Ethan Westbrooks NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2014

West Texas A&M defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks (90) rushes the Tarleton State offense during the first half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Stephenville, Texas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
Jim Cowsert

Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M (HT: 6'3½" WT: 267 lbs)

Combine Weigh-In
HeightWeightArmHand
603426733 1/49 5/8
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle
4.901.7529"9'2"7.304.67
NFL.com

Positives

  • Sufficient height/weight measurements. 
  • Built like an NFL defensive lineman with muscle tone and overall bulk. 
  • Long reach with adequate hand size. 
  • Coordinated athlete who moves with fluidity and flexibility. 
  • Plays with impeccable balance and low pad level taking on blocks. 
  • Explosive first step to come off the ball quickly. 
  • Fires his hands into blockers well on first contact and can utilize upper body strength. 
  • Flashes speed to power potential as a rusher, gets under the pads of tackles very well. 
  • Can track mobile quarterbacks outside the pocket, comfortable in space. 
  • Disruptive in the backfield by driving through blockers or splitting gaps. 
  • Resets the line of scrimmage by jolting run blockers and moving them backwards. 
  • Tremendous awareness and athletic ability to spin away from blocks and back into pursuit lanes. 
  • Pursues the ball with great effort, always seems to be around the ball. 
  • Can lower the boom when he gets home as a rusher, runs right through quarterbacks. 
  • Has experience and potential to be used in numerous defensive line positions. 
  • Showed proper physical dominance at a lower level.

Negatives

  • Raw and inexperienced prospect as a whole. 
  • Below average combine numbers in comparison to other defensive line prospects. 
  • Undisciplined player who tends to jump offsides, accumulated lots of penalties over two seasons at West Texas A&M. 
  • Not a technically sound player, won on athletic ability at the Division II level. 
  • Inconsistent anticipating the snap and getting into contact quickly. 
  • Lacks a distinct repertoire of pass-rush moves, too reliant on athletic advantage at a lower level. 
  • Not a true speed-rusher around the corner. 
  • Can be overzealous coming off the ball and take himself too far up the field. 
  • Slow to pick up on misdirection plays and screen passes. 
  • Lacks significant open-field speed in pursuit. 
  • Doesn’t always finish well enough as a tackler, tends to leave his feet instead of driving through ball carriers. 
  • Big production drop from junior to senior season.
Collegiate Statistics
YearTeamTacklesTFLSacksFFPD
2012West Texas A&M602819.532
2013West Texas A&M3614412
http://www.gobuffsgo.com/

Personal Notes

  • Transferred to West Texas A&M from Sacramento City College. 
  • 2012 Ron Lenz Daktronics Division II National Defensive Player of the Year. 
  • 2012 and 2013 first team All-Lone Star Conference.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.ed.gov.

Overall

Ethan Westbrooks has the qualities to be a late round pick who outplays his draft selection once he has the benefit of NFL coaching.  His inexperience is both a blessing and a curse.  Because he’s only been playing at a Division II level for two seasons, he’s not ready in terms of technique and hand usage as a defensive lineman.  At the same time, his potential for growth is huge and he shows promising qualities.

Teams who employ a base 4-3 and are looking for a 3rd or 4th rusher who has the ability to play from the interior and on the outside should give Westbrooks a long look.  Much development is still needed, but if he takes to coaching and improves in a way that could realistically expected, he should be in consideration for meaningful snaps in 2015.

Draft Projection: 5th Round

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