Not everyone with NFL dreams is a first-round pick. More than most are busting their behinds just to hear their name mentioned on the final day, and that's exactly where Missouri defensive end Brad Madison finds himself.
Based on the career path he has taken, Madison doesn't mind a challenge. He's endured plenty of them during his time at Mizzou, from a position change to multiple injuries. Let's break down this prospect so that you can decide if his dream will be realized.
During his sophomore year at Mizzou, Madison led the team with 7.5 sacks, which was the fourth-highest number in the Big 12. He has solid speed, as his 4.81 40-yard dash at the Mizzou pro day would have kept pace with Sam Montgomery at the combine.
Madison has a nice spin move that he uses once there is initial contact with the offensive lineman. It gives him the separation he needs to get after the quarterback.
Lastly, he doesn't quit on plays.
He might have nice straight-line speed, but he isn't going to make the league based on athleticism alone. During his pro day, he failed to finish some drills when he couldn't keep his feet under him. This doesn't bode well for dealing with the more athletic tackles that the NFL has to offer.
Madison has solid strength, but got lost against the run at times, especially against the big boys from Alabama. He also needs to add another move or two to his spin.
Finally, it's difficult to overlook his declining production. After a stellar 2010, his numbers dropped every year, mostly due to an injury, but it isn't an encouraging sign.
Statistics provided by www.mutigers.com.
Madison has typical 4-3 defensive end size at 6'4" and 265 pounds. He has decent arm length (33.125") that should help him fend off offensive tackles and knock down passes.
No arrests came up and he graduated in four years. Additionally, he battled through injuries during his junior season, demonstrating a deep love for the game. Regardless of his abilities, you have to love his passion and it's hard not to root for him.
Madison typically played in a down position in Mizzou's 4-3 defensive set. Occasionally, he would stand up, but it was a rare and shouldn't be continued in the NFL.
Madison's natural element is pinning his ears back and running around the end. He doesn't have a great counter to his dangerous spin move, but he has enough speed to keep tackles wary of him getting around them.
Against the Run
Again, he is a stout guy who isn't easily moved. However, that ability is going to diminish greatly against the bigger boys of the next level as the Alabama tape attests. Some time in the weight room can help, but his recognition must improve so he isn't out of position since he won't be able to recover.
Nothing that showed up on film demonstrated anything more than an average tackling ability. He has the strength to handle larger running backs, but lacks the foot speed and agility to handle any moves.
Use of Hands
Everything on tape showed a nice first touch, especially when using his spin move. However, when he became engaged, he showed little ability to separate.
Scheme Versatility/Future Role
It's hard to see Madison doing anything more than providing depth as 4-3 defensive end, assuming he sticks on a roster.