruger flashes relative explosiveness from the point on this play against state rival BYU. He easily bursts through a blown blocking assignment to drag down quarterback Riley Nelson in the end zone.

    The play would have resulted in a safety if Kruger hadn't snagged Nelson's face mask during the tackle. His tall body frame disables him from staying low when making a tackle, which signifies problematic technique issues that need to be resolved in order to mount a successful pro career.

    Some pro scouts doubt that Kruger has the intangibles necessary to develop into a formidable pass-rusher in the NFL.

    Still, Kruger is a tenacious player who has the potential to adapt into a role as an effective, situational pass-rusher, given a coach who can cultivate his skill set.

Joe Kruger vs. Washington State (2012)

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    Kruger blindsides Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel in this play, beating his block and exploding off the edge to pummel the senior QB.

    Tuel is immediately flushed from the pocket after the play steadfastly fails to develop. Kruger violently collides with the stifled quarterback, forcing him to simply protect the football, rather than attempting to escape the pocket for a positive gain.

    Kruger is relentlessly elusive, demonstrated in the play featured on this slide, but needs to improve upon inconsistent pass-rushing technique that sometimes crippled his ability to succeed last season.

    Kruger was good enough to punish a lackluster Cougars O-line in 2012, but failed to consistently dominate at the collegiate level and too often succumbed to average blockers.

Joe Kruger vs. Northern Colorado (2012)

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    Kruger showcases the best defensive play of his collegiate career during a nonconference game against Northern Colorado on this slide, intercepting quarterback Seth Lobato in pass coverage before sprinting into the end zone for a touchdown.

    Kruger isn't known for pass-coverage ability, but he aptly reacts to a telegraphed pass attempt in the play featured above, leveraging his body away from his man to reel in the pick.

    The 270-pound pass-rusher forced four turnovers in three collegiate seasons, including three fumbles. His 24-yard interception return for a touchdown is most likely his best highlight, despite several bone-crushing hits on opposing quarterbacks.

Joe Kruger vs. BYU (2012)

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    Kruger flashes a physical-caliber brand of game play in this play against BYU, aiding his teammates in forcing a fumble after pushing quarterback Riley Nelson out of the pocket.

    The O-line collapses, quickly enabling the Utes' defensive front to swarm the backfield.

    Kruger beats his block to pressure Nelson into a mistake-prone situation, swimming past his opponent to eventually punish the quarterback.

    His long arms enable him to legitimately manhandle the opposition. He isn't easily grappled, but can be pushed around, despite above-average strength.

Joe Kruger vs Washington State (2012)

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    Kruger puts his strength on display in this play against Washington State, pushing a would-be blocker backward to reach quarterback Jeff Tuel and make the sack.

    Kruger starts from an upright stance instead of the point, exploding off the edge to manhandle his opponent and drag Tuel to the turf. His tall body frame makes him difficult to block from an offensive lineman's perspective. Kruger can't be grappled or pushed around on this play.

    He's a strong player capable of wreaking havoc on ball-carriers in the backfield. His pass-rushing technique is limited to natural ability, though. Kruger ultimately needs to improve upon basic fundamentals to excel in the NFL.

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