Josh Paschal NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Kentucky EDGE
HEIGHT: 6'2 5/8"
HAND: 9 5/8"
ARM: 32 3/4"
40-YARD DASH: 4.77
— Great explosiveness. Impresses most when shooting across the line of scrimmage into a different gap.
— Very good upper-body strength. Flashes powerful hands.
— Good lower-body strength and anchor.
— Good eyes and technique versus the run. Executed versus a number of different run concepts.
— Above-average speed in space for his size. Can chase players in the backfield.
— Good sense for when he can backdoor blocks in the run game.
— Good skill set for twists/stunts/etc. up front.
— High-energy player. Plays through the whistle with physicality.
— Slow bringing his hands up to fire too often.
— Below-average bend from the edge. Cannot threaten outside.
— Below-average flexibility. Struggles to move around guards after being engaged.
12 G, 52 TOT, 15 TFL, 5 SK, 1 FF
— Three-year starter.
— Diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2018 that required three surgeries and forced him to miss most of that season.
— 2021 second-team All-SEC.
A multi-year starter at Kentucky, Josh Paschal was often deployed over the tackle or just inside/outside of them in three-down fronts. He also played a fair amount of 3-tech, and he should see time at all of those positions in the NFL.
Paschal has a healthy blend of explosiveness and strength that allows him to win reps right away. While he does need to work on firing his hands faster to ensure he gets a violent pop upon engagement, he absorbs contact well and can generally maintain his anchor point even if he is not the one initiating contact.
When Paschal does fire his hands effectively, he often does well to strike through blockers and brings his hands above his eyes to control blocks. Likewise, he has the strength to comfortably shed blockers off of him to then explode out and make tackles in space. Paschal also proved capable of handling different assignments and blocking schemes at Kentucky, as well as the savvy to know when to backdoor blocks and shoot into the backfield.
Right now, Paschal is not a bad pass-rusher, but he is best when setting up others. His side-to-side explosiveness makes him a menace on stunts, while the power in his punch makes him a good "masher" for twists. Paschal's middling flexibility and bend when working in space may limit his own individual ability to produce, but at least he has the tools to push the pocket and help others put up numbers.
Paschal's positional home in the NFL is no certainty. He could add a few pounds and remain a 5-tech with some time inside, or he could stay around the weight he is at to play strong-side defensive end in a four-down front. Either way, Paschal already has the strength and run defense chops to hang as a pro. Pair that together with his explosiveness, and it isn't hard to see how Paschal could be an effective starter once he settles into a position.
GRADE: 7.5 (Potential Impact Player - 2nd Round)
OVERALL RANK: 55
POSITION RANK: EDGE8
PRO COMPARISON: John Franklin-Myers