DeAngelo Malone NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Western Kentucky EDGE
HEIGHT: 6'3 1/4"
HAND: 9 7/8"
ARM: 33 1/8"
WINGSPAN: 6'7 3/8"
40-YARD DASH: DNP
— Great speed. Flies around the backfield and in space.
— Skinny frame lets him wiggle and fight through tight spaces at times.
— Crafty hands. Does well to strike first and keep OL out of his frame.
— Flashes above-average power and extension after engagement.
— Has moments of surprising leg drive considering his size.
— Good understanding of run concepts and how to attack blocks accordingly.
— Too skinny. Needs to add weight to survive as an NFL edge.
— Anchor is poor. Too often gets moved off his spot.
— Below-average first step. Does not consistently gain ground off the snap. (Better when standing up.)
— Plays upright. Comes off the ball too tall and often struggles to regain leverage.
— Flexibility is average, at best.
14 G, 94 TOT, 17.5 TFL, 8 SK, 4 FF
— Five-year contributor.
— 2-star recruit in 2017.
— Western Kentucky's all-time sack leader (34.0).
— 2019 and 2021 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year.
— 2019-2021 first-team All-C-USA.
DeAngelo Malone is one of the best position conversion candidates in this class. At 6'3" and 234 pounds, Malone got away with playing off the edge in college, but it will be tough to do so at that size in the NFL considering the track record for sub-240 pound edge defenders is weak.
Malone excelled in college primarily thanks to movement skills and savvy. Malone shows great speed in space and enough fluidity to keep a good pace while changing direction. That made him a menace anytime he cracked into the backfield or was forced to cover ground. Likewise, Malone is rather light on his feet, allowing him to make quick movements and use his skinny frame to squeeze through tight areas. Malone also has decent hand usage, showing off proactive moves in both the run and pass game to keep blockers out of his frame.
That said, Malone does not have the strength to hold up on the line of scrimmage right now. Though he helps himself with good hand usage, Malone gets completely swallowed anytime he loses the initial engagement. Blockers can take control of him and bulldoze him right off his spot. Malone is not a clear star as a pass-rusher, either. His first step lacks the juice to threaten the edge immediately, while his bend around the edge is average at best. Malone wins primarily with his choppy hands and speed in space, not dominant physical tools.
With all of that in mind, Malone may benefit from a transition to off-ball linebacker. He clearly has the speed for it, and removing him from the line of scrimmage may help hide some of his strength issues. Malone generally sees and attacks run concepts effectively, too, which could be an encouraging sign for a move to an off-ball position. It may not work, but Malone probably will not crack a starting lineup on the edge at his size anyway.
Malone can be a special teamer right away while a team sorts out what to do with him. Trying to add weight to Malone's frame and keep him on the edge should be the initial plan, but teams should not be scared to try to move him off the ball, even if just to make him a depth player at multiple positions.
GRADE: 6.5 (Potential Role Player - 4th Round)
OVERALL RANK: 149
POSITION RANK: EDGE19
PRO COMPARISON: Chris Garrett
Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen