Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA (HT: 6’4” WT: 252 lbs)
Fourth Round: 108th Pick
NFL Comparison: Andre Branch, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
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- Very quick feet with impressive change-of-direction skills.
- Technically sound player in terms of hand usage, leverage and gap discipline.
- Diagnoses plays on the fly; just as effective when left unblocked for kick-out or lead blockers.
- Instinctively feels where blockers want to take him and fights against it.
- Plays with his head up and finds the ball very well.
- Has natural fluidity and flexibility to utilize finesse pass-rush moves.
- Quick hands to work moves on the inside; has success with a swim move to combat lunging blockers.
- Ability to fire hands and react quickly allows him to play off cut blocks with ease.
- Shows two-gapping ability at times by standing up blockers, finding the ball and shedding quickly.
- Creates space by extending hands to keep run-blockers from his frame.
- Can engage double-teams by fighting with his hands, maintaining his base and keeping shoulders square to the line of scrimmage.
- Flashes ability to split gaps with a quick first step and ability to get skinny in tight spaces.
- Works down the line with lateral agility to make plays beyond his own gap responsibilities.
- Terrific closing speed in pursuit.
- Active player with the relentlessness needed of a slightly undersized defensive lineman.
- Much too lean of frame for a non-edge-rushing defensive lineman.
- Doesn’t possess optimal length for an interior player.
- Not a physically dominant presence at the line of scrimmage.
- Backfield disruption comes more from offensive linemen mistakes than his own athletic or physical prowess.
- Negligible upper-body strength; put up very few bench press reps at combine.
- Inconsistent quickness in his first step.
- Has no ability to accelerate on the edge and rush with speed.
- Minimal bull-rush potential; rarely compresses the pocket with power.
- Deflects very few passes.
- Lacks bulk, especially below the waist, to anchor double-teams consistently.
- Can’t always finish and clear contact after extending hands against run blocks; gets hung up at times.
- Doesn’t pack enough power as a tackler.
- 3-star prospect in recruiting class of 2010, 33rd ranked defensive tackle by ESPN.
- 2013 honorable mention All-Pac-12.
- 2012 honorable mention All-Pac-12.
- Suspended for two games in 2011 for his part in an in-game fight.
Cassius Marsh is a perfect example of a draft prospect who flies under the radar because of a player next to him with a higher profile. In this case, it’s Anthony Barr. Marsh is a fine prospect in his own right, though his projection is a bit more blurry.
Marsh is a 5-technique, 3-4 defensive end through and through. His size is a concern, though. It’s not just the numbers, but the functional strength that should come along with it falls short of where it needs to be against NFL blockers. For Marsh, it’s all about adding bulk to become a stronger player without sacrificing too much in athletic ability. That can be easier said than done.
What probably makes Marsh slide on draft day is a lack of any single trait that stands out. He may have a long career in the NFL, but it’s hard to see him ever being a high-impact performer.
Draft Projection: 4th-5th Round
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