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Isaiah Foskey NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Notre Dame Edge

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor I

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 10: Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey (7) tackles Marshall Thundering Herd running back Khalan Laborn (8) in action during a game between the Marshall Thundering Herd and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on September 10, 2022 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'5"

WEIGHT: 265

HAND: TBD

ARM: TBD

WINGSPAN: TBD


40-YARD DASH: TBD

3-CONE: TBD

SHUTTLE: TBD

VERTICAL: TBD

BROAD: TBD


POSITIVES

— Physical at the point of attack and takes on blocks with good leverage out of a two-point stance to help set the edge.

— Solid strength to win as a power rusher with a one-arm stab move or a bull rush, and he's shown a nice rip move as a counter off of the bull rush that he can win with if he starts working to get on an edge.

— Does a good job of working offensive lineman's hands as a pass-rusher.

— Has plenty of athletic ability to develop finesse moves down the line and has shown flashes of winning with a cross chop, hand swipe and ghost rush.

— Impressive agility to avoid losing ground as the looper in line games.

— Swipes at the ball and has a knack for getting strip sacks.

— Very instinctual against the run and can be hard to reach with his combination of agility and block recognition out of a two-point stance.

— Strong enough to get extension and hold ground against tackles.

— Hustle player who will factor into gang tackles down the field and get coverage sacks.


NEGATIVES

— Slow run-pass transitions against play-action.

— Doesn't have a go-to pass rush move that can win with at the moment and doesn't have the speed off the ball to challenge offensive tackles vertically.

— Could make better use of the stem phase of a pass rush by getting upfield initially to give himself a two-way go and keep the tackle guessing.

— Adequate bend to turn tight corners and take an efficient path to the quarterback but lacks ankle flexibility.

— Needs to start working to get on an edge when bull-rushing.

— More passive against the run when working out of a three-point stance. Likes to stand up and see what the offensive line is doing instead of attacking and reacting.

— Lacks violence when trying to disengage and get off blocks and lets offensive linemen hang onto him.

— Not a forceful tackler and will lose ground after contact from physical running backs.


NOTES

— DOB: Oct. 30, 2000

— A 4-star recruit in the 2019 class, No. 211 overall, No. 13 WDE, per 247Sports composite rating.

— 25 career starts

— Notre Dame's career sack leader (26.5)

— 2022 Honors: Consensus All-American

— 2021 Honors: Third-team All-American (Phil Steele), first-team All-Independent (Phil Steele)


OVERALL

Isaiah Foskey is an interesting projection because he has plenty of traits with his size, strength and athleticism, and he's been productive, surpassing several notable Notre Dame defensive linemen like Justin Tuck and Bryant Young in the school's record books. Typically, that'd make for a slam-dunk top-10 pick.

However, a lot of Foskey's sacks have come when he's either unblocked, is cleaning up from another pass-rusher winning or as coverage sacks, especially this past year. His impressive rushes have come in flashes versus being something he can consistently win with at the next level, and his stiff ankles are concerning for an edge-rusher.

That being said, if the Golden Domer tests well at the combine to confirm his athletic potential, he's a good enough power rusher and can develop a wider pass-rush arsenal down the road to still be a first-round pick. He might just have to wait a little longer to hear his name called on Day 1.

Against the run, there's a lot to like about Foskey's game. He's physical and strong to set the edge and hold ground against offensive tackles, and his instincts are impressive out of a two-point stance. The biggest issue is that he can look like almost a completely different player with his hand in the ground, which could limit his scheme fit.

Foskey is much better from a standup linebacker position. When he is in a three-point stance, it's almost like his natural inclination is to play from a two-point because he stands up and tries to see what's going on, essentially getting to a two-point stance post-snap. So, he'd be best as an outside backer for a team that uses odd fronts.

Notre Dame would occasionally drop him in coverage, so he has experience covering running backs, tight ends and the underneath zones to go along with the athleticism to carry that part of his game over to the NFL. He might not be "off the board" for even front teams, but he'll need the freedom to play from that standup position.


GRADE: 8.0 (Year 1 Starter/Late Round 1, Round 2)

OVERALL RANK: 20

POSITION RANK: EDGE4

PRO COMPARISON: Harold Landry III


Written by B/R NFL Draft Scout Matt Holder